(Original post by Elwyn)
It's all well and good saying that you should be 100% dedicated to medicine and that putting a 5th choice down would 'steal' a place from someone else. But, bear in mind if you don't put a 5th choice down then miss your medicine grades (with a medicine offer or not) you'd have to take a gap year and still not be able to apply to medicine (yes I know there's some medical schools that accept resits but I'm being realistic). If you had a 5th choice at least you'd have something to fall back on if the worst did happen.
It's not harsh!!!!! It's called LIFE! Your not doing anything unfair to get that 5th offer, so I don't see why it is so different. It's called competition! Every offer you get in life you are taking that away from someone else who "wants" it.....sucks I know, but thats how it works!
(Original post by DH3498)
That's pretty harsh because you're taking a place away from someone who actually wants to do that course. If you have no intention of doing it, don't bother applying for it. Just hope you get offers, if not reapply next year in a better position.
My advice: Always put down a 5th choice, you never know what will happen. Try and take it seriously and put it down for a course you might have considered doing before you decided to do medicine, so for me it was Biochemistry, or maybe even just Pure Chem/Bio. I applied Imperial Biochemistry and got the offer, and I think, would have taken it or insured it had I not got better Medicine offers. But also apply like you say, UCL would be a good choice, still a reputable uni and a reputable degree. There is no point going to do a crap degree at a crap university where your post job prospects will be very slim. Graduate entry medicine is even more challenging. It is also a serious confidence booster even if your are never going to take it, it is a very useful booster around january if you do get it. I would shy away from Biomedical for reasons I shall not explain for fear of being shouted at
(Original post by Hippokrates)
I know it sounds bad but I'm thinking of putting UCL biomed as my 5th choice so that if I get 4 rejections I can say I turned down UCL so I feel a bit better about myself. It's pointless but I'd like to be able know whether I'm capable of getting into a prestigious uni. I have no intention of doing anything other than medicine. If all went wrong and for some reason I couldn't apply for medicine I would do midwifery but obviously you can't realistically put that down as a 5th choice.
And Imperial took numerous people I know who are medics with clearly medics Personal statements, so did UCL,KCL, and lots of other great unis
Last edited by kingcoltzan; 09-04-2012 at 07:34.
Whether or not you put a 5th choice depends entirely on what you would do if you secure no medicine offers, the prediction of which in part rests on your confidence in your A2 grades.
I was very confident in my A2 grades, I knew I would get at least AABB (this is a few years ago now, requirements now might well be AAA). If I didn't get into medicine, I would take a year to gain more experience and re-apply with my "at least AABB" in hand. I would rather that than start a different course.
So I didn't put a 5th choice. Frankly - like someone else said, if I hadn't got any medicine offers, I wouldn't want people nagging me to just accept my insurance - so I made that not an option.
However some people might not be all that confident in their A-level grades - if you don't get the grades, waiting another year still won't get you into medicine - you may as well get on with another course and see how life goes.
Some people might not be all that confident in their A-level grades but would want to spend a year mulling over their non-medicine options anyway, so don't need an insurance.
Some people are very confident in their grades, but medicine or not they want to get straight into study - if they end up spending an extra 2 years on study before medicine, to avoid the gap year, they don't mind and consider it a valuable use of their time - so will have an insurance.
Some people may only be a little more interested in medicine, than say chemistry - and if they don't get in, they're happy to do their insurance and forget about medicine.
I don't think any of the above don't "deserve" to get into medicine or aren't "dedicated enough" tbh. There's a lot of sanctimony amongst medical applicants, and I suppose there always will be.
To do medicine I think you should be hardworking, responsible, and know what you're getting into - but I don't think having other interests which may be equal to your interest in medicine is a crime, or means you lack dedication/don't deserve to get in/ will make a poor doctor etc.
So true. You shouldn't plan graduate entry - it's really just in case medicine doesn't occur to you until you are older, or as a very desperate (and expensive) last chance for someone who simply hasn't the grades to get into medicine as an undergrad.
(Original post by DH3498)
What is the point in spending probably 40K+ on the 3 year course, and decreasing their chances of getting in (relative to undergrad entry). When they could spend the year out, enhancing their extra-curricular profile, go abroad, more work experience, and not spend all of that money?
Doing a 3-year an a 5-year course is now becoming so ridiculously expensive with the 9,000 fees, I don't see many people doing it tbh. (Even doctor's salaries may not cover that beasty loan
Last edited by BeanofJelly; 09-04-2012 at 13:45.
This is why I put a 5th choice. It doesn't reflect all my current views, but what I felt at the time.
I picked a 5th because a gap year seemed out the question. For me, I didn't see a gap year as an acceptable option. For other people maybe, people with better connections, more charisma etc.
But for me I thought education was my thing, and the idea of spending a year outside of that learning environment seemed pretty scary. Now it seems a bit silly, as a year is a pretty short time to sacrifice for the sake of doing medicine. However that's how I felt. I felt a year out would be a year wasted, a year stagnating. I couldn't see myself as person who would spend a gap year travelling around the world or anything else that fanciful (it really isn't feasible or desirable for everyone).
There was also a mentality that if I got rejected the first time, then I wasn't really good enough for Medicine. I felt that people who get in after a gap year were the minority, and I'd probably only be rejected again. You can say it's lack of dedication or whatever, but I had to be realistic. Looking at how competitive Medicine is, and at how good everyone else was (TSR was no help in this regard) you realise how big of a deal Medicine is. I dedicated a lot of energy in trying to make everything work, but I wanted to give my self as many options as possible, so there was always a plan B and C to fall back on if everything didn't go to plan. This wasn't even because I thought my application was weak; my academics were strong, I had work experience which I really enjoyed, extra curricular interests etc. all of which I reflected on in my PS. While my BMAT and UKCAT weren't amazing, overall they were both above average. I was pretty proud of myself if I'm honest, and quite excited. But I had in the back of my mind that things might not go to plan.
And so far things haven't really got to plan. 3 rejections in I'm glad I had an offer from my 5th choice going into my last medical interview. It would have been very hard to be positive if all I was looking down was 3 rejections. It isn't something I expected, but I knew it could happen. I really respect my 5th choice course (Pharmacy) and think it would be something I would enjoy, but just not as much as Medicine. However, it being there was a great encourager in the face of going to an interview where most other people would have another offer for Medicine.
Honestly, I don't think putting a 5th choice is at all a bad thing. Not everyone who applies to Medicine will be good enough to get in. That doesn't even necessarily reflect their motivation, it's just how things go sometimes. Sometimes in life we just have to settle for things that aren't our first choice (how many people do you think get in to their first choice medical school really?). Going all in on a course like Medicine might seem like being dedicated but you need to have a high degree of self confidence or a lot of security that a gap year is a good option.
That all said, my opinion on gap years has really changed. I can see how it could be a productive time. Still don't see myself travelling, probably more working/volunteering. I see it as a great opportunity to develop personal skills that you don't really develop doing A levels. I'm waiting to see what happens and hoping I get in this year; like many others I'm pretty emotionally invested in this whole thing (especially with how difficult it's been). Reapplying isn't something I take lightly though. In a big way, it's just like rolling a dice again and hoping. Sure, there's more time to prepare etc. but nothing is guaranteed. There's no guarantee you'll even get into your 5th in future years as more unis exclude medics. I'm not saying reapplication isn't a good option, in most cases it's still the best option. But people need to be more sympathetic when you advise people to play dice with their futures.
For future applicants who actually read all that, don't be negative. It's tough, it's competitive (more so than you might realise now) etc. etc. but you only make it harder if you become negative. In a way I make it harder for myself by overthinking things, but that is just me. For many of you, you won't have any of these troubles (you might even get 4 offers). Work hard and stay motivated and I'm sure you'll do fine.
Last edited by Davidragon; 09-04-2012 at 19:13.