Questions to ask at a Medical School Open Day

12th September 2023

You’ve researched medical schools and narrowed your options down so you may be considering attending a medical school open day to see the city and university in person. This is a very good idea as it’s really important you get a good understanding of where you will be living and the type of university you will be attending to see if its a good match for you.

Generally med school open days take place in June and July and again in September and October. Annoyingly you’ll probably find several take place on the same day in different parts of the country so you’ll have to choose carefully which one you will attend and its a good reason to start visiting early. Since the Covid Pandemic, more and more medical schools are also offering online open days too so this could be an option although keep in mind that theres no substitute for visiting in person.

Attending a university open day for medicine in the UK is a valuable opportunity to gather information and make an informed decision about your future studies. Here are some questions you may consider asking during the day:

  1. Course Structure and Curriculum:
  • Could you provide an overview of the medical program’s structure and curriculum?
  • How is the course delivered, and what teaching methods are used?
  • Are there any unique features or specialised tracks within the programme?
  1. Admission Requirements:
  • What are the specific entry requirements for the medical program?
  • Are there any additional assessments or tests, such as the UKCAT or BMAT?
  • How heavily are academic grades, personal statements, and reference letters weighted in the admissions process?
  1. Clinical Placements and Experiences:
  • How early in the program do students begin their clinical placements?
  • What types of clinical experiences are available, and how are they structured?
  • Are there opportunities for elective placements or international exchanges?
  1. Support and Guidance:
  • What support services are available to medical students, such as academic tutoring, personal counseling, or career guidance?
  • Is there a dedicated mentorship or pastoral care system for medical students?
  • How does the university support students’ well-being and mental health?
  1. Research Opportunities:
  • Are there opportunities for medical students to engage in research projects?
  • How does the university support student involvement in research activities?
  • Are there any specific areas of research strength within the medical school?
  1. Assessment and Feedback:
  • How are students assessed throughout the course?
  • What is the balance between written exams, practical assessments, and clinical evaluations?
  • How does the university provide feedback on students’ performance and progress?
  1. Facilities and Resources:
  • Can you provide a tour of the medical school facilities, including lecture halls, laboratories, and simulation suites?
  • Are there dedicated study spaces or libraries for medical students?
  • What resources and technologies are available to support learning and research?
  1. Career Support and Alumni Network:
  • How does the university support students’ career development and preparation for postgraduate training?
  • What is the success rate of graduates in securing residency or specialty placements?
  • Can you provide information about the medical school’s alumni network and any opportunities for networking or mentorship?
  1. Student Life and Extracurricular Activities:
  • What is the student community like within the medical school?
  • Are there any student societies or clubs specifically for medical students?
  • How does the university promote work-life balance and provide opportunities for social and recreational activities?
  1. Student Support and Diversity:
  • What support is available for students from underrepresented backgrounds or with specific needs?
  • How does the university foster diversity and inclusivity within the medical course?
  • Are there any initiatives or programs in place to address issues of equality and diversity?

Remember to tailor these questions based on your specific interests and concerns. Open days provide a chance to engage with current students, faculty members, and admissions staff, so make the most of the opportunity to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision about your future medical studies.