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Doctor/surgeon requirements watch

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    I've been wanting to know what should I take at A level for becoming a doctor and then to specialise as surgeon, my particular interest is Neurosurgery.
    I have been told to take 2 sciences which is chemistry and biology and a further maths, I just don't know what to take for my forth subject?
    Psychology, forensics or physics? Please help me which would be the best to choose, thankyou!


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    I think psychology would be a very good skill to have as a doctor
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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    I've been wanting to know what should I take at A level for becoming a doctor and then to specialise as surgeon, my particular interest is Neurosurgery.
    I have been told to take 2 sciences which is chemistry and biology and a further maths, I just don't know what to take for my forth subject?
    Psychology, forensics or physics? Please help me which would be the best to choose, thankyou!


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    I'm not doctor or even want to go down that route but, you are aware further maths is 2 A levels? It is highly possible I misunderstood your post though so sorry if I have!
    For the record, I would've thought just A level maths is enough on its own without the further.
    To answer your question, Medicine is incredibly competitive so you need the strongest profile you can get, which would mean you should take Physics.
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    Do biology, chemistry, maths and physics if you like the subjects, I tried swapping physics for psychology and it didn't go very well as there is so much more work you have to do for psychology which will bring your grades down in your other subjects.
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    Outside of Biology and Chemistry it doesn't matter what A level you pick providing that you make some sort of effort to study fairly well respected subject- so avoiding things like Science in Society, Culture and Communication etc (although I've seen people on this forum with offers with their third subject as business studies, PE etc so tbh I don't even know if it's THAT important you take traditionally "hard" A Levels.

    So really, there's no "better subject" out of Maths, Physics or Psychology. I'd personally avoid forensics though, it's not a popular choice for medicine. The other three are probably the three most popular 3rd and 4th A levels. So just pick the ones you would enjoy and do well at. Getting the A is far more imoortant
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    Thank you very much everyone, I think I will take the physics and just a level maths instead with the other 2 sciences! Thankyou again it means alot!


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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    Thank you very much everyone, I think I will take the physics and just a level maths instead with the other 2 sciences! Thankyou again it means alot!


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    Good choice! Thats what I did
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    Okay thankyou very much! That gives me some guidance and a positive view on my choices thankyou!


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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    I've been wanting to know what should I take at A level for becoming a doctor and then to specialise as surgeon, my particular interest is Neurosurgery.
    I have been told to take 2 sciences which is chemistry and biology and a further maths, I just don't know what to take for my forth subject?
    Psychology, forensics or physics? Please help me which would be the best to choose, thankyou!


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    None of your A-levels will have any remote bearing on your life after medical school, bar physics if you wanted to do radiology -- perhaps. Focus on getting excellent Bio, Chem + Maths and getting into medical school. Worry about the surgeon bit later.

    Also be aware that neurosurgery is an incredible competitive field within medicine, and you'll have to prepare yourself for significant extra work in medical school if you want to succeed.
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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    I've been wanting to know what should I take at A level for becoming a doctor and then to specialise as surgeon, my particular interest is Neurosurgery.
    I have been told to take 2 sciences which is chemistry and biology and a further maths, I just don't know what to take for my forth subject?
    Psychology, forensics or physics? Please help me which would be the best to choose, thankyou!
    To emphasise, maths isn't needed if you don't want to do it.

    And as above - neurosurgery is very competitive within medicine (plus boring and not especially skilled tbh, but maybe that's just what i've seen)... be prepared for doing 8/9 years of training and still being forced into another speciality.
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    Yes I realise that I'll be forced to do other specialities but if I get into university then I'll choose a field which I most enjoy thankyou so much for your help! I swear you do need maths though? I thought it was the one you needed most?


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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    Yes I realise that I'll be forced to do other specialities but if I get into university then I'll choose a field which I most enjoy thankyou so much for your help! I swear you do need maths though? I thought it was the one you needed most?


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    As far as the universities are concerned, the only one that's indispensable is chemistry - even though you never "do chemistry" again like you do at school, it's important to have an intuition of how it all works.

    Then there's biology - this isn't compulsory at some medical schools, but you would be very foolish not to do it. I only did the AS and despite doing a bit of extra bookwork in the summer I was still very much behind on the cell biology.

    Anything else is nice but not essential. Physics and maths (IMO two very interesting subjects) are not very helpful for medicine unless you want to go into radiology or clinical oncology, in which case they are critical. As others have said, it's good to have some general idea of the areas of medicine which interest you, but it's early days to have your mind fixed on being a neurosurgeon.

    Having a basic knowledge of stats is handy but you would be no worse off than your peers if you just watched a couple of Khan Academy tutorials on youtube before starting.

    Do the subjects that you're going to enjoy studying and do well in - don't feel pressured into doing all 4 sciences however (infact, 3 sciences and something else may make you a more interesting applicant).
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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    I swear you do need maths though? I thought it was the one you needed most?
    No. It is a common myth. Even teachers will say it is. But check the websites - not a single school requires maths. Biology and chemistry will satisfy the requirements at all medical schools except Cambridge, who require a 3rd science in addition (physics or maths, doesn't matter which one).
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    You have all been very helpful, thankyou very much I will do further research to see if I actually do need maths as its not a strong subject of mine but I do enjoy it weirdly... But I think I may take all 3 sciences as it will make me a interesting candidate like some of you said but I need to look into the maths more thankyou ever so much all of you!


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    (Original post by Tech)
    Do the subjects that you're going to enjoy studying and do well in - don't feel pressured into doing all 4 sciences however (infact, 3 sciences and something else may make you a more interesting applicant).
    I would consider that a rather dubious admissions policy, if medical schools were inferring how "interesting" someone was based on their A Level choices.
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    I would consider that a rather dubious admissions policy, if medical schools were inferring how "interesting" someone was based on their A Level choices.
    Maybe he meant that when writing your UCAS application you will have a wider range of topics to talk about, making yourself more interesting, because you have a wider range of interests rather then just science.
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    (Original post by Livsophie)
    You have all been very helpful, thankyou very much I will do further research to see if I actually do need maths as its not a strong subject of mine but I do enjoy it weirdly... But I think I may take all 3 sciences as it will make me a interesting candidate like some of you said but I need to look into the maths more thankyou ever so much all of you!


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    Maths may not be a requirement to do medicine but it will definitely help in the admissions process because it's a very respected subject. If its between you and another candidate with the same grades and you have maths and the other applicant doesn't, I'd bet on you to get the place

    Medicine is so competitive you need to do lots of extras to get a place. So choose solid A levels and do lots of volunteering.
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    (Original post by Baines_22)
    Maybe he meant that when writing your UCAS application you will have a wider range of topics to talk about, making yourself more interesting, because you have a wider range of interests rather then just science.
    Perhaps, but then surely your "interests" in the conttext of a personal statement are more to do with hobbies/extracurricular activities etc, rather than what subjects you have chosen for A Level?
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    (Original post by SkinnyKat)
    Maths may not be a requirement to do medicine but it will definitely help in the admissions process because it's a very respected subject. If its between you and another candidate with the same grades and you have maths and the other applicant doesn't, I'd bet on you to get the place

    Medicine is so competitive you need to do lots of extras to get a place. So choose solid A levels and do lots of volunteering.
    Hmmmm not sure I agree. Pretty sure they would look at UKCAT or strength of PS before they would say he did history instead of maths.

    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    Perhaps, but then surely your "interests" in the conttext of a personal statement are more to do with hobbies/extracurricular activities etc, rather than what subjects you have chosen for A Level?
    Well I'm just guessing but maybe they were trying to impy that if you took art instead of physics you could have other interests and hobbies that strengthen your application that are related to that subject.
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    (Original post by Baines_22)
    Hmmmm not sure I agree. Pretty sure they would look at UKCAT or strength of PS before they would say he did history instead of maths.

    .
    I meant all else being equal. It certainly does not hinder OP's chances of doing medicine and maths is universally respected. Besides, medicine is a science and maths can only help.

    I'd encourage anyone to take up maths A level. I never did and regret it. Limited my modules choices at university somewhat.
 
 
 
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