Year 5 in 2019
I feel the course has set me up as well as it possibly could to allow me to start my working career with as little stress as possible and the connections I made whilst studying here continue to be an enormous aid to me daily. The fifth year prepares you for life as a junior doctor and you are expected to work as part of the team. You play a meaningful role in the running of the ward participating in the ward round, helping perform and interpret the jobs and results. One of the most useful schemes exclusive to the fifth year curriculum is the 'purple pen' scheme where you can write in drug charts if a qualified prescriber checks and countersigns for you. This was one of the most valuable parts of fifth year and really allowed you to hit the wards running.
Year 5 also contains your medical elective block which offers an opportunity to either boost your CV for a specific future path, or experience a completely different type of medicine in a healthcare system vastly different from our own NHS. I spent my elective in the Isles of Scilly working in an isolated rural GP practice. It had inpatient beds and maternity facilities as rapid help required a call to the navy helicopters or air ambulance service. I’ve always been torn between city and rural living but this opportunity helped me experience what life as a doctor would be like in rural settings and helped me make my mind up about where I would like my career to head and the type of medicine I would like to practice.
I always found the staff in Keele University School of Medicine and on hospital sites to be incredibly helpful and I would often consult them for advice about the course, curriculum, exams, filling in job applications and registering with the GMC. They would go above and beyond to help me in any way they could.