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The University of Southampton

Claire Holton BM5, 2018

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From the first year we had contact with patients, which helped develop our communication and patient skills right from the start.

I have wanted to become a doctor for as long as I can remember. I enjoy being able to help such a variety of people, work in multi-disciplinary teams and the constant challenges that medicine entails is something that I really wanted to pursue.

Medicine at Southampton has a great reputation - it is a Russell Group university, has lots of student support in place, plenty of societies to get involved in and well-structured programmes with early patient contact. The teaching hospital is large enough to have lots of teaching opportunities and is a major trauma centre, which was important to me as I am considering a career in pre-hospital medicine. It was an easy decision to go to Southampton and I have not been disappointed.

The opportunity to gain clinical experience early in the course is something that I most enjoyed. From the first year we had contact with patients, which helped develop our communication and patient skills right from the start.

The lecturers were also fantastic. You could really tell how invested they were in our learning experience and making us great doctors. Anatomy was never one of my strongest subjects, but the enthusiasm of the anatomy team and the incredible effort they all put in, ensured we all excelled and now I absolutely love it! My best medical experience was in final year. I was fortunate enough to get a placement with the Air Ambulance. It was one of the most inspirational and challenging experiences of my degree and something I will never forget.

As well as the great course content and inspirational staff, the people that I met over my 5 years were without a doubt one of the best things about my time at Southampton, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends. The support I’ve received has also been great. Throughout medical school, we are exposed to different specialties and advised how to achieve our longer-term goals. We have a personal tutor to help keep us on track and advise us on how to improve our CV and employability.

There are lots of societies to take part in. The medical society (Medsoc) arranged so many great events throughout my 5 years. I have learned new skills from every society that I’ve been involved in and met so many inspirational people. They improved my time management, communication skills, team work, confidence and I would recommend getting involved in as much as you can!

The access to facilities is great. I spent a lot of my time in the hospital but there was a fantastic library with all the core textbooks and plenty of space there. I don’t have a huge amount of experience with the main campus as we weren’t really based there but there was a huge library (which did get a bit busy around exams time).

Southampton is an amazing place to live. It has lots of amenities, great transport links, it has the New Forest nearby and beaches for the summer months. The University’s other facilities are also really good. The main campus has a huge library and there is also a fantastic library at the hospital. There is a large sports hall for sports training and fitness classes, a large swimming pool, tennis courts etc. Smaller gyms are also available in halls for the first year, which was also really handy. During exams times, extra well-being sports classes are put on which was a great idea and always very popular. 

Southampton has developed me as a person and as a doctor and enabled me to have great foundation of knowledge and skills to continue to build upon throughout my career. The University has provided so many opportunities, has enthusiastic staff who are genuinely invested in our learning and development and the area has so many wonderful hospitals with a multitude of learning opportunities. I am so grateful to have achieved so much in my 5 years there.


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