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    Hi guys!

    I'm new to student room, and having read several useful threads, I joined so that I could ask for some help making a decision of my own.

    Just for some background information, I am a current Lower 6th student at Peter Symonds college. I am taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at AS level, and received full marks in each of my four exams in January. I got 7 A*s, including the three sciences, English language and maths, and three As at GCSE, and sat AS level PE one year early, getting an A.

    The reason I am on here is because I am finding it hard deciding which course I would like to apply to when University applications come around. The two courses I am considering are Natural Sciences (Biological route) and Medicine.

    Since the beginning of this school year, I have been volunteering weekly on the wards at my local hospital, and have been to several extension lectures connected to medicine. I have loved this volunteering, feeling I have gained much from the caring environment, and certainly feel it would be a good thing to dedicate my working life to. I certainly find it interesting, and can see how choosing to study that at University can lead into a well respected, secure, fulfilling and well paid job, and for those reasons I am strongly considering it as a choice.

    However, in my classes at college, the topics we have covered connected to wildlife biology, such as evolution and the anatomy of different organisms' respiratory and circulatory systems, have greatly interested me. I have always found this area intriguing, and have recently found myself drawn towards this area, enjoying learning about wildlife from a scientific point of view in my own time as well as in college. I almost feel as if this would be my dream area to work in, as I find it innately fascinating. However, I know that jobs beyond a degree in this subject are very hard to come by, especially my dream job in field research and conservation work.

    I was wandering if anyone had any advice at all on which would be the better choice, or if anyone had any information to do with jobs in biological research as this seems to be an area with little information readily available. Also, if anyone had any advice on which Universities might be worth looking at for the courses I am considering, that would be fantastic, as I really need to start making decisions as to where I want to continue studying after college.

    If anyone has been in my position, unsure as to whether to commit to the more concrete but highly demanding profession of medicine, or whether to follow a particular personal interest, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Also if anyone is taking a either of these courses, could they say how they are finding them, and which areas in particular they are enjoying the most.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    Hi guys!

    I'm new to student room, and having read several useful threads, I joined so that I could ask for some help making a decision of my own.

    Just for some background information, I am a current Lower 6th student at Peter Symonds college. I am taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at AS level, and received full marks in each of my four exams in January. I got 7 A*s, including the three sciences, English language and maths, and three As at GCSE, and sat AS level PE one year early, getting an A.

    The reason I am on here is because I am finding it hard deciding which course I would like to apply to when University applications come around. The two courses I am considering are Natural Sciences (Biological route) and Medicine.

    Since the beginning of this school year, I have been volunteering weekly on the wards at my local hospital, and have been to several extension lectures connected to medicine. I have loved this volunteering, feeling I have gained much from the caring environment, and certainly feel it would be a good thing to dedicate my working life to. I certainly find it interesting, and can see how choosing to study that at University can lead into a well respected, secure, fulfilling and well paid job, and for those reasons I am strongly considering it as a choice.

    However, in my classes at college, the topics we have covered connected to wildlife biology, such as evolution and the anatomy of different organisms' respiratory and circulatory systems, have greatly interested me. I have always found this area intriguing, and have recently found myself drawn towards this area, enjoying learning about wildlife from a scientific point of view in my own time as well as in college. I almost feel as if this would be my dream area to work in, as I find it innately fascinating. However, I know that jobs beyond a degree in this subject are very hard to come by, especially my dream job in field research and conservation work.

    I was wandering if anyone had any advice at all on which would be the better choice, or if anyone had any information to do with jobs in biological research as this seems to be an area with little information readily available. Also, if anyone had any advice on which Universities might be worth looking at for the courses I am considering, that would be fantastic, as I really need to start making decisions as to where I want to continue studying after college.

    If anyone has been in my position, unsure as to whether to commit to the more concrete but highly demanding profession of medicine, or whether to follow a particular personal interest, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Also if anyone is taking a either of these courses, could they say how they are finding them, and which areas in particular they are enjoying the most.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!
    I think you'll have to take into account your future career prospects as priority. There are prospects in wildlife biology and anatomy but they are few and far between in comparison to a degree like medicine, which really opens doors. You have to be certain that's what you want to do, however, but it seems like you have a fair idea from your voluntary work anyway. Have you done much shadowing to see if you like the idea of the work doctors do day in, day out?

    Remember that if you choose certain medical schools (and all to an extent) you will study anatomy to a fairly in-depth level in relation to humans. If you want to expand that in your own time to other animals, you could do so. You don't necessarily have to officially study a personal interest
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    (Original post by MattKneale)
    I think you'll have to take into account your future career prospects as priority. There are prospects in wildlife biology and anatomy but they are few and far between in comparison to a degree like medicine, which really opens doors. You have to be certain that's what you want to do, however, but it seems like you have a fair idea from your voluntary work anyway. Have you done much shadowing to see if you like the idea of the work doctors do day in, day out?

    Remember that if you choose certain medical schools (and all to an extent) you will study anatomy to a fairly in-depth level in relation to humans. If you want to expand that in your own time to other animals, you could do so. You don't necessarily have to officially study a personal interest
    Thanks for the reply, and its a very good point. I think I just feel like I want to make sure I study a subject I really love, not just one that I appreciate. I think medicine, and the jobs as a doctor which follow it, are vital, but that if you are to do them properly you have to be 100% dedicated. My fear would be that I might not have the same passion for medicine that I would have for biology, and in the worst circumstances that could lead to me not doing the job as best as I could, something which I believe should be required from doctors.
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    (Original post by MattKneale)
    Have you done much shadowing to see if you like the idea of the work doctors do day in, day out?
    I have done a small ammount of shadowing thus far, and plan to do some more before I finally reach a decision. From what I have seen so far, a doctor's work can be fascinating, especially if it is in a field they are particularly interested in but that their work also involves an awful lot of communication skills. Both these things seem appealing, as it makes the job seem interesting, fullfilling, and always with a twist. However, I think my only problem is that there is a special something which I haven't found in medicine for me yet. As in, everything I learn about zoology, evolution and wildlife anatomy fascinates me, to the extent where I am quite happy to do extra work on these subjects just for my own enjoyment and understanding. Medicine, so far, hasn't caught my imagination yet, as despite proving its many benifits, the career hasn't inspired me to love the idea of studying it yet.
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    I have done a small ammount of shadowing thus far, and plan to do some more before I finally reach a decision. From what I have seen so far, a doctor's work can be fascinating, especially if it is in a field they are particularly interested in but that their work also involves an awful lot of communication skills. Both these things seem appealing, as it makes the job seem interesting, fullfilling, and always with a twist. However, I think my only problem is that there is a special something which I haven't found in medicine for me yet. As in, everything I learn about zoology, evolution and wildlife anatomy fascinates me, to the extent where I am quite happy to do extra work on these subjects just for my own enjoyment and understanding. Medicine, so far, hasn't caught my imagination yet, as despite proving its many benifits, the career hasn't inspired me to love the idea of studying it yet.
    It sounds as if you want to study biology but the career security of medicine, rather than the job itself, is swaying you. If you aren't sure being a doctor is what you really want to do, five or six years at uni is a long time. Remember that the jobs market can change a lot, particularly since in the next four or so years til you potentially graduate from a bio course we may be out of the recession and able to fund more bio jobs... And there's a lot to be said for working in something you're genuinely passionate about rather that something that pays the bills.

    Even if you go and study biology at uni you're not cutting off the idea of doing medicine completely as you'd be eligible for grad med, whereas doing a medicine degree is not going to make you eligible for a zoology job.

    Given that you're in Year 12 you still have plenty of time to decide. If you aren't sure by October you don't have to apply then - you could take a gap year, explore both areas some more, and make an application in Oct 2014. A year is nothing in the wider scale of how many years you'll be in employment once you choose a career.
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    Thanks for the replies, it's excellent advice! I think for me, I do have a passion for zoology, but I don't want to make a decision which could come back to haunt me. I have always found throughout school and college that I excel in the things I find most interesting, and that I enjoy leaning them. I guess I just don't want to throw away all the work that's gone into getting the grades I have so far, and getting into Uni, not to mention the fees and the years of my life, only to not be able to get into a job I love at the end of it.

    I think I would love medicine, but I also feel as though I would love zoological research more. But I don't want to throw away the chance to work as a doctor if its going to be impossible for me to get a job in zoological research.

    Becca-Sarah, you make an excellent point about possibly studying medicine post-grad. I think that might well be something I can fall back on, as even if I do decide to study medicine after a Nat Sci degree, I'm sure it would still be very useful right? As well as furthering my own understanding and love of science, of course. My only reservations are the potential cost of that, as I come from a modest background and have to be careful with money sometimes. Would it be worth taking the risk, and then potentially studying a post-grad in medicine then?

    Thanks so much for the fantastic help!
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    Thanks for the replies, it's excellent advice! I think for me, I do have a passion for zoology, but I don't want to make a decision which could come back to haunt me. I have always found throughout school and college that I excel in the things I find most interesting, and that I enjoy leaning them. I guess I just don't want to throw away all the work that's gone into getting the grades I have so far, and getting into Uni, not to mention the fees and the years of my life, only to not be able to get into a job I love at the end of it.

    I think I would love medicine, but I also feel as though I would love zoological research more. But I don't want to throw away the chance to work as a doctor if its going to be impossible for me to get a job in zoological research.

    Becca-Sarah, you make an excellent point about possibly studying medicine post-grad. I think that might well be something I can fall back on, as even if I do decide to study medicine after a Nat Sci degree, I'm sure it would still be very useful right? As well as furthering my own understanding and love of science, of course. My only reservations are the potential cost of that, as I come from a modest background and have to be careful with money sometimes. Would it be worth taking the risk, and then potentially studying a post-grad in medicine then?

    Thanks so much for the fantastic help!
    An additional degree is always useful in medicine - it gives you extra points on job applications, gives you additional skills that mean you don't spend the first bit of your medical degree trying to figure out how to study at uni level, gives you research skills, etc.

    Post grad medicine (as you've written it) is what doctors do - graduate entry medicine (GEP or GEM programs) is what you mean The cost is obviously greater than if you do medicine as a first time undergrad, but if you got onto one of the 4 year courses then there is support from NHS funding as well as student finance (the 5 year courses as a graduate are a monetary minefield, but we'll assume you get lucky and get onto a 4 year). Regardless, so long as financially you can survive the medical course, paying it back is not a problem, so don't consider the graduating debt as a negative factor as it's simply taken out of your pay proportionally to your wages.

    You really do sound as if Bio is where your heart lies, and I think it's worth pursuing the things you love rather than taking what might sound like the more rational route.
    The 'problem' with medicine is that you have to study a lot of non-interesting things in order to get to the bits you enjoy - no-one enjoys all of it! So if you're really not certain you want a career in healthcare, five or six years doing things that don't hugely interest you might be a bit of a struggle.

    The slight compromise option may be that you can intercalate within a medical degree, so you could spend a year doing Biology (Zoology I'm not so sure on) and come out with a BSc Biology and MBChB Medicine & Surgery.

    For what it's worth, I applied to Bio NatSci (alongside a bunch of Genetics BSc's) the first time round. By the time I had my offers I'd decided I didn't want to do science, so I applied for medicine on a gap year. So the decision you make now doesn't have to be the one that determines what you do at uni - there's scope to change your mind before you get there
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    Hi guys!

    I'm new to student room, and having read several useful threads, I joined so that I could ask for some help making a decision of my own.

    Just for some background information, I am a current Lower 6th student at Peter Symonds college. I am taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at AS level, and received full marks in each of my four exams in January. I got 7 A*s, including the three sciences, English language and maths, and three As at GCSE, and sat AS level PE one year early, getting an A.

    The reason I am on here is because I am finding it hard deciding which course I would like to apply to when University applications come around. The two courses I am considering are Natural Sciences (Biological route) and Medicine.

    Since the beginning of this school year, I have been volunteering weekly on the wards at my local hospital, and have been to several extension lectures connected to medicine. I have loved this volunteering, feeling I have gained much from the caring environment, and certainly feel it would be a good thing to dedicate my working life to. I certainly find it interesting, and can see how choosing to study that at University can lead into a well respected, secure, fulfilling and well paid job, and for those reasons I am strongly considering it as a choice.

    However, in my classes at college, the topics we have covered connected to wildlife biology, such as evolution and the anatomy of different organisms' respiratory and circulatory systems, have greatly interested me. I have always found this area intriguing, and have recently found myself drawn towards this area, enjoying learning about wildlife from a scientific point of view in my own time as well as in college. I almost feel as if this would be my dream area to work in, as I find it innately fascinating. However, I know that jobs beyond a degree in this subject are very hard to come by, especially my dream job in field research and conservation work.

    I was wandering if anyone had any advice at all on which would be the better choice, or if anyone had any information to do with jobs in biological research as this seems to be an area with little information readily available. Also, if anyone had any advice on which Universities might be worth looking at for the courses I am considering, that would be fantastic, as I really need to start making decisions as to where I want to continue studying after college.

    If anyone has been in my position, unsure as to whether to commit to the more concrete but highly demanding profession of medicine, or whether to follow a particular personal interest, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Also if anyone is taking a either of these courses, could they say how they are finding them, and which areas in particular they are enjoying the most.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!
    Hey jhitman, i went to peter symonds and now have an offer for medicine. Go and speak to julian (the biology teacher, helped me alot!) and go to the careers for a chat. Julian is great at talking to people about medicine and he handles all the medicine applicants concerns, checks all the personal statements and everything. Also speak to your tutor as he'll be able to help.

    The thing i would say is that if you dont really want to do medicine, then id seriously think before entering such a demanding subjects/career. if you have truely enjoyed your volunteering and lectures then it sounds like you do have a great interest.

    I was unsure for a while what to do, medicine or physics (i know 2 very different careers!) but by second year i knew for definite i had gone off physics due to the boring A2 imaginary physics. try and research some biology/natural sciences courses to see if any of them take an interest to you.

    you could always apply to both, so 3 medicine and 2 natural sciences or something like that if youre still unsure by the time you have to apply. good luck in deciding! focus on your A levels at the moment as they are the most important thing before uni!
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    Hi guys!

    I'm new to student room, and having read several useful threads, I joined so that I could ask for some help making a decision of my own.

    Just for some background information, I am a current Lower 6th student at Peter Symonds college. I am taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at AS level, and received full marks in each of my four exams in January. I got 7 A*s, including the three sciences, English language and maths, and three As at GCSE, and sat AS level PE one year early, getting an A.

    The reason I am on here is because I am finding it hard deciding which course I would like to apply to when University applications come around. The two courses I am considering are Natural Sciences (Biological route) and Medicine.

    Since the beginning of this school year, I have been volunteering weekly on the wards at my local hospital, and have been to several extension lectures connected to medicine. I have loved this volunteering, feeling I have gained much from the caring environment, and certainly feel it would be a good thing to dedicate my working life to. I certainly find it interesting, and can see how choosing to study that at University can lead into a well respected, secure, fulfilling and well paid job, and for those reasons I am strongly considering it as a choice.

    However, in my classes at college, the topics we have covered connected to wildlife biology, such as evolution and the anatomy of different organisms' respiratory and circulatory systems, have greatly interested me. I have always found this area intriguing, and have recently found myself drawn towards this area, enjoying learning about wildlife from a scientific point of view in my own time as well as in college. I almost feel as if this would be my dream area to work in, as I find it innately fascinating. However, I know that jobs beyond a degree in this subject are very hard to come by, especially my dream job in field research and conservation work.

    I was wandering if anyone had any advice at all on which would be the better choice, or if anyone had any information to do with jobs in biological research as this seems to be an area with little information readily available. Also, if anyone had any advice on which Universities might be worth looking at for the courses I am considering, that would be fantastic, as I really need to start making decisions as to where I want to continue studying after college.

    If anyone has been in my position, unsure as to whether to commit to the more concrete but highly demanding profession of medicine, or whether to follow a particular personal interest, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Also if anyone is taking a either of these courses, could they say how they are finding them, and which areas in particular they are enjoying the most.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!
    I'm at Symonds
    Just out of interest, which teacher do you have for biology? And if you think AS Bio is interesting then wait til you get to A2. Especially if you have Julian as your teacher I considered Medicie but my grades arent good enough (they would be if i wasnt doing Further Maths) and i'm not doing Chemistry AS/A2. I have 2 offers to do Biological Science and 1 to do Biomedical Science at uni and then hopefully i'll be able to decide from there. But i agree with the person above me- GO TALK TO JULIAN! And do Biology Olympiad next year, its fun
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    Hi guys!
    ...
    Have you thought about veterinary medicine?
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    (Original post by jhitman)
    Hi guys!

    I'm new to student room, and having read several useful threads, I joined so that I could ask for some help making a decision of my own.

    Just for some background information, I am a current Lower 6th student at Peter Symonds college. I am taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at AS level, and received full marks in each of my four exams in January. I got 7 A*s, including the three sciences, English language and maths, and three As at GCSE, and sat AS level PE one year early, getting an A.

    The reason I am on here is because I am finding it hard deciding which course I would like to apply to when University applications come around. The two courses I am considering are Natural Sciences (Biological route) and Medicine.

    Since the beginning of this school year, I have been volunteering weekly on the wards at my local hospital, and have been to several extension lectures connected to medicine. I have loved this volunteering, feeling I have gained much from the caring environment, and certainly feel it would be a good thing to dedicate my working life to. I certainly find it interesting, and can see how choosing to study that at University can lead into a well respected, secure, fulfilling and well paid job, and for those reasons I am strongly considering it as a choice.

    However, in my classes at college, the topics we have covered connected to wildlife biology, such as evolution and the anatomy of different organisms' respiratory and circulatory systems, have greatly interested me. I have always found this area intriguing, and have recently found myself drawn towards this area, enjoying learning about wildlife from a scientific point of view in my own time as well as in college. I almost feel as if this would be my dream area to work in, as I find it innately fascinating. However, I know that jobs beyond a degree in this subject are very hard to come by, especially my dream job in field research and conservation work.

    I was wandering if anyone had any advice at all on which would be the better choice, or if anyone had any information to do with jobs in biological research as this seems to be an area with little information readily available. Also, if anyone had any advice on which Universities might be worth looking at for the courses I am considering, that would be fantastic, as I really need to start making decisions as to where I want to continue studying after college.

    If anyone has been in my position, unsure as to whether to commit to the more concrete but highly demanding profession of medicine, or whether to follow a particular personal interest, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Also if anyone is taking a either of these courses, could they say how they are finding them, and which areas in particular they are enjoying the most.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this!
    Hi, I'm just about to start at Peter Symonds and I have an interest in medicine. Coming across your thread, I can't help but wonder where and when did you do your volunteering at a hospital? I've looked at the Basingstoke North Hampshire hospital, which is the closest one to me, but they only accept people aged 17 and over. I have to apply to unis by Oct 2015 and my 17th birthday is on May 29th 2015, so I'm not sure whether I can do enough work experience/volunteering to be able to include in my application especially since I've heard AS is really hard and a huge jump from GCSEs, so I would be focusing on them during may/june months.
 
 
 
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