Enquiry-based learning in the Peninsula Medical School: Emmanuel Opara

“I am a first-year student who joined the Peninsula Medical School in 2020. Starting medical school was not as easy as I had imagined. I was always a confident person but starting during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging and I found getting used to the lockdown and the idea that most of my learning would be online very worrying at first. I decided to look around for support and I met amazing friends and tutors who cared about how I felt, which helped me to get started in the year.

This taught me that no matter how alone I might feel, at Peninsula, there are always people around to support me.”

One of the things that has helped my learning is enquiry-based learning (EBL), where we learn together as a small group, working with a clinical scenario. EBL was something completely new to me and at the start I didn’t fully grasp the whole purpose of it. However, the more I used this independent way of learning, I realised how effective it was. I was surprised by how a few sessions had helped me get better at recalling information.

“Over time, with the help of my EBL group and my EBL tutor, I have broken out of my shell and am contributing much more, volunteering to share my thoughts and ideas and helping to promote group discovery.

EBL has shown me how important it is to understand the basic concepts before entering the more complex parts of health care, disease and medical conditions when diagnosing patients, and how hearing the responses and ideas of my peers can help me to develop a deeper understanding.”

“This has also helped me develop my teamwork skills, which are important for me as a medical student and future doctor.

“I have enjoyed a lot of things this year. For example, I had a placement with an epilepsy specialist and it was really exciting learning about the different treatments. I joined the medical students' Football Society, where I have had the chance to meet medical students from different years, and these are friends I believe I will keep for life. This is only the beginning of my time in medical school and I am feeling enthusiastic about what is to come for my future studies.

One of the things I am most looking forward to next year is meeting the new first-year medical students and supporting them to settle into the school and helping them with these new ways of learning.”

Teaching and learning

Our teaching approach balances the core knowledge and skills you need to practise as a doctor with the flexibility to focus on the specialist themes and topics that interest you the most.

Find out more about teaching and learning