Monday, 12 August 2013

My First Medical Student Timetable: FunMed

UPDATE: If you want a review of my first year as a medical student at medical school, have a look HERE

So after the vague details I got a few weeks ago, I've been updated by a friend at Barts with a more detailed timetable for the first part of my degree, FunMed. FunMed is short for Fundamental Medicine and appears to be aimed at getting everyone to a level playing field. It's a ten week period right at the beginning of the course where you are bombarded with overviews of every part of medicine and expected to pass a two-part test (written and spotter) at the end. This is where I'll have my second opportunity to use the dissection labs at Queen Mary and was a key reason in choosing Barts as my medical school.

The detailed version of the FunMed timetable can be found HERE. It's a 10 page PDF and I've stripped out a lot of the details, specific to my medical school to avoid confusing people (and make sure I don't get into trouble for sharing). If you can't be bothered to look at that, then here's my week-by-week run down.

So Freshers. I'm excited because Freshers was a fun, blur filled time (I still have my t-shirt) when I started Biomed. A few induction lectures which I think will be boring as hell because after three years at Queen Mary, I feel like I know a bit. The key stuff will be things like contacts at the new student office etc. The most interesting lecture is the pre-hospital care program. This is the chance to be involved with Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). I really want to do this as one of my Student Selected Components (SSC).

Freshers is officially over. But I'm sure that the fun will continue. This week seems to be filled with a lot of "An introduction to..." lectures but I'm most excited about my first anatomy practical. Yes, I'm strange I know.

Quite a bit of genetics this week. I'm not a fan of genetics but seeing as I've done it for three years now, I should be able to nail these intro lectures. There is my second PBL already. Also no, I don't know what Thursday is about.

Week 3 and already got a test. On cells and tissues. Should be interesting. More genetics as well.

More cell stuff. Nothing exciting to report.

Moved on to pathology and cancer. Also started MedSoc Day 2. I'm not sure what this is but it takes up all of my Thursday.

Another test. This week is immunology and drugs.

Last anatomy practical. Also an briefing on the two part exam in Week 9. This is probably the point where if I haven't done any revision I start to freak out. But of course that's not going to happen. Right?
There is also a lecture on viruses by Professor Oxford. I interviewed Oxford for the paper two years ago and found him to be a delightful man. I'm excited that he's going to be teaching me as he's the foremost expert on the flu virus and is regularly interviewed by the BBC and SkyNews during a flu epidemic.

Microbiology test this week. They sure do love their tests in Medicine. Starting to freak me out. Also a load of biochemistry. Shudder.

At this point, I would have made it. PBL done. A few last minute lectures before the big FunMed test on Friday. This is a two part test: written and spotter. Written will either be MCQs or Single Best Answer and Extended Matching Questions. Medicine doesn't like too many essay or written based questions because there are so many tests that it can seriously slow down processing time.

Spotter is the exciting test. This is very similar to my anatomy practicals in first year of biomed. A cadaver will be labelled with several pins and I will be asked to identify structures or note the repercussions of damage to that labelled structure. I did very well in anatomy in first year, scoring repeatedly as top of the class for timed exercises such as complete the skull or put the spine back together.

NEXT: Cardiorespiratory
After 10 weeks of intense testing, I'll start two weeks of Cardiorespiratory lectures before breaking up for Christmas. I think I get two whole weeks which is better than I expected!

If you want to see the year overview for a first year at Barts CLICK HERE.

Med school is busy. You seem to be in every day which is a change from biomed. A good change though. I always felt that biomed was wasting so much time every week. I'm glad that Wednesday afternoons are still protected for sports. It's also pretty cool that your whole year group is doing the same thing, so I can understand how a sense of community develops very quickly. You work together, you party together. Bring on September.


  1. Medsoc is, I believe, Medicine in Society which is spent in a GP clinic in pairs.

    I got my results on Thursday, and will be starting in 2014 and get a nice year out to do..things :) so you will be in the year ahead of me at Barts. I hope you keep this blog going regularly as it would be great to see how your getting along,

    1. Ah thanks dude! I knew we were doing GP placements from the get go, so this make perfect sense.
      Good luck with your hospital placement and I'll see you in a year. You should start a blog as well. Keep track of your progress. It's very cathartic.

    2. Hospital placement? i didn't mention that but funnily enough thats what I'm going to be doing, along with some travelling and hopefully get to do a bunch of things that I have been putting off because of the whole medicine application process.

      Hope it all goes well for you, And in 5 years time you reach the goal that you have clearly been working really hard for. Until then...5 years of hard work and no doubt many many all nighters

    3. Ha. Either you are an anon who has commented previously or coincidently are doing a hospital placement as well. Yeah a gap year is a great time to do loads of stuff you haven't had the chance to do.

      Cheers. 5 years. Can't wait!

  2. Give us a hint as to who you are, seeing as you're in my year :P