Which medical schools use an integrated course?
Described as the ‘recommended approach to medicine’ by the UK’s General Medical Council, an integrated course medical school differs from other courses.
Unlike traditional courses, which have two years of pre-clinical study mainly taught through lectures, in an integrated course medical school the line between theory and practice of medicine is blurred.
Your course supervisors will consider it important for you not only to understand the mechanisms underpinning the functioning of the human body but to see how this understanding applies to clinical practice. This is via placements in healthcare environments and contact with medical professionals.
Medical theory is often taught to you via ‘systems’ in integrated courses, where you focus on the physiology, anatomy, pathology etc. of different human bodily systems (like the digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular systems).
What Integrated Course Medical School does the UK have?
In the UK, the following Medical schools offer this type of integrated course:
Birmingham’s integrated course medical school provides placements in clinical environments from your first year, as well as 10.5 hours of scheduled teaching every week.
In Dundee’s integrated course, you are taught through a ‘Systems in Practice’ (SiP) curriculum: which teaches you organ systems and clinical perspectives.
For your first two years at Edinburgh’s medical school, you learn clinical theory. This is in addition to patient interview skills and clinical reasoning. It’s taught through practical projects, workshops, and placements.
4. East Anglia
As mentioned in our discussion of PBL medical schools, East Anglia’s course is integrated because it includes clinical contact from early on, as well as the teaching of medical theory through problem-based learning.
King’s self-identifies as an integrated course medical school. Its major feature is the placements offered at top London hospitals like Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, and King’s College Hospital.
6. Queen’s, Belfast
Queen’s medical course introduces students to clinical work from day one in addition to teaching you about the systems of the human body, and offering dissection as a learning method.
A recently updated curriculum means that Leicester is now an integrated course medical school, with clinical relevance from the start.
Nottingham’s early patient contact is coupled with teaching through full-body dissections, research projects, and opportunities to study abroad. Discover the full course.
Southampton’s course is systems based, with a healthcare placement in your second year.
Within UCL’s medicine course, you learn through a systems approach, giving you a solid grounding in the theories of medicine, and some contact with patients and clinical practitioners from the start to motivate you. Its Ph.D. programme is also available for the extremely ambitious.
For more information on the process of applying to medical school, check out our ultimate medical school application guide.
Other useful links and references for the types of courses available when becoming a doctor can be found here.
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