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Rejected from medicine, studying pharmacy, but want to study medicine?

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    Hey guys, i really need ur help with my present dilenma...ok so a year ago, I was still an alevel student applying to medical school.l got a conditional offer from pennisula based on getting AAA grades, but i ended up with ABB due to some unforseen circumstances, hence i got rejeceted on results day..so due to the pressure of clearing and all that, i made a quick decision to go for pharmacy as opposed to other biomedical related courses..But after a year of studying pharmacy, I just discovered how much i dont want to end up doing that, needless to say this year just proved to me how much i wanted to do medicine..But the problem is am not sure where to go from here as i have to make a quick decision on what to do next, but i all i know is I want to do medicine..I am an internationally student, so i need advice on how to save cost as well the best route given my situation..so what do you guys think would be the best option for me?
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    (Original post by jaad)
    Hey guys, i really need ur help with my present dilenma...ok so a year ago, I was still an alevel student applying to medical school.l got a conditional offer from pennisula based on getting AAA grades, but i ended up with ABB due to some unforseen circumstances, hence i got rejeceted on results day..so due to the pressure of clearing and all that, i made a quick decision to go for pharmacy as opposed to other biomedical related courses..But after a year of studying pharmacy, I just discovered how much i dont want to end up doing that, needless to say this year just proved to me how much i wanted to do medicine..But the problem is am not sure where to go from here as i have to make a quick decision on what to do next, but i all i know is I want to do medicine..I am an internationally student, so i need advice on how to save cost as well the best route given my situation..so what do you guys think would be the best option for me?
    Not many medical schools take applications from those already enrolled somewhere else: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...fferent_Course

    The only real way to get around it is to apply to medical schools on that list that do accept applications in your circumstances, or wait until you graduate and apply to GEM.
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    As mentioned above not many will accept transfers when you're already studying somewhere else, and even fewer from Pharmacy (usually those sorts of transfers are biomedical science/medical science students because their curriculum in the first few years follows similar topics).

    Your best option is graduate-entry which, whilst highly competitive, is still achievable an you'd be in a very good place to apply if you can obtain at least a 2:2 (and preferably 2:1 so you can do the UKCAT universities). It's expensive as currently you have to fund the first £3500 or so in the first year, with the rest being covered by SFE/NHS bursaries; however, it's also 4 years instead of 5 so it's also quite intensive!
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    (Original post by MattKneale)
    It's expensive as currently you have to fund the first £3500
    May be worth mentioning that you could work as a pharmacist part-time to fund your degree. Someone on my course does exactly this as well as another student working as an optician part-time to fund his degree.
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    I am an international student actually..so I was wondering if it is possible for me to transfer to other biomedical degrees instead, so that i finish in another two years rather than continuing pharmacy which is another 4years(including pre-reg)..I am saying this because i really dont want to end up being a pharmacist and throwing all that money away..guys i need ur help in suggesting any unis that accept transfers in 2nd year, like biomedical degrees..I would really appreciate ur opinions ..
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    (Original post by jaad)
    I am an international student actually..so I was wondering if it is possible for me to transfer to other biomedical degrees instead, so that i finish in another two years rather than continuing pharmacy which is another 4years(including pre-reg)..I am saying this because i really dont want to end up being a pharmacist and throwing all that money away..guys i need ur help in suggesting any unis that accept transfers in 2nd year, like biomedical degrees..I would really appreciate ur opinions ..
    I think it would be best to contact some biomedical science degrees and see if they accept transfers directly.
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    (Original post by jaad)
    I am an international student actually..so I was wondering if it is possible for me to transfer to other biomedical degrees instead, so that i finish in another two years rather than continuing pharmacy which is another 4years(including pre-reg)..I am saying this because i really dont want to end up being a pharmacist and throwing all that money away..guys i need ur help in suggesting any unis that accept transfers in 2nd year, like biomedical degrees..I would really appreciate ur opinions ..
    I don't know of any such courses, I'm afraid. Pharmacy and biomedical sciences are for the most part very different in structure. Like suggested I'd just contact some individually and see if they'd be willing to take you on, as it's not something commonly advertised on their websites.
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    I completely agree with Beska. I would strongly advise that you try to transfer onto a biomedical science course if you know that you want to apply for GEM.

    I studied pharmacy as my undergrad degree, graduated, spent a year doing my pre-reg then I worked as a pharmacist for a year.
    It was only during that year that I really decided that pharmacy was not for me and that medicine was where my passion really was.
    I am subsequently on a grad entry medicine course.

    With hindsight however, pharmacy is a very long way round, especially if you KNOW that you want to study graduate entry medicine afterwards.
    In all reality, it will probably be 5 years, because you would be stupid to get your degree and then decide against taking your pre-reg exam.

    The only beneficial thing that it has given me is an understanding of drugs, doses, uses, classes, interactions etc, etc; which so many medical students really seem to struggle with (which is understandable because there are so many drugs out there that are used clinically)...
    But those skills did not come to me during my pharmacy degree, but instead AFTER when I actually started to practice as a pharmacist (it's ALL about experience)... so I'm not sure you would even benefit that much from doing the degree.

    A biomedical science degree seems much more relevent; you cover very similar topics that are coverd in the pre-clinical years i.e. physiology and pathophysiology etc..
    Plus it's only 3 years.
    It's also hard to guarantee that your motivation to study Medicine will still be there after 5 years of study. I know a few people who simply ran out of steam and settled for work after qualifying.

    To cut a long story short..
    It's very easy to take pharmacy lightly, but it's a tough degree and it's long.
    Pharmacy is, and should be seen as a degree course for people who want to be pharmacists. As obvious as that sounds!

    If I were you, I would choose another degree that will be shorter for you and will give a more all-round knowledge that will best prepare you for the pre-clinical years of a GEM course.

    Of course, all of this is just my opinion; but I have been there and I think I might have chosen my options a little differently if I could have my time again.

    Contact some Unis that do the biomedical science course and enquire about whether you could possibly transfer across.
    I wish you all the best with it.
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    (Original post by theepw)
    I completely agree with Beska. I would strongly advise that you try to transfer onto a biomedical science course if you know that you want to apply for GEM.

    I studied pharmacy as my undergrad degree, graduated, spent a year doing my pre-reg then I worked as a pharmacist for a year.
    It was only during that year that I really decided that pharmacy was not for me and that medicine was where my passion really was.
    I am subsequently on a grad entry medicine course.

    With hindsight however, pharmacy is a very long way round, especially if you KNOW that you want to study graduate entry medicine afterwards.
    In all reality, it will probably be 5 years, because you would be stupid to get your degree and then decide against taking your pre-reg exam.

    The only beneficial thing that it has given me is an understanding of drugs, doses, uses, classes, interactions etc, etc; which so many medical students really seem to struggle with (which is understandable because there are so many drugs out there that are used clinically)...
    But those skills did not come to me during my pharmacy degree, but instead AFTER when I actually started to practice as a pharmacist (it's ALL about experience)... so I'm not sure you would even benefit that much from doing the degree.

    A biomedical science degree seems much more relevent; you cover very similar topics that are coverd in the pre-clinical years i.e. physiology and pathophysiology etc..
    Plus it's only 3 years.
    It's also hard to guarantee that your motivation to study Medicine will still be there after 5 years of study. I know a few people who simply ran out of steam and settled for work after qualifying.

    To cut a long story short..
    It's very easy to take pharmacy lightly, but it's a tough degree and it's long.
    Pharmacy is, and should be seen as a degree course for people who want to be pharmacists. As obvious as that sounds!

    If I were you, I would choose another degree that will be shorter for you and will give a more all-round knowledge that will best prepare you for the pre-clinical years of a GEM course.

    Of course, all of this is just my opinion; but I have been there and I think I might have chosen my options a little differently if I could have my time again.

    Contact some Unis that do the biomedical science course and enquire about whether you could possibly transfer across.
    I wish you all the best with it.
    Really interesting point of view which for the most part I agree with. However, as you rightly say, the pharmacy course should be a course for people who want to be pharmacists and not graduate-medicine applicants. However, since the OP has already started studying, if he were to transfer his place would not be made available to someone else.

    In terms of finances Pharmacy would give you the skills to work and raise some money and reduce the cost of GEM. Biomedical Science degrees, bear in mind, are also fairly useless career-wise unless you do a 4th year but in industry because the market is just too saturated with graduates. So if you did biomedical science and decided against medicine, you may find yourself doing 4 years of study anyway (and what's the extra 1 for pharmacy and must better job prospects?)

    Also consider that pharmacy offers a lot that even medicine doesn't; if you work as a pharmacist within a hospital you will find yourself giving a lot of advice to doctors with regards to medication. You play an essential role in the healthcare team. If you work in community then you can even play a minor diagnosis and treatment role similar to the way a GP would but on a lesser scale.

    I would hesitate, in your position, to give up the place on a very good course like Pharmacy for a 3-year biomedical science course.
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    (Original post by MattKneale)
    Really interesting point of view which for the most part I agree with. However, as you rightly say, the pharmacy course should be a course for people who want to be pharmacists and not graduate-medicine applicants. However, since the OP has already started studying, if he were to transfer his place would not be made available to someone else.

    In terms of finances Pharmacy would give you the skills to work and raise some money and reduce the cost of GEM. Biomedical Science degrees, bear in mind, are also fairly useless career-wise unless you do a 4th year but in industry because the market is just too saturated with graduates. So if you did biomedical science and decided against medicine, you may find yourself doing 4 years of study anyway (and what's the extra 1 for pharmacy and must better job prospects?)

    Also consider that pharmacy offers a lot that even medicine doesn't; if you work as a pharmacist within a hospital you will find yourself giving a lot of advice to doctors with regards to medication. You play an essential role in the healthcare team. If you work in community then you can even play a minor diagnosis and treatment role similar to the way a GP would but on a lesser scale.

    I would hesitate, in your position, to give up the place on a very good course like Pharmacy for a 3-year biomedical science course.
    You are right, his place would not be available to anyone else, but people drop out from Uni all the time. When I was in my first year 3 people dropped out from my pharmacy course and were not replaced. That's just the way things go sometimes.

    With regards to what you are saying about finances; a pre-reg pharmacist is not very well paid at all. It's only once you qualify that your wage goes up significantly.

    The fact of the matter is, pharmacy and medicine are completely different careers. Was the OP an international student? If that is the case then they will be paying for an extra years tuition fees, which would negate a lot of money they would earn as a pre-reg. Plus you would be stupid to do your 4 years at Uni and not do the year pre-reg training, because the OP wouldn't even be able to practice as a pharmacist if they didn't do the pre-reg; I'm not sure how much you know about the process of qualifying as a pharmacist. You are not a pharmacist once you graduate with a pharmacy degree remember. So it's 5 years in total for pharmacy.

    If you know that you want to do graduate medicine it makes no sense why you want to dedicate 5 years to a healthcare profession that is completely different from medicine.
    Having worked as a pharmacist for a year I can tell you now that pharmacy is COMPLETELY different to working as a doctor.
    You might as well see if it's not too late to transfer onto biomedical science. It just makes the most sense; biomedical science would be more relevant to the pre-clinical years.
    If the OP was in their 3rd year or something along those lines then I would say stick with it.
    But first year? There is definitely still time to get out. I know people who did just that and they have never looked back.

    Coming from someone who has been there, it just doesn't make sense to do 5 years when you know you are going to apply for GEM and being a Dr is what you really want.
    Working as a pharmacist when you really want to be a doctor is a painful feeling. I felt that for an entire year while I was praying I would get an offer for GEM.
    It's demoralising working alongside doctors everyday when you know deep down in your heart that that is the career you really want to be doing.
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    (Original post by theepw)
    You are right, his place would not be available to anyone else, but people drop out from Uni all the time. When I was in my first year 3 people dropped out from my pharmacy course and were not replaced. That's just the way things go sometimes.

    With regards to what you are saying about finances; a pre-reg pharmacist is not very well paid at all. It's only once you qualify that your wage goes up significantly.

    The fact of the matter is, pharmacy and medicine are completely different careers. Was the OP an international student? If that is the case then they will be paying for an extra years tuition fees, which would negate a lot of money they would earn as a pre-reg. Plus you would be stupid to do your 4 years at Uni and not do the year pre-reg training, because the OP wouldn't even be able to practice as a pharmacist if they didn't do the pre-reg; I'm not sure how much you know about the process of qualifying as a pharmacist. You are not a pharmacist once you graduate with a pharmacy degree remember. So it's 5 years in total for pharmacy.

    If you know that you want to do graduate medicine it makes no sense why you want to dedicate 5 years to a healthcare profession that is completely different from medicine.
    Having worked as a pharmacist for a year I can tell you now that pharmacy is COMPLETELY different to working as a doctor.
    You might as well see if it's not too late to transfer onto biomedical science. It just makes the most sense; biomedical science would be more relevant to the pre-clinical years.
    If the OP was in their 3rd year or something along those lines then I would say stick with it.
    But first year? There is definitely still time to get out. I know people who did just that and they have never looked back.

    Coming from someone who has been there, it just doesn't make sense to do 5 years when you know you are going to apply for GEM and being a Dr is what you really want.
    Working as a pharmacist when you really want to be a doctor is a painful feeling. I felt that for an entire year while I was praying I would get an offer for GEM.
    It's demoralising working alongside doctors everyday when you know deep down in your heart that that is the career you really want to be doing.
    But why would you transfer to biomedical science which is FOUR YEARS (like with pharmacy you'd be silly to not get your IBMS registration on a placement year) and has worse prospects than pharmacy in terms of a backup? The pay is also similar for a new biomedical scientist as it is a pre-reg pharmacist.
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    (Original post by jaad)
    Hey guys, i really need ur help with my present dilenma...ok so a year ago, I was still an alevel student applying to medical school.l got a conditional offer from pennisula based on getting AAA grades, but i ended up with ABB due to some unforseen circumstances, hence i got rejeceted on results day..so due to the pressure of clearing and all that, i made a quick decision to go for pharmacy as opposed to other biomedical related courses..But after a year of studying pharmacy, I just discovered how much i dont want to end up doing that, needless to say this year just proved to me how much i wanted to do medicine.
    I'd just like to ask as I don't know much about the application process, how is it that you switched to Pharmacy after you didn't manage to get a place for Medicine?
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    (Original post by MattKneale)
    But why would you transfer to biomedical science which is FOUR YEARS (like with pharmacy you'd be silly to not get your IBMS registration on a placement year) and has worse prospects than pharmacy in terms of a backup? The pay is also similar for a new biomedical scientist as it is a pre-reg pharmacist.
    I do appreciate your point, but the fact of the matter is, you can't compare the two.
    The 4 yr biomedical degree is not as necessary as the pre reg year.
    Why do I say that?
    Well, I have friends from my first degree who did the 3 year biomedical science degree (not the 4 year integrated clinical placement that you refer to) and are now on graduate jobs as biomedical scientists working in the healthcare and research field.
    Whereas you won't find anyone who has done the 4 yr pharmacy degree and is working as a pharmacist (because it's impossible; you need registration to call yourself and work as a pharmacist).
    Add on top of that, the fact that not everyone passes the pre-reg exam first time, you may have added stress of having to revise again for the resists knowing you only have one shot at it left.
    It's tough. It's a long hard slog if you know you are going to apply for GEM straight after. By committing yourself to a pharmacy degree, you are literally putting yourself through more grief than you need to. Especially if you're not too keen on the course already.
    Even if you do go into GEM1 as a pharmacist? You won't have time to locum in year 1, trust me.

    If you are someone wanting to study GEM and it's your dream and you know that with all your heart, then you would be silly to choose the 4 yr biomed degree; in the same respect that you would be silly to chose a 5 yr pharmacy degree if you know you want to study GEM, even before you start the course!

    The OP made it clear that they made a rush decision in clearing and settled for pharmacy. If they have that attitude in year one, then it's only going to get worse for them I'm afraid. And so often in those situations, motivation to complete the degree also dwindles as well as the individuals grades!
    When I was a fresher, you could see the people who had been 'pushed into' studying pharmacy and you could spot it a mile off that it's not what they wanted to do.
    Their heart just wasn't in it, as with the OP. Unsurprisingly, those people performed worse in the course, and if you want to study GEM after that, you'll need a good degree classification.

    As I said before, and I can't emphasise enough: pharmacy should only be seen a degree for those who WANT to be a pharmacist; the OP has made it clear they dont want to be a pharmacist.
    It's easy for people say 'stick with pharmacy' when they have not been there.
    I have and I know how it feels.
    Pharmacy is a tough course and shouldn't be taken lightly, it's very intensive. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had mates on my course who really wanted to study medicine from A-level, but after 5 years of study they had lost all drive and ran out of steam.

    I was a hospital pharmacist and it is frustrating and demoralising working alongside doctors when you deep down want to be one..
    I don't believe one should take the view of:
    'Well, at least if you don't get into medicine, then you've got pharmacy to fall back on'..
    I can't agree with that.
    The OP doesn't want to be a pharmacist, and having to fall back on pharmacy as a career will only breed resentment for the profession that they are in; always thinking, 'this is what I could have been'.
    I knew at least 5 pharmacists in my hospital who did just that (medicine was their passion and they chose pharmacy as a rushed 'second best') and their morale for the job was horrific! *You'll be surprised how common that can be in pharmacy...

    I can't put into words how illogical it is to study for a pharmacy degree and dedicate 5 years of your life to it if you don't want to be a pharmacist! Why put yourself through it? You will only ever have regrets and you'll be miserable in your career.

    I'm of the firm opinion that if the OP really, really wants to study medicine, 100% go for it. Don't do a course (which is 2 years longer than biomed) with the attitude of applying to GEM, simply because it'll be handy to fall back on if you don't get in or drop out.

    On top of all that, Biomedical science is also more relevant to the pre-clinical years of a medicine degree. The biomedical scientists in my first year GEM had a much better grounding and overall knowledge than I had when it came to the pre-clinical content of the course.
    Of course when It comes to the clinical years, my drug knowledge has shone through; but that's not worth investing 5 years for simply to be a bit hotter on your drugs as a future doc.

    To the OP, I say: if you can save yourself 1 year of your life (and 1 years tuition fees, which will be a considerable cost considering you're an international student) by doing a 3 yr course, do it!
    Don't go down the route I did. I have been there and you will only regret it.
    But as Beska rightly said, phone around Unis that offer biomed, to find out what your options are. Fingers crossed!

    Apologies for the massive post, but it's something I'm quite passionate about.
    I just don't want people to go down the route that I did, I just wouldn't recommend it.
    Of course, all of this is just my opinion but I hope I have explained my views thoroughly enough in the words above.
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    Thank you very much guys i really appreciate all ur point of views especially theepw, i cant really thank you enough for the time u spent in breaking everything down for me..I think i would just go ahead and call the unis offering biomedical courses, hopefully i would get a place..fingers crossed..
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    And I will make sure to update u guys on how I am getting on
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    (Original post by jaad)
    And I will make sure to update u guys on how I am getting on
    I wish you all the best mate. Fingers crossed!
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    (Original post by groovyangel2008)
    I did biomedical science and it was three years
    I know the course is three years, and yes if you're 100% certain that you want to do GEM then there's no point in doing a placement year.

    What I'm saying is, as a comparison of backups, if you come out with a biomedical science degree you really need the 4th year to get an edge in the current applicant market, and to get your IBMS portfolio.
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    Hello,

    I'm a third year Pharmacy student at The University of Manchester. All I can say is don't use Pharmacy as a back up - do what you really want to do. I love Pharmacy, it really is a fantastic degree. I considered every other degree under the sun, but I'm so glad I'm doing this one. The role of a Pharmacist is completely different from that of a Doctor, as you well know, we are seen as "half scientist / half healthcare professional" and that is pretty much our role, we advise doctors, advise patients, and ensure the safe supply of medication, briefly speaking.

    It is a difficult degree - who would ever think a Pharmacy student would study the formulae used to predict the pathways of electrons following their orbital paths?! The degree is massively varied, and challenging.

    So to finish, don't use Pharmacy as a backup, it really isn't. I got straight A's in my A-Levels and went straight for Pharmacy due to the nature of the career, the way it is developing, and the huge amount of drug knowledge we gain.

    Hope all goes well for you :-).
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    (Original post by theepw)
    Having worked as a pharmacist for a year I can tell you now that pharmacy is COMPLETELY different to working as a doctor.
    What would you say personally and honestly the main differences are?Rather than the generic 'A Pharmacist is a master of medicines...' off the Royal society of pharmacy website I was wondering if you could share some personal experience?

    I'm aware of what the internet and the surface of pharmacy has to say about the career. But I noticed that what 'real' practicing Pharmacists said on my work exp. was quite different to what they're perhaps meant to say. I'm not bashing Pharmacy btw it does seem like an excellent profession, but for me there just seems to be something that medicine has over it but I can't quite put my finger on it.

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by Psilocybe_frog)
    What would you say personally and honestly the main differences are?Rather than the generic 'A Pharmacist is a master of medicines...' off the Royal society of pharmacy website I was wondering if you could share some personal experience?

    I'm aware of what the internet and the surface of pharmacy has to say about the career. But I noticed that what 'real' practicing Pharmacists said on my work exp. was quite different to what they're perhaps meant to say. I'm not bashing Pharmacy btw it does seem like an excellent profession, but for me there just seems to be something that medicine has over it but I can't quite put my finger on it.

    Thanks.
    Perhaps its more that medicine offers the chance to often, there and then, improve the quality of life of a patient, but with pharmacy you're just a means to an end in the sense that you provide medications that are prescribed by others.

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