Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

A-Level choice for someone considering medicine at uni Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UniAdmissions)
    You're very welcome, glad to help!

    Sounds like a good plan... all the best with it all and do get in touch if there is anything else we can help with.

    UniAdmissions
    What sort of volunteering work do unis expect (e.g care homes, hospitals,charity shops)? I have found myself work experience in a GP but it is only for a few days so should I try to find some more work shadowing/experience?
    Online

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Lubna-)
    That is why I originally changed my further maths option to French but the I though if I do get the AS in further maths then I will have more UCAS tariff points than if I drop French and don't have an AS.
    Most (if not all) Medical Schools don't use UCAS points. They all have their own entry criteria which will give different weightings to GCSEs, A levels, UKCAT/BMAT, Personal statements etc. You may want to see which entry criteria best suits your strengths and make a short list of 6 or 7. Then do further research on those and apply to your favourites from that list - that's one approach.
    Online

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Lubna-)
    What sort of volunteering work do unis expect (e.g care homes, hospitals,charity shops)? I have found myself work experience in a GP but it is only for a few days so should I try to find some more work shadowing/experience?
    There's an article entitled "Medicine Work Experience" on the Student Room which may give you some ideas. Don't forget it's more about what you learn from the work experience rather than being able to say that you volunteered in xx hospital. Med Schools understand entirely that some people will find it easier to gain experiences than others because they have more contacts.

    You may need a lot of perseverance to get the type of opportunities described in the article but you just need to do your best. The opportunity you mentioned at the GP surgery is a good start - even if you're just in reception use your observation skills to see how people communicate, how they work as a team and are dependent on each other. Ask the people who work there what their biggest challenges are, what they enjoy most about the job and what frustrates them (it may be just as simple as the number of patients not keeping appointments wasting a lot of productive time). If your family or friends know people in medical or healthcare professions that may help open up opportunities - don't be afraid to ask them or to see if they can make enquiries for you. Apply early - it may be months or even up to a year sometimes to get a volunteer opportunity in a hospital. Walking into a local care home and making a personal enquiry may be more productive than a letter, which they may not have time to reply to - ask to speak to the volunteer coordinator or ask when you can come back to see them. If opportunities are limited (which they may be) then try to think more widely - is there an elderly relative or neighbour you can help who may also be willing to talk about some of their healthcare experiences. This may give you an insight which can be used in your personal statement and you may learn just as much in that context as you can shadowing somebody.

    When you've done your best with all this, then factor it into your application process. Whether your work experience and volunteering is strong or less strong may affect where you apply. Some Medical Schools give heavy weighting to strong Personal Statements. At the other end of the spectrum you can find that the selection criteria for interview at some Med schools doesn't involve them reading the PS and it's not available to the interviewers either. What all of them will expect though is for you to be able to explain why you want to apply for medicine, what you have done to investigate a healthcare career and what insight you have gained from the experiences you have been able to arrange.

    I hope that helps. Happy to clarify if my reply just raises more questions.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meddad)
    There's an article entitled "Medicine Work Experience" on the Student Room which may give you some ideas. Don't forget it's more about what you learn from the work experience rather than being able to say that you volunteered in xx hospital. Med Schools understand entirely that some people will find it easier to gain experiences than others because they have more contacts.

    You may need a lot of perseverance to get the type of opportunities described in the article but you just need to do your best. The opportunity you mentioned at the GP surgery is a good start - even if you're just in reception use your observation skills to see how people communicate, how they work as a team and are dependent on each other. Ask the people who work there what their biggest challenges are, what they enjoy most about the job and what frustrates them (it may be just as simple as the number of patients not keeping appointments wasting a lot of productive time). If your family or friends know people in medical or healthcare professions that may help open up opportunities - don't be afraid to ask them or to see if they can make enquiries for you. Apply early - it may be months or even up to a year sometimes to get a volunteer opportunity in a hospital. Walking into a local care home and making a personal enquiry may be more productive than a letter, which they may not have time to reply to - ask to speak to the volunteer coordinator or ask when you can come back to see them. If opportunities are limited (which they may be) then try to think more widely - is there an elderly relative or neighbour you can help who may also be willing to talk about some of their healthcare experiences. This may give you an insight which can be used in your personal statement and you may learn just as much in that context as you can shadowing somebody.

    When you've done your best with all this, then factor it into your application process. Whether your work experience and volunteering is strong or less strong may affect where you apply. Some Medical Schools give heavy weighting to strong Personal Statements. At the other end of the spectrum you can find that the selection criteria for interview at some Med schools doesn't involve them reading the PS and it's not available to the interviewers either. What all of them will expect though is for you to be able to explain why you want to apply for medicine, what you have done to investigate a healthcare career and what insight you have gained from the experiences you have been able to arrange.

    I hope that helps. Happy to clarify if my reply just raises more questions.
    Thank you that answered a lot of my questions
    • Specialist Advisor
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Specialist Advisor
    (Original post by Lubna-)
    What sort of volunteering work do unis expect (e.g care homes, hospitals,charity shops)? I have found myself work experience in a GP but it is only for a few days so should I try to find some more work shadowing/experience?
    If you can find some more experience then that is great, however, universities do understand that not everyone has access to the same opportunities and therefore are more interested in what you have gained from the experience that you have had rather than how long it was for.

    Having the ability to reflect maturely on the experience, what you learned and how it shaped your opinion on a career in medicine, is very important when it comes to work experience.

    Take the time to reflect on the experience that you have in the GP surgery, make some notes to look back on when you are writing your personal statement.

    If you would like some ideas for the sort of things to bear in mind while you are doing your work experience, then have a read of this blog, which is about this subject.

    I hope that helps.

    UniAdmissions
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 05113cktc)
    I think it's better to start off with four A levels (we had to pick four but we drop one after AS level) so that you can at least gain an extra grade/extra UCAS points from the AS level. If you don't think you'll get an AS in French then I wouldn't bother taking it. Are you good at English? If so, that would be a good choice as it shows analytical skills and fluency in writing. Health and social care, or psychology, may also help
    AS levels don't exist anymore so if you take four and drop one after a year you get nothing so many of us are being advised to take just three but the universities still have entry requirements which include an AS so until universities update criteria to reflect recent changes regarding A levels we don't know if we should study three or four. It's a difficult situation as we have to make the choice now. If we take three and others take four will they get the med school places over those who only took 3? I'm contacting individual universities direct and asking for clarification over this so I don't shoot myself in the foot by only choosing 3.
    • Specialist Advisor
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Specialist Advisor
    (Original post by Neff602)
    AS levels don't exist anymore so if you take four and drop one after a year you get nothing so many of us are being advised to take just three but the universities still have entry requirements which include an AS so until universities update criteria to reflect recent changes regarding A levels we don't know if we should study three or four. It's a difficult situation as we have to make the choice now. If we take three and others take four will they get the med school places over those who only took 3? I'm contacting individual universities direct and asking for clarification over this so I don't shoot myself in the foot by only choosing 3.
    Hi Neff602

    I just wanted to say that I think that is a very wise approach. Always best to clarify with the university themselves so you know exactly what is required and make the correct choice now.

    Good luck with it all. Sounds as though you'll do great by the way you are approaching it all.

    Do give me a shout if you have any questions we can help with.

    UniAdmissions
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.