Medicine

MB, BCh, BAO
School of Medicine

What will you study?

RCSI Bahrain's medical programme is a core five-year programme.The six-year programme provides a one-year preparation stage in advance of entry to the core five-year programme.

The Medicine programme is divided into a Foundation year and three cycles.

  • Foundation year (FY) - one year
  • Junior cycle (JC) - 18 months
  • Intermediate cycle (IC) - 18 months
  • Senior cycle (SC) - two years

In Foundation Year and Junior Cycle, you will be taught in a mixture of lectures and small group teaching involving tutorials, anatomy practicals and clinical skills training.

In Intermediate Cycle, you will participate in small group simulation scenarios with state-of-the-art simulators, progressing to Senior Cycle, where you will be attached to consultant-led (senior physicians) teams in a hospital setting.

Throughout your studies you will be provided with continuous appraisal, mentoring and case presentations on an individual basis, along with frequent reviews of your clinical progress with senior clinicians in the clinical years.

Curriculum

Foundation Year (FY) consists of two semesters - delivered from September to May of the first year - in the six-year Medicine programme.

  • Semester 1 (FY1) - from September to December
  • Semester 2 (FY2) - from January to May

Each semester comprises 11 direct-contact teaching weeks, one week of revision and two weeks of examinations.

FY will provide you with a solid grounding in the biomedical sciences and professionalism as well as the necessary IT skills to operate efficiently within the College's virtual learning environment (VLE).

The course is delivered as a series of stand-alone five credit modules taught in a single semester and integrated, systems-based modules, delivered across two semesters.

The FY structure is as follows:

First semester

  • Fundamentals of Medical Physics (5 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Human Biology (5 credits)

Second semester

  • Disease Diagnostics and Therapeutics (5 credits)
  • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (5 credits)

Both semesters

  • Musculoskeletal System, Nervous System, Skin, Special Senses, Reproduction and Endocrine Systems (10 credits)
  • Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Immune, Gastrointestinal and Excretory Systems (10 credits)
  • Professionalism in the Health Sciences (10 credits)
  • Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (5 credits)

Teaching styles

A blended approach to teaching and learning is applied. FY is delivered as:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Small group traching
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Electives

Tutorials serve to reinforce and enhance your understanding of the fundamental concepts covered in lectures and test your basic understanding through applied problems in a practical context.

Elective opportunities facilitate your growing awareness of the crucial roles that communication, culture, collaboration, critical thinking, medical ethics, information literacy, project management and self-reflection play in the professional practice of medicine.

Assessment

Each module is assessed independently by a combination of continuous assessment (laboratory write-ups, mid-semester MCQ assessments, reflective assignments, group projects) and summative end of semester MCQ and short note question (SNQ) papers.

Timetable

Below is an example of a typical week for an FY student in RCSI Bahrain.

Morning
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Lecture Electives Lecture Tutorial
Lecture Electives Lecture Lecture Lecture
Language Tutorial Language Tutorial Language Tutorial
Tutorial Tutorial
Afternoon
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Lecture Practical Lab - Group C Tutorial - Group A Practical Lab - Group A Tutorial - Group A
Tutorial - Group B Tutorial - Group B Practical Lab - Group B
Tutorial - Group C Tutorial - Group C
Tutorial - Group D Tutorial - Group D

Length and structure

Junior Cycle (JC) consists of three semesters delivered from September in the first year of the five-year programme to December of the second year.

  • Semester 1 (JC1) - from September to December
  • Semester 2 (JC2) - from January to May
  • Semester 3 (JC3) - from September to December

Each semester comprises 11-12 direct-contact teaching weeks, two weeks of revision and two weeks of examinations.

The course is delivered through systems-based modules, teaching you about how the body works in the healthy state.

The JC structure is as follows:

First semester/JC1
  • Fundamentals of Medical Biomedicine 1 (FUN1) (10 credits)
  • Cardiorespiratory and Upper Limb (CVR) (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice 1 (ICP1) (7.5 credits)
Second semester/JC2
  • Fundamentals of Medical Biomedicine 2 (FUN2) (6 credits)
  • Gastrointestinal and Hepatology (GI/HEP) (8 credits)
  • Renal, Endocrine, Genitourinary and Breast (REGUB) (10 credits)
  • Health, Behaviour and Patient Safety (HBPS) (8.5 credits)
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice 1 (ICP1)
Third semester/JC3
  • Molecular Medicine (MM) (4 credits)
  • Neuroscience (NS) (10 credits)
  • Evidence Based Health/Public Health and Epidemiology (EBH/PHE) (8.5 credits)
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice 2 (ICP2) (7.5 credits)

Teaching styles

JC is delivered as:

  • Lectures
  • Small group tutorials
  • Large group tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Anatomy practicals
  • Projects

Tutorials and practicals serve to reinforce and enhance your understanding of the fundamental concepts covered in lectures and test your basic understanding through applied problems in a practical context.

Assessment

Each module is assessed independently by a combination of one or more continuous assessment modalities (MCQ quizzes, clinical case reflections, assignments and group projects); and summative end of semester examinations (MCQ and SNQ written papers, anatomy practical examinations and clinical competencies: objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)).

Timetable

Below is an example of a typical week for a JC student in RCSI Bahrain.

Morning
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Small group tutorial Lecture Lecture
Formative exam Lecture Lecture Lecture
Large group tutorial
Afternoon
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Small group clinical skills tutorials Small group communications skills tutorials Symposium Anatomy practical (group)
Small group clinical skills tutorials Lecture Small group communications skills tutorials Small group tutorial

Length and structure

Intermediate Cycle (IC) consists of three semesters delivered from January in the second year of the five-year programme to May of the third year.

  • Semester 1 (IC1) - From January to May
  • Semester 2 (IC2) - From September to December
  • Semester 3 (IC3) - From January to May

IC1/2 is delivered as systems-based modules, where you will gain an understanding of the basic pathological and immunological principles underlying human disease; learn how to take a systematic medical history and perform a problem-focused physical examination; learn to construct a reasoned differential diagnosis based on history, physical examination and diagnostic investigations for common human diseases; and learn the current management of common human diseases.

In the third semester, you will participate in a Student Selected Component, when you complete an individual research or audit project. This project is composed of a short introductory skills week followed by a six-week research placement. The research project is a flexible programme which is undertaken either at an RCSI institution/affiliated hospital or overseas.

The IC structure is as follows:

First semester
  • Foundations in Pathology (10 credits)
  • Foundations in Microbiology (10 credits)
  • Cardiovascular/Respiratory (10 credits)
Second semester
  • Tropical Medicine (2.5 credits)
  • Gastroenterology/Hepatology (7.5 credits)
  • Renal, Endocrine, Genitourinary, Breast (10 credits)
  • Central Nervous System, Locomotor, Forensics (10 credits)
Third semester
  • Clinical programme (20 credits)
  • Student Selected Component (10 credits)

Teaching styles

IC is delivered as:

  • Core didactic lectures
  • Laboratory-based teaching
  • Case-based teaching
  • Clinical skills
  • Simulation teaching

You will also participate in 10 weeks of hospital-based clinical placements in medicine, surgery and orthopaedics, located in one of the RCSI Bahrain affiliated teaching hospitals.

Morning
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Medicine lecture Small group clinical examination tutorial Small group clinical examination tutorial Pathology lecture
Medicine lecture Pathology lecture Pathology lecture
Therapeutics lecture Surgery lecture Therapeutics lecture Medicine lecture
Afternoon
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Medicine lecture Pathology lecture Pathology lecture Lecture/MDT* Communication skills tutorial
Pathology lecture Microbiology practical session Surgery lecture Communication skills tutorial
Microbiology practical session Microbiology practical session

Length and structure

Senior Cycle (SC) is delivered over the final two years of the Medicine programme in RCSI-affiliated teaching hospitals located throughout Ireland, providing you with different learning opportunities.

The SC structure is as follows:

SC1 rotations SC2 rotations
Medicine and Surgery, Ophthalmology, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Medicine and Surgery (24 weeks)
Medicine and Surgery of Childhood and Neonatal Medicine Sub-internship (4 weeks)
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Student Selected Clinical Attachment (4 weeks)
Psychiatry
General practice

Teaching styles


Senior Cycle 1

Senior Cycle 1 is a year of two semesters, divided into five seven-week rotations. It comprises modules in General Practice (GP), Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry and Medicine and Surgery. The Medicine and Surgery module (formerly known as C-Med) is a blended one comprising Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), prescribing instruction, ethics and clinical competencies.

For the greater part of this year students are attached to clinical teams in RCSI Bahrain's three affiliated teaching hospitals: King Hamad University Hospital, Bahrain Defence Force Hospital and Salmaniya Medical Complex, and Bahrain’s Family Medicine Health Centres. The students’ clinical immersion is underpinned by their participation in a structured programme of active teaching and formative assessment delivered by senior academic staff in all departments. Written and clinical summative assessments are carried out at the end of each rotation (except GP) and the end of the academic year (except Medicine and Surgery).


Senior Cycle 2

Senior Cycle 2 is comprised of a single module – Clinical Medicine and Surgery – delivered over two semesters in seven 4-week rotations. The focus is on four immersive clinical rotations in Medicine and Surgery, and their major sub-specialties, in our three partner hospitals that are complemented by comprehensive online lectures, taught revision lectures, small group classroom instruction during 3 teaching weeks and extensive bedside clinical teaching.

In addition, students are formally prepared for internship and autonomous clinical practice during their Sub-Internship rotation and the ‘Essentials of Clinical Practice’ (ECP) sub-module. In ECP simulated emergencies in Medicine, Surgery and Anaesthesia are taught by senior academic staff, along with delivery of interactive small group sessions on professionalism, communication, legal medicine and medical therapeutics.

Students are supported in applying for North American clerkships during their Student Selected clinical component (SSCA) and Sub-Internship rotations to increase their opportunity to match directly into residency programmes in the US and Canada after their internship.

Students engage in continuous assessment activities throughout the year (case presentations, TOSBAs , ethics case presentations, and assessment of sub-internship administrative and procedural competencies). Written and clinical high-stakes’ assessments, including OSCEs and combined medical and surgical direct observed histories (‘long cases’), happen between March and May.

Assessment

Each rotation is assessed independently by a selection or combination of continuous assessment, portfolio, logbook, case presentations, end of rotation clinical examination of both a child and a newborn infant and end of year written examination.

Timetable

Below is an example of a seven-week rotation in Paediatrics/Neonatal Medicine for a SC1 student.

  • Week 1-6: All students attend RCSI Bahrain on Day 1 for orientation. Students are then assigned for two-week rotations to the Paediatric Departments in our three affiliated teaching hospitals. During this time, students will also gain experience in Neonatal Medicine and other Paediatric subspecialties.
  • Week 7: All students spend the last week undertaking self-directed learning outside the hospitals. The end of rotation exams are held over three days in week 7 of your rotation. You will be assessed in a clinical examination of both a child and a newborn infant.

During your attachments, you will do ‘on-call’ in the Emergency Department at each of the three affiliated teaching hospitals.