Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hello everyone.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I'm aware there are a few other posts of a similar nature already existing but I wanted to post the specifics of my situation and see if anyone had any constructive advice, or had themselves been in a similar position.

    Several years ago I was accepted to study Medicine at UCL with a 3C offer. That is, I perfomed well at interview and was offered an acceptance to study medicine contingent on my achieving 3 C grades.

    I achieved four A levels at A grade and passed through the first year of medicine with no problems.

    In the 2nd year of medicine, I failed two exams. Upon resits I passed one of these previously failed modules and failed the second. I was called to a meeting with the Dean and asked if I had any extenuating circumstances to which I replied I did not. I was then told I could not continue with medicine or repeat the year, but that I could transfer directly to the 2nd year of any alternative Life Sciences program.

    Here's where it gets a little complicated. I did in fact have some very real and very intense extenuating circumstances which I withheld from the Dean. I know you will all think this incredibly foolish, and trust me, I hear you! I know, having read other people's threads, that everyone will ask me what my extenuating circumstances are - during my 2nd year at UCL I had a nervous breakdown. I was dealing with PTSD and unresolved trauma from several years before. I don't know why these issues took hold of me during this particular time of my life but, what I have learned from subsequent therapy is that with these types of issues it is only a matter of time before they occupy the forefront of your conciousness, it could have happened in 3rd year, or 4th year but it was always going to happen.

    Anyways. I transferred to the 2nd year of another program at UCL but it quickly became apparent that I needed a sabbatical and psychological counselling. My personal tutor was incredible and arranged for me to take one year out and then come back to complete this new course.

    In hindsight, I should have taken the same proactive approach when in Medicine during 2nd year, and reached out to my tutor or the Dean, who would have likely acted in the same manner and offered me a year out. It is likely I would still have continued with medicine if I hadn't been too dysfunctional (and to an extent, too irresponsible) to recognise I needed to speak to someone in authority at med school.

    A quick summary - I did take the year out, received psych counselling, recovered fully, went back and completed my life sciences degree to a high 2:1 standard before going on to complete a MSC in a branch of medical sciences which I have just (this week!) found out I received a Distinction for.

    So my question is this, I am now psychologically sound, leaving medicine was a challenging and sad experience, however I reflected and made sure to never allow myself to be in a position where I was going to jeopardise my career again. I ensured I took my following academic opportunities and excelled. I learnt from my failure and took practical steps to ensure it never would happen again.

    Given all this information, does anyone have any advice or experience regarding how medical schools will look upon my application should I decide to submit one. Aside from fulfilling all the entry criteria, my situation is distinct due to having already attended medical school once before.

    Congratulations to everyone who has recently gotten in to med school, and those already succesfully flying through the course, and commiserations to anyone who also found themselves in my position.

    Thank you for reading.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I think this is a very unique circumstance that only the unis are going to be able to tell you - sorry.

    Good luck, though.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hey I'm not a medical student and haven't studied science for 2 years but why should it be an issue ?

    You clearly have extenuating circumstances for leaving medicine in the first place which I'm sure you can prove.

    You are now extremely well qualified now with 2 degrees under your belt.

    Why would any medical school not want you ?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    This is very very similar to my situation. However Brenda Cross agreed that the best way forward for me in my situation was to transfer to the school in my hometown. Generally, as a rule of thumb if you have left a medical degree for whatever reason you are unlikely to be readmitted, whether there were extenuating circumstances or not. Your best bet would be to email the admissions tutors - I remember reading that St Georges MBBS4 may be willing to accept applications but i suspect the majority are going to say no. In saying that, each individual case is looked at independently so i would definitely make contact but don't expect too much.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ASecondChance)
    Hello everyone.
    As far as I know, which is limited I'm afraid, is that in the case of an applicant (at Newcastle at least) who had previously studied at another medical school, they will not consider the application unless they feel you give them sufficient reason to explain why you left/had to leave. However, I'm sure that if you explain your situation to them, that'll be sufficient reason.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ASecondChance)
    Hello everyone.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I'm aware there are a few other posts of a similar nature already existing but I wanted to post the specifics of my situation and see if anyone had any constructive advice, or had themselves been in a similar position.

    Several years ago I was accepted to study Medicine at UCL with a 3C offer. That is, I perfomed well at interview and was offered an acceptance to study medicine contingent on my achieving 3 C grades.

    I achieved four A levels at A grade and passed through the first year of medicine with no problems.

    In the 2nd year of medicine, I failed two exams. Upon resits I passed one of these previously failed modules and failed the second. I was called to a meeting with the Dean and asked if I had any extenuating circumstances to which I replied I did not. I was then told I could not continue with medicine or repeat the year, but that I could transfer directly to the 2nd year of any alternative Life Sciences program.

    Here's where it gets a little complicated. I did in fact have some very real and very intense extenuating circumstances which I withheld from the Dean. I know you will all think this incredibly foolish, and trust me, I hear you! I know, having read other people's threads, that everyone will ask me what my extenuating circumstances are - during my 2nd year at UCL I had a nervous breakdown. I was dealing with PTSD and unresolved trauma from several years before. I don't know why these issues took hold of me during this particular time of my life but, what I have learned from subsequent therapy is that with these types of issues it is only a matter of time before they occupy the forefront of your conciousness, it could have happened in 3rd year, or 4th year but it was always going to happen.

    Anyways. I transferred to the 2nd year of another program at UCL but it quickly became apparent that I needed a sabbatical and psychological counselling. My personal tutor was incredible and arranged for me to take one year out and then come back to complete this new course.

    In hindsight, I should have taken the same proactive approach when in Medicine during 2nd year, and reached out to my tutor or the Dean, who would have likely acted in the same manner and offered me a year out. It is likely I would still have continued with medicine if I hadn't been too dysfunctional (and to an extent, too irresponsible) to recognise I needed to speak to someone in authority at med school.

    A quick summary - I did take the year out, received psych counselling, recovered fully, went back and completed my life sciences degree to a high 2:1 standard before going on to complete a MSC in a branch of medical sciences which I have just (this week!) found out I received a Distinction for.

    So my question is this, I am now psychologically sound, leaving medicine was a challenging and sad experience, however I reflected and made sure to never allow myself to be in a position where I was going to jeopardise my career again. I ensured I took my following academic opportunities and excelled. I learnt from my failure and took practical steps to ensure it never would happen again.

    Given all this information, does anyone have any advice or experience regarding how medical schools will look upon my application should I decide to submit one. Aside from fulfilling all the entry criteria, my situation is distinct due to having already attended medical school once before.

    Congratulations to everyone who has recently gotten in to med school, and those already succesfully flying through the course, and commiserations to anyone who also found themselves in my position.

    Thank you for reading.
    Hmm this is tricky.........

    As you've been made aware some medical schools either officially or unofficially have a rule that they will not consider anyone for admission to their course who previously enrolled on a medical course elsewhere in the UK and for whatever reason failed to complete the course.

    Some say this because it demonstrates a lack of commitment to studying Medicine and/or no guarantee that you'd complete the course if re-admitted for Medicine. I would say it's more to with the fact seeing as such a candidate would have already had a previous opportunity, in order to be fair on newer applicants they would rather give them the opportunity.

    Your circumstances are rather unique and in fairness you should have raised them whilst you were still studying Medicine but we shouldn't dwell on that now as that is now the past.

    You clearly have excelled in study in another course and to masters level and in that sense would ave proven yourself academically as far as Medicine is concerned.

    You may find however a lot of medical schools unwilling to accept you because of your previous history and sadly you may well have to prepare yourself for this outcome. This may more likely be the case with the 4 year graduate programmes which are intensely competitive.

    Your chances of getting into medical school may well be better if you were to apply for traditional 5 year programmes which whilst obviously a year longer in length, would still lead to the same overall qualification should you be able to complete the programme.

    Your best advice would be to write to the medical schools directly and outline the circumstances, you may wish to include a cover letter from a tutor to support your circumstances and that you are of good academic and professional standing.

    It would be easier to say try for something like Dentistry or Vet Sci but that's not what you want to hear and it's Medicine you want so I won't patronise you by saying that.

    Also do make sure that Medicine is really what you want to do. It is a long haul and as I've learnt during clinical phase, sometimes it can be boring as hell and not as enjoyable as thought and I can't wait to graduate!

    Also if my calculations are correct you will have been in university study for 6 years and if you go down the Medicine route that's another 4/5 years and all the post-graduate training so you need to be certain this is what you want.

    Good luck with everything.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    i think it will depend on the uni, and the circumstances, but im currently at med school with 1 person who failed med at ucl-chucked out- and has started again at my sch.

    And another who dropped out and came back again.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Might it be possible for you to go to the States, where medicine is a postgraduate subject?

    Good luck. I hope things work out for you.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ImWithTheBand)
    Might it be possible for you to go to the States, where medicine is a postgraduate subject?

    Good luck. I hope things work out for you.
    Extremely difficult for international students to get places on medical programmes in the US and it's very rare to find any UK students there. I can't remember which medical school site it was I was looking at, one of the Ivy League Med schools I think Brown or Dartmouth who had only 2 international students on their programme and they weren't from Europe (I think Middle East). That was just recently when I was looking into elective programmes.

    I would recommend the OP to explore every avenue in the UK first before considering abroad. Studying in the Czech Republic is an option albeit not an easy and in some cases not a pleasant one (i.e. being Asian and in the Czech Republic doesn't equate to a great experience socially i.e. racism).

    Ireland may be a good option but certainly much tougher than the UK system to gain admissions. The RCSI have a a campus in Bahrain which teaches entirely in English (may have to learn some Arabic for clinicals) but I'd say Bahrain is a far more pleasant place to be in than some of the Eastern European countries.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    i dont think the rule is tight and fast at any med school, you know about not accepting returners.

    ask the med schools , although 2012 entry might be a bit of a bugbear with the projected applications rise if fees do rise.


    certainly wouldnt go abroad, you arent on your last legs and you've proved you are a solid candidate for study. you are a better choice than some of the people they admitting this year!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gizmo!)
    i dont think the rule is tight and fast at any med school, you know about not accepting returners.

    ask the med schools , although 2012 entry might be a bit of a bugbear with the projected applications rise if fees do rise.


    certainly wouldnt go abroad, you arent on your last legs and you've proved you are a solid candidate for study. you are a better choice than some of the people they admitting this year!
    I'd echo not going abroad to study, or if you do checking that the GMC acknowledges your course, it seems like a complete minefield and if you're unlucky you may end up with a certificate that's not worth the paper it's printed on in the UK.

    It's something I gave vague thought to when applying, and the only real place I'd want to go is America, and it's nigh on impossible from what I've seen :eek:
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Well UCL always says that if you fail in the beginning - you can do another course - show your mettle and apply again - just obviously ask permission before doing so...

    I hope you let your friends know! I've had a few friends drop out at first and second year level and it's quite sad. If they also had personal problems then that's even worse and maybe others would be more supportive !

    Good luck
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I would also add that make sure you know that Medicine is really what you want to do and that whatever affected your studies last time around won't affect you again as I stress it's not an easy route to go down especially a second time. But yeah write to the universities and see what they say.

    Czech medical schools are recognised by the GMC/WHO and as the CR is part of the EU you wouldn't need to sit the PLAB. But it's still a difficult option given that you have to also learn Czech fluently by year 3 and the pass rate is low.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Warrior King)
    I would also add that make sure you know that Medicine is really what you want to do and that whatever affected your studies last time around won't affect you again as I stress it's not an easy route to go down especially a second time. But yeah write to the universities and see what they say.

    Czech medical schools are recognised by the GMC/WHO and as the CR is part of the EU you wouldn't need to sit the PLAB. But it's still a difficult option given that you have to also learn Czech fluently by year 3 and the pass rate is low.

    Bad advice, you might not need to do PLAB, but for medicals schools abroad the training beyond F2 is up in the air...I wouldn't if I were anyone.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wangers)
    Bad advice, you might not need to do PLAB, but for medicals schools abroad the training beyond F2 is up in the air...I wouldn't if I were anyone.
    Wasn't offering advice. Merely stating the facts that by studying at a Czech uni you wouldn't need to do the PLAB.

    I was under the impression though that Czech grads could advance straight to F2 as they essentially do 4 clinically years as opposed to our standard 3?

    Either way I wouldn't recommend studying outside the UK unless it was in Ireland or the USA, Australia, New Zealand. Maybe France, Sweden, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Canada as long as language isn't an issue (which I'm guessing it may well be in the OP's case unless he speaks fluent Japanese, French and German).

    Hong Kong University is very good for Medicine and teaches their course entirely in English but you may well have to learn some Mandarin/Cantonese for the clinical years.

    Fingers crossed, I'll be doing my elective in Japan in my final year and I've been told Japanese language skills isn't necessary although I do speak some Japanese and trying to improve (helps to have a Japanese aunt).
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I think that you could turn your experience in your favour. Use it to show your commitment to medicine and a learning experience.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    My advice would be to email medical schools explaining the situation and asking for advice. I've found Durham and Leicester in particular to be very flexible/supportive of difficult circumstances in applying.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi everyone.

    First off apologies for not responding much sooner to all your very helpful replies!

    Lekky & Annora - Thank you. I was hoping to do exactly that and turn something a negative into a positive outcome - I really do think it's true that (for me at least) failure was the making of me. Hopefully there will be an admissions department out there willing to consider an application from an unconventional candidate.

    Philosoraptor - You're absolutely right. It's very sad. I always encourage all the school leavers I know to make sure they have their priorities in order and always maintain perspective of why they have entered their course of study in the first place. And of course, to maintain communication with their personal tutors!!! A point I failed to act upon myself in those early higher ed years.

    Warrior King - I totally hear you about applying for the longer programs. It's definitely something to consider. I have emailed a whole slew of medical schools regarding my particular circumstances and will hopefully hear back in the New Year.... Additionally, I am going to try and score as high as I can on the Gamsat for the GEPs that require it - I know I will have to score super highly in order to compete with all the other candidates whose applications will no doubt be amazing and not include a previous stint at med school. How are you finding med school btw? Can I ask which one you chose? I hope you're loving it! Have you any idea on which speciality you'd like to head into yet?!

    With regards to GOING ABRAD:.....

    I know alot of you advise against going abroad, and I used to think similarly but I am now seriously considering going abroad (I know a couple of people who have done it, they say it's incredibly hard and the attrition rate is jaw dropping but if you can cope with old skool medical educations as well as learning latin and polish and adjusting to oral examinations, it's ok!). There are three polish schools (Poznan, Jag & Warsaw) which have pretty awesome academic reputations - but very high attrition rates (so it will be all study/study/study - which I actively welcome). These schools offer 4 year GEP programs all recognised by the GMC (I confirmed this). It is also possible to complete 4th year clinical rotations in the UK. There is no need to take the PLAB as I am a Brit citizen and obv Poland is in the EU.

    I've no doubt I'll have to produce competitive scores in order to rank against Brit schooled medical graduates in terms of securing F1/F2 places here in the UK after having gained my PMQ abroad. But, it seems like it would be worth it. (Wangers, I'm not sure I understand your concern re: post F2 training being up in the air. Incoming foreign medical graduates can chose to gain their prov registration then full registration here by taking up F1/F2 posts...so training will be standard British training!)

    Additionally, there are also two new medical schools in Western Europe, delivering 6 year programs in English, one started last year and the other will take their first batch of students Sept 2011, these courses are specifically tailored for students from the UK, the GMC have confirmed the PMQ will be acceptable....so this seems about a hundred times more desirable than Eastern Europe - in my eyes at least, despite the extra two years!

    There's no doubt about it, getting back into school here would be the best outcome, but I'm aware it will be difficult if not impossible, and as I am 27 - I don't really think it's a practical idea to spend possibly several years applying /reapplying etc when I can leave to a Polish or Western European school this September and crack on with it.

    Sorry if this has bored everyone to pieces, I've been going over all of this in my head for the past few weeks and having started writing down all the possibilities I can't seem to stop, ha!

    And thank you Gizmo, Winter Mule, Dilipid, Speaksense, The FlyingDutchman, ShnnyShiz, Imwiththeband and TheSownRose for all your advice as well !!!

    While I have your attention, anyone studying for the GAMSAT 2011? xx
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by speaksense)
    i think it will depend on the uni, and the circumstances, but im currently at med school with 1 person who failed med at ucl-chucked out- and has started again at my sch.

    And another who dropped out and came back again.
    Which medical school are you at? As I have failed my first year at an even more prestigious uni than ucl
 
 
 
  • 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
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
  • 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.