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Year guides



Kindly written by Anthony Charalambous, 2nd year medic (2018)

An Oath and social drinks to start off the academic year we hope you feel welcome at Bristol Medical School!


In Foundations of Medicine (FOM) you will learn the basics of biochemistry, physiology, genetics, histology and anatomy. To complement your learning FOM sessions such as ethics, evidence-based medicine (EBM), and behavioural and social sciences (BSS) are the more artistic sessions which help to make you a well-rounded student. What completes the package are interspersed sessions of Personal and professional development (PPD) and Effective Consulting (EC) that instruct you on how to conduct yourself in practice.


As part of the course there are some exciting events to look forward to. An event in which you learn about the lives of people with unique circumstances are 3D days that encapsulate Disability, Diversity and Disadvantage. As part of FOM there is a FOM conference where you get to present your very own scientific poster, do a pecha kucha or make a creative piece relevant to the topic of Health and the other is an Interprofessional Learning Event in collaboration with UWE and Bath where you get to meet other students who are also on the path of becoming Healthcare professionals. Newly added to the course is Basic life support (BLS) training in which you attend weekly until the exam which then certifies you with the European Resuscitation Council.


The majority of your lectures will be in the St. Michael’s Hill Lecture Theatre and practical anatomy sessions will take place in the Centre for Applied Anatomy on Southwell Street. The anatomy sessions are the centrepiece for each week as each week focuses on a different body system. If any system such as renal or gastrointestinal is heavily underpinned by science then you will have a scheduled lab session to enrich your understanding of how it functions.


Just before Christmas the first weeks of Case based learning (CBL) start, this indicates the start of the Human Health and Wellbeing unit that runs until the end of the academic year. During these weeks anatomy hones in on different body systems and sessions are tailored more to the whole patient experience. This adds a human aspect to so the session also focuses on the social effects of a condition. On your return after Christmas you return to exams but shortly afterwards there is a special opportunity to shadow Healthcare assistants (HCAs) on their shifts.





  1. The research you sample is as good as its source so make sure to search established sites such as PubMed and feel free to experiment with OvidSp.

  2. Your two best friend for first year are Medical Sciences and Rohen’s anatomy atlas.It helps for anatomy sessions to make notes from Rohen’s beforehand.

  3. It is always best to make your flashcards early so you are not scrambling to make new revision materials near exam time.

  4. Contact hours from FOM to CBL drop so make sure you substitute the difference with independent study sessions.

  5. Always arrive early to GP/hospital placements as it gives a good impression and also allows you time to search for the place you need to be.

  6. Volunteering during your 1st year can help you explore Bristol outside of the university bubble and more importantly make you feel that your adding to the community.

  7. Take notes during HCA shift shadowing as you might find by the end of the sessions there is a lot to remember.

  8. Essay writing is inevitable even in medicine and especially if you are intercalating so feel free to contact the library staff as they are experts in referencing and all other aspect of essay writing.

  9. If you have some time to spare after a lab feel free to start your report then and there as when you run into problems you can ask the lab technicians to help.

  10. Make the best of EC labs as the roleplay might not feel real but offer the best experience to practice your skills.



Resources to look into:


●     Clinical Anatomy: Applied Anatomy for Students and Junior Doctors, 13th Edition

○     Free online flashcards for anatomy revision

●     Quizlet

○     Study application that allows you to make online flash-cards

●     Teach me anatomy

○     The best website to exist

●     Geeky Medics

○     An excellent website that focuses on clinical practice

●     Leeds’ Histology

○     An informative website that gives an overview of histology

●     NHS

○     The website displays medical info in an easy to read format

●     Radiopaedia

○     A website excellent for mnemonics and more importantly scans!

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