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Medicine reject after gap year.

Hey guys,

After not getting in to medicine, I decided to take a gap year and re-apply to medical school. During my gap year I was really excited about getting an interview from Manchester as it was my first choice, then after interview I was put on hold and rejected at the end of the cycle. I am very upset at this point and thinking of applying again next year as I was so close. However, my family and school are being very negative and telling me to stop wasting my life and head to uni to study something else. As a result, I have looked in to applying for Optometry through UCAS extra and I think it would be an interesting area of study and something I could enjoy, however, it's not something I would like to do long-term because medicine is still my passion. So I have come on to tsr to ask people for opinions on what to do from now. I feel like I am in exactly the same position as I was in one year ago so any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

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Reply 1
Original post by amazin_sk8a_dude
Hey guys,

After not getting in to medicine, I decided to take a gap year and re-apply to medical school. During my gap year I was really excited about getting an interview from Manchester as it was my first choice, then after interview I was put on hold and rejected at the end of the cycle. I am very upset at this point and thinking of applying again next year as I was so close. However, my family and school are being very negative and telling me to stop wasting my life and head to uni to study something else. As a result, I have looked in to applying for Optometry through UCAS extra and I think it would be an interesting area of study and something I could enjoy, however, it's not something I would like to do long-term because medicine is still my passion. So I have come on to tsr to ask people for opinions on what to do from now. I feel like I am in exactly the same position as I was in one year ago so any advice would be helpful. Thanks.


I'm sorry to hear you didn't get in :frown: I think that if you are so sure you want to do medicine, then you should apply again.. there are many, many people who apply three, four times who get in in the end! I see what your school and family are saying but in the long run if you apply again the two options are you manage to get into medicine (whoop) or you delay university for one more year but know that at least you tried your best!

That is what I would do, but of course if you think you would enjoy optometry and wouldn't mind not doing medicine then apply through extra... but from the sounds of it, medicine is what you want to do! x
Reply 2
Well if you were unsuccessful 2 years running there must be something your application lacked. did you apply to your strengths? If you want to reapply again I'd advise drastically rearranging your application. Completely scrap the PS you submitted this year. Once you've written a first draft, get help from as many people as possible. Submit your PS to the helpers on this site, as I heard they absolutely tear apart the personal statements they receive and will give hundreds of suggestions for where the statement could be made stronger. Also ask teachers/ other professional people you know if they would mark it for you and give some suggestions. Make sure you take the UKCAT test in plenty of time so you can work with your score however it goes. You'll be able to research where uses UKCAT -- and if you've done well, apply to uni's with cut off systems who would guarantee you an interview based on a good UKCAT score. If not, be sure to avoid those universities, and you'll be able to find out on TSR roughly which uni's would reject simply based on a poor UKCAT. If you're serious about medicine don't let other people pressure you into not giving it another shot. When people see how much you're doing to improve your application and ensure you get in next time around, I'm sure they'd be less likely to give you the "wasting your life" line.
Reply 3
Original post by amazin_sk8a_dude
Hey guys,

After not getting in to medicine, I decided to take a gap year and re-apply to medical school. During my gap year I was really excited about getting an interview from Manchester as it was my first choice, then after interview I was put on hold and rejected at the end of the cycle. I am very upset at this point and thinking of applying again next year as I was so close. However, my family and school are being very negative and telling me to stop wasting my life and head to uni to study something else. As a result, I have looked in to applying for Optometry through UCAS extra and I think it would be an interesting area of study and something I could enjoy, however, it's not something I would like to do long-term because medicine is still my passion. So I have come on to tsr to ask people for opinions on what to do from now. I feel like I am in exactly the same position as I was in one year ago so any advice would be helpful. Thanks.


What about your other three choices?

My advice is pretty much the same as Birterillo's. You need to find out why you were rejected, and see if you can actually improve your application. It annoys me when people say 'NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM' because sometimes, people have to. Did you choose the wrong universities? Was your personal statement not very good? How did your interview go? Do you struggle to talk about a passion for medicine? Have you got the necessary grades/experience? Basically, if you can improve eough, and you realistically think you could get in, then no, don't give up. BUT, if you don't think that you could improve any more - if your grades aren't good enough, for example, and you can't resit.
Reply 4
Original post by twelve
It annoys me when people say 'NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM' because sometimes, people have to.


100% agree. You can have all the heart and passion for something but be realistic about it. Im not saying OP should give up, but rather think about exactly why he/she wants to pursue medicine. Because at some level, their passion and interest for medicine is not showing through. Good luck OP, hope you get a place in the future.
Reply 5
Trust me. Give it one more shot next year; this may be hard for you to do but you can still do it!

To become successful in obtaining an offer make sure you:
- have an excellent PS; get your draft checked by lots of people, mainly medics
- revise really hard for the entrance exams; BMAT/UKCAT
- above all, pick your uni choices wisely. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS so that you can obtain interviews. No interview = no offer *this is the case in nearly all the medical schools in the UK*
- If you get interviews, do some serious prep for it and have mock interviews and you'll be fine!
Original post by twelve
What about your other three choices?

My advice is pretty much the same as Birterillo's. You need to find out why you were rejected, and see if you can actually improve your application. It annoys me when people say 'NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM' because sometimes, people have to. Did you choose the wrong universities? Was your personal statement not very good? How did your interview go? Do you struggle to talk about a passion for medicine? Have you got the necessary grades/experience? Basically, if you can improve eough, and you realistically think you could get in, then no, don't give up. BUT, if you don't think that you could improve any more - if your grades aren't good enough, for example, and you can't resit.


How would you suggest I improve my interview? I've had 4 interviews and 3 rejections xD waiting for my 4th one.
Reply 7
Original post by MuffinMonster
How would you suggest I improve my interview? I've had 4 interviews and 3 rejections xD waiting for my 4th one.


Well that depends entirely on what went wrong. Did you say the wrong things? Did you mumble and come across very shy and unconfident? Did you lie? Did you talk too much/too little?

How do you feel it went? And what has feedback told you?
Original post by twelve
Well that depends entirely on what went wrong. Did you say the wrong things? Did you mumble and come across very shy and unconfident? Did you lie? Did you talk too much/too little?

How do you feel it went? And what has feedback told you?


I think I've been nervous and not very confident... that does sometimes lead to me saying the wrong things. Manchester's feedback was extremely general and I'm still waiting for the others' feedbacks.
Reply 9
Original post by MuffinMonster
I think I've been nervous and not very confident... that does sometimes lead to me saying the wrong things. Manchester's feedback was extremely general and I'm still waiting for the others' feedbacks.


Well then thats what you need to work on! Do more interview practise, and build up your confidence so that you can say what you really mean. I am not particularly confident in an interview stuation, but I think what got me through was that I managed to show that I was passionate and motivated, even if I did stumble on confidence and waffling a little. When I was struggling a little, at one of the interviews, the interviewer actually commented on the fact that I find it difficult to talk about myself - so it isn't just me imagining it!
Original post by twelve
Well then thats what you need to work on! Do more interview practise, and build up your confidence so that you can say what you really mean. I am not particularly confident in an interview stuation, but I think what got me through was that I managed to show that I was passionate and motivated, even if I did stumble on confidence and waffling a little. When I was struggling a little, at one of the interviews, the interviewer actually commented on the fact that I find it difficult to talk about myself - so it isn't just me imagining it!


I'll try to find a way to do that :smile: What did you do in your gap year?
Reply 11
Original post by MuffinMonster
I'll try to find a way to do that :smile: What did you do in your gap year?


I've got a job as a HCA on the staff bank (get paid more than permanent staff, and get to choose my own hours and wards - BRILLIANT) I'm learning sign language, and doing some volunteering. And more so now than at the start of the year, using the time to visit friends and enjoy myself - this is after all the only chance I'll get to feel this free for a very long time!
Original post by twelve
I've got a job as a HCA on the staff bank (get paid more than permanent staff, and get to choose my own hours and wards - BRILLIANT) I'm learning sign language, and doing some volunteering. And more so now than at the start of the year, using the time to visit friends and enjoy myself - this is after all the only chance I'll get to feel this free for a very long time!


That sounds really fun! What does a HCA do? And is it hard to get that job? Ha yeah I agree after this it'll be a lot of work!
Reply 13
Original post by MuffinMonster
That sounds really fun! What does a HCA do? And is it hard to get that job? Ha yeah I agree after this it'll be a lot of work!


A run down of a day in life of a HCA:

Arrive at about 7 in the morning - shifts tend to start somewhere between 7 and half 7, I usually get there a bit before so I have time for a cuppa before we start :P Straight away, we have the nursing handover - basically telling us everything we need to know about each patient.

Then we go and give out the breakfasts, so if you haven't made porridge in years like I hadn't, its time to learn how to do that :P Once breakfasts are given out, eaten, and the trays collected back in, we need to fill out any food diaries and fluid balance charts.

Then its time to start washing, dressing and bed making. Some patients are self-caring, so we just give them a towel and some shower gel so they can go and wash in the ensuites, others will have a bowl of water at the bedside and just wash what they want to, and others are all care, so we have to do everything for them. We do a full bedbath, changing the sheets and putting on fresh clothes, changing any pads, then a bit of a mouthcare and possibly a shave (although I always try and find a man to do any shaves haha) and we're all done. We'll be checking for any pressure sores while we do that.

Once all those are done, the day varies a bit. We have care round checklists which need to be completed hourly (I know that this is something we started as a trust, but I've heard its also being implemented in other trusts too) We also do obs (blood pressure, temp, o2 sats, heart rate and respiration rate) whenever they are required, escort patients to theatre/x-ray/endoscopy/wherever they need to be, help patients with toileting whenever they need to (be prepared for lots of poo/wee/vomit) And if necessary, take samples of poo or wee, and sometimes do dipstick tests on urine (I don't like doing poo samples... but urine dipsticks are alright to do) We help patients with eating at mealtimes, and some HCA's will do blood glucose monitoring for those who need it (I'm doing this training next month :biggrin:)

There's also just generall support for the patients - some will be really talkative, and need lots of attention and just a bit of emotional support. And we're the first line of call when they ring their buzzer for that help. So yeah, its a pretty varied job. Basically, we do all the rubbishy jobs for the staff nurses :P But its soo rewarding sometimes, I come back with a good story pretty much every day :smile:
Reply 14
Original post by twelve
A run down of a day in life of a HCA:

Arrive at about 7 in the morning - shifts tend to start somewhere between 7 and half 7, I usually get there a bit before so I have time for a cuppa before we start :P Straight away, we have the nursing handover - basically telling us everything we need to know about each patient.

Then we go and give out the breakfasts, so if you haven't made porridge in years like I hadn't, its time to learn how to do that :P Once breakfasts are given out, eaten, and the trays collected back in, we need to fill out any food diaries and fluid balance charts.

Then its time to start washing, dressing and bed making. Some patients are self-caring, so we just give them a towel and some shower gel so they can go and wash in the ensuites, others will have a bowl of water at the bedside and just wash what they want to, and others are all care, so we have to do everything for them. We do a full bedbath, changing the sheets and putting on fresh clothes, changing any pads, then a bit of a mouthcare and possibly a shave (although I always try and find a man to do any shaves haha) and we're all done. We'll be checking for any pressure sores while we do that.

Once all those are done, the day varies a bit. We have care round checklists which need to be completed hourly (I know that this is something we started as a trust, but I've heard its also being implemented in other trusts too) We also do obs (blood pressure, temp, o2 sats, heart rate and respiration rate) whenever they are required, escort patients to theatre/x-ray/endoscopy/wherever they need to be, help patients with toileting whenever they need to (be prepared for lots of poo/wee/vomit) And if necessary, take samples of poo or wee, and sometimes do dipstick tests on urine (I don't like doing poo samples... but urine dipsticks are alright to do) We help patients with eating at mealtimes, and some HCA's will do blood glucose monitoring for those who need it (I'm doing this training next month :biggrin:)

There's also just generall support for the patients - some will be really talkative, and need lots of attention and just a bit of emotional support. And we're the first line of call when they ring their buzzer for that help. So yeah, its a pretty varied job. Basically, we do all the rubbishy jobs for the staff nurses :P But its soo rewarding sometimes, I come back with a good story pretty much every day :smile:


That sounds like an amazing opportunity. Thanks for posting :smile:
Original post by twelve
A run down of a day in life of a HCA:

Arrive at about 7 in the morning - shifts tend to start somewhere between 7 and half 7, I usually get there a bit before so I have time for a cuppa before we start :P Straight away, we have the nursing handover - basically telling us everything we need to know about each patient.

Then we go and give out the breakfasts, so if you haven't made porridge in years like I hadn't, its time to learn how to do that :P Once breakfasts are given out, eaten, and the trays collected back in, we need to fill out any food diaries and fluid balance charts.

Then its time to start washing, dressing and bed making. Some patients are self-caring, so we just give them a towel and some shower gel so they can go and wash in the ensuites, others will have a bowl of water at the bedside and just wash what they want to, and others are all care, so we have to do everything for them. We do a full bedbath, changing the sheets and putting on fresh clothes, changing any pads, then a bit of a mouthcare and possibly a shave (although I always try and find a man to do any shaves haha) and we're all done. We'll be checking for any pressure sores while we do that.

Once all those are done, the day varies a bit. We have care round checklists which need to be completed hourly (I know that this is something we started as a trust, but I've heard its also being implemented in other trusts too) We also do obs (blood pressure, temp, o2 sats, heart rate and respiration rate) whenever they are required, escort patients to theatre/x-ray/endoscopy/wherever they need to be, help patients with toileting whenever they need to (be prepared for lots of poo/wee/vomit) And if necessary, take samples of poo or wee, and sometimes do dipstick tests on urine (I don't like doing poo samples... but urine dipsticks are alright to do) We help patients with eating at mealtimes, and some HCA's will do blood glucose monitoring for those who need it (I'm doing this training next month :biggrin:)

There's also just generall support for the patients - some will be really talkative, and need lots of attention and just a bit of emotional support. And we're the first line of call when they ring their buzzer for that help. So yeah, its a pretty varied job. Basically, we do all the rubbishy jobs for the staff nurses :P But its soo rewarding sometimes, I come back with a good story pretty much every day :smile:


Sounds pretty good to me! Thanks :smile:
Reply 16
im in the same position as you and im still not sure. I have offers for medical science and medical biochemistry and still considering another gap year... :smile:
Original post by twelve
It annoys me when people say 'NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM' because sometimes, people have to.


Completely disagree. You have ONE life, why waste 50 years of it doing something you don't want to do. OP do not settle for anything but your dream.
Reply 18
Original post by raach-jazz
Completely disagree. You have ONE life, why waste 50 years of it doing something you don't want to do. OP do not settle for anything but your dream.


And why waste however many years trying to do something that isn't going to happen? You can't put your life on hold for a dream if you know that its too far to reach.
Original post by twelve
And why waste however many years trying to do something that isn't going to happen? You can't put your life on hold for a dream if you know that its too far to reach.


The biggest disappointment in any life is knowing in your last waking seconds you still have regrets; the regrets of not following your passion or expressing how you feel towards someone.

My family came from Iraq with nothing. Now, the dream of leading a fulfilled life without war, persecution and corruption seemed far-fetched; unreachable to my parents. But guess what? My parents are living a life where they are free and so am I.

I think you should certainly do your very best to reach a goal, no matter how far or unrealistic it seems. Just don't spend your last waking seconds thinking "What if?".

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