Welcome to Imperial College School of Medicine
Congratulations on securing your spot at one of the best medical schools in the country! Starting off as a fresher at any medical school can seem ever-so daunting, but fear not! – Here at Imperial, we’ve all somehow survived but not without a little help from the Faculty of Medicine and our student-led Students’ Union. Between us, we cover all your needs and wants whether it be educational, social or pastoral so that one day you will be able to see that Dr prefix in front of your name.
This page was designed so that you can get a better overview of what you will be encountering this year as well as providing you with valuable resources so that you can take control of your own education (Scary I know but you want that prefix, don’t you?)
If you ever have a problem or question, please email at icsm.ao12GE@imperial.ac.uk. I am always available to talk.
Best of luck to you this year!
ICSMSU Academic Officer (Years 1, 2 & GE)
For the majority of you, first year or freshers’ year will be the biggest shock to your system. Living away from home means that you have to fend for yourself but it also means you have full control over your life and your learning. There is scheduled teaching given in the forms of lectures, practicals, tutorials, dissections, pbl sessions etc, and there are the dreaded exams dotted around in summer term; however other than that, you have complete free-reign of how you learn.
Unfortunately the good-old days of leaving everything to the last minute and cramming are over: you are not just learning to pass an exam, you’re learning stuff that will be relevant to you when you are responsible for people’s lives. But enough of the seriousness, freshers’ is also the time to try out new things whether it is a club, a society or a new hairdo.
After your first week and a half of introductory lectures (how to use a computer, what to do in a fire alarm – the bare essentials) and occupational health visits, you will start on the first theme that builds on the basics that you have learned in Biology already – this is called Molecules, Cells & Disease (MCD) There are numerous tutorials and practicals intertwined with MCD, varying from a tutorial on cyanide poisoning to practicals on enzyme kinetics to a blood taking practical.
During autumn term you will also experience a module called Foundation of Clinical Practice (FoCP), which will help to develop the understanding of why Patient Centred Medicine is important in modern day medicine. Starting in this term, you will also get Problem Based Learning sessions (normally fortnightly), which will allow you to integrate your prior knowledge with information from lectures and other resources. It is also a chance to hone your research and presentation skills within the comforts of a small group of friends.
Spring & Summer Term
You start with the dreaded Formative that will test you on the material you were taught in Autumn, however I would advise you not to fret too much about it over Christmas, try to enjoy your holiday! The lectures given in term 2 and 3 are all part of two different topics: Life Support System (LSS) and Life Cycle and Regulatory Systems (LCRS), these are the topics you came to medschool for. You get taught Proper Anatomy with weekly dissections at Charing Cross Hospital as well as Living Anatomy Sessions.
The summative exams, i.e. those that matter, are located in Summer Term: starting with MCD just after Easter. Then the rest of them are at the end of the term: LSS1, LSS2 and LCRS. The format of the papers is generally around 40 Single Best Answer Questions and 5 Short Answer Questions with sometimes some Extended Matching Questions. The intranet has an exams page with detailed breakdowns and dates of each paper. You may turn around and go “Multiple Choice? It’s that easy?”, I kid you not they are not. Results are posted a month later and you’ll have completed 1/6 of a way through medschool!
Responses from last SSLG – 21/11/2012
- Some slides from lectures have been slow to upload; lecturers will be reminded to upload them this term.
- Students requested that the metabolism quiz could be left on the intranet for longer and it was agreed that it would go back onto the intranet over the Christmas break to help with revision. Course leaders are also being reminded to regularly check Blackboard Discussion Groups
- The clinical communications course was very well received
Exams & assessment
- There was some confusion over the structure of exams – this has been clarified in the exams talk in December and a document has been published on the intranet.
- Sole will be replaced next year by a more flexible system that will include photos of lectures to aid accurate responses
- On 30/11 10 students met with the GMC to give feedback on the course
- More lactose-free and vegan options in the SAF café will be made available
The next SSLG meeting will be held on Wednessday 13th March.
Please do not hesitate to email us if you have any concerns – we will do our best to address them and represent your views to the staff.
Why become a year rep?
You will have an opportunity to run for one of the four positions of being your year’s educational representation in the weeks following Fresher’s. Year Reps are your number one port of call for anything educational.
So if you like being in the know and are passionate, enthusiastic and wouldn’t mind being the voice of your year, then we want you!
Years reps attend termly student-focussed meetings called Staff-Student Liaison Groups (SSLG) where students can voice their opinions to the course leaders themselves. The Faculty of Medicine and ICSMSU pride ourselves on the strong relationship we have with each other and how changes actual occur from student feedback and suggestions. In the past, year reps have had huge impacts on making exams more bearable by spreading out them out at the end of year 1 and 2. They have also started from a student suggestion to provide us with valuable exam feedback, which we never got before.
Going to a new place with new people and a buzzing atmosphere allowed me to start completely new. There are so many people to meet and so much to get involved with. In my opinion academically first year is about learning how you learn best. Lectures are a completely different set up to school lessons and it takes a while to get the hang of it. It is important to remember that everyone finds a different learning style more easy, so it is best to find yours.
Regarding clubs and societies, get involved in everything that you can do and see what you enjoy. There are so many opportunities for “once in a lifetime” trips or experiences and you are only ever a proper fresher once.- A 3rd Year
First year was one of the best years of my life. I had a great time but a terrible summer.
The reason was resits. i started ‘work’ during easter, and believe me the inverted commas are significant ones. The problem was that having fallen behind so far, I was always playing catch up. I spent an absolute age making very pretty mcd notes and then realised that I had learnt absolutely nothing from it.
I went into my MCD and LSS exams with large chunks of the course having never been looked at before. a month after the exams finished, I found out that I’d failed both those exams (not the easiest ones i’m sure you know). and so began the most tedious and boring month and a half of re-revision. While most of the rest of my year went on holiday and chilled, I was sat in a dark rooom looking over some of the most boring material ever covered, with the riots the only slice of excitement in my life.
It is vital that you first years have a plan, and a good one at that! If you havent been making your own notes so far, consider whether it’s really a good idea to start now. Your first year is where you get the wake up call for what you need to do next year, so just do whatever you know is going to ensure you pass. and finally, when you do work…. WORK! No mucking about on facebook/youtube/whatever else you use to procrastinate. i ended up kidding myself I was working loads just because i was in the library for hours on end, without actually learning much. And good god, if you don’t heed this advice and end up doing resits, heed it then! you’ve worked too hard and commited too much to fall at the first hurdle.- A 2nd Year
You’ll probably be hearing that Fresher’s is going to be the best week of your life, and for a lot of you that’ll be true. Some people like me though will probably find the year gets better the longer it goes on so don’t get put off if everything isn’t exactly like you imagined at the start. Obviously make the most of Fresher’s, you’ll probably spend 6 years talking about it anyway, but be sure to look forward to what comes after like getting to know your class, getting involved in clubs and societies, as well as the ridiculous amount of events the ICSMSU put on. There’s definitely more than enough to do outside of lectures and you can always get as involved as you want, just be sure to try everything you want to and try not to worry about the work too much, at least not at the start.
This webpage has been designed as a learning tool for you to come and find current revision resources that are available to you in one place.
Ensure that you make the most of:
- Self tests accessible via Blackboard
- Blackboard discussion boards
- Student and staff-led tutorials throughout the year
- e-Books, books etc available through the library
- A student-written EMQ and SAQ question bank (coming soon!)
DISCLAIMER: All the material found on this page are student-made, so may contain errors, mistakes or in some cases be incomplete. They are also only for personal use. If there is a discrepancy with the material, please follow what the lecturers’ material
Student Led Tutorials
Please look at the Notebank available here: http://www.icsmsu.com/exec/education/notebank/