Outline of the Course
The course is four years long. The first two years are designed specifically for graduate-entry students, and cover both basic medical science and clinical skills; the first year concentrates on science taught within a clinical context but with a gentle introduction to clinical practice, while the second year concentrates on clinical teaching with a smaller science component.
The final two years are shared with the standard clinical course, and students on the four-year course are fully integrated with students from the six-year course at this stage: these final two years consist of clinical attachments to various specialties, and to the final (senior) medical and surgical firms.
There are periods set aside for special study at various points in the course, and especially in the final year, which includes a ten-week elective period during which you may opt to study away from Oxford. Apart from the elective, most teaching takes place within Oxford, though there are short periods of attachment to district hospitals outside Oxford, intended to provide a broader clinical experience.
When and Where
The first year consists of three ten-week terms, slightly extended from the usual Oxford terms. The remaining years are longer (typically up to 44 weeks long), with short holidays at Christmas and Easter and a longer break in the summer.
All basic science teaching and most clinical attachments take place in Oxford. We believe that there are good social and academic reasons for students to spend as much time in Oxford as possible, particularly at the beginning of the course. However, the District General Hospitals outside Oxford also have a very valuable contribution to make: they can offer smaller teaching groups and a wealth of clinical experience, particularly of the commoner illnesses, and so can provide a much wider view of medical practice. To take advantage of this teaching, some attachments at specific points in the course take place at DGHs outside Oxford, such as Banbury, Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Stoke Mandeville, Swindon and Northampton. In addition, some attachments during the course will offer the option of further rotations out of Oxford, either to the regional DGHs or further afield. Many students are keen to take up these options, because of the very wide clinical experience that they afford.