Thursday, May 19, 2022

My HONEST Experience studying Biomedical Sciences VS Medicine *nearly dropped out*

Honestly i'm not joking i nearly dropped out is that even legal like who does that literally everything was just so so difficult hello everybody welcome back to another video today i thought we'd do a bit more of a sit-down chatty video so grab a cup of tea because i reckon this .

Might be a long one it might turn into a run i don't really know what's going to happen today i thought i'd talk all about my experience studying biomedical sciences at the university of bristol and trust me what a rollercoaster it was also i don't think i've ever worn my hair up in a video but i'm genuinely .

Having the most horrific hair day ever so let's just ignore it as i said i'm not really sure which direction this video is going to go in i'm going to leave a vague structure down below in the comments with timestamps so you can skip ahead if you'd like to .

So if you're new here just to give you some background my name is olivia i'm a second year medical student at king's college london and before i did medicine i actually studied biomedical sciences at bristol university so i've got quite a unique take on things because obviously i've experienced biomedical sciences .

And medicine and i feel like they love to critique one another on each different course so here's my view on things i guess this video is just going to be about my experience at bristol things i loved about the course things i didn't like about the course so that maybe if you're studying biomedical .

Sciences or thinking about doing so you can take on board some of the things i've said okay so without further ado let's get on and talk about it i'm gonna put a bit of a disclaimer out there i always say i studied biomedical sciences at bristol and technically i did the name of my course was actually .

Cellular and molecular medicine though which is very similar to biomedical sciences but you don't have like the anatomy aspect of things and not so much physiology um i don't think when i started bristol they offered biomedical sciences so this was pretty much like the substitute and also if you look at my id .

Card it says like faculty of biomedical sciences so yeah it's a huge mouthful who came up with the title of cellular and molecular medicine can you even imagine the embarrassment like when you're meeting someone for the first time at freshers week i literally get like a stutter because .

I'm so nervous and then i can't even get my name out and i can't even get the course i'm studying out so i was just like well i'm just gonna have to you know stand in a corner and not speak ever again okay so let's start off this video by talking about the structure of the course .

So on my course it was a three-year course you could take a year out to do a year in research so the course structure for me was in year one you had six compulsory modules you had no choice over what you studied i can't remember all of the individual modules but in general it was a bit of like .

Microbiology we did some cancer stuff we did two modules in biochemistry which let me tell you never again literally never again in second year it was similar we had six modules five of them were compulsory and then you could choose a sixth option they recommended you take this .

Biochemistry module but as i said that was never going to happen like i would rather drop out than take another biochemistry module um so i ended up studying a module in psychology which i really really loved i enjoyed it so much and then in the third year which was actually .

My final year and my favorite year you pretty much got to choose it was four modules and then you had to do a compulsory research module um and with that you had to do a dissertation which could be lab based or literature-based but final year was awesome because i got to pick the things i was really passionate about .

So i did a cancer module a microbiology module which i loved i'm a massive microbiologist like i don't know where it's come from but oh i did a regenerative medicine module and i did an advanced immunology module which was so so hard but it has prepared me so well for med school so i guess in terms of .

The course structure i found it was a bit frustrating because you would be studying modules that you weren't necessarily very interested in until final year um which i think is the case with most courses so it's definitely not something about biomed that's unique the course structure was a little .

Repetitive because it was kind of the same thing every year until final year one thing i did like about the structure of the course was there was a lot of variety with what you were learning but as i said because your choices were quite limited until final year as i said because there wasn't much .

Choice i found i struggled a lot in the first year because i had two massive meaty biochemistry modules i'm talking three hour exams kind of biochemistry modules and it was just so awful and it was like if i wanted to study biochemistry i would have done so .

So it was really frustrating because i didn't know why i was having to study it and i found it so hard and i honestly i'm not joking i nearly dropped out like i remember ringing my dad and saying to him i just i can't do this this is not enjoyable i'm not enjoying any aspect of this .

Module um but i did stick at it yeah as i said final year was definitely my favorite year i found it was just great because you could choose what you wanted to do i did a dissertation in an area i was really interested in and yeah it was just way more flexible and also you hardly had any lectures .

Which was really good it was kind of confusing because i feel like i don't know if this is the case with all biomedical sciences courses but i found the first two years really hard and then the final year kind of agrees because you didn't have as many contact hours .

And that was the killer for me yeah the contact hours were a killer before then because in second year five hour labs as in you would go to lectures for two or three hours and then have a five hour lab is that even legal like who does that next i thought i'd talk about .

The workload when you study a biomedical sciences course now this is an interesting one right because i was i was studying biomedical sciences at bristol and i had flatmates that were medics and you know i met loads of medics and also i had loads of flatmates that were vets and they would always be complaining .

About how much content they had to learn and i absolutely agreed with them because you know they're studying really insane courses but i was sat here like i'm having to remember an entire biochemical pathway every single enzyme every single substrate .

Every single product and i was thinking who does this and i found this so hard the workload in biomedical sciences was insane because not only did you have a lot of lectures especially in the first and second year not so much in the third you also had huge labs so in first year we had three .

Hour labs two or three times a week second year we had five hour labs two times a week you also had tutorials the tutorial work i had to do was so hard i can say that hand on my heart there wasn't a single bit of tutorial work i did where i thought i can do this literally everything was just so so .

Difficult and then you had essays to write you'd get essays i'd say maybe like once every six weeks and then on top of that you'd have your exams of course but not only that you'd have these mid-unit assessments so it would be about week six or seven into term you'd have a bit of tutorial .

Work you'd have your lectures you'd have your labs you'd probably have an essay and then you would have an assessment and the assessments counted towards your degree so you had to do well in them and it gave you a bit of a buffer if you messed up your exams so the one thing i would say about .

Biomedical sciences was it was just a prolonged period of stress for such a long time and it was so difficult now this is interesting because i'm now a medical student and i can say for a hundred percent certainty in my case in my personal opinion the workload for medicine at least at my .

University is nothing like i experienced in biomedical sciences because i had so little free time when i was at bristol compared to how much time i have at kings like i feel like at king's you have your lectures and you have tutorial work that's .

Completely manageable like you don't need to be einstein to do it and you just have loads of time to do things and you don't have continual assessment i guess that's one thing that is a bit unique about medicine at king's is that you have like this portfolio work to do but it's so simple to do it's just you know a case .

Of getting it in on time and i find i just enjoy myself a bit more and i relax and i just don't feel stressed like every day i'd be waking up at like 6 30 seven just to get ahead of my work because it was just so unmanageable at times the workload definitely as i said eased off in final .

Year but in my head that doesn't make sense because final year is supposed to be the real like difficult year so i think that says a lot about the course structure next i'm going to talk about exams i'll give a bit of a comparison to the exams i sit in medical school so .

In bristol in first and second year your exams were three hours or two hours long the three hour long papers were in first year and that was just for biochemistry and it consisted of like a multiple choice element you had to write two essays and you had to do an hour of .

Calculations so there was a lot going on it was really time pressured not very enjoyable the other exams were two hours long and you had to do an hour of multiple choice questions and then you had to do two essays in an hour which was actually okay because you would never take an hour to do your multiple choice .

Questions so it was all right but it was just that real like panic before the exams because if you've got essays that you just weren't comfortable with it was a real struggle and then in final year the exams were quite different because they were three hours long and you had .

To write three essays which i don't know is it a good way of examining you i'm not sure because if you get behind in your timing it just completely messes you up for the exam or if you get questions you didn't revise for my case i was quite lucky because i kind of strategically revised in final year .

I thought i'm definitely not going to answer a question on this so i won't learn it and so actually when it came to it i only revised about you know five topics out of a potential 20 and i was fine but i think i guess in that way .

It's a bit unfair because i ended up doing really well and i got my first class degree but i didn't really have the breadth of knowledge that you probably should have had in medicine you can't get away with this my exams at least at king's are all multiple choice you just have to know a .

Little bit about an awful lot you can't really go into the exam selectively revising because you'll just not pass because every question is equally marked and you have to do every single question um so i guess in that sense revising for medical school exams is a little bit .

Harder but i would say throughout the year the content is just a lot easier to digest even though i would say there is a lot more content in medicine the depth to which you're expected to learn it is nowhere near that of biomedical sciences and i think that's where i struggled .

More so than learning a lot next i'm going to talk about social life so was i able to have a social life with biomedical sciences um my first year like i said you've probably cottoned on i really struggled in first year it's hard to know whether it was because you know i was i think i was 19 at the .

Time was it because i was new to university and it was all new to me or was it because the course was just really hard i think it was probably a mixture of both but i felt really overwhelmed with the content um and i felt like that in second year .

As well although i kind of had started to get my bearings a bit more to be honest with you i'm sure i probably could have been a bit more social and i could have joined more societies but i just felt so stressed out with my workload and i guess because i knew i was applying to medicine .

I knew i had to do well if i contrast that with medicine like i said because the workload is so much more manageable i just have so much more free time and i don't have as many pressing deadlines so i'm finding you know i can go out after class and i can you know go on a night out and i don't feel guilty .

And i can go to balls and i can go to gigs also at medical school i hardly work on the weekends i literally hardly ever touch my work on the weekends which is not something i did in biomedical sciences i met a really good group of friends in my third year of university in bristol .

Um i made some good friends before that but one thing i found on my course i don't know if i was just unlucky but it was a super super competitive atmosphere so i found sometimes like you'd have friends but then when you needed help with work they'd sometimes go really silent on you .

And it was just this weird kind of like undertones of being really competitive and i don't know if that's because you know the science industry the stem industry is really competitive and so you know to secure those top phd places you really need to be performing really well um but i just i feel like i'm quite an .

Open person i'll share my notes i'll help someone if they need help so i found that a bit frustrating bristol is an amazing city that's one thing i will say the social life if you're going out and if you're going for dinner and you know going to bars it's so wonderful one thing i mentioned in my previous video about bristol was .

That i wish as a faculty or even as a university they could have organized some more events because i genuinely barely went to anything at the su in fact i can't even think of one single thing i did go to whereas in kings it's like the med stock .

Will constantly be organizing events for medics and the university in general will throw these huge like barbecues and club nights and activity days and i don't know if that's because i wasn't taking those opportunities in bristol .

Or if because they actually just weren't available to me so finally i thought i'd sum up some things i like and things i don't like about biomedical sciences one thing i loved about it was i got such an in-depth knowledge about a lot of really niche areas so you know i have pretty in-depth knowledge now about .

Microbiology and i have pretty in-depth knowledge about cancer and how cancer arises and sort of like the pathological and physiological processes behind it i have zero knowledge on biochemistry still i just feel like i really have that scientific knowledge you know .

Bristol is so well known for its sciences and its research and i think it definitely does equip you with so many amazing bits of knowledge and you know skills and i think that has really helped me in medicine because i understand things a lot easier than i otherwise would have .

I also loved my final year so much i thought the flexibility was great and i thought they had a huge variety of projects you could do which i thought was awesome like i said i did a project in microbiology i loved living in bristol bristol is a city that will always be very special to me .

It was such an amazing city so much culture so many different things to do also you've got like the city center you've got the harbour side you've got so many cool places to hang out and you know i made some amazing friends and flatmates and you know people that i'm still in contact with today and will forever be .

Grateful that i met them i really like the study spaces in bristol as well i felt like there was a huge variety of study spaces you could go to and they were really really nice and you know in general i'm not gonna lie i really enjoyed my course there were aspects about it that i found .

Really frustrating and there were you know modules i hated in general i feel like to be honest with you my academic performance was far better at bristol i was more switched on yeah i feel like i really like reached my academic potential in bristol and that's something i'm really pleased .

About and i think i had an amazing personal tutor who i just cannot fault now for the things i didn't like about biomedical sciences and a lot of this is personal to me because obviously i made the decision halfway through that i was going to study medicine i found it frustrating .

That i was studying modules that quite frankly i found really dull and i was frustrated that i had to study them in such microscopic detail because i find it a bit frustrating with biomedical sciences how you sometimes lose the bigger picture so you know you'd be studying all about these cancer cells and these .

Amazing pathological processes but then you almost forget that this is happening to a human and how that impacts their life and i think you get so honed in on studying it at like such a cellular level that i miss that sort of personal element to it and obviously that's not .

What biomedical sciences is about that's more about what medicine is about but that was just something that was personal to me and something i found frustrating i did not like the constant stress of the workloads like i wish that we could have had a bit more of a break where it's just like okay .

Now all you have to focus on is getting your lecture notes written up it was just that constant battle between i have an exam to do i have an essay to do i have tutorial work to do i have lectures to do and now i have a five hour lab i also felt like bristol didn't really offer that much support in terms of what you .

Could do after biomedical sciences they had these career fairs but i just didn't find it that helpful and i felt like when i went to a career advisor they were really unhelpful so that's something that i was a bit disappointed about but obviously that was just my personal experience and i'm sure other .

People have had way more positive experiences but i'm just being honest here another thing i didn't like about biomedical sciences was with the essays and this goes for all courses i'm not gonna lie with the essays it was just so variable how you perform .

And honestly it sometimes just didn't make sense like i'd write an essay that i spent weeks over and i'd feel really proud of it and you'd get given a 65 which is good you know you're just like i put so much work into this essay to get a 65 which is a mid-two one is a bit disheartening .

Whereas other times i would write these essays literally bash them out the night before because i'd forgotten about them or something and i'd get like a 72 just didn't make sense to me and i found it frustrating how sometimes your mark didn't correlate with the effort you put into your work .

But in general to summarize biomedical sciences was such an interesting course if you have a keen interest in the cellular processes that go on in the body and you want to know the underlying mechanisms behind disease and infection definitely study biomedical sciences bristol is an .

Incredible university and i would definitely recommend it my only word of caution would be when people say university is not that hard and it's actually way easier than a levels consider that in terms of the course you're studying because for me biomedical sciences was the most .

Challenging academic period of time i've ever experienced but let me know in the comments down below if you study biomedical sciences if you're studying it and what you think about it let's just have a conversation in the comments thank you so much for watching good luck if you're going to university .

This year i know it's a really challenging year to go and i hope i'll see you in the next video bye

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