What our students say
JESSICA PRINCE, 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT ST JOHN'S COLLEGE (2014-2017):Hey! I’m a 3rd year medical student at St John’s College. Studying medicine at Oxford has surrounded me with people who have a passion for what they do and aren’t happy to just accept what’s written in a textbook but instead question how and why, it’s brilliant. The course here is different to many medical schools in that you spend the first 3 years learning the scientific basis of clinical practice before spending your final 3 years in a hospital and GP surgery. This has given me an excellent understanding of why we give a particular drug to a patient, its mechanism of action and the key experiments that have lead to a drug discovery, for example.This will be invaluable not only in clinic but also if we choose to pursue academic medicine. Also, as a taster of academic medicine, at the end of 2nd year all medical students choose a research project that interests them and carry out cutting edge research with a lab, for example I am currently looking at personalising medicine for liver cancer. This is a unique experience to Oxford and many students even have their data published in reputable scientific journals such as Nature! Another unique aspect of the course is the predominant essay based style of examination during the first 3 years. The ability to portray your opinion concisely and logically is a very useful, transferrable skill which this course has taught me. Studying sciences at A level meant I had no previous experience in writing and was utterly terrible however, over the last 2 years I have found a real interest in this and now write and edit for a number of journals. Tutorials have been a real perk of studying at Oxford, the opportunity to discuss a particular topic in detail with a world renowned professor and your colleagues is an incredible way of learning. After 3rd year you also get the option of transferring to a London medical school for your clinical years and there are a number of clinical placements available abroad in Sri Lanka and Australia for example enabling students to experience the diversity of medical care in different areas of the world. To develop this further, in 6th year after finishing exams in January, medical students have 3 months of elective, often funded in part by your college, to work wherever you choose and develop your interests further. Outside of medicine, Oxford has a fantastic social scene; I’m part of a band, take part in a number of sports and make the most of the night life here too. There are over 300 societies and if that’s still not good enough for you and you want to set up something new and exciting, the university will be willing to fund this. So, if I haven't sold medicine at Oxford to you yet, Oxford was just last week ranked top university in the Telegraph. Go on, give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose.
JOSEPH DELO, 2ND YEAR STUDENT AT MAGDALEN COLLEGE (2008-2011):
Medicine is a challenging subject, at any university. The thought of reading it at Oxford seemed, at first, daunting, but turned out to be one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I thought I’d be out of my depth and struggle with the fast pace and demanding work, but instead I found that, though the work is harder than A Level, the course is designed to ease you in, and tutors and lecturers are very helpful and understanding. The unique tutorial system helps, in that topics are covered in-depth in very small groups and this means weaker areas can be targeted. There are a few each week, linked to what is covered in lectures; they require reading and sometimes an essay to be written beforehand, but are designed to stretch you, and see how you think. The interview on applying is much like this, intended to see how you tackle a problem, to which there often isn’t a right or wrong answer. I’ve found the course very interesting, stimulating and extremely enjoyable. The work is challenging but it is an extremely rewarding and fascinating subject, especially at Oxford where there is a lot of research going on. The lecturers are at the forefront of their fields which means topics are covered in depth, by people who are obviously passionate about their subject, and have often made many of the discoveries that are taught! There are lectures and practicals during the week, but much of the afternoon is free, allowing plenty of time for tutorial work and extracurricular activities, of which there are many at both university and college level. I’ve been part of my college’s MedSoc committee for two years as well as coxing for my college rowing teams. The BA in Medical Sciences, done in the third year, is a unique opportunity to experience research firsthand and study, in depth, options which interest you most.
The Medical Sciences Teaching Centre is a well-equipped, new building with lots of labs and the dissection rooms where there are weekly sessions looking at prosected specimens with surgical trainees. I’m really glad I chose to study Medicine at Oxford would definitely recommend it to anyone considering applying.