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Should I give up on my dream of studying medicine?

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    • Thread Starter

    Hello, I am 20 years old and really struggling with deciding my future.

    I left school early during secondary school due to illness with only GCSE Core Science B, GCSE Mathematics C, GCSE English Language C and GCSE Additional Science C. I then went to work in a residential home and completed my QCF Health and Social Care Level 2.

    It is my dream to study medicine but due to my qualifications I gave up on the idea and looked at other things I could do. So I applied to do an evening course for access to health care professions with the idea that I would do a nursing degree afterwards. However, I began working in a hospital as a HCA and work alongside many health care professionals, and none of their jobs appeal to me other than medicine.

    I feel that if I studied something else just because I thought I couldn’t do medicine, I will always regret that I didn’t try, so I have been looking into all of my options.
    I have looked at access to medicine courses, however they are all too far away and I couldn’t afford to move or travel there whilst studying full time.
    I know that I will have to complete my A levels, the issue is that I cannot do an a level course here while I am working full time and would have to quit my job and couldn’t afford to pay rent.
    I had been looking into taking the exams as a private candidate and doing self-study, however this turned out to be too complicated and very expensive.
    My only option seems to be that I quit my job and move back in with my parents for 2 years and do my a levels.
    So I have applied to a college near my parents to do biology, chemistry, psychology and Italian (as I believe most unis like you to take an 4th AS level?)

    My question is, if I go through all of this to get my a levels, do I even stand a chance at getting in with my GCSE grades? Or will I have to retake them as well?
    This is really causing me a lot of stress as I do not want to keep wasting years of my life that I could be studying and gaining the qualifications I need
    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.

    I don't know for sure, but if your A levels are good, I'd assume that some universities would consider you. You need to be wise with your choices though and, obviously, not apply to anywhere GCSE heavy. It might be useful to email some universities about your situation and ask what they think. You might have to work harder than others, but if medicine is your dream and you think that you have some realistic chance of getting in and getting through the degree, give it your best shot! As you said, it's not fun looking back for the rest of your life and thinking what would have happened if you had applied. I really hope everything turns out well for you

    Have you thought about applying for a foundation year in Medicine?

    Also, another possibility is doing a different degree (preferably a life science one) and then getting into graduate medicine.

    If you were ill during your GCSEs and can prove it (i.e get a sickness certificate or records from the GP that you visited them during that period because you had x illness) then go back to the school you did it at or the college you will be doing your A levels at and tell them, so that when you're applying to your universities, your college can write in your UCAS application that you had mitigating circumstances when you sat your GCSEs. Focus on completely acing your A levels. It sounds like you have a LOT of experience in the healthcare sector, which they love, so use that to your advantage, reflect so much in your personal statement, say how it made you a more mature person, and how it made you realise even more that you wanted to be a doctor and why. Just really make sure that you do really well in your A levels to make up for your GCSEs. Apply tactically, I.e don't apply to medical schools that put a lot of emphasis on GCSEs e.g. oxford and birmingham. Email the universities you want to apply to, tell them your situation and ask them whether they will consider you with your GCSEs/ will your GCSEs be competitive enough or a hindrance. I strongly believe in this country if you truly want to do something you can, the opportunities are all there, just have patience, it will take little bit of time, but enjoy your A levels and the learning. PM me if you require any more advice regarding the application process, it all seems a bit daunting when you are doing it but trust me it will be fine.
    So to summarise, do your A levels, knuckle down, continue with some sort of volunteering/working in the health sector and email the universities and tell them about your situation and see what they say.
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