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    This is probably going to sound extremely stupid.

    I want to go to Medical School. However, due to not meeting requirements in GCSE standard I am going to take a Bachelors Degree in Microbiology with immunology to apply for post graduate level.

    My question is, I want to do a PhD in medicine, and specialise in Immunology, do I obtain a PhD after my 4 years in medical school, or do I have to do something else after? Also, how would I specialise in immunology? Really confused!
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    This is probably going to sound extremely stupid.

    I want to go to Medical School. However, due to not meeting requirements in GCSE standard I am going to take a Bachelors Degree in Microbiology with immunology to apply for post graduate level.

    My question is, I want to do a PhD in medicine, and specialise in Immunology, do I obtain a PhD after my 4 years in medical school, or do I have to do something else after? Also, how would I specialise in immunology? Really confused!

    A PhD won't qualify you to practise as a medical doctor: currently the only way to do that in the United Kingdom is to gain a GMC accredited Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, MBChB, BMBS, and a thousand other abbreviations for the same thing), or to do an equivalent degree abroad, but that route depends very much on where you do the degree and I'm not sure about the intricacies of that way!

    A PhD is a research doctorate; it qualifies you as a researcher. If you want to go on to work in academic research in the future, a PhD is a great choice, or you can even get jobs in industry afterwards, however, a PhD is NOT a route to becoming a practising medical doctor.

    PhDs, in addition, are usually very highly specialised. A girl in my year has a PhD in which she spent the time researching something to do with cathepsin K in a certain type of lymphocyte - I can't remember what it was she did exactly. You don't study for a "PhD in physics" or a "PhD in medicine" quite so broadly - it's much more specialised than that: you'd be applying to PhD programmes focused around immunology right off the bat! If you want to become the type of immunologist who's a scientist and works in a lab doing research, then you have to go this PhD route!

    If you want to become a medical doctor after doing another degree, the route you have to take is Graduate-Entry Medicine - this course is 4 years long. Alternatively you can apply for the standard medicine course as a graduate, which is 5-6 years long. You learn the same stuff in GEM; the course is just compressed by a year.

    I wouldn't count yourself out quite so quickly from doing medicine straight out of school either. Here are the minimum GCSE requirements for all the different medical schools in the UK - are you sure you don't meet them? What are your GCSEs?

    If you want to become a clinical immunologist, i.e. the type who treats patients, then you have to go to medical school to obtain the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degrees that I mentioned above (4 years if GEM, 5-6 years if the standard route). Then spend 2 years as a junior doctor - rotating around various medical and surgical jobs - before going onto specialty training, which for Immunology seems to involve doing core medical training before going onto specialise in clinical immunology.
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    To do a doctoral research degree you have a few options. First you could do a PhD after your first degree, secondly some unis offer integrated PhDs during your medical degree, thirdly you could do a PhD straight after your medical degree and finally you can do an MD after you've completed your foundation training.

    Options one and four are the better options as they minimise interruptions to your study and training, doing a MD can be done while training from what I understand and takes 2 years full time or 3 years part time but is more focused on clinical research whereas the PhD option will get you an extra point or 2 when applying to foundation programs which could be useful.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    A PhD won't qualify you to practise as a medical doctor: currently the only way to do that in the United Kingdom is to gain a GMC accredited Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, MBChB, BMBS, and a thousand other abbreviations for the same thing), or to do an equivalent degree abroad, but that route depends very much on where you do the degree and I'm not sure about the intricacies of that way!

    A PhD is a research doctorate; it qualifies you as a researcher. If you want to go on to work in academic research in the future, a PhD is a great choice, or you can even get jobs in industry afterwards, however, a PhD is NOT a route to becoming a practising medical doctor.

    PhDs, in addition, are usually very highly specialised. A girl in my year has a PhD in which she spent the time researching something to do with cathepsin K in a certain type of lymphocyte - I can't remember what it was she did exactly. You don't study for a "PhD in physics" or a "PhD in medicine" quite so broadly - it's much more specialised than that: you'd be applying to PhD programmes focused around immunology right off the bat! If you want to become the type of immunologist who's a scientist and works in a lab doing research, then you have to go this PhD route!

    If you want to become a medical doctor after doing another degree, the route you have to take is Graduate-Entry Medicine - this course is 4 years long. Alternatively you can apply for the standard medicine course as a graduate, which is 5-6 years long. You learn the same stuff in GEM; the course is just compressed by a year.

    I wouldn't count yourself out quite so quickly from doing medicine straight out of school either. Here are the minimum GCSE requirements for all the different medical schools in the UK - are you sure you don't meet them? What are your GCSEs?

    If you want to become a clinical immunologist, i.e. the type who treats patients, then you have to go to medical school to obtain the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degrees that I mentioned above (4 years if GEM, 5-6 years if the standard route). Then spend 2 years as a junior doctor - rotating around various medical and surgical jobs - before going onto specialty training, which for Immunology seems to involve doing core medical training before going onto specialise in clinical immunology.

    I do want to be a clinical immunologist/consultant (not sure if that is the same thing) and my gcses were mostly B's, expect for 1 C in maths (I was foolish enough to think I could not pay attention) so I'm pretty sure I do not meet requirements for any medical school, yet to be honest I haven't looked! So I thought postgraduate level would be a better entry, and a taste of immunology in a bachelors degree will give me and insight. Would microbiology with immunology be a good enough graduate level?
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    Just a side note, immunology and microbiology are hard and tedious and not something I'd wish on my worst enemy, and that's just the MBBS component. I can't imagine the unbearable suffering of having to study those two things every day for 3 years. Make sure you know 100% what a degree in immunology and microbiology entails, and if you're not sure study something like biomed where most places let you specialise after 1st year - that way, you can at least get a taste for all the different biomed specialties (including microbiology, immunology) before you decide on 1 thing.
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    I do want to be a clinical immunologist/consultant (not sure if that is the same thing) and my gcses were mostly B's, expect for 1 C in maths (I was foolish enough to think I could not pay attention) so I'm pretty sure I do not meet requirements for any medical school, yet to be honest I haven't looked! So I thought postgraduate level would be a better entry, and a taste of immunology in a bachelors degree will give me and insight. Would microbiology with immunology be a good enough graduate level?
    You do meet the minimum requirements for a lot of medical schools, but you wouldn't make a competitive application. Almost everyone applying will have A*s and As, and some universities place a heavy focus on GCSEs. If you wanted to stand a chance of getting in from sixth form, you'd have to perform stellarly on your A levels, get a good UKCAT/BMAT (these are tests you have to sit when you apply), and good W/E and volunteering, and apply to places that don't place much weight on GCSEs, which even then B's and a C wouldn't be too favourable!

    Microbiology with immunology is a perfectly good degree - any life science degree will allow you to apply for medicine afterwards. Hell, you can apply to medicine with a degree in English Literature or History! As of now, though, you'd be in for a long route, which definitely does not involve a PhD! (unless you want to, for the fun of it. )

    Finish your A levels -> 3 year BSc -> Apply for GEM (possibly get rejected and have to take a gap year(s)) -> 4 years GEM.

    I'm not sure why you're so focused on clinical immunology already at this stage in the game: you can compete for any medical specialty after graduating with a medicine degree, and clinical immunology is a very, very niche one. How do you know that's what you want to do with your life and not, for example, be a cardiologist? Or an orthopaedic surgeon?

    I have to agree with Beska that microbiology and immunology are not easy subjects, but I've quite enjoyed the depth we've needed to cover in the MBChB; I'd definitely make sure you're applying to the right degree (you're signing up to a 3 year course, after all!): why micro w/ immuno? Why not biomedical sciences? Why not neuroscience? Or pharmacology?

    A "consultant" is just a senior doctor. You become a consultant after you finish all your training (meaning 4-6 years medical school, 2 years foundation, 3-8 years specialty training). He's basically the top of the doctor hierarchy. So your job title would be "consultant clinical immunologist".

    Here's a guide to applying for graduate-entry medicine. Go do your research!
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    Immunology is hell. Pure, evil hell. Avoid at all costs unless you truly have a passion for memorising lots of acronyms, numbers and associated functions.

    (I'm sitting an immunology tomorrow)

    I'm assuming from your posts that you're doing your A-levels? I'm not sure how much you know of immunology yet beyond the fact that the immune system is a cool collection of cells that protect our bodies from foreign infectious organisms. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a lot less cooler than you might think (though it definitely is still one of the cooler aspects of our bodies!)

    I won't make your decision for you obviously, if you truly have a passion for it then let no one stop you. Just be warned that it may not be as fun as you think it is!

    Have you considered other degrees like biomedical science? That's what I'm doing at the moment and you still get to do immunology, but in much more reasonable chunks. You also get the added benefit of a more diverse course in terms of content, allowing you to potentially change your career choice later on to fit what you've found most interesting.
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    I concur what's been said - don't dive into something unless you know for sure it is the field you, with no doubt would want to to specialise in in whichever way later on.

    Don't get dragged into it all just because you might like it now - you'll certainly change after a few years and you might even end up hating it! Take me as an example, I absolutely loved genetics before uni and now I find it rather boring in comparison.

    No matter how much "passion" you've for immunology atm, I recommend you take a much broader science like biology, biochem, biomed - these courses gives you the breadth and depth you'd want and will equip you with the general and fundamental knowledge and you can specialise later on as well.

    ...esp 'cos it's immunology - interesting but absolutely a pain to learn, apply and it's is actually like hell. @[email protected] I used to love it but now (even after doing it as one of my final year modules), I want to avoid it! It's literally like memorising a massive textbook, then have to arrange around different things here and there, rejuggle things all the time and it's just a mess. If you're into that sort of stuff, might as well learn a new language - at least you can use it in everyday conversations :p:.
    (but anyway, I'm not saying immunology must be avoided - it's only worths it if you've a strong interest and determination that won't be diminished by its size after 3 years - just think twice before you do decide on doing it).
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    Immunology is getting a lot of hate in this thread. I think it's quite cool.

    But I agree with the general consensus. It's impossible to know whether you actually like immunology when you're doing your A-levels and therefore selecting a degree where you're almost exclusively doing immunology (w/microbiology, if you wish) has strong elements of naivety.

    I know with some courses at university, you can start off broad (biomedical sciences/biological sciences/etc) and, from second year onwards, can choose to narrow down into a more niche subject if that's what you enjoy. But I certainly would advise against choosing an immunology degree based on the A-level content of immunology.
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    I can see where you are all coming from - and I highly appreciate you helping me! I have spoke to a few people who have said majortity what has been said here 'don't put yourself. Through 3 years of specialising when you have to go through 4 years of hell at medical school!' Ect.

    I may have a very slim chance of getting into medical school straight from A levels, I do meet some requirements, however no resits are allowed, which you never know! (I'm not very postivie) but not giving up yet as there is things which are winthin my control e.g I am starting my first chemist work experience in a couple of days, then volenteering at cancer research, perhaps a care home too in the near future.

    And onto the bachlor's degree choice, I thought due to the such medical -related basis of the degree it would benefit me in the future, however you're right I could change my mind But it's funny as I was orginally looking at a career In Biomedical Science but for me there wasn't any doctor patient relationship which I want to be apart of so dismissed a biomed course on those basis. Would medical schools definitely accept Biomedical? And would it matter where I got the degree from - would it have to be from a prestigous university, as I live near Lincoln, which offer a biomedical course and would be a lot easier for me money wise. It also offers a year work placement, should I do the extra year and gain more medical field experience, or would it just waste another year and not be beneficial?
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    Would medical schools definitely accept Biomedical?
    Yep.

    And would it matter where I got the degree from - would it have to be from a prestigous university, as I live near Lincoln, which offer a biomedical course and would be a lot easier for me money wise.
    Nope, a degree is a degree in terms of GEM. I think Imperial have a checklist of stuff you have to have covered, but other than that it's pretty open.

    It also offers a year work placement, should I do the extra year and gain more medical field experience, or would it just waste another year and not be beneficial?
    Definitely do the year in industry. 1) You might get some good references (I did) 2) It's good in case you don't get into GEM (it is competitive!!) 3) You might get some money for it
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    I can see where you are all coming from - and I highly appreciate you helping me! I have spoke to a few people who have said majortity what has been said here 'don't put yourself. Through 3 years of specialising when you have to go through 4 years of hell at medical school!' Ect.

    I may have a very slim chance of getting into medical school straight from A levels, I do meet some requirements, however no resits are allowed, which you never know! (I'm not very postivie) but not giving up yet as there is things which are winthin my control e.g I am starting my first chemist work experience in a couple of days, then volenteering at cancer research, perhaps a care home too in the near future.

    And onto the bachlor's degree choice, I thought due to the such medical -related basis of the degree it would benefit me in the future, however you're right I could change my mind But it's funny as I was orginally looking at a career In Biomedical Science but for me there wasn't any doctor patient relationship which I want to be apart of so dismissed a biomed course on those basis. Would medical schools definitely accept Biomedical? And would it matter where I got the degree from - would it have to be from a prestigous university, as I live near Lincoln, which offer a biomedical course and would be a lot easier for me money wise. It also offers a year work placement, should I do the extra year and gain more medical field experience, or would it just waste another year and not be beneficial?
    IIRC Lincoln's course is accredited so you become a qualified Biomedical Scientist at the end of it, which is good to fall back on if you decide medicine isn't for you. When you apply for GEM, the degree classification matters more than where you got it from, so don't dismiss Lincoln based on prestige.

    You could give applying to undergrad medicine a shot if you thought you might make the A level requirement, you could put Lincoln as your 5th choice (double check that they'll accept a medicine PS or let you send them a biomed one directly, but they were cool with being a medicine back-up when I asked them a few years back - I didn't end up applying there, but I'm from near there too so had similar reasons to you for looking in to it). If you think there aren't many medical schools that would consider you, you can split your application 3:2 or 2:3 instead of 4:1 medicine:biomed.
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    Are you sure you don't meet the GCSE requirements? You also say no resits are allowed, presumably referring to AS's, but this just isn't true if they are taken within the standard two years most unis are ok with some resits.
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    I can see where you are all coming from - and I highly appreciate you helping me! I have spoke to a few people who have said majortity what has been said here 'don't put yourself. Through 3 years of specialising when you have to go through 4 years of hell at medical school!' Ect.

    I may have a very slim chance of getting into medical school straight from A levels, I do meet some requirements, however no resits are allowed, which you never know! (I'm not very postivie) but not giving up yet as there is things which are winthin my control e.g I am starting my first chemist work experience in a couple of days, then volenteering at cancer research, perhaps a care home too in the near future.

    And onto the bachlor's degree choice, I thought due to the such medical -related basis of the degree it would benefit me in the future, however you're right I could change my mind But it's funny as I was orginally looking at a career In Biomedical Science but for me there wasn't any doctor patient relationship which I want to be apart of so dismissed a biomed course on those basis. Would medical schools definitely accept Biomedical? And would it matter where I got the degree from - would it have to be from a prestigous university, as I live near Lincoln, which offer a biomedical course and would be a lot easier for me money wise. It also offers a year work placement, should I do the extra year and gain more medical field experience, or would it just waste another year and not be beneficial?

    (Original post by HCubed)
    Are you sure you don't meet the GCSE requirements? You also say no resits are allowed, presumably referring to AS's, but this just isn't true if they are taken within the standard two years most unis are ok with some resits.
    As HCubed points out, you seem to have completely misunderstood the resits issue. Normal resits are completely fine, no-one cares. It's only when you need to take a resit after getting your A2 results that most (but not all) unis have a problem.
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    Oh I understand, that makes a lot more sense! (Panic over!) but my GCSE requirements, don't match, I have majority, however I was looking at sheffield and Leeds for my main 2. Sheffield offers c's English maths, and sciences which is fine, yet they ask for 6 As, which I have, but in diploma and btec form. And Leeds? Well, I need a B in maths.
    So an alternative degree seems the only option for me, I have been told to apply anyway, but do not just assume you will get in due to how competitive it is. But I think I will go for a biomedical course

    thank you everyone! Really have helped me out
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    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    IIRC Lincoln's course is accredited so you become a qualified Biomedical Scientist at the end of it, which is good to fall back on if you decide medicine isn't for you. When you apply for GEM, the degree classification matters more than where you got it from, so don't dismiss Lincoln based on prestige.

    You could give applying to undergrad medicine a shot if you thought you might make the A level requirement, you could put Lincoln as your 5th choice (double check that they'll accept a medicine PS or let you send them a biomed one directly, but they were cool with being a medicine back-up when I asked them a few years back - I didn't end up applying there, but I'm from near there too so had similar reasons to you for looking in to it). If you think there aren't many medical schools that would consider you, you can split your application 3:2 or 2:3 instead of 4:1 medicine:biomed.
    I don't understand when you say double check that they'll accept a medicine PS or let you send them a biomed one directly?
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    Oh I understand, that makes a lot more sense! (Panic over!) but my GCSE requirements, don't match, I have majority, however I was looking at sheffield and Leeds for my main 2. Sheffield offers c's English maths, and sciences which is fine, yet they ask for 6 As, which I have, but in diploma and btec form. And Leeds? Well, I need a B in maths.
    So an alternative degree seems the only option for me, I have been told to apply anyway, but do not just assume you will get in due to how competitive it is. But I think I will go for a biomedical course

    thank you everyone! Really have helped me out
    There are still medical schools that will take you. Newcastle are remarkably unfussy about GCSEs providing your A-levels are good and you do very well in the UKCAT.
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    I don't understand when you say double check that they'll accept a medicine PS or let you send them a biomed one directly?
    It means to check with Lincoln University if they'll accept you applying to biomedical sciences when you've written a personal statement geared towards medicine, and if not, then check if they'll allow you to submit a separate personal statement.
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    I've just looked at Newcastle, no mention of GCSEs at all. Ill consider it, but depending on what scores I get a A level e.g. If perhaps I got a B instead of an A bringing my grades to AAB.

    should I just apply to medical schools anyway, even if I don't 100 meet criteria?
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    (Original post by carly_muse)
    I've just looked at Newcastle, no mention of GCSEs at all. Ill consider it, but depending on what scores I get a A level e.g. If perhaps I got a B instead of an A bringing my grades to AAB.

    should I just apply to medical schools anyway, even if I don't 100 meet criteria?
    If you get AAB, you will not get in, I'm afraid. Keele and possibly one or two other places will take A*AB but your options would be very limited.
 
 
 
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