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Medical Education in Great Britain


A delegation of English doctors visited the Pavlov St. Petersburg
Medical University. They were shown the clinics and laboratories of the
University. At the end of their visit the Rector of the University invited
the guests to the Conference Hall where they had a meeting with the
teaching staff and students. Dr. Glenn Stanton was asked to speak about
medical education in Great Britain. This is what Dr. G. Stanton said:


«Dear colleagues. In Great Britain physicians are trained in either
medical schools or faculties of Universities. We have medical schools in
the Universities of London, Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol and Edin-
burgh. There are faculties of medicine in the Universities of Liverpool,
Manchester, Glasgow and Aberdeen. And there is the School of Clini-
cal Medicine in the University of Cambridge. Entry to a medical school
is highly -cornpetitive and usually the number of candidates is much
higher than the number of the places.


To enter a medical school in Great Britain candidates must pass
entrance examinations. Entrance examinations are both oral and writ-
ten. Students take these examinations at the end of their 6-year second-
ary-school course, generally at the age of 18-19 years. For entrance to
a faculty of medicine or a medical school, it is required that the subjects
of chemistry, physics and biology or mathematics should be taken at the
advanced level. Tuition fees are charged. Most students receive finan-
cial assistance in the form of grants, which cover their expenses wholly
or in part.


Now about the academic year. It is divided into 3 terms, each of
10-1 I weeks' duration. The terms run from October to December,
from January to March and from April to June. Clinical students, how-
ever, attend for 48 weeks of the year. I must tell you that undergraduate
education occupies five years, consisting essentially of two years of basic
sciences and three years of clinical work.


Two pre-clinical years are occupied by human anatomy and biology,
physiology and biochemistry. They also study physiology, statistics and
genetics. Students attend lectures, do dissections and practical work in
labs. Unlike in your country Latin is not taught in aU medical schools.

English and Latin spellings are similar and it is possible to write out
prescriptions in English too.

Beginning with the third year the students study the methods of clinical
examinations and history taking, general pathology, microbiology, phar-
macology and community medicine. Senior students and especially under-
graduates spend most of their time in teaching hospitals, which have both
in-patient and out-patient departments, or units. Daily bedside instruction
in hospital wards and out-patient departments is given by teachers and
doctors. Students follow up their patients and attend ward rounds. Besides
the work in the wards the students attend demonstrations and clinical
conferences as well as lectures in clinical subjects which are being studied.

And now about the examinations. As in your country examinations in
our medical schools are held at the end of each term. In our case it is
three times a year. At the end of each term and after each special course
students take final exams. They are called sessionals. Most of the exams
are written. They include academic and practical problems. The final
examinations or finals are in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynae-
cology and Pathology. Finals also include history taking and diagnosing.
Before finals in Surgery students assist in operations. Before finals in
Obstetrics and Gynaecology they must assist during the delivery of at
least 20 babies. These examinations are both written and oral. Written
test includes short and long questions and questions of multiple choice.
Oral tests include diagnosing a case. So three years are spent in clinical
studies to obtain degrees of Bachelor of Medicine (B.M.) and Bachelor
of Surgery (B.S.). The degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of
Surgery give the right to register as a medical practitioner

After the fmals graduates work in hospitals for a year. This period is called
internship. The newly qualified doctor must serve for six months as a house
physician and six months as a house surgeon under the supervision of his
medical school. House physicians and surgeons are on call every second or
third night. The work of interns is very difficult and their salary is very small.
After internship a young doctor obtains a «Certificate of Experience» from
the medical school and he or she may work as a medical practitioner.

Further specialization requires training in residency. It takes one or
two years of work in a hospital in some field .. Residency trains highly
qualified specialists in a definite field: gynaecologists, urologists, neu-
rologists and others. The salary of residents is higher than the salary of
interns. After residency a specialist gets rather a high salary.

Besides the degrees of B.M. and B.S., we have the degree of Doctor
of Medicine (M.D.). This degree is a postgraduate qualification ob-

tained by writing a thesis based on original work. It is not required for
practice. Such a degree in surgery is termed a mastership (M.S.»>

Dr. Glenn Stanton answered the questions of the teachers and stu-
dents. Then the Rector thanked Dr. Stanton for his interesting talk and
invited the British delegation to the performance of the students' ama-
teur theatre.


Date: 2015-02-03; view: 2837

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