University of Oxford Medicine
University of Oxford Medicine
The practice of Medicine offers a breadth of experiences that it is impossible to find in any other subject. Every day brings different patients with different needs. It’s a great choice for scientists who strive to understand and apply research findings to improve the lives of the patients in their care. It offers a meaningful career that is prestigious, secure and relatively well paid. However, practising Medicine can be arduous, stressful, frustrating and bureaucratic and it’s not suited to everyone. You need to be sure that Medicine is the right choice for you. These pages will help you work that out, but there’s no better way to find out for sure than by gaining insight of medical practice by seeing it in action and talking to those who provide healthcare. Studying Medicine because that is what is expected of you is never a good idea: make sure that your motives for choosing to do so are well reasoned.
The Medicine course at Oxford provides a well-rounded intellectual training with particular emphasis on the basic science research that underpins medicine. We have retained a distinct three-year pre-clinical stage that includes studying towards a BA Honours degree in Medical Sciences, followed by a three-year clinical stage.
The Medical School at Oxford is relatively small, allowing students and staff to get to know one another and benefit from a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
A vast array of speciality training pathways is available after obtaining a medical qualification: ranging from General Practice or emergency medicine through obstetrics or ophthalmology to paediatrics or psychiatry.
Of course, you need not remain confined to the clinic, ward or the operating theatre: the lecture theatre or the laboratory could also beckon. Some of our graduates end up leading the education of the next generation of doctors or directing biomedical research. You don’t need to know right now what you want to do when you qualify: the Medical School organises careers sessions for final-year clinical students and helps students learn about and apply for foundation house officer posts.
BM BCh graduates are entitled to provisional registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) with a licence to practise, subject to demonstrating to the GMC that their fitness to practise is not impaired.
Tzveta is currently training to be an oncologist. She says: ‘Many universities can teach you how to be a foundation doctor. Oxford taught me how to work through problems carefully and logically from first principles, and gave me the theoretical grounding to be able to do so. I had the opportunity to read key papers in my subject, then discuss them with the academics who had published them. Most importantly, Oxford taught me that I was capable of much more than I imagined or believed. Though I have gone from essay crises to night shifts, from finals to Royal College exams, the focused determination it instilled within me remains, driving me through any challenges faced along the way.’
Kanmin graduated from pre-clinical medicine in 2003. He is now a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Lecturer in ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, undergoing 50:50 surgical retina fellowship training and translational research into gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases. Kanmin says: ‘The weekly essays and tutorials with world-leading academics in the colleges were an invaluable experience. In those intimate ‘mind sparring’ exercises, you go beyond the standard curriculum and probe the boundaries of the fundamental science behind modern medicine. In this way, Oxford nurtures not only sound medical practitioners but also future explorers and leaders in medicine… Of course, studying medicine at Oxford involves a lot of hard work. But the opportunities are also there to take part in the most vibrant student society/club life, whatever your hobby or background.’