19 February 2018

Every year, Oxford University organises a programme called ‘Medicine Outreach Day’. It’s a selective scheme with one goal which is informing students about the University and giving a specific insight about Medicine as a career and the lives of medical students. I didn’t know about this programme until my Tutor nominated me (which is part of the booking process). At first, I wasn’t sure whether to go or not as Oxford is far away from Liverpool and travelling would be both exhausting and time consuming, but I applied anyway as my family and my Tutor encouraged me to get the most out of this great opportunity. This year’s event received more than 250 applications for 80 places and I was happy to know that I was one of the people who got offered a place.

I headed to my destination early in the morning as I chose not to stay over the night before which was an option if I wanted to - arriving early allowed me to take a look at the city before going to the College itself. The buildings outside the train station were modern and new, but as I got closer to Oriel College I started seeing the building that I expected to see in Oxford which were mostly old-fashioned, showing hundreds of years of academic and literary history.

The introduction talk took place in the dining hall which was filled with images of important figures from their history. After the talk, which included a brief overview of the day, the students headed to the first session which was about doctor-patient relationship. An actor played the role of the patient and a real doctor was demonstrating how to deal with certain scenarios. Sessions like this are used in Medicine as a teaching tool. The session was really useful as it showed us what a doctor has to deal with on a daily basis and the skills that make a good doctor.

The following session was about clinical skills, which explained about pulses, reflexes and many other things. The day also included talks about admission tests (UKCAT and BMAT), personal statement and learning at university as well as the application process and interviews. The talks were full of vital information! We also had a tour of Oriel which enabled us to see the inside of the college and the facilities offered, and we had the chance to talk to medical students (some graduated and other undergraduates) who were more than happy to answer any question and give as much information as possible about Oxford and the life of a medical student.

The visit also allowed me to meet new people and make new friends - all of us were fascinated how the city is small enough to walk across in half an hour but had plenty that kept us busy. In conclusion, I’d encourage people to attend days like this as the information you learn is not specific for the university that is organising the event but it could be reflected on your application for almost any university. In my opinion, such events are great as it allows you to explore the city that you might spend the next 4-7 years of your life in, which is a long time but that’s why visiting the place is a good way of making sure you are happy and comfortable.

By Hamza Jouma

Posted by The BSFC Blogger

Category: The Student Voice