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United Kingdom
UK flag.png
Map UK.png
Participating cities (LC's) London Barts, Nottingham, Peninsula, Southampton, Hull-York
Languages English
Currency (how much is a Bigmac?) Pound Sterling (£)
Time zone GMT
Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people 2.4 doctors per 1,000 population (2005)
Member of IFMSA since... since it first began!
Number of incoming students per year approx. 40
Who are our NEOs Kirsty Dolphin and Atia Qaiser
Our official website / Forum / Facebook group
Come for exchange!

Welcome Note

Hello! A very warm welcome from the UK, a country steeped in tradition, etiquette and eccentricity ;)! We invite you to spend 4 weeks with us, working in our hospitals, getting to know our multicultural society and integrating into our way of life... like drinking high tea, whilst riding a red double-decker bus and watching the infamous changing of the guards! ;) All our very best from the UK!


The UK’s Medical Students International Network (Medsin), is a non-political, non-profit student-run organization that represents medical students in the United Kingdom. Founded in the 1990s, Medsin only became a full National Member Organization (NMO) of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA) in 1999. Medsin is now established in medical schools all across the UK, from Southampton to Dundee, and has grown to embrace hundreds of active medical students in its various standing committees.

Medsin aims through its different events and activities to introduce medical students to global health, humanitarian ideals and medical ethics. Furthermore, Medsin aims to empower medical students and enable them to use their knowledge & capacities for the benefit of society and provide them with opportunities to broaden their social and cultural perspectives.

Our health care system

The National Health Service or NHS is the publicly-funded healthcare system in Great Britain (though the term is also used to refer to three of the four national health services in the UK, collectively). The NHS provides healthcare to anyone normally resident in the United Kingdom with most services free at the point of use for the patient though there are charges associated with eye tests, dental care, prescriptions, and many aspects of personal care. The NHS has agreed a formal constitution which sets out the legal rights and responsibilities of the NHS, its staff, and users of the service and makes additional non-binding pledges regarding many key aspects of its operations.The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in England, including primary care, in-patient care, long-term healthcare, ophthalmology and dentistry. The National Health Service Act 1946 came into effect on 5 July 1948. Private health care has continued parallel to the NHS, paid for largely by private insurance: it is used by about 8% of the population, generally as an add-on to NHS services. The NHS is largely funded from general taxation (including a proportion from National Insurance payments).[3] The UK government department responsible for the NHS is the Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health. Most of the expenditure of The Department of Health (£98.7 billion in 2008-9[4]) is spent on the NHS.

The hospitals

Please look at the individual Local Committees for information of their local hospitals.

Our medical education

Students can attain the MBBS qualification via two different routes: the 5-year "standard" Programme or the 4-year "intensive" Graduate Entry Programme. On the 5-year programme, students have the option of taking a year out of their medical studies to study something that they are interested in, the so-called "Intercalated Bachelor of Science". Although this year out is not currently compulsory in most faculties, in the increasing competitive world of medicine, more and more students are starting to take the Intercalated BSc. So although our medical degree is only 5 years, more and more students are opting to study for an extra year. Whichever route the student takes, the final qualification is the same: the MBBS. Once qualified, we have 2 "Foundation Years" (FY1 and FY2) during which we rotate through medicine and surgery. Full General Medical Council (GMC) registration is achieved at the end of FY1.

Cultural differences

There are many things that you will find different in the UK. Here are some points of interest.

Time Keeping - in the UK punctuality is very important especially in academic life and business. You should always be on time for lectures, classes and meetings with academic staff and support staff. If you are going to be late it is advisable for you to telephone if you can. If you are late for an appointment do not be surprised if you are told to make another appointment and be seen on another day. Similarly if you cannot make it to an appointment at all, it is always advisable to telephone and let the person know.

Getting things done - as a student in the UK you will find that there are a lot of things that you will have to do yourself that you may not have had to do before. This can be from cooking your own food in halls of residence, to managing your own bank account. When you are in the UK as a student you are an adult who has to take responsibility for making all of your own personal arrangements. If you do not do them for yourself, there will be no-one to do it for you. The LEOs will help as much as possible!

Being Polite - Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is considered to be an important part of British culture. If you need to ask for someone’s help, no matter who it is, it is polite to use the word ‘please’ and once someone has given you some help say ‘thank you’. This may seem something very small but it can make all the difference in the way that people respond to you.

Queuing - When you are at a reception desk, waiting to see your tutor, buying food in the refectory, in the supermarket, bank or wherever there are a number of people wanting to speak, or to receive service from an individual, it is polite to queue and wait your turn. In some countries this is not the case however, in the UK you will find that this is common practice and part of your daily routine.

Gender - Men and women play an equal role in society in the UK. There are no rules or regulations that prevent men or women doing specific jobs - both men and women alike carry out all roles at all levels. This is not only in UWIC but also in every organisation in the UK.

Equality - When you are talking to someone or are requesting their help or for a service from them, no matter who they are and no matter what role they have, you must be courteous. This can be from buying a train ticket, to asking for information at a reception desk, to asking for your tutors help and advice or speaking to an Immigration Officer. It is considered to be very rude if you are not courteous.

Smart dress - We like to dress smartly! When you are on placement in the UK, it is very important to wear smart dress. We do not consider denim jeans to be smart dress nor are trainers or similar footwear. More guidance can asked for by the LEOs. Outside of placement, any of your normal clothes are fine!

Accommodation & Boarding

Where you stay will depend on the LC. Some offer student halls of accommodation, others offer student housing with families/other students.

Social program

Offered by most of our LCs, but the activities will depend on which LC and the time of year!

Local & National transportation


- Buses

- Tube

- Train

- Black cab

- Taxi

- Bike/Car hire


- Trains

- Coach services

- Car hire


Good question! ;) The weather depends on the season. Autumn-Winter is often quite rainy whilst Spring-Summer is generally sunny and dry (generally, British weather is ever-changing!!). The 2013 July summer temperatures have been very warm (30 degrees celcius), dry and sunny.

Social life

Vibrant social life offering a fantastic night life, day-time activities, sports etc.

Exchange conditions

Please visit:

Most importantly we ask that you have previous clinical experience and are proficient in the English language (a language certificate may be requested - see our exchange conditions for the most recent information). Our dates are NOT fixed calendar months, so if you choose to sign contracts with us, we ask that you be flexible in your dates - this is to fit in with university requirements. The contracts are bilateral - accommodation and either pocket money or board is provided in each LC (see ECs for further details). If you require more information, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Atia or Kirsty ( /


Hopefully the profile of the EFs will increase soon and we will be able to supply more information about feedback on exchanges in the UK.

Cities offered for exchange

London Barts (Queen Mary's)