For many young people, attending medical school, studying medicine, and becoming a doctor are lifelong dreams. Medicine is an esteemed and highly rewarding career that comes with the added perks of being well paid and being a job in which you save lives for a living.
However, deciding to train as a doctor is a big decision that requires careful consideration given the amount of time and commitment demanded by the training. Medical school lasts five years at university level, followed by another two years of a foundation programme, and then many years of specialist training after that.
So when you apply to study medicine, medical schools want to see that you are dedicated and have the passion required for such a demanding role. So how can you know if medical school is definitely the right decision for you?
Thankfully, there are now medicine summer schools at some of the top universities and medical schools in the world. We are going to take a look at what these schools involve, who they are for, and where you can find them.
A medicine summer school is a programme that provides introductory courses for prospective medical students who are deciding if they want to pursue medicine as a future career. The schools range from taster days to fortnightly residencies in university halls that offer the chance to fully experience life as a medical student.
Some medicine summer school courses give the students the opportunity to spend time living and studying at some of the most famous educational institutions in the world, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Attending a medicine summer school is also a great opportunity to boost a CV or university application with evidence of study and commitment to the subject. So the summer school will ultimately also help with the admissions process. Whether you ultimately choose to study medicine or not, a medicine summer school offers a life changing experience that you will remember forever.
So let’s take a look at some of the medicine summer schools on offer.
The Medical Schools Council (MSC) runs both residential medicine summer schools and online medicine summer schools. Their medicine summer schools offer fully funded placements for students in year 11 and year 12 from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine. You can check their eligibility criteria and find out how to apply on their website.
The MSC residential programmes include practical sessions in laboratories and hospitals, workshops and discussions with current medical students, lectures and introductory courses led by medical academics and practising doctors, and online sessions as well as independent study projects. The students stay in university accommodation to get the full experience of what life is like as a medical student.
The MSC also run medical summer schools that are delivered online. These courses aim to offer students introductory content to studying medicine and demonstrate what is expected of medical students at university level.
The MSC online programmes include:
Oxford Royale Academy (ORA) run a variety of summer programmes in the UK and the US, including medicine summer schools at the world famous Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As well as the study programme, the medicine summer schools also include full accommodation in the dormitories of the universities and three meals a day, which gives the students a window into university life.
Attendees are part of a diverse cohort of prospective medical students from all over the world. On the weekends, the students are taken on cultural excursions to many of the surrounding highlights of their destination.
There are different areas explored across the various courses such as experimental psychology, medical research, and the study of diseases. Class sizes are kept deliberately small to encourage engagement and learning retention. Classes are led by expert practitioners and academics with considerable experience and professional knowledge, and take place in the tutorial rooms of famous colleges, university labs, simulation centres, and research facilities.
The Oxford Royale Academy programmes provide students with opportunity to learn key clinical skills while truly experiencing the life of an Oxbridge medical student.
The Sutton Trust runs a number of summer schools at the University of Bristol in many different academic disciplines, including medicine. The Bristol medicine summer school lasts one week and takes place on the campus, with students staying in the university halls.
The summer school is free for participants, though they must apply for a place, and comes with a guaranteed interview at the end should the student choose to apply to study medicine at Bristol once their experience is over.
Students attend a combination of lectures and practical sessions and are mentored both by current undergraduate students and by experienced medical professionals and academics.
In addition to a packed study schedule in which students learn key skills in basic medicine, students are also able to take part in a wide range of social activities that offer an insight into what life is like in the city and a chance to explore the surrounding area.
Atlantis run a range of programmes across Europe that offer students the chance to shadow practising doctors. Students can shadow doctors for up to 20 hours a week in a number of different departments in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.
Breakfast and accommodation are included and a range of activities are set up for students to enjoy when they are not in the hospitals. Students are encouraged to practice the local language before they arrive, but speaking the language is not a definitive requirement.
Georgetown University sits in northwest Washington D.C. The medical school runs summer programmes that range from one week to four weeks long.
The courses are for students aged 13 and above who are considering a future in STEM, medical research, pharmaceuticals or medical school.
The course is research based and teaches the processes that researchers use to formulate, conduct, and evaluate the evidence they gather. Students are tasked with developing their own study using professional methods.
The programmes are, for the time being, online and are offered at different stages throughout the year.