Ask yourself these five questions if you are thinking of applying to Oxford or Cambridge for medicine.
Are you an academic kind of person who finds the science of medicine particularly interesting? If so, you will do well in Oxford and Cambridge. Oxbridge medicine do not abandon the people side of medicine; everybody has to learn that element, but they place a stronger emphasis on the scientific aspect of medicine compared to other medical schools.
As a learner, do you like to conceptually understand things rather than just memorising? Do you like to build upon your understanding of things from the beginning and first principles? If yes, then you should definitely think about applying to Oxford and Cambridge. Medicine at Oxbridge is taught exactly this way.
The good thing about medicine at Oxford and Cambridge is they are unashamed about what it is they set out to do with their medical education. If you want to be hands-on with patients from the word go, Oxbridge is not the right place for you, and they do not try to hide that fact. However, if you do like the sciences and you are happy to have a theoretical approach from the start, it could well be for you.
Do you like small group teachings? Oxford and Cambridge have a 'supervision' system where a doctor or a senior faculty supervises three or four medical students, and sometimes even one-to-one. These can be quite intense at times. The first few years are heavy on science and include things like writing essays and science practicals.
The terms at Oxford and Cambridge comprise densely packed eight weeks of lectures and supervisions. You have to fit in a social life and sleep too. It is definitely a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Due to it being so difficult, you band together with your new friends and push through; this is what makes it such a great experience.
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