FOURTH YEAR GUIDE
Fourth year begins with your elective. This is the one time in medical school where you have the opportunity to go and practise Medicine somewhere completely different. Make the most of it and enjoy yourself – especially after the slog of third year, you definitely deserve it! When you get back to Brighton, you will be asked to write a page long description of your experience however it is not formally marked so does not have to be detailed. You will also, later on in the term, have to make a poster and present this to two examiners. As long as you are enthusiastic about your time and can come up with a few main points of what you learnt, you will be fine.
Fourth year is comprised of 6 specialty rotations and GP. Your specialty rotation runs Monday-Thursday and GP is on Friday. A logbook is used to assess each rotation and at the end of each rotation there is no formal exam or assessment although some rotations do get you to do a presentation or a mini-test but they are only formative.
On Fridays you spend half the day having GP lectures and the other half is spent on GP placement or used for independent study. You only have 8 GP visits in the year, so really make the most of your time there. Ask your GP if you can see patients by yourself and then present the patient back to them. Your GP has to complete a logbook detailing what you have achieved or learnt on each visit. At the end of the year you have a GP exam, which lasts 3 hours and has questions on key GP cases. Make sure you read through the GP question booklets you are given at the start of the year, as the questions in these are very similar to the ones that come up in the exam. It also has a population medicine section so ensure you revise those lectures too!
The IRP project runs throughout the year. It is good to meet with your supervisor early on and try to be organised and do a little bit every week, otherwise you will have to cram things near the deadline, which isn’t always easy when doing your own research. You have to print your IRP report and 2 independent examiners mark this. You also have to present your research at the IRP conference using a PowerPoint presentation to a group of students from your year and some of the doctors and professors. It is formally marked and counts towards your overall IRP grade but again just be confident and concise and enjoy the opportunity to practise your presentation skills.
Overall, enjoy having a bit more spare time in fourth year before fifth year begins!
Contributed by Louisa Woollen