Foundation Doctor's Guide to West Midlands Central
West Midlands Central Foundation School is a small and competitive deanery around Birmingham. It composes several DGHs with surprisingly high acuity and notoriously excellent teaching, focused around a major city. It has at its heart the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, an enormous major trauma centre with world-leading transplant and intensive care medicine, plus military links leading to some of the most interesting of cases in the country. Despite the draw of this central hub, all the hospitals are busy, but you might find more teaching and support in the district general hospitals.
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- Birmingham Children’s Hospital
- City Hospital
- Good Hope Hospital
- Heartlands Hospital
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
- Sandwell General Hospital
- Solihull Hospital
A Doctor’s Experience
“I chose Birmingham as I had lived in London my entire life and found even the DGHs to be under pressure due to patient numbers and short staffing. Even as a medical student I often felt like I was being used as service provision but I still wanted exposure to the large numbers of patients that a city brings. Birmingham seems to have much better staffing levels and the pay to cost of living ratio is almost a different planet compared to London. Birmingham is an amazing city, it has all the cultural draws of a major city, great nights out, great pubs and restaurants, plus it is surrounded by countryside. The price of living is far lower than further south but it’s still only 90 or so minutes to London by train or road. Digbeth is a trendy hub with dining clubs, plastic free supermarkets and bars, a lot of the doctors and students live around Sellyoak or Harbourne which are full of great gastro pubs and big houses for sharing cheaply- housing conditions seem to be pretty good, no drafty student digs and mouldy cupboards sold as bedrooms in sight.
The mess for Birmingham is great, summer, winter balls, Halloween parties, plenty of dry and wet events, plus pizza Fridays and while the messes themselves are variable they are perfectly serviceable.
It’s a small deanery around a major city, the buses, trams and trains are all good enough to get you anywhere you need to go, but most people choose to live nearer their hospitals, which is definitely recommended- it’s a big city to get across. QE parking is often complained about but there is enough parking, you might just have a bit of a walk from the car. All other hospitals are very car friendly.”
Katie Brill, Foundation Year 1 Doctors, Sandwell General Hospital
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