Medicine is an inherently difficult subject with a massive breadth of learning that needs to be done. The course at Newcastle aims to break this up in Years 1 and 2 by tying them to hypothetical cases that are based in the real world. This kind of teaching got me to focus on the important stuff without getting bogged down in the details. However, when it got to more abstract subjects (for example, the nuts and bolts of biochemistry) I found the link to be fairly tenuous or ignored and as a result the teaching was quite boring.In Year 3 the course is taught entirely within a healthcare setting (GP and Hospital) with an emphasis on applying the knowledge accrued in Years 1 and 2 to clinical practise. As a result this year was a lot more fun and engaging while also really making it feel like I was learning. However, the teaching was spread across a number of sites and a few were more capable at teaching than others with the types of patients being available. Furthermore, a lot of the best teaching tended to be ad hoc from F1s and F2s on wards rather than the structured teaching session meaning their may be an asymmetry in learning (I was lucky to have a lot of great teachers around me). Year 4 can be described as the best and worst academic year mixed together. Term 1 has a massive emphasis on learning difficult, detailed and sometimes abstract information in an incredibly dense and lecture heavy format. The pretence of tying it to cases is completely gone and it is very much throw everything against a wall and see what sticks (hoping that at least half will and you'll pass the exam at Christmas). This is particularly tough if you're placed in a bad group for the seminar work as a large chunk of learning should be done here. The second half of Year 4 is a lot better with it being clinical work in fields that you have chosen. I had the luck of being involved in a research project where the goal was a publication and another audit which was presented as a poster at a national conference. This allowed me to specialise earlier while also working within the NHS. Finally, the year ends with a two month elective where I was able to travel abroad and learn how medicine works in lower income settings, a very valuable experience. Outside of the course there are a couple of issues with administration with there being fairly frequent delays in grading assessments and then releasing them (something which is particularly annoying when you need to have a meeting with a member of staff if you've failed). Furthermore, there can be a lot of confusion during the transition to clinical teaching with Consultants not being informed of their teaching duties or not informing the medical school that they are unavailable. This has led to a few sessions cancelled after an hour delay, time which could've been spent learning something else. The assessment themselves are split between multiple choice exams, practical exams and course work (specifically essay writing regarding patient experiences, ethical dilemmas and advances in research). These assessments are fairly standard with the practical exams and some of the course work proving to be interesting and fun. However, it can be somewhat nervewracking to be stumped during a practical exam in front of an assessor and a patient, both of which are fully aware that you've made a mistake or don't know what to do. Overall, I'd definitely recommend Newcastle University for Medicine. It is well taught, well respected and gives you the tools you need to go out and be a doctor.