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GEM: Biomed, physiology, neuroscience or pharmacy watch

  • View Poll Results: Degree that is best for grad med
    Pharmacy
    5
    25.00%
    Biomed
    7
    35.00%
    Neuroscience
    4
    20.00%
    Physiology
    4
    20.00%

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    unfortunately I have come to the hurdle of graduate entry medicine as this is now my only way of getting into medicine. missed grades last year and have straight rejections this year. For a mixture of reasons it is highly likely that I will end up applying to 5 year medicine courses instead of the 4 year ones or maybe 1 GEM - it depends on when i get to that point. My current issue now is what do i do as my first degree pharmacy, biomed, neuroscience or physiology. Ideally I want to get on to medicine as soon as possible which is why I think a 4 year MPharm is a bad idea becuase it would be 5 years before I could get back into medicine and who knows how competitive things will get in the future which leads me on to my next point. With pharmacy i've got a good job at the end of it but the other degrees are quicker but do not offer the financial security pharmacy can give me. Especially now that the fee caps have come unis could be charging anything and I do not know how to fund myself on a 5 year like this as i simply do not have the money. thus GEM would be better but the competition really puts me off. But then i also dont want to do a degree just so that i can get onto grad med - i have to face the fact that it may not work out the way i want it to. And then with pharmacy and medicine there is the issue of marriage and children - i do not want to wait until i am in my mid 30s to have chidlren!! Has anyone got any experiences, ideas they could share as to which one i should, even though at the end of the day it is my decision.
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    do the pharmacy, as you said yourself, it gives a good job, and should you get into med school, with the uncapped fees, then you can use the pharm to make money,,,,you can charge around 25-35£/hr and should you at the end of the say no want to do med after the degree(whichever one), the pharmacy is the one you can actually do something decent with.

    biomed is good ONLY if you apply to a uni that allows med transfers, although realise that almost everyone on the biomed courses will be aiming to do this and you need at least 80% first year and even then it is stupidly competitive to get in
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    Don't do pharmacy if you really want to do medicine, pharmacy is vocational and a lot of money is being put on you to train you as a pharmacist. It'd be a waste to deprive someone else of the spot, I'd say go for biomed since most people seem to use it as an "access to medicine" type degree. You'll cover a lot of useful stuff for medicine and it's 3 years.
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    I don't think you should go for biomed. It's the worst choice you can make - so many people have it and it doesn't make you stand out. Someone else may be able to come along and answer this but does doing pharmacy give you a better chance of getting into GEM 4 year or a standard 5 year?
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    Whatever you bloody like. My ideal pre-GEM course would be Pharmaceutical Chemistry, but my chem is shaky at best. Otherwise, biomed or biochem interest me the most. An entire degree in physiology would be too specialised for me, and neuroscience is just horrible.

    (Original post by sd91)
    I don't think you should go for biomed. It's the worst choice you can make - so many people have it and it doesn't make you stand out. Someone else may be able to come along and answer this but does doing pharmacy give you a better chance of getting into GEM 4 year or a standard 5 year?
    Doubt it.
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    I would say that if you are going to spend 3 years doing a degree, picking the one you are actually most interested in would be best. It wouldn't be much fun spending a whole 3 years doing something you didn't really like just in the hope that it will get you into medicine. Plus if it's something you enjoy, you're more likely to apply yourself and do well. At the end of the day, it's doing well that will make you stand out more than the degree you pick.
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    (Original post by sd91)
    I don't think you should go for biomed. It's the worst choice you can make - so many people have it and it doesn't make you stand out. Someone else may be able to come along and answer this but does doing pharmacy give you a better chance of getting into GEM 4 year or a standard 5 year?

    Doing biomed isn't about standing out, it's a good degree which will give you a good headstart if you get into med and give you a good career if you don't make it into med.
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    (Original post by dances_with_lamposts)
    Doing biomed isn't about standing out, it's a good degree which will give you a good headstart if you get into med and give you a good career if you don't make it into med.
    Or, if you don't get in for GEM, you can work in a hospital 1 year before you reapply, giving you loads to talk about in your PS/interview.
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    The only thing i regret about my degree is not doing it in a healthcare related discipline (esp physio) and if medicine had failed i always had something i enjoyed to fall back on.

    Another thing - think what career you would like to be doing say in 5 years time if in the worst case instance medicine doesnt work out -just a thought and not meaning to put a dampner on things. I did not even think about this when i was 18 and the thought of i may have had to work in a lab all of my life fills me with complete terror!!
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    (Original post by kc91)
    unfortunately I have come to the hurdle of graduate entry medicine as this is now my only way of getting into medicine. missed grades last year and have straight rejections this year. For a mixture of reasons it is highly likely that I will end up applying to 5 year medicine courses instead of the 4 year ones or maybe 1 GEM - it depends on when i get to that point. My current issue now is what do i do as my first degree pharmacy, biomed, neuroscience or physiology. Ideally I want to get on to medicine as soon as possible which is why I think a 4 year MPharm is a bad idea becuase it would be 5 years before I could get back into medicine and who knows how competitive things will get in the future which leads me on to my next point. With pharmacy i've got a good job at the end of it but the other degrees are quicker but do not offer the financial security pharmacy can give me. Especially now that the fee caps have come unis could be charging anything and I do not know how to fund myself on a 5 year like this as i simply do not have the money. thus GEM would be better but the competition really puts me off. But then i also dont want to do a degree just so that i can get onto grad med - i have to face the fact that it may not work out the way i want it to. And then with pharmacy and medicine there is the issue of marriage and children - i do not want to wait until i am in my mid 30s to have chidlren!! Has anyone got any experiences, ideas they could share as to which one i should, even though at the end of the day it is my decision.
    Hey, I was in your situation a while back, now I'm a 2nd year pharmacy student. I decided to do pharmacy even with downside to it being a 4 year etc. There are a lot of advantages to doing pharmacy, not only is there financial security, but you come out with a very respected degree. You will get paid during your pre-reg year and that can go towards yours GEM fees, as well as working as a locum pharmacist during you graduate medicine degree. Furthermore, your pre-reg year if completed in a hospital will count lot towards clincial work experience for GEM. Its a very interesting degree and is very helpful towards GEM for example you cover immunology, cardiology, endocrinology, onocology and psychiatric medicine.

    But it is NOT an easy degree, tbh no degree is easy but pharmacy is tough, you have to work really hard to get a 2:1 as not only is it a professional degree, but its a masters too. And passing the pre-reg exam ain't easy. Also, pharmacy is chemistry based in the end, so you do cover a lot of chemistry in 1st year (half my modules were chemistry) and now in 2nd year I have 1 chemistry based module.

    Then we have the issue of time. Honestly I'm ok with spending so long doing medicine and pharmacy, but I know loads of people aren't and I can see why you think that...I can't give you any alternative other than do a 3 year degree I guess

    I personally have one piece of advice for you if you 100% want to do medicine at graduate entry:

    When applying for grad.med they don't care what degree you come with as long as your clever enough to get a 2:1, then you've passed the first hurdle. They care more about the person they meet, your UKCAT and if necessary your GAMSAT results. You need to as a Grad. med applicant have a lot of volunteering and extra-curricular activites on your back.

    Also when thinking about any course, make sure that you pick one that YOU find interesting and you know you will do well in, as I had to motivate myself a lot in 1st year, I wasn't happy at all, but I'm loving it now.

    So I hope that helps, PM if you need to ask any more questions...
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    Do Biomedicine. It will give you a great learning foundation when you start med school than other degrees.

    biomed is good ONLY if you apply to a uni that allows med transfers, although realise that almost everyone on the biomed courses will be aiming to do this and you need at least 80% first year and even then it is stupidly competitive to get in
    Not true. Believe it or not, there are people that genuinely want to do biomed!
    From the prospectus of the uni I chose for biomed, for example, only 20% went on to do grad med.
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    (Original post by sd91)
    I don't think you should go for biomed. It's the worst choice you can make - so many people have it and it doesn't make you stand out. Someone else may be able to come along and answer this but does doing pharmacy give you a better chance of getting into GEM 4 year or a standard 5 year?
    I don't think the subject of the degree matters so much as long as it's science-related. It's like saying don't do bio ,chem and maths for A levels because everyone does it and it won't make you stand out. :rolleyes: The fact that it is a first or 2.1 rather than a 2.2 is the thing that matters.
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    I don't see a point in doing Biomed, not because everyone is doing but because I don't see a point in doing it, when you'll cover it again in graduate medicine. I'd rather bring something else from my degree that will help me become a better doctor.
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    look up Medical Pharmacology at Cardiff...they allow 10 out of 15 students to transfer to medicine after completing the degree provided you perform at 2.1 level. I also know that Newcastle and Leicester allow a very small number of students to transfer to medicine at the end of first year.

    Ultimately it is your choice...although Pharmacy is a professional level qualification and also involves work in a community/hospital setting as well as having a decent salary.
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    It doesn't matter as long as you do a hell of a lot of medical work experience during your time at uni and get your grades. If I had my time again, I would have personally done Pharmacy rather than biomed in case I decided not to do medicine afterall or I simply couldn't get in (my current situation is a mixture of both). I didn't opt for pharmacy, despite my Dad suggesting so, beacuse my line of thought was as follows:

    "Pharmacy! That means the earliest time I'd get into medicine would be 23 and then the earliest time I can be a doctor would be 27. That's proper old!"

    Well now, if by some miracle, I get into my remaining choice, I'll be 24 anyway..lol. And my degrees don't really provide me with a solid career. So yeah, as I said, if I had my time again...
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    (Original post by ghanglish)
    It doesn't matter as long as you do a hell of a lot of medical work experience during your time at uni and get your grades. If I had my time again, I would have personally done Pharmacy rather than biomed in case I decided not to do medicine afterall or I simply couldn't get in (my current situation is a mixture of both). I didn't opt for pharmacy, despite my Dad suggesting so, beacuse my line of thought was as follows:

    "Pharmacy! That means the earliest time I'd get into medicine would be 23 and then the earliest time I can be a doctor would be 27. That's proper old!"

    Well now, if by some miracle, I get into my remaining choice, I'll be 24 anyway..lol. And my degrees don't really provide me with a solid career. So yeah, as I said, if I had my time again...
    i thought you could do quite a lot with a biomed degree.. as in specialise in immunology or other things (got this from a prospectus of a university)..so i applied for biomed this year and have offers..guess my research lacked a little

    i am looking to transfer to medicine after biomed but after reading quite a lot of posts i am not too sure whether this is a wise option..is it really that hard to transfer to med?
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    (Original post by ddxxx)
    i thought you could do quite a lot with a biomed degree.. as in specialise in immunology or other things (got this from a prospectus of a university)..so i applied for biomed this year and have offers..guess my research lacked a little

    i am looking to transfer to medicine after biomed but after reading quite a lot of posts i am not too sure whether this is a wise option..is it really that hard to transfer to med?
    If you can get into a uni that does by luck allow transfers then from what I have heard from friends in that postition and TSR, its really competitive and requires you to do a lot of hard work. Also the number of places for medicine are very little like 5 people from your year. But saying that its not impossible

    Im sorry to be pessimistic, but its best to warn you now then to apply for biomed and find out later.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by ddxxx)
    i thought you could do quite a lot with a biomed degree.. as in specialise in immunology or other things (got this from a prospectus of a university)..so i applied for biomed this year and have offers..guess my research lacked a little

    i am looking to transfer to medicine after biomed but after reading quite a lot of posts i am not too sure whether this is a wise option..is it really that hard to transfer to med?
    When you say transfer to med, do you mean part way through biomed, or after you graduate?

    Getting into medicine as a graduate is way harder than as a school leaver but I'd say 90% of the people I did biomed with, who wanted to do medicine, got in. Many of them I got higher marks than, so I'm obviously lacking something that isn't academic (probably the fact that I always fail the UKCAT).

    Wrt what else you can do with a biomed degree, getting a job in industry (e.g. pharma) or in a hospital laboratory are very possible and could be decent careers but I find that it's best to do a placement year during your degree to have the best chances at these after you graduate. There's always research, (i.e. PhD) specialising in maybe immunology or pharmacology, which I am actively looking into and making applications. But then again, permanent academic jobs are scarce. Lol look at me being Mr. Gloomy 2nite.

    I did enjoy doing biomed but it's the classic case of 'if I knew then, what I know now'. Just do your research thouroughly.
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    what is your plan B?

    what would you like to do if you couldnt get into medicine? the answer to this question will answer your 'which degree?' question.
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    (Original post by ghanglish)
    When you say transfer to med, do you mean part way through biomed, or after you graduate?

    Getting into medicine as a graduate is way harder than as a school leaver but I'd say 90% of the people I did biomed with, who wanted to do medicine, got in. Many of them I got higher marks than, so I'm obviously lacking something that isn't academic (probably the fact that I always fail the UKCAT).

    Wrt what else you can do with a biomed degree, getting a job in industry (e.g. pharma) or in a hospital laboratory are very possible and could be decent careers but I find that it's best to do a placement year during your degree to have the best chances at these after you graduate. There's always research, (i.e. PhD) specialising in maybe immunology or pharmacology, which I am actively looking into and making applications. But then again, permanent academic jobs are scarce. Lol look at me being Mr. Gloomy 2nite.

    I did enjoy doing biomed but it's the classic case of 'if I knew then, what I know now'. Just do your research thouroughly.
    I meant part way through..like i read st.georges lets a few people transfer to med after doing their 2nd year.. (thats for fast track into med).. i just dont know how 'competitive' that would be.

    thanks for your reply..though im confused..you say its v.competitive to get into med as a graduate so how come 90% of your friends got in?? (unless all your friends are geniuses!)
 
 
 
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