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    Does it give any advantage to apply to the university you obtained your first degree in?
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    What is the degree in and what experience do you have bro?
    Biomed, and about 2 years volunteering at a hospital. I work in a hospital with a semi-patient facing role, and have had the chance to go abroad and work for a while too. Also have care experience at home.

    The reason I didn't get in is because I missed cutoffs each of my previous two years. If I were an undergraduate applicant I'd likely have had 12 interviews in 3 years rather than just one!
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    (Original post by MJK91)
    Biomed, and about 2 years volunteering at a hospital. I work in a hospital with a semi-patient facing role, and have had the chance to go abroad and work for a while too. Also have care experience at home.

    The reason I didn't get in is because I missed cutoffs each of my previous two years. If I were an undergraduate applicant I'd likely have had 12 interviews in 3 years rather than just one!
    Awesome experience! Keep at it!
    What do you mean by missing the cutoffs; with regards to entrance exam or...?
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    Awesome experience! Keep at it!
    What do you mean by missing the cutoffs; with regards to entrance exam or...?
    Yeah entrance exams. I am not a fan..
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    Yerh I don't think anyone is a fan.
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    Doing the UKCAT is the thing I'm dreading most about applying. Anyone else feel the same way?
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    (Original post by MJK91)
    Yeah entrance exams. I am not a fan..
    Hey, just out of curiosity (and to anyone else applying for GEM in their mid to late 20's/after more than one attempt), whilst you were applying over the years....

    a. Were you primarily working in non-graduate roles (i.e low paid care roles for the application?)

    b. Was that a stuggle financially? (How did you manage to support yourself in those jobs)

    c. If you ever considered giving up and pursuing something else in the NHS, what was it?

    I'm obviously trying to look at everything surrounding the sacrifices I'm making...if this doesn't work out I don't want to stay in low paid care work which realistically doesn't pay enough to support myself.

    Really interested to know people's thoughts on this because it's a reality we have to consider.
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    I'm obviously trying to look at everything surrounding the sacrifices I'm making...if this doesn't work out I don't want to stay in low paid care work which realistically doesn't pay enough to support myself.
    This is it. I can live at home next year, but I really don't want to end up doing it for two years (if I don't have any luck with 2016 entry), as I think that'd be pushing it.
    I'm not really sure I'd be able to afford to rent a flat and work as an HCA. It's somewhat catch 22 , the rent nearby is expensive and the rent further away is cheap, but then you've got to insure a car, petrol etc. I'm thinking about also applying for grad schemes unrelated in medicine when they open in september time, as a 'back up'.

    I had thought about trying to get a job in phlebotomy, but I'm yet to see an advert which isn't for an 'experienced' phlebotomist.

    grumble grumble grumble, haha!
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    (Original post by Alexdaman93)
    This is it. I can live at home next year, but I really don't want to end up doing it for two years (if I don't have any luck with 2016 entry), as I think that'd be pushing it.
    I'm not really sure I'd be able to afford to rent a flat and work as an HCA. It's somewhat catch 22 , the rent nearby is expensive and the rent further away is cheap, but then you've got to insure a car, petrol etc. I'm thinking about also applying for grad schemes unrelated in medicine when they open in september time, as a 'back up'.

    I had thought about trying to get a job in phlebotomy, but I'm yet to see an advert which isn't for an 'experienced' phlebotomist.

    grumble grumble grumble, haha!
    Yeah, I'm in a similar situation. If I don't get in for 2016 I might be able to stay at home for another yeah, although that's not guaranteed and even if it was I don't really want to at my age. After that, I really need to be supporting myself financially and as you say, HCA work doesn't cover the basic costs of living comfortably. Personally, I'm uninterested in unrelated grad schemes, although I completely understand why you're considering them. I want to work in the NHS in a caring role, but without another degree, the only roles I can get are very low paid so it's a case of following my ambition of studying Medicine and if that doesn't work out I do another NHS funded degree so that I can not only use my skills and do what I enjoy - but get paid enough to live!

    Personally, I don't see the point in settling for my second option right now if Medicine is what I want. So if I really want to study Med, I'm going to have to get a HCA job and get a really cheap flat, run a 2nd hand car and live off Tesco's value range and keep trying. If it doesn't work out after 2/3 years I'm really going to have to re-evaluate my whole life/ambitions because I don't fancy living on just above min wage for the rest of my life. It's tricky because I know I'd have a very good chance of getting into Nursing or Physio this year and then I'd be qualified in a few years with a decently paid job and working in the NHS...but I want to study Medicine.
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    I live with my girlfriends family so thankfully very low rent, so although I'm only on around 16k I can afford to save up around £500 a month.
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Hey, just out of curiosity (and to anyone else applying for GEM in their mid to late 20's/after more than one attempt), whilst you were applying over the years....

    a. Were you primarily working in non-graduate roles (i.e low paid care roles for the application?)

    b. Was that a stuggle financially? (How did you manage to support yourself in those jobs)

    c. If you ever considered giving up and pursuing something else in the NHS, what was it?

    I'm obviously trying to look at everything surrounding the sacrifices I'm making...if this doesn't work out I don't want to stay in low paid care work which realistically doesn't pay enough to support myself.

    Really interested to know people's thoughts on this because it's a reality we have to consider.
    I was a mature student when I started my current degree, but previous to that I was a live-in carer which was pretty decent money, probably not enough to get by on but I was living with my mum on my off weeks, so I saved a great deal of money. I currently study a NHS funded course, and at the start of my course I thought I'd be a nurse forever, but as time went on reality hit me and I just became really cynical about the way the course is taught and how the profession is practiced - so I wouldn't really jump on a nhs funded course just because it's funded or leads to a paid profession. Would you not want to work in the field of your first degree? A graduate position would pay better than most care roles, and there are lots of different ways of getting work experience without doing a care work job
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    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    I was a mature student when I started my current degree, but previous to that I was a live-in carer which was pretty decent money, probably not enough to get by on but I was living with my mum on my off weeks, so I saved a great deal of money. I currently study a NHS funded course, and at the start of my course I thought I'd be a nurse forever, but as time went on reality hit me and I just became really cynical about the way the course is taught and how the profession is practiced - so I wouldn't really jump on a nhs funded course just because it's funded or leads to a paid profession. Would you not want to work in the field of your first degree? A graduate position would pay better than most care roles, and there are lots of different ways of getting work experience without doing a care work job
    Thanks for your reply

    With regards to my first degree, I have zero interest in pursuing anything related to it. Most people with my degree become teachers and that requires further study (PGCE) which I'm not willing to do for the sake of a career that doesn't interest me. Other than that, in order to get a decent salary, I could apply to general grad schemes. That sounds so easy/straightforwards but it's as much of a mine field and as time consuming as getting into GEM - it takes serious commitment to get onto a grad scheme and I'm not interested enough to make that commitment to get the internship/experience, sit the the aptitude tests, pass the the interviews and ultimately end up in an office job. I'm especially not willing to do all of that when I know that it's something to fill time until I get a GEM place. People do grad schemes as career moves, not to pass the time so it's not something to take on lightly and not something I feel is right for me.

    So when I look at it, regardless of whether I work in care or not, I'm going to be on minimum wage or thereabouts because I won't have a 'grad job'. I'd rather work as a HCA/carer than do retail or admin. As I was saying, if I don't get into Medicine then I will have to re-evalaute but I cannot, in a million years, ever see myself doing a grad scheme. I want to care for people and I love anatomy/human biology so that's why I'm considering other NHS funded degrees because if I don't do that I will just stay stuck in band 1/2 NHS roles as I'm not pursing any careers with my first degree.

    To be honest, I want to do care work even though it's not necessary and I'd rather do that and get paid less than do a grad scheme that bores me to tears. I think after all of the terrible jobs I've had since graduating (terrible in every way - pay, conditions, prospects etc) regardless of the pitfalls of other careers in the NHS, I could see the bright side.

    A lot of Nursing students/grads have advised me against Nursing which is worrying, but I'll get some work experience and make up my own mind. Is Nursing your first degree? What is it about the profession that you dislike....and in what way would it be different as a doctor (hope you don't mind me picking your brains!)?

    Edit: Also, regarding this:

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    I thought I'd be a nurse forever, but as time went on reality hit me and I just became really cynical about the way the course is taught and how the profession is practiced
    Are you saying that there is a disparity? I've been told by a number of people who work in the NHS that the element of 'care' in Nursing is not what people typically imagine because the driving factor of the job is emptying beds. I really don't want to believe that's the case but realistically, that's a pretty important element of the role - getting people out to cater for the next ones - a conveyor belt, basically.
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Thanks for your reply

    With regards to my first degree, I have zero interest in pursuing anything related to it. Most people with my degree become teachers and that requires further study (PGCE) which I'm not willing to do for the sake of a career that doesn't interest me. Other than that, in order to get a decent salary, I could apply to general grad schemes. That sounds so easy/straightforwards but it's as much of a mine field and as time consuming as getting into GEM - it takes serious commitment to get onto a grad scheme and I'm not interested enough to make that commitment to get the internship/experience, sit the the aptitude tests, pass the the interviews and ultimately end up in an office job. I'm especially not willing to do all of that when I know that it's something to fill time until I get a GEM place. People do grad schemes as career moves, not to pass the time so it's not something to take on lightly and not something I feel is right for me.

    So when I look at it, regardless of whether I work in care or not, I'm going to be on minimum wage or thereabouts because I won't have a 'grad job'. I'd rather work as a HCA/carer than do retail or admin. As I was saying, if I don't get into Medicine then I will have to re-evalaute but I cannot, in a million years, ever see myself doing a grad scheme. I want to care for people and I love anatomy/human biology so that's why I'm considering other NHS funded degrees because if I don't do that I will just stay stuck in band 1/2 NHS roles as I'm not pursing any careers with my first degree.

    To be honest, I want to do care work even though it's not necessary and I'd rather do that and get paid less than do a grad scheme that bores me to tears. I think after all of the terrible jobs I've had since graduating (terrible in every way - pay, conditions, prospects etc) regardless of the pitfalls of other careers in the NHS, I could see the bright side.

    A lot of Nursing students/grads have advised me against Nursing which is worrying, but I'll get some work experience and make up my own mind. Is Nursing your first degree? What is it about the profession that you dislike....and in what way would it be different as a doctor (hope you don't mind me picking your brains!)?

    Edit: Also, regarding this:



    Are you saying that there is a disparity? I've been told by a number of people who work in the NHS that the element of 'care' in Nursing is not what people typically imagine because the driving factor of the job is emptying beds. I really don't want to believe that's the case but realistically, that's a pretty important element of the role - getting people out to cater for the next ones - a conveyor belt, basically.
    OK, what I'm getting from this is that you really hate grad schemes.

    HCA work is really good, and to be honest compared to other care jobs I've had it's significantly better paid. Do you already have a HCA job lined up? Depending on where you live they can be incredibly difficult to get into.

    I also understand the need to want to do a more secure NHS profession. Nursing isn't that well paid if I'm completely honest, if you worked as a band 4 HCA doing some overtime you'd earn pretty much the same amount as a nurse, but nursing at least allows you career trajectory. TBH I would also never recommend a career in nursing to anyone either, nor would I dissuade anyone. It's extremely rewarding and a safe career option, but as you said, there isn't that much primary care involved, it is very much a paperwork job and spending the occasional 5-10 mins with a patient, doing the occasional clinical skill. Also the course is so, I don't know how to say it, poorly put together. We only studied anatomy or any kind of science in our first year, after that nursing is pretty much a social science - I was always a science student and I chose a very academic university in the hopes of there being a bigger emphasis on the physiological aspect of nursing, but sadly I was mistaken. The only science I did in my second year was my optional modules and even then they weren't very detailed or clinical, so if you're really into your science then nursing will be a bit disappointing. Also placements can be very mixed. I've had some lovely placements, and some really awful ones too, but as a student you're pretty much treated like an unpaid HCA. In terms of whats the difference between a nurse and a doctor, well, a lot. Nurses have very little say or involvement in the diagnosis or treatment of patients, you are there to provide primary care to people but not be allowed to make any decisions in their health. In university we're drilled that nurses are no longer the handmaidens of doctors like they were in the days of yore, but the reality of it is that all we do is take orders from doctors. There is very little autonomy or independent practice in nursing, which is such a shame because pretty much all nurses who go into medicine choose to do so because of the lack of autonomy and everything else I've said.

    And yep, it's my first degree. I chose to work after leaving sixth form. I didn't really want to go university, and never in all my days did I think I would end up in healthcare, but here I am. I'll be 24 when/if I start medicine this year, which feels old, but what else would I be doing with myself anyways. Hope that helps
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    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    OK, what I'm getting from this is that you really hate grad schemes.
    Yes .

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    HCA work is really good, and to be honest compared to other care jobs I've had it's significantly better paid. Do you already have a HCA job lined up? Depending on where you live they can be incredibly difficult to get into.
    No, the only work I can find locally is bank domestic staff so I'm probably going to that just to get into the trust and then try for HCA work later on and get work experience outside of work.

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    I also understand the need to want to do a more secure NHS profession. Nursing isn't that well paid if I'm completely honest, if you worked as a band 4 HCA doing some overtime you'd earn pretty much the same amount as a nurse, but nursing at least allows you career trajectory.
    That's definitely something to bear in mind, thanks.

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    It's extremely rewarding and a safe career option, but as you said, there isn't that much primary care involved, it is very much a paperwork job and spending the occasional 5-10 mins with a patient, doing the occasional clinical skill.
    That sounds pretty unappealing to be honest, especially the fact that you don't get to use clinical skills often.

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    Also the course is so, I don't know how to say it, poorly put together. We only studied anatomy or any kind of science in our first year, after that nursing is pretty much a social science - I was always a science student and I chose a very academic university in the hopes of there being a bigger emphasis on the physiological aspect of nursing, but sadly I was mistaken. The only science I did in my second year was my optional modules and even then they weren't very detailed or clinical, so if you're really into your science then nursing will be a bit disappointing.
    A few people have said that to me. I really want something with an academic challenge and especially some element of study related to anatomy - that's why one of my serious considerations for a second career choice is Physiotherapy.

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    Also placements can be very mixed. I've had some lovely placements, and some really awful ones too, but as a student you're pretty much treated like an unpaid HCA.
    Dare I ask...but what makes the awful placements awful?

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    In terms of whats the difference between a nurse and a doctor, well, a lot. Nurses have very little say or involvement in the diagnosis or treatment of patients, you are there to provide primary care to people but not be allowed to make any decisions in their health. In university we're drilled that nurses are no longer the handmaidens of doctors like they were in the days of yore, but the reality of it is that all we do is take orders from doctors. There is very little autonomy or independent practice in nursing, which is such a shame because pretty much all nurses who go into medicine choose to do so because of the lack of autonomy and everything else I've said.
    This is another reason why nursing isn't my first choice to be honest. With Physio I'd actually be able to diagnose and prescribe, which is another attraction to it as an alternative.

    (Original post by Absorbaloff)
    And yep, it's my first degree. I chose to work after leaving sixth form. I didn't really want to go university, and never in all my days did I think I would end up in healthcare, but here I am. I'll be 24 when/if I start medicine this year, which feels old, but what else would I be doing with myself anyways. Hope that helps
    Well if you feel old at 24 then there is no hope for me. I'll be 26 if I get in next year but it's more likely I'll be 27+ if/when I get in.

    Best of luck with your application and thanks so much for your honest response, it's something to consider.
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    Shout out to my friend I met at Warwick open day.. Where you at!!

    Ps. What books/subscriptions are people buying for UKCAT?


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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Yes .

    No, the only work I can find locally is bank domestic staff so I'm probably going to that just to get into the trust and then try for HCA work later on and get work experience outside of work.

    That's definitely something to bear in mind, thanks.

    That sounds pretty unappealing to be honest, especially the fact that you don't get to use clinical skills often.



    A few people have said that to me. I really want something with an academic challenge and especially some element of study related to anatomy - that's why one of my serious considerations for a second career choice is Physiotherapy.

    Dare I ask...but what makes the awful placements awful?

    This is another reason why nursing isn't my first choice to be honest. With Physio I'd actually be able to diagnose and prescribe, which is another attraction to it as an alternative.

    Well if you feel old at 24 then there is no hope for me. I'll be 26 if I get in next year but it's more likely I'll be 27+ if/when I get in.

    Best of luck with your application and thanks so much for your honest response, it's something to consider.
    How'd you break down the quoting, thats amazing

    If you're in/near London its a lot more easier to get hca jobs, in smaller cities its difficult to even get on the domestic or catering area in the nhs, the competition is fierce. In regards to physiotherapy, its definitely a good choice in terms of science content in a degree. In terms of prescription, I think they're only allowed to prescribe 'tools', they cant prescribe medication afaik. With my placements, there were only two I didnt like, both for the same reason. I felt like my mentors didnt want to teach me and I was basically just taking up space. Thats a really horrible feeling when all you want to do is learn and they're not giving you the opportunity.

    I've felt old since I was 18, probably because Ive been working for so many years. There were people well into their 30s at the open days and my interviews. You cant let age be a factor in such an important life decision. Best of luck for next year - the only advice I can give is do really well in the entrance exams
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    (Original post by tw781)
    The usual admission, curriculum, student experience, careers etc and also taster sessions including clinical anatomy and medical imaging, a q and a, overview of anatomy services and viewing of plastinated specimens!

    I'm so excited! Although I looked at university accommodation and it's so expensive!


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    I wouldn't stress about their student halls. I went to the selection centre this year and they told us that only Tocil has 40 beds allocated for medics in their halls and it's dead competitive. After that the uni organises student houses, but this covers around 95% of their intake.
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    (Original post by LostInYourMusic)
    I wouldn't stress about their student halls. I went to the selection centre this year and they told us that only Tocil has 40 beds allocated for medics in their halls and it's dead competitive. After that the uni organises student houses, but this covers around 95% of their intake.
    Also, halls are ****e! Houses are much more fun and cheaper!
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    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/prospectus/unde...ntry-programme

    On the overview page KCL states: "A four-year medicine programme enabling honours degree graduates in arts or science..."

    But then on the entry requirement page they write: "A minimum 2:1 (upper second class honour) undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) in a science subject"

    So what am I supposed to think? Has anybody contacted and received feedback about this? If they only accept science degrees this is going to be a HUGE blow to me, I majorly want to apply to London
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    (Original post by lemongrass)
    x
    Unfortunately this year it's science only. I'm affected by this too


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