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*MEGATHREAD* - The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread Mk II

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    (Original post by abbiejh)
    I would first just like to thank you for your fast responses.
    I’m aware that I have the wrong combinations of subjects at A-level and that I wouldn’t be eligible to apply for a 5 year programme, although I’m also aware that there are access courses and foundation years for people that have taken humanities subjects. I was just wondering what would be the best option for me if there even would be an option.
    I am planning on re-sitting my GCSE in maths and English this September after I have completed my current A-levels however I will be 20 years old during that time and If I was then going to take up chemistry at A-level it would mean me being 22 before being eligible to apply. most universities expect all of you’re A-levels to be taken in a two year period so I don’t know if this would just be a waste of time?
    Access courses are specifically for those who haven't done any A levels. The foundation courses have the same high academic requirements as the five year courses and the fact that you have biology will restrict you from applying to those foundation courses which want no sciences at A level. I applied to foundation courses last year because I had no chemistry got no offers so now I'm doing an A level in chemistry in one year so it's doable. Also some of those foundation courses will require a fourth subject at AS.
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    Sorry OP, did you say that you've been offered a place to study an Anatomy degree at Liverpool?

    Ignore person that said you haven't got another 3 years to waste, there are going to be many application cycles for years to come, you're not missing out by waiting a while to get your application top-notch if medicine is what you really want. People go into med at any age. Plus extra time = extra accumulation of work exp/ volunteering/ extra-curricular/ relevant employment.

    If I didn't misread your post about anatomy at Liverpool then I suppose doing a degree and going for GEM could be an idea? Bearing in mind some GEM uni's look at your school grades, would definitely be worthwhile re-sitting GCSE English and Maths either way. Or look into access courses or places that offer med entry following a science foundation year? (I know nothing of these so be worthwhile you researching your options).
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    On the Liverpool university website it says that students that complete the human anatomy course would be fully equipped to compete for graduate entry to medicine and dentistry and I currently have a scholarship to study human anatomy this September but I don’t know much about graduate entry to medicine. I asked an advisor in college and she explained that graduate entry is highly competitive and it is usually self-funded. I come from a low income background and I don’t know if I could cope financially if there wasn’t any funding available. I just don’t want to make a decision I’m going to regret and really don’t know what to do.
    I would be willing to take chemistry along side my GCSE's if that would be best, I just didn't want to limit myself because then I couldn't apply for any foundation courses, I wasn't too sure if the university would accept me doing chemistry as it is outside of my two years?
    thanks once again x
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    (Original post by omlette)
    Sorry OP, did you say that you've been offered a place to study an Anatomy degree at Liverpool?

    Ignore person that said you haven't got another 3 years to waste, there are going to be many application cycles for years to come, you're not missing out by waiting a while to get your application top-notch if medicine is what you really want. People go into med at any age. Plus extra time = extra accumulation of work exp/ volunteering/ extra-curricular/ relevant employment.

    If I didn't misread your post about anatomy at Liverpool then I suppose doing a degree and going for GEM could be an idea? Bearing in mind some GEM uni's look at your school grades, would definitely be worthwhile re-sitting GCSE English and Maths either way. Or look into access courses or places that offer med entry following a science foundation year? (I know nothing of these so be worthwhile you researching your options).
    hello, yes I have a place to study anatomy in September I also have been offered a place at Liverpool to study physiology but I have kept that as my insurance. I just don't want to make a choice I could end up regretting for potentially the rest of my life. I have had a look on the internet and have found several pre-med courses that do accept the wrong mix of a-levels with one subject so I was hoping to apply for these once I have my Maths and English high enough. x
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    (Original post by myyrh)
    Access courses are specifically for those who haven't done any A levels.
    Not 100% true, some of them just have lower entry requirements. I think UEA is BBB? Not sure.
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    Your grades are too low for medicine as they stand currently. Just take the anatomy offer and apply later via GEM route

    OP, you need to realistically understand whether medicine is the thing for you or not. You will find many people with the desire to accomplish many things but that desire and passion must be equally matched by ability.

    If you complete this anatomy course with a strong showing that will demonstrate to yourself and to medical schools that you possess the required academic level qualifications for medicine, along with the work ethic, memory retention, revision and exam taking abilities which are even more essential. So far, your academic performance has been sub-par (for medicine that is...otherwise it's good). In order to truly strengthen your application, you need to get better academic grades.

    No amount of passion, desire and rationalization for why you want to be a doctor, can replace academic qualifications.

    So the moral of this is...be realistic about your goals...know that ability must parallel desire for courses like medicine and...the "don't ever give up on your dreams" advise that many will give you is overrated and often does more harm than good.

    In response to your thread title, as your academics stand currently, yes medicine is a pipe dream. However, if you can manage a good showing in the degree, you can still achieve it. All the best.
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    (Original post by abbiejh)
    Hello,
    I am an 18 year old A-level student; I am currently seriously interested in pursuing a career in medicine although I am starting to feel that this is an unattainable goal. I would just like some inspiration and guidance about what options there are for me.

    I have always been interested in science and performed well academically in biology chemistry and physics at GCSE level but It wasn’t until I suffered from a period of ill health that I become particularly interested in medicine. Neither of my parents or grandparents had been to university and I didn’t have any members of my family in the field of medicine, so I decided to seek career advice from my comprehensive school; They simply told me how challenging the application would be and to realistically think through my options, after this I found it hard to stay inspired. I began to feel that my hopes of one day becoming a doctor was irrational and that medicine was a goal reserved for students from a more privileged background. Once I left school I took up a job and spent a year working as a sales adviser, after working for some time I decided that I should go back to education and study my A-levels at my local community college. I am currently studying A-level Law, human biology and Psychology. Studying A-level human biology began to cement my decision to try and pursue a career in medicine; as I have particularly enjoyed exploring the different ways in which our bodies fight infectious disease and learning how the human body produces specific immune responses. I know that I would like the chance to implement my biological interests and abilities into real life situations.
    I managed to secure myself a scholarship at Liverpool University to study human anatomy, and I am currently part of the realising opportunities scholarship which can be applied to 12 research intensive universities. Although I am not studying A level chemistry and only have my GCSE grades in maths an English at a C and a D. although at A-level I am predicted the grades AAB.

    To further my insight into the medical profession I participated in a work experience placement in the Royal Liverpool university hospital throughout the summer. I gained a valuable understanding of the workings of the hospital. During the placement I shadowed consultants throughout ward rounds, spent time in the AMAU, and also had the opportunity to join a surgeon and observe several ocular operations, I witnessed first-hand the many challenges facing not only healthcare professionals but also patients; this involvement highlighted the essential nature of teamwork in all aspects of medicine. I also spent some time on a ward where I became familiar with some of the patients; I was encouraged to talk to patients where appropriate this helped me learn the importance of the role of empathy and good communication with both patients and other members of staff. I feel that this volunteering has been invaluable in the development of my communication skills and my ability to work as part of a team.
    I will be 19 when I finish my A-levels and I am contemplating re-sitting my GCSE maths and English next year. So I will be 20 once that has been done, I don’t know what options there is for me. I just know that I don’t want to make the wrong decision and I feel pressured to take my scholarship and study human anatomy this year but I feel that I will be selling myself short and that It’s not truly what I want.

    any advice is welcome
    You can join a mechanical engineering course and become an orthopedic surgeon. I am being serious.
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    Hey,
    I have a real passion to do medicine and I'm currently studying as-levels in Biology, Chemistry and English. Approx by the end of A levels I'm hoping to have Biology to a B and English at B aswell (Realistic goals) . However chemistry is a MASSIVE problem. It's so hard! I'm getting U's! Is there any universities that offer Medicine courses without having to get straight A's? Please help! Thanks x
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    (Original post by gingyblonde)
    Hey,
    I have a real passion to do medicine and I'm currently studying as-levels in Biology, Chemistry and English. Approx by the end of A levels I'm hoping to have Biology to a B and English at B aswell (Realistic goals) . However chemistry is a MASSIVE problem. It's so hard! I'm getting U's! Is there any universities that offer Medicine courses without having to get straight A's? Please help! Thanks x
    Unfortunately not, medicine is extremely competitive.

    See here:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...l_Requirements

    Could you perhaps get a private tutor? Or reassess your current study/revision technique in order to up your grades?
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    (Original post by Elwyn)
    Not 100% true, some of them just have lower entry requirements. I think UEA is BBB? Not sure.
    There are two types of foundation course. One (typically referred to as pre-med) is directed at those who have the wrong A level subjects (typically those without Chemistry) These have the same academic requirements as the five year alternative e.g. Cardiff A104 and Sheffield A104 course is AAA. The second has lower entry requirements but is directed at those who fulfill a set criteria such as going to a non selective school and living in a less affluent area but have the same A level subject requirements as the five year alternatives. Examples include King's EMDP, Nottingham's A108 and Southampton's BM6 programme. The access courses are run at certain colleges and just give you a qualification which is equivalent to A levels and some medical schools accept it as an alternative. Hope that clears things up
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    (Original post by gingyblonde)
    Hey,
    I have a real passion to do medicine and I'm currently studying as-levels in Biology, Chemistry and English. Approx by the end of A levels I'm hoping to have Biology to a B and English at B aswell (Realistic goals) . However chemistry is a MASSIVE problem. It's so hard! I'm getting U's! Is there any universities that offer Medicine courses without having to get straight A's? Please help! Thanks x
    Not going to happen, the competition is so fierce.

    You could try post-graduate entry, although that is actually more competitive.
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    (Original post by abbiejh)
    hello, yes I have a place to study anatomy in September I also have been offered a place at Liverpool to study physiology but I have kept that as my insurance. I just don't want to make a choice I could end up regretting for potentially the rest of my life. I have had a look on the internet and have found several pre-med courses that do accept the wrong mix of a-levels with one subject so I was hoping to apply for these once I have my Maths and English high enough. x
    How much is your scholarship worth? I'm going to be honest my initial reaction is that you should take the scholarship. Your GCSE grades and A Level grades, and A Level subjects are a massive problem and I don't believe that resitting your GCSEs would add much advantage and may not even be recognised. You risk doing a lot of years trying to improve your applicant profile, during which you lose your scholarship, to not be successful.

    We don't know what the funding situation will be like for graduate entry medicine in coming years but it's likely to be pretty tough and involve a fronting of a substantial amount of money for the first year at least.
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    (Original post by gingyblonde)
    Hey,
    I have a real passion to do medicine and I'm currently studying as-levels in Biology, Chemistry and English. Approx by the end of A levels I'm hoping to have Biology to a B and English at B aswell (Realistic goals) . However chemistry is a MASSIVE problem. It's so hard! I'm getting U's! Is there any universities that offer Medicine courses without having to get straight A's? Please help! Thanks x
    Yes and no. If you're getting Us then no. If you'll eventually get Bs then yes. There are schemes (widening access) to allow students from a particular socioeconomic background to apply, which have lower entry requirements.
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    (Original post by lekky)
    How much is your scholarship worth? I'm going to be honest my initial reaction is that you should take the scholarship. Your GCSE grades and A Level grades, and A Level subjects are a massive problem and I don't believe that resitting your GCSEs would add much advantage and may not even be recognised. You risk doing a lot of years trying to improve your applicant profile, during which you lose your scholarship, to not be successful.

    We don't know what the funding situation will be like for graduate entry medicine in coming years but it's likely to be pretty tough and involve a fronting of a substantial amount of money for the first year at least.
    my scholarship is worth 3000. I just don't know if I can carry the financial burden of graduate entry as I come from a really low income background and my family cant support me through university at all. I am planning on living off student loans and part time work so I just don't know how long I can do that for realisticly I might not be able to manage? x
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    I wanna do dentistry and for A-levels i plan to do Biology, Chemistry, Religious Studies and French does that give me an edge or not? I really don't want to do maths because it is SOOOO boring in my opinion but if i have to then I guess so anyways my GCSEs are gonna be average because i flopped yr 10 does that mean i have no chance in hell or what?
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    (Original post by lil-mazie)
    I wanna do dentistry and for A-levels i plan to do Biology, Chemistry, Religious Studies and French does that give me an edge or not? I really don't want to do maths because it is SOOOO boring in my opinion but if i have to then I guess so anyways my GCSEs are gonna be average because i flopped yr 10 does that mean i have no chance in hell or what?
    Subject choices don't give you an "edge" it's just a requirement. As long as you have Chemistry and Biology the third A level can be anything apart from Critical thinking and General studies. What matters is your personal statement/UKCAT and grades. Lower GCSE grades will put you at a disadvantage when it comes to applying.
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    thats to bad, why do they care about GCSEs so much anyways?
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    (Original post by lil-mazie)
    thats to bad, why do they care about GCSEs so much anyways?
    Depends on the university, some put more emphasis on GCSEs than others. Dentistry is so competitive and it's just one way of cutting down the applicant numbers (e.g. If a university states they want 5A*s they will reject everyone who doesn't meet that cut off)
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    (Original post by lil-mazie)
    thats to bad, why do they care about GCSEs so much anyways?
    Because they need something to classify applicants with. Most applicants are expected AAA, have good extra curricular activities, good work experience, a competent UKCAT of over 600 (with averages getting higher and higher every year).
    In other words, they need ways in which to differentiate between applicants and work out who to invite for interview.
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    I got 4 Rejections first time round. I am predicted AAA but got AAADE last year. A's in Bio, Chem & Maths

    I KNOW Medicine is what I want. Shame that I was too scared to be commited to it earlier. I have so many Regrets for choosing English Lit and getting a D and not something i actually enjoy.

    Im so scared of this gap year as I'm not confident alone.

    I had ukcat of 645 and a rushed PS. I have work exp and volunteering. Not even one interview, feel so hopeless.
    Anyone got any ideas on what things may give me an advantage?

    Any help will be appreciated
Updated: September 5, 2012
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