Legend has it that second year medicine at Cambridge has the largest amount of information to learn for any course, any year, in the world. Such a feat leaves even the greatest among us trembling. But in fact, its not that bad!
NEUROBIOLOGY AND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
NHB is considered to have the most information to learn, but is also arguably the most interesting. Michaelmas is mainly centered around the sensory and motor systems, with some attention on motivation and sleep towards the end of the term. Lent term consists more of psychiatric disorders, emotion, memory, cognition. The practical sessions - neurophysiology and neuroanatomy, are predominantly taught in the first term. NHB is more conceptual than the other subjects, and because much less is known about it, a lot of it ends up being theories. This may please you or more likely irritate you!
BIOLOGY OF DISEASE
BOD is fairly logical throughout the year. It kicks off with immunology, and then transitions into the various things that can go wrong with the body: viral, parasitic, fungal or bacterial infection, atherosclerosis or cancer. Throughout the course, the underlying theme is how the immune system deals with such disease (Jim will emphasise this!). The course is made up of 3 lectures and 2 quite sociable practical sessions a week and the handouts they provide are very helpful.
MECHANISMS OF DRUG ACTION
MODA is probably the subject that inspires the most fear with incoming second years, but if it is planned well and everything is not left until the night before the exam, it is actually not too bad! Making flash cards seems quite popular every year, and contrary to popular belief there aren't ten thousand drugs, only around 200-300. The practicals aren't the most inspiring or relevant to the exams, but MODA is a great way to link all the subjects together this year.
HR is a smaller module taught in Lent and the beginning of Easter term. It encompasses three lectures a week taking you on a chronological journey starting with sexual differentiation and puberty, through to coition, fertilisation, pregnancy, birth and lactation. The practical sessions are similar to histology from first year, and complement the information learnt in lectures.