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MD-JMP Outline

LBoG

BMedSci/MD-JMP II UoN
I've just finished my first year of the MD-JMP at UoN (incidentally, the first year of the MD-JMP altogether). Here are some thoughts I jotted down in a PM to a member of these forums, published here for anyone interested:

MSA/PQA: For me, the entire process (MMI + PQA + waiting around) took the full five hours that they ask you to allow on your invitation to interview. It can take less time if you are in the group that does MMI before PQA, because you can leave the PQA as soon as you finish it. Unfortunately, I did PQA first. My group had to wait around for the first group to finish their MMI (called an MSA at JMP - multiple skills assessment), for the interviewers to have a lunch break, and only then could we begin. It was a very long day!

The general consensus is you are offered a place based entirely on your MSA performance, and that the PQA is only used to eliminate people who raise red flags. However, I think the people at the JMP understand how flimsy the evidence is for use of PQA-style tests and don't rely too heavily on results. YOu can find useful information about the PQA on the PQA website, including sample questions.

If you do a bit of Googling, there's also a PowerPoint presentation about the use of the PQA by the University of Newcastle which is quite fascinating. It would seem the JMP is attempting to find people who will be suited to studying medicine, rather than those who will be "smart enough" for it.

What's the JMP like? My experience so far with JMP has been a mixed bag, for many different reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the course itself. The transition to MD means my cohort (first year of the MD-JMP) are being used as guinea pigs for the changes, and being heavily surveyed for our feedback. Overall, the faculty really want the program to be as good as possible - it's just been a bit of a learning curve for everyone so far.

My cohort was 75% under 21 at the start of the year. The majority of students have done something between high school and beginning medicine, whether it's a completed degree or just a year or two of another degree. As someone in my late 20's with a completed degree and several years in a career before starting medicine, I haven't found socialising a challenge at all - in fact, the people I study with are some of the best people I've ever met in my life.

Once you're in medicine, you're instantly part of the community, and it's unlike any other. The support and friendship from students from other cohorts is incredible. It's a world in itself. Of all things, I'm happiest with the community of intelligent, thoughtful and hilarious people I've been lucky enough to find myself in.

Strengths of MD-JMP:
- the faculty WANT to get it right
- research opportunities, including chance to get published before finishing degree
- 1.5 hours of wet lab anatomy per week (some week are histology labs instead)
- Lecturers are more than happy to speak with students before, during and after teaching, including through emails
- 4 hours/fortnight in the clinical skills lab at the hospital, practising with simulated patients (I actually sometimes find these sessions difficult, as I struggle with anxiety, but they are immensely helpful for many)
- I can only speak for Newcastle, but the campus is quite nice (though not as good as other university campuses, at least it's very convenient to the city and beaches etc)

Weaknesses of MD-JMP:
- new course means there isn't much solid information about how it will be structured e.g. when/where/what our placements will be, whether we will be able to complete placement/study overseas, what our "research" years will involve, how much contact with actual patients we will have, etc., etc.
- "Middle" PBL is basically a two hour forced study session with your PBL group and largely considered a waste of time. Who knows, maybe the faculty will listen and get rid of it before next year (though I've finally found a way to make it worthwhile - three weeks before the end of the year).

Other things to consider:
- the entire course is pass/fail. This will be good or bad for you depending on your preferences
- we only have a single course each year, worth the entire 80 units required for full time study, under which falls every single subject (anatomy, histology, microbiology, pathology, immunology, biochemistry, professional development, etc., etc., etc.)
- the course is year-long. This means the final exam is worth 75% of your pass/fail grade, i.e. if you fail your final exam you fail the entire year (and will have to repeat the entire year if not awarded adverse circumstances/exam resit)
 

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Aquila

New Member
Thanks for this! How do you think 17 year olds would cope at UoN? I'd assume I'd be missing out on a significant chunk of social life for several months. Regardless, it seems like a great course :)
 

hpfanfiction

Paediatric Healer at St. Mungo's Hospital
Moderator
Thanks for this! How do you think 17 year olds would cope at UoN? I'd assume I'd be missing out on a significant chunk of social life for several months. Regardless, it seems like a great course :)
I didn't go to UoN, but I was 16 for 1/2 of my first year of medical school and didn't turn 18 until the middle of my second year .
I was fine (though admittedly, I wasn't the only one in this position)
I'm sure you will be too :)
 

LBoG

BMedSci/MD-JMP II UoN
Thanks for this! How do you think 17 year olds would cope at UoN? I'd assume I'd be missing out on a significant chunk of social life for several months. Regardless, it seems like a great course :)
You might have to skip some nights out but plenty/most of the social life would still be available to you.
Personally, I'd highly recommend to anyone fresh out of high school lucky enough to secure a medical place to accept and defer for a year. Relax, travel, maybe work a little bit. Spend time enjoying the fact that you're still so, so young.
Once you start medicine, you're committing to a lifetime of study, hard work, stress, long hours. There are plenty of wonderful positive things you're committing to as well, and of course you can choose to leave the degree/profession one day...but if you've been attending school five days a week since you were five years old, it might be great to give yourself a break.
 

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Bell210X

New Member
Hey :) I'm not sure if you have heard anything about this (if someone doing the JMP at UNE sees this maybe you could please answer?) but I've heard that UNE has one of the best anatomy courses. Do you know if this is true based on student experiences? And how would you rate UoN's anatomy teaching?
 

LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
Hey :) I'm not sure if you have heard anything about this (if someone doing the JMP at UNE sees this maybe you could please answer?) but I've heard that UNE has one of the best anatomy courses. Do you know if this is true based on student experiences? And how would you rate UoN's anatomy teaching?
I have read elsewhere that UoN (not sure whether it was UNE also) used to offer an Anatomy elective that was VERY well regarded (and accessible further than just current Med student cohort), but that this is now no longer offered. It might be the basis of the rumours you've heard.

LBoG or iStudent can advise you on the current state of affairs, UoN and UNE-wise, if/when they're free (both are in the middle of exams I believe).
 

LBoG

BMedSci/MD-JMP II UoN
Hey :) I'm not sure if you have heard anything about this (if someone doing the JMP at UNE sees this maybe you could please answer?) but I've heard that UNE has one of the best anatomy courses. Do you know if this is true based on student experiences? And how would you rate UoN's anatomy teaching?
What you're referring to doesn't exist with the new MD.

A huge complaint from B Med students from both campuses was different experiences/teaching - notably so for the anatomy component. So the MD has attempted to address this by making several changes.

Now both campuses experience exactly the same anatomy and histology course (with minor differences according to the specific teachers involved - eg their lectures slides and style).

Another change is removal of most clinical experiences with real patients - as apparently it meant a wide variation in student exposure and experiences in a clinical/hospital setting. So the MD almost exclusively uses simulated patients with scripted disease processes. Personally, I can't believe the lack of actual patient interaction in a degree which prides itself on developing empathic and person-centred medical professionals - but it is what it is.

ETA: as for the teaching of anatomy - the lecture component is 30 minutes of the 1.5 hours per week and delivered in the wet lab, so no chairs and no computers/books. Unless you learn particularly well from having someone speak at you for 30 minutes straight while you stand there in a plastic apron and gloves, it's not the best design.

The actual time wth specimens in the wet labs is invaluable and the roving tutors who are further along in the degree or junior doctors are very, very good.
 

Bell210X

New Member
What you're referring to doesn't exist with the new MD.

A huge complaint from B Med students from both campuses was different experiences/teaching - notably so for the anatomy component. So the MD has attempted to address this by making several changes.

Now both campuses experience exactly the same anatomy and histology course (with minor differences according to the specific teachers involved - eg their lectures slides and style).

Another change is removal of most clinical experiences with real patients - as apparently it meant a wide variation in student exposure and experiences in a clinical/hospital setting. So the MD almost exclusively uses simulated patients with scripted disease processes. Personally, I can't believe the lack of actual patient interaction in a degree which prides itself on developing empathic and person-centred medical professionals - but it is what it is.

ETA: as for the teaching of anatomy - the lecture component is 30 minutes of the 1.5 hours per week and delivered in the wet lab, so no chairs and no computers/books. Unless you learn particularly well from having someone speak at you for 30 minutes straight while you stand there in a plastic apron and gloves, it's not the best design.

The actual time wth specimens in the wet labs is invaluable and the roving tutors who are further along in the degree or junior doctors are very, very good.

Thanks for this info :)

Hopefully in the next couple of years they make some changes regarding patient interactions.

One of the (many) reasons I am hoping for UNE was because of what I'd heard of their anatomy so I'm a bit disappointed about the change. Even now as a non-med student my anatomy labs are longer than that.

This might be a dumb question but is a wet lab specifically for dissection? The course I am currently doing uses prosections and I've never heard them refer to the lab as a wet lab.
 

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LBoG

BMedSci/MD-JMP II UoN
This might be a dumb question but is a wet lab specifically for dissection? The course I am currently doing uses prosections and I've never heard them refer to the lab as a wet lab.
I'm using the term to refer to the room we view the prosections in, though dissections happen next door. First years aren't generally involved in the dissections but if you're super keen you can be.
 

Kat92

(Student BDemCare|BBeSt|BNurs) Hopeful for JMP
I've just finished my first year of the MD-JMP at UoN (incidentally, the first year of the MD-JMP altogether). Here are some thoughts I jotted down in a PM to a member of these forums, published here for anyone interested:

MSA/PQA: For me, the entire process (MMI + PQA + waiting around) took the full five hours that they ask you to allow on your invitation to interview. It can take less time if you are in the group that does MMI before PQA, because you can leave the PQA as soon as you finish it. Unfortunately, I did PQA first. My group had to wait around for the first group to finish their MMI (called an MSA at JMP - multiple skills assessment), for the interviewers to have a lunch break, and only then could we begin. It was a very long day!

The general consensus is you are offered a place based entirely on your MSA performance, and that the PQA is only used to eliminate people who raise red flags. However, I think the people at the JMP understand how flimsy the evidence is for use of PQA-style tests and don't rely too heavily on results. YOu can find useful information about the PQA on the PQA website, including sample questions.

If you do a bit of Googling, there's also a PowerPoint presentation about the use of the PQA by the University of Newcastle which is quite fascinating. It would seem the JMP is attempting to find people who will be suited to studying medicine, rather than those who will be "smart enough" for it.

What's the JMP like? My experience so far with JMP has been a mixed bag, for many different reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the course itself. The transition to MD means my cohort (first year of the MD-JMP) are being used as guinea pigs for the changes, and being heavily surveyed for our feedback. Overall, the faculty really want the program to be as good as possible - it's just been a bit of a learning curve for everyone so far.

My cohort was 75% under 21 at the start of the year. The majority of students have done something between high school and beginning medicine, whether it's a completed degree or just a year or two of another degree. As someone in my late 20's with a completed degree and several years in a career before starting medicine, I haven't found socialising a challenge at all - in fact, the people I study with are some of the best people I've ever met in my life.

Once you're in medicine, you're instantly part of the community, and it's unlike any other. The support and friendship from students from other cohorts is incredible. It's a world in itself. Of all things, I'm happiest with the community of intelligent, thoughtful and hilarious people I've been lucky enough to find myself in.

Strengths of MD-JMP:
- the faculty WANT to get it right
- research opportunities, including chance to get published before finishing degree
- 1.5 hours of wet lab anatomy per week (some week are histology labs instead)
- Lecturers are more than happy to speak with students before, during and after teaching, including through emails
- 4 hours/fortnight in the clinical skills lab at the hospital, practising with simulated patients (I actually sometimes find these sessions difficult, as I struggle with anxiety, but they are immensely helpful for many)
- I can only speak for Newcastle, but the campus is quite nice (though not as good as other university campuses, at least it's very convenient to the city and beaches etc)

Weaknesses of MD-JMP:
- new course means there isn't much solid information about how it will be structured e.g. when/where/what our placements will be, whether we will be able to complete placement/study overseas, what our "research" years will involve, how much contact with actual patients we will have, etc., etc.
- "Middle" PBL is basically a two hour forced study session with your PBL group and largely considered a waste of time. Who knows, maybe the faculty will listen and get rid of it before next year (though I've finally found a way to make it worthwhile - three weeks before the end of the year).

Other things to consider:
- the entire course is pass/fail. This will be good or bad for you depending on your preferences
- we only have a single course each year, worth the entire 80 units required for full time study, under which falls every single subject (anatomy, histology, microbiology, pathology, immunology, biochemistry, professional development, etc., etc., etc.)
- the course is year-long. This means the final exam is worth 75% of your pass/fail grade, i.e. if you fail your final exam you fail the entire year (and will have to repeat the entire year if not awarded adverse circumstances/exam resit)

I don't know if you are allowed to shed any light upon this or not but I am wondering in terms of the 75%exam how difficult was the content examined? As it seems quite heavy a weighting to be putting solely on MCQ.

Also, for UON are the dissections compulsory? I am fine viewing most things, although some prosections I have seen in other courses make my stomach squirm. However, dissection becomes an entirely different ballpark as I nearly faint and vomit if I have to dissect. Are there procedures at UON for this as I am happy to observe both as long as feel well and make notes about my observations. Ha, you can probably tell that I am certainly not an aspiring surgeon lol!
 

biom

Regular Member
Supreme Overlord of the Chatbox
I don't know if you are allowed to shed any light upon this or not but I am wondering in terms of the 75%exam how difficult was the content examined? As it seems quite heavy a weighting to be putting solely on MCQ.

Also, for UON are the dissections compulsory? I am fine viewing most things, although some prosections I have seen in other courses make my stomach squirm. However, dissection becomes an entirely different ballpark as I nealry faint and vomit if I have to dissect. Are there procedures at UON for this as I am happy to observe both as long as feel well and make notes about my observations. Ha, you can probably tell that I am certainly not an aspiring surgeon lol!
In addition to the 75% MCQ there were also two OSCEs and a whole set of activities that had to be completed during the semester. Satisfactory completion of those is also required.

As to the exam.... give them a chance. It only just finished :)
 

Kat92

(Student BDemCare|BBeSt|BNurs) Hopeful for JMP
In addition to the 75% MCQ there were also two OSCEs and a whole set of activities that had to be completed during the semester. Satisfactory completion of those is also required.

As to the exam.... give them a chance. It only just finished :)
I know about the OSCEs and other clinical activities which need satisifactory completion. The thought of 75% MCQ weighting is daunting even though I have previously done MCQs in Neuroscience and Anatomy for other courses.

That's very true, I forgot to factor in that they are still undergoing some assessments whereas other UON/Uni courses finish earlier ;).
 

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LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
I know about the OSCEs and other clinical activities which need satisifactory completion. The thought of 75% MCQ weighting is daunting even though I have previously done MCQs in Neuroscience and Anatomy for other courses.

That's very true, I forgot to factor in that they are still undergoing some assessments whereas other UON/Uni courses finish earlier ;).
The exam was literally this morning. I think it was scheduled to finish at 12.30. If there are any JMP students who've come here to answer this question, GO AWAY AND CELEBRATE!!!

(but feel free to come back later :))

In other news, I am also very daunted by this prospect, Kat92. Besides UMAT, I've never really done MCQ exams in all my Uni years. I think there might have been some in first year Psychology, but from then on, it became all short answer/essay questions. MCQs terrify me. That said, gotta get an offer before worrying about this is even vaguely useful!
 

LMG!

Moderator
Most Helpful Member and Staff Member of the Year 2017-2018
Not gonna believe you, you did fine with UMAT :p
Not really! 198/300 = 66%! I know Ps get degrees, but I think Med Ps are generally pretty high, right? Unless Med bell curves you, too? In which case, 98%ile looks better than 66% :D
 

biom

Regular Member
Supreme Overlord of the Chatbox
Not really! 198/300 = 66%! I know Ps get degrees, but I think Med Ps are generally pretty high, right? Unless Med bell curves you, too? In which case, 98%ile looks better than 66% :D
Also true LMG! that med failure rates are tiny compared to many degrees. This would be a combination of many factors but I would be surprised if med schools do not reserve the right to scale marks.

That said.... it is surprising how often little, if any, scaling is needed with course results.
 

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biom

Regular Member
Supreme Overlord of the Chatbox
Bell curves or no bell curves med schools would be mad if they give out marks like UMAT. Half the cohorts would be below 50 out of 100.
A1 in the end UMAT is a percentile. By definition half of a cohort is below the 50th percentile:)

if 5% of a cohort fail a course then this means anyone above the 5th percentile passes (not the 50th). A few uni courses I have seen have had the 50th percentile around a mark of 67.
 

Kat92

(Student BDemCare|BBeSt|BNurs) Hopeful for JMP
The exam was literally this morning. I think it was scheduled to finish at 12.30. If there are any JMP students who've come here to answer this question, GO AWAY AND CELEBRATE!!!

(but feel free to come back later :))

In other news, I am also very daunted by this prospect, Kat92. Besides UMAT, I've never really done MCQ exams in all my Uni years. I think there might have been some in first year Psychology, but from then on, it became all short answer/essay questions. MCQs terrify me. That said, gotta get an offer before worrying about this is even vaguely useful!
Certainly GO AWAY AND CELEBRATE, you guys deserve it! :) I feel bad for even posting that question now as I thought it was held a few months earlier. Curosity is my achilles heel at times unfortunately.
 

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