I'm currently in 2nd Year, this is true as far as I can tell, but the finer points of the course are constantly changing. I've tried to get the most relevant things in without going overboard, but give me a shout if you want to know more.
740 - combination of HPAT and LC results. System is little complicated, but explained well in this document: www2.cao.ie/downloads/documents/2010UG********.pdf
Number of students
quite variable, starts off about 20 (10 hrs lectures, 10 hrs labs and tutorials) in first year, then increases up gradually. Placements can be very long days, often starting as early as 7.
Not going to dwell on the subjects much as this has been dealt with in previous posts. Some key things of note I think though are that you are being taught clinical skills in hospitals from the start of 2nd year, which is a recent addition; it used to be that alot of the basic clinical stuff (IV insertion, suturing, etc) was taught in the first couple of weeks as an intern.
Significant hospital placements start in 3rd year, and you are pretty much never on campus anymore; you get your lectures in hospitals. The first 2 years are mostly on campus though.
They've also just introduced a research project this year for 2nd years which is a significant commitment; 12 Monday afternoons and 2 solid weeks. This is good exposure to research and may get you published; very important later on when going for jobs.
There's no doubt that there is a lot of work to be done but the advantage is that you can more or less do it at your own pace. There are very few assignments, and they're mostly rather small, the real work comes in studying lectures. The field of Medicine has amassed an awful lot of knowledge over the years, so there is a lot to take in. Material is jammed into a single lecture that could be spread out over a few; however, the stuff isn't difficult, you just have to be sharp to keep up and take the time later to learn it all off. This usually isn't a problem for the kind of people getting Medicine though, but you will still have to commit a couple of hours to learn off each lecture. That's where the real time consuming part of Med school is.
Despite what most think, is rather good. The demographic in this course is quite unlike any other in that you will get about 20-30 North Americans (mostly Canadians), and about the same again of Malaysians/Muslims in addition to the Irish. These however, integrate surprisingly well, so is not a problem. As the HPAT has only just been introduced for this year's first years, there are a lot of marginally older people too, the likes who are a few years out of a physio course, or transferred from a Med-related science course, etc. This should take a few years to balance out, then it should be mostly LC students again in the Irish representative sample.
There are always people who will go out on to their weekly club, but the real fun lies on the trips and outside term; this is when Meds really let their hair down, and have got a reputation for it! You can expect anything from Meds on tour! But these are usually preceded by exam periods of complete social reclusion for up to 4 weeks at a stretch. Due to the highly demanding nature of the course, and the fact that the yearly timetable is very different to most other courses, you tend to socialize more with your classmates than other courses would, but with such a large class, you're bound to find a good core group of consistent friends to hang out with.
Pretty much recession-proof and transferable to anywhere in the world. You are pretty much guaranteed a job, but the higher ones are very competitive and the road is long. You are an eternal student and most career paths don't lend themselves very well to a good family life, or at least that's my impression, see here for more details: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showt...p?t=2055781254
The ones that do (GP) are very competitive to get on a training scheme.
The course is highly stimulating and very dynamic. You get great satisfaction, but is also very time consuming. "Hands-on" training begins very early on, and is a great break from lectures. Social life is great, but on a different schedule to most other courses. Employability is not a problem, you will always find a job.
The two best things I like about my course are:
: My classmates and I get on very well as we all have similar mindsets. Also, the people contact in hospitals; this is great, but don't do Medicine if you don't like talking with people, that's what you do most of the time, not medical procedures.
: This is a highly intellectually stimulating profession, where you constantly build your knowledge. Most other science based courses, unless you go into teaching or research, there is little application for what you've learnt. Medicine is great that way in that you know you will use what you learn in your job.