Medefine – Exeter Medical School
Krutika Shrikhande

A loud and intense banter ensues every session, silent note-taking instantly forgotten. Each member speaks up, a forgotten anatomy term, an interesting research article or even a helpful anecdote creating an atmosphere for discussion. This unique format for studying medicine has definitely helped me widen my medical knowledge but more importantly, it has taught me to express this knowledge effectively to an audience. In my opinion, the University of Exeter Medical School has organised the course in a very interesting manner because we have the chance to interact with our colleagues and share information which fortifies our learning.

As an international student, I was intrigued by the PBL method of learning because I think that it helped maintain my motivation for studying medicine. My interest in this subject largely stemmed from my experiences in a school for children with learning disabilities. I really enjoyed my volunteering experience and interacting with the students and this urged me to learn more about their condition. As my interest in this field grew, I realized that I could use this knowledge to help treat many such disabilities and actually help patients overcome many difficulties. It was the desire to improve their lives that encouraged me to pursue medicine. Over this course, I could directly link presented symptoms and diseases to individual patients which satisfied my original intention behind studying medicine.

My favourite aspect of the course were the Clinical Skills classes, where we learnt some basic medical procedures. These sessions let me merge my theoretical and clinical knowledge, making the heavy course-load more relatable and much easier to understand. I found it much easier to visualize and remember the roles of the cranial nerves when we identified and tested the function of each cranial nerve on our peers. These sessions also built up my interest in the subject because they were exposing me to the more interactive and practical side of medicine which struck a good balance with the more theory heavy sessions like anatomy.

The aspect that makes UEMS unique is that it is very receptive to student suggestions especially since it’s a relatively newer course. There are student committees which are heavily involved with the website to make lectures and resources easily accessible. The professors also actively modify their teaching styles to match the students and consistently ask for feedback which makes them very approachable. Another feature I admire is that the international students blend very well with the class. The students are very friendly and welcoming and there is a good network of senior students who enthusiastically offer their guidance on medical topics and college living. I found it very exciting that I could relate to students who had been raised in a very different environment and that made my year even more enjoyable.

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