a100 - Medicine MBBS

Photograph of student that studied this course

Meet Catherine from United Kingdom

About me

Choosing Newcastle

I chose to study at Newcastle because I was really impressed by the Medical School and its facilities on my open day and loved the city! The style of teaching at Newcastle incorporates a mix of lectures, seminars, self-directed learning and practical learning (in the form of dissecting room anatomy sessions and clinical skills sessions).

Studying at Newcastle

The teaching has been excellent throughout the whole of my five years. We are taught mainly by practising clinicians but also by nurses, researchers, anatomists and other specialists in whatever field we are learning about.

Studying Medicine

I have enjoyed the structure of the course, in the first two years you are taught about the clinical sciences and learn how to perform clinical skills such as history taking and examination. I particularly enjoyed the lectures on embryology and immunology. Then in the third year you are released on the wards! I felt really prepared at this point, and felt ready to start to meet patients and learn about why they had come into hospital. The fourth year is a mix of more clinical science and then self selected placements after Christmas. These were a fantastic opportunity to further explore areas of medicine. I chose: GP, neurology and paediatric immunology. Later in your fourth year you have an eight-week elective. I went out to a hospital in Vancouver in Canada and spent my weeks clerking patients in A&E and looking after and managing medical patients on the wards. My elective really challenged me, however I felt supported and therefore learnt a lot! In my time off the wards I had a wonderful time exploring the beautiful British Colombia!

As part of your medical degree, you are able to ‘intercalate’ – which means that you can take a year out to study for a Masters. I have always been fascinated by the immune system and so last year (in between fourth and fifth years) I studied for a MRes in Immunobiology. I spent half of the year studying modules, and then did six months research in the area of paediatric stem cell transplantation. It was a really enjoyable year, I learnt a lot and hope to do more research in the future. Newcastle has so many options to do an intercalated year and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try something different before final year.

Recommending Newcastle

Studying medicine requires commitment, stamina and the ability to maintain a good work-life balance. It’s a tough five years but it’s so worth it. I’m almost halfway through my final year and can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s an honour and privilege to be able to use your knowledge and skills to look after people. Every day as I wake up I have no idea what to expect from the day ahead. Every day is different, new patients, new stories to untangle and diagnose, and new challenges. If you’re interested in medicine – go for it!

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle is a vibrant busy city with so much going on. The centre of the city is very easily accessible from the University, there’s loads to do and a great selection of places to eat and drink. The city boasts a large number of green spaces, with a Park Run on the Town Moor. It’s also really close to the beach at Tynemouth and is a half-hour drive away from Northumberland or the city of Durham.

Being social

In my spare time I play on the Newcastle University Ultimate Frisbee team! For those of you who haven’t heard of it (don’t worry – I hadn’t before joining uni!) Ultimate Frisbee is a fast-paced non-contact team game that is played with a flying disc. It’s been a fantastic way to keep fit, and there’s so many training sessions throughout the week which means that I’m always able to go a few times, even with a busy timetable!

Future plans

I’m hoping to stay on in Newcastle for my foundation years, it’s such a fab city, the people who live here are so welcoming and friendly, I really couldn’t imagine working anywhere else!