The Best Medical Schools - 2017

(79 Posts)
peteneras Wed 08-Mar-17 19:49:49

Not of particular interest to most medic parents in the present admissions cycle which is still ongoing; but for others watching and future potential medics - out now, the 2017 world rankings of the best universities to study Medicine.

Juveniledelinquent Wed 08-Mar-17 19:54:12

My friend's daughter had split her training. She's done three years at Cambridge and is now on her second three years at Oxford. She's loving it.

peteneras Wed 08-Mar-17 20:13:50

Likewise, my friend's son spent his pre-clinical years at Cambridge and went to King's College London to do his clinical from where he qualified as a doctor.

Interestingly, the GMC website, 'List of Registered Medical Practitioners' lists his Primary Medical Qualification as: MB BS [Year] Kings College London. Nothing whatsoever is mentioned about Cambridge.

mumsneedwine Wed 08-Mar-17 20:21:21

There are no bad medical schools. The degrees are all overseen by the GMC ad carry equal value. Does anyone ask their doctor where they qualified ? The F1 positions are given out in order of class position and think the results are ordered without much reference to university. To be honest you need to apply to your strengths not where you think is 'best'. Med schools select in many different ways and teach in different ways too. My daughter has shortlisted by : do you see a patient in first few years, do they teach by PBL or integrated, do they do full body dissection and where her GCSE results fit (she has 7A*s and 3 As and that ruled a few out). It's a complicated business !

Wolpertinger Wed 08-Mar-17 20:25:13

Nobody ever ever cares what medical school you went to. Except if it was Oxbridge to make disparaging comments when you cock up such as 'They are Cambridge students, you would have thought they would be brighter'.

mumsneedwine Wed 08-Mar-17 20:40:05

My DD was at John Radcliffe a few weekends ago at some medics thing and she was shocked to meet a 3rd Year who had only been to the hospital 3 times. That's not for her - she wants to be let loose on patients from first week. This may not be a good idea confused

goodbyestranger Thu 09-Mar-17 09:47:03

By contrast one of our GPs did his clinical years in London but undergrad at Cambridge and while, as with OPs friend, his degree cites the London qualification, he only ever refers to Cambridge as his training ground and his practice profile puts that first as well. I'm not clear what OPs point is on that, especially since it tended to be the case until very recently that it was overwhelmingly those who had done less well at undergrad at Oxbridge and were lowest on the med school rankings who had to go to London - there weren't enough clinical places available and the offers of clinical were made from the top of the ranking list downwards.

Each to their own mumsneedwine: some want to deal with patients early on, others prefer the longer course. The rankings are very clear that Oxford and Cambridge aren't schools to be too sniffy about in any event. Not quite sure what the five star rating denotes - presumably it says somewhere I haven't really looked too closely. The five star schools are quite interesting anyhow.

goodbyestranger Thu 09-Mar-17 09:47:56

Glasgow etc.

Helspopje Thu 09-Mar-17 09:50:46

Depends what sort of a candidate and where they are heading career wise

A v scientific type heading for research might do well at cambridge but a people focussed good communicator aiming for gp might be better seved at Newcastle

The list i have is edinburgh, cambridge,bristol +/- ucl, nottingham, newcastle

The 'new' schools at uea and peninnsula teach quite differently to trad schools so may be worth considering if the style of learning will suit.

mumsneedwine Thu 09-Mar-17 20:50:15

Agree that each school attracts a different type of candidate. That's why it's so important to research where you try and go and not rely on any kind of league tables - a Dr is a Dr. The courses are the same length (& same expense) wherever you go - it's the way they teach and the patient contact that differs hugely. Mine likes the look of UEA so we off to look in June. Also trips to Southampton, Bristol, Liverpool, UCL, Nottingham & Sheffield. All UKCAT as she's ruled out doing BMAT too. All the above do integrated style learning she says and you see an ill person straight away. She's loved her work experience and wants to start straight away dealing with patients and this was her priority in short listing. I've got 3 at Oxbridge so been through that fun and games but this is a whole new level of the game. And youngest wants to be a vet and been told that's even worse. 🍷required

goodbyestranger Thu 09-Mar-17 21:26:30

No some courses are different lengths mumsneedwine and it's worth also considering how successful the various med schools' graduates tend to be in securing their first choice of post. So - a Dr is a Dr up to a point, Lord Copper.

I honestly didn't see that DS1s application was any tougher than his siblings' non Medicine applications - don't stress in advance mumsneedwine, it's not significantly worse than other apps.

MedSchoolRat Thu 09-Mar-17 21:26:30

Waz the point, are most MNers minted enough to get their offspring to Harvard or John Hopkins? Medicine is a grad-school course at those institutions; does anyone offer "Needs blind" places for Med-school.

DD has already ruled out Oxbridge b/c she doesn't like their type of course.

Wait a minute, I smell a rat. LSHT has medicine for postgrads, but does not offer a 5 yr MBBS course (does it?). Caltech offers medical engieering, but not a conventional medical school... does it? Few other suspects on the OP's list.

goodbyestranger Thu 09-Mar-17 21:29:25

That said, DS didn't do any pre-application visits except one school sponsored visit - he just looked at the websites for details.

mumsneedwine Fri 10-Mar-17 07:45:39

Aren't courses either 5 or 6 years depending on whether you intercalculate ? I think medicine is a lot of hoop jumping compared to my other kids who have done maths and PPE. Their GCSEs weren't important but for medicine a lot of Unis use them to shortlist, which means some students are ruled out at the age of 15. Having spoken to lots of Drs when my sister was dying I know some are awesome with people and some are totally useless at communicating and I'm hoping the new way of teaching will produce more Drs who have excellent bed side manner - because it really is needed when someone is sick. I will never forget the consultant who sat with me all evening (in his own time) and held my hand as my sister died. He was awesome and shouted at another Dr who asked him, in my earshot, why he was bothering. It's called compassion he said, because as Drs we heal the well as well as the sick. He v kindly gave my DD work experience last year and if she can be one half the medic he is I will be immensely proud. If she gets through all the hoop jumping !

goodbyestranger Fri 10-Mar-17 08:14:49

Some are six years with no option to do five, so that means courses are different lengths. Even a single extra year is a significant expense.

There are bound to be some doctors lacking a bedside manner but at the end of the day I guess it's their medical skills which matter more than how kind they are. Obviously the ideal is to have a talent at both, but my preference would be for an accurate diagnosis with effective treatment over bedside manner any day.

GCSEs, relevant work experience (not necessarily flashy), decent predictions for A2 to include the right subjects (Chemistry and preferably Biology too) and a pre-test then interview. Getting a place requires no more hoops than getting a place for any other competitive subject - I'm not sure this massive hyping up of the difficulty helps the DC. Anyhow, good luck to your DD, hopefully she'll go through the process and find it no worse than your other DC. I know they can hear late from some unis these days, but then a number of course can be like that - Art, Drama etc. And there are still DC hanging on in there for their top choice uni for a whole list of subjects. I'm just not clear why the medic applicants think they have it worse - perhaps it's just on MN.

alreadytaken Fri 10-Mar-17 10:36:19

the best medical schools are the ones that offer you a place. Yes the success rate in later examinations does vary a bit - and that information has probably been put on these threads in the past - but that's irrelevant if your application doesnt fit their requirements. As for Harvard - totally different sysytem in the states, medicine is postgraduate and you do undergrad first for 4 years.

Cambridge will no longer allow transfers to other medical schools. However as Cambridge had to keep the ones who werent offered a place elsewhere it probably isnt the case that the least able went to London. The reasons people moved have more to do with what sort of clinical experience they want to get/ a belief (possibly unfounded) that training in London may help you get a job there later/ the belief that staying in Cambridge will be more help if you want to stay in academic medicine/ whether they can live at home and save money/ where family and friends are/ the different type of social life.

My child can compare what they have studied with friends elsewere, the course content is certainly not the same everywhere as they went into more detail at Cambridge. It may be unnecessary detail that doesnt feature in final exams.

mumsneedwine Fri 10-Mar-17 17:18:31

Best answer ever ! 'The best medical school is the one that offers you a place'. I'm going to repeat that to my sixth formers every year. My own DD will be v happy wherever she goes smile

goodbyestranger Fri 10-Mar-17 18:21:12

alreadytaken no, those not doing so well went to London although of course some always wanted to go to the bright lights anyway.

If you really are correct that there's so much variation mumsneedwine and that you have to really target your application to a particular uni which suits you, then the corollary is that not all unis will suit you equally.

sluj Fri 10-Mar-17 18:47:01

Mumsneedwine - my DS is in the first year at UEA and has had lots of communication skills sessions already with actors helping out as well as weekly sessions talking to real live patients at the GPS surgery and 4 weeks every module out in the hospitals. It's done his confidence no end of good and he is really developing the skills he will need.
They have shared placements with Cambridge medics who are a few years into their course but only just coming into contact with real people. It sounds like the tutors are a bit disparaging about their lack of communication and clinical skills 😀
You really need to have a good look at the teaching programme and choose accordingly. Good luck to all

mumsneedwine Fri 10-Mar-17 23:15:27

Thanks for that. She really likes the look of UEA and her shortlist is all patient contact straight away. She has an amazing spreadsheet with all the various differences but patient contact was the most important one. Applying to the right place is so important and this includes applying to where you have the best chance - no point trying Cardiff without 7A*s or Bristol without a fab PS. Feel a bit of an expert on each Unis selection procedures now.

Saltedcaramelbrownie Fri 10-Mar-17 23:30:06

How do you find out this type of info about each university's requirements? My ds wants to do medicine but it's all new to me. He's in Yr 11 and will possibly get 3 A*s, 5 As and 2 Bs in English. Would these GCSEs be acceptable anywhere?

alreadytaken Sat 11-Mar-17 07:39:41

saltedcaramel the Bs in English will restrict choice, certainly rule out Birmingham. While requirements change a bit each year a good starting point is the Student Room wiki www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Applying_to_Medical_School_using_your_Strengths

mumsneedwine my child was put off Oxbridge by the lack of clinical contact in the early years but eventually decided to apply as they were virtually guaranteed a Cambridge interview and the teaching style would suit them. When they got the offfer they didnt immediately accept but eventually decided there were other opportunities for more contact with patients if you wished to take them. The course is changing now that new students cannot move on to London so it will have a little more patient contact but if early patient contact is important it certainly isnt the best fit. On the whole it worked out well for my child and judging by their OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) mocks they communicate rather well with patients.

Goodbye some Oxford students move on to London too, don't they, and a few even to Cambridge, either for academic reasons or its record of turning out more surgeons. I have no idea why Oxford's students move to London or choose to stay in Oxford, although I guess poorer students dont really have much choice since the grants are more generous at Oxford.

You can intercalate at medical schools other than Oxbridge/ London and parents need to be prepared for possibily supporting sudents for 6 years rather than 5. Those medical students reliant on loans are unlikely to pay off 5 years worth of loans in 30 years so adding a 6th year really doesnt make as much difference as you might think. However it does mean one year less on your salary/ pension.

Accommodation in London is ridiculously expensive and those considering London medical schools need to be aware of that. Parental support will be needed, over and above any loans, or part time work. For poor students Oxford bursaries are a big attraction.

sluj Sat 11-Mar-17 08:36:06

Just to add a thought about early clinical contact for those of you whose DC are interested ... my DS has been a student for only a term and a half but is already very practised at taking histories from actual patients, taking their blood pressures and has even given some flu jabs. His GP tutor even gave him a patient to take a history from who had been in the pub beforehand and found it hard to give a direct answer. They said he did a good job and managed his patient well.
This is all a great introduction to the actual job but also keeps you focused on what it's all about when you have had enough of the textbook.
Being a medical student with early clinical contact is very much on the job training and might help to keep you motivated through the long years if that's what your preference is.

goodbyestranger Sat 11-Mar-17 08:41:06

alreadytaken as you know the system has recently and this is very niche (possibly only of interest to you!) but while a very tiny number of Oxford students have chosen of their own accord to go to London for the clinical years - and a few may have gone to Cambridge, with a few Cambridge students coming to Oxford in return (London students couldn't come to Oxford or Cambridge, it was one-way traffic) - the rank order of Oxford students based on exam performance determined who was offered a place at Oxford. Those at the lower end of the list had the chance to win a place based on an interview with a panel from the medical school, but overwhelmingly those going to London didn't do so from choice.

Not that there's anything wrong with London - jobs in London for first posts are highly prized. But you asked the question smile

goodbyestranger Sat 11-Mar-17 08:44:15

Sorry - that should read the system has recently changed and ....

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