9 Amazing Free Live Online Lecture Series for Medical Students

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Shortly before lockdown began I was on the cusp of beginning a 5 week surgery clinical placement. I had been so excited to start it! But unfortunately – and understandably – my placement was cancelled the moment it became clear COVID-19 cases were about to surge exponentially in the UK and nothing was going to stop it.

Whilst many medical schools were left a bit in the lurch with the sudden change in circumstances, some awesome people were already setting up free live online lectures to help.

Below I share nine excellent providers of free live online lectures for medical students. If there are any I’ve missed please share them in a comment underneath this blog post!

All the below are aimed at UK medical students but if you’re outside the UK, no problem, you are still able to attend. Just be aware that these lectures teach UK guidelines.




 

1. SMILE

Definitely the most popular provider of online lectures. They frequently have 1,000+ students tuning into each lecture!

Lectures run every day of the week. There are sometimes up to 3 lectures a day.

Lectures are not recorded and slides are not provided for copyright reasons but don’t let this put you off. The quality of the lectures is fantastic so it’s worth tuning in for the live teaching.

Something unique about SMILE is its very active chat which I personally really enjoy because you can ask and answer each other questions. There is also a bit of general chat and banter – although organisers tend to encourage keeping this to a minimum. Understandably, some people will find the chat distracting. If you’re one of these people a great tip is to got into full screen mode, open the chat box and then drag it to the bottom of your screen so you can now longer see the chat. That way Zoom won’t keep annoying you with previews of new chat messages and it won’t obstruct your view of the slides either.

Teaching platform: Zoom

Recordings: No

Slides provided: No

Mailing list: Yes, join by emailing them (click here)

Facebook group: SMILE: Sustaining Medical education In a Lockdown Environment

Twitter: @Lockdown_MedEd

Instagram: @smile_lectures

Website/webpage: No

 

2. Bite Medicine

Some of Bite Medicine’s lectures are purely academic whilst others are focused on more practical matters, such as excelling at medical school (e.g. how to get published, how to come top of your class).

Lectures run most days of the week.

They sometimes collaborate with SMILE.

Teaching platform: Zoom

Recordings: Yes, uploaded to their website & YouTube

Slides provided: Yes

Mailing list: Yes, for BiteMedicine in general (scroll to the bottom of their website to find the sign up box)

Facebook group: BiteMedicine for Students

Facebook page: BiteMedicine

YouTube: BiteMedicine

Twitter: @BiteMedicine

Instagram: @bitemedicine

Website/webpage: Bitemedicine.com/watch

3. Becoming a Doctor

Lectures run most days of the week. If you’re not a fan of Zoom, you’ll be pleased to learn that BAD (what an acronym!) also broadcast live via YouTube and Facebook.

Teaching platforms: Zoom, YouTube, Facebook live

Recordings: Yes, uploaded to the Learning Hub on their website (requires account) & YouTube

Slides provided: No

Mailing list: Yes, join here

Facebook group: Becoming a Doctor – Current Medical Students

Facebook page: BecomingaDr

YouTube: Health Careers Live

Twitter: @BecomingaDr

Instagram: @becomingadr

Website/webpage: becomingadr.org/tutorials

 

4. Pulsenotes

Pulsenotes are starting to do more and more free lectures. Bonus: their lectures are super nice to look at. If you like pretty slides PLUS excellent teaching Pulsenotes lectures will be right up your street.

They team up with SMILE weekly.

Teaching platform: Zoom & Facebook live

Recordings: Yes, uploaded to their website (requires membership to view)

Slides provided: Notes are provided on their website

Mailing list: Yes, join here

Facebook group: Pulsenotes Community

Facebook page: Pulsenotes

YouTube: Pulsenotes (recordings from 3 years ago)

Twitter: @pulse_notes

Instagram:  @pulsenotes

Website/webpage: app.pulsenotes.com/live

 

5. COVID Medical Education

Out of King’s College London. They were one of the first to start providing free live online lectures when lockdown began. They run weekday evening lectures that start usually around 5.30/6pm.

Links to lectures are sent out weekly via email. Sign up to their mailing list with your .ac.uk email address to get these links.

Teaching platform: Zoom

Recordings: Yes on request

Slides provided: Yes, on their website

Mailing list: Yes, join here

Facebook page: COVID Medical Education

Twitter: @EdCovid

Website/webpage: www.covidmedicaleducation.com

 

6. The Unofficial Guide to Medicine

You may know that UGTM publish books for medical students, but maybe you don’t know that they are currently running free webinars. They are one of the newest lecture/webinar series on the block.

What I really like about UGTM webinars is that they are super engaging thanks to the frequent use of Menti.com to get people to contribute ideas (e.g. differentials, possible investigations) as well as to set single best answer (SBA) questions.

BONUS: every lecture there’s a chance to win a UGTM book!

Zeshan Qureshi, founder of UGTM, sometimes teams up with SMILE to deliver paediatrics lectures for their followers.

Sign up to the webinars via their website: unofficialguidetomedicine.com/events. Join links for lectures are usually sent out via email a day before they’re due to take place.

Teaching platform: Zoom + Menti.com

Recordings: Coming soon

Slides provided: Yes, in the Facebook group

Mailing list: Yes, join here

Facebook group: UGTM Key Clinical Cases Community

Facebook page: The Unofficial Guide to Medicine

Twitter: @UGTMedicine

Instagram: @ugtmedicine

Website/webpage: unofficialguidetomedicine.com/events



 

7. Quesmed

My favourite thing about Quesmed lectures is the huge number of single best answer (SBA) questions they get through in a single talk. Once you have a good grasp of a topic the best thing to do next is lots of practice questions so Quesmed lectures are an excellent option once you’re at this stage.

Quesmed sometimes team up with SMILE and also Study Hub to provide lectures to their followings. They have also started teaming up with Norwich MedED.

Teaching platform: Zoom

Recordings: Yes, uploaded to YouTube

Slides provided: No

Mailing list: No

Facebook group: Quesmed Tutorials

Facebook page: Quesmed

YouTube: Quesmed Tutorials

Instagram: @quesmed

Website/webpage: www.quesmed.com

 

8. Study Hub

Out of St George’s Medical School. It was started by a 3rd year medical student wanting to organise some revision lectures for her year over the lockdown. In a short space of time it has rapidly expanded to cover multiple years and is open to students from other medical schools. Teaching is provided mostly by St George’s students and doctors.

Make sure to sign up to each lecture at least a few hours before it’s due to take place so you get the join link. Links to forms are posted on their Facebook group.

Study Hub sometimes team up with Quesmed and recently collaborated with Norwich MedED.

Teaching platform: Zoom

Recordings: Yes, on their Notion site

Slides provided: Yes

Mailing list: Yes, join here

Facebook group: Study Hub

Website/webpage: Notion site for George’s students & Notion site for non-George’s students

 

9. Norwich MedED

Out of Norwich Medical School’s Medical Education Society. Lectures are open to all medical students. Students as far away as Malaysia and Hong Kong have been signing up!

There are at least a few lectures every week.

They recently collaborated with Quesmed and Study Hub.

Make sure to sign up to each lecture at least a few hours before it’s due to take place so you are emailed the join link. Links to forms are posted on their Facebook events.

Teaching platform: Zoom

Recordings: Yes, sent to attendees who fill in feedback forms

Slides provided: Yes, sent to attendees who fill in feedback forms

Mailing list: No

Facebook: NorwichMedED

Twitter: @NorwichMedED

Website/webpage: www.norwichmeded.com

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Have some feedback on this article? Did I make an error? Please contact me via the contact page or leave a comment below.

You might also be interested in my article 5 Fantastic iPad Accessories For Medical School.

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