Too ill at medical school - second chance or nursing? Watch

Quin87
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Hi.
Just wanting some opinions and advice really.

I went to medical school when I was 18. Incredibly excited and motivated, being something I decided that I wanted to do from the age of 12.

However when I was at medical school I unfortunately developed a whole heap of fairly severe medical problems. I finished my third year, and then made a decision to take a year out and have hospital treatment.

Unfortunately it took much longer than a year, and so I made the only decision I could at the time and withdrew from the course. I was in no way pressurised to do this from the medical achool, but I knew that I'd had too much time out and couldn't guarantee when I'd be well enough to return. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make, and I've been through a sort of mourning for the life I'd dreamt of and worked so hard towards.

Fast forward a couple of years. I made the decision to apply for postgrad children's nursing. (As I'd completed 3 years and 360 credits I was awarded an honours degree in medical sciences). I had always wanted to specialise in paediatrics, and believed the path of being a dr was closed to me as in my eyes I'd failed medical school.

Anyway, here comes the issue. My medical school gave me the most glowing reference. They made it very clear that I hadn't failed, were very complimentary over how I was as a student, and said that I'd shown great insight and maturity to know that I wasn't well enough at the time to do full time study. And it's sort of made the penny drop with me - I hadn't failed, I am good enough, I'd always passed academically and clinically, I was just sick.

So now I don't know what to do. Pursue nursing and work hard and get to advanced practitioner level. Be less stressful, quicker to learn, fees paid for, certain to get in. Or withdraw my application and instead apply in 2014 to do graduate entry medicine? Which is crazily competitive, and I'm not sure how any uni would view the whole been to medical school before... My health is better, but I'm still not 100%. But I think I have the right treatment package around me.

I've been told by several people that I am too intelligent for nursing and should instead be looking at GEM. But I've left medical school full of personal doubts over my academic ability, although no one else has them in me.

What would you do? Thanks for any replies


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sarahlikesgrapes
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I would definitely try GEM! If it's your dream you might as well try, even if you only apply once, what have you got to lose? And if you get rejected then at least you'll know you've tried and can then go onto the nursing? Because if nursing isn't as competitive then I guess it wouldn't matter if you didn't apply yet? I've applied for ug medicine this year and although I'm not the perfect candidate, I would have always regretted not at least trying to follow my dream
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Quin87
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(Original post by sarahlikesgrapes)
I would definitely try GEM! If it's your dream you might as well try, even if you only apply once, what have you got to lose? And if you get rejected then at least you'll know you've tried and can then go onto the nursing? Because if nursing isn't as competitive then I guess it wouldn't matter if you didn't apply yet? I've applied for ug medicine this year and although I'm not the perfect candidate, I would have always regretted not at least trying to follow my dream
Thank you for your advice. I think you're right about not wanting to have any regrets. Good luck with your application!


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tomkeys
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(Original post by Quin87)
Hi.
Just wanting some opinions and advice really.

I went to medical school when I was 18. Incredibly excited and motivated, being something I decided that I wanted to do from the age of 12.

However when I was at medical school I unfortunately developed a whole heap of fairly severe medical problems. I finished my third year, and then made a decision to take a year out and have hospital treatment.

Unfortunately it took much longer than a year, and so I made the only decision I could at the time and withdrew from the course. I was in no way pressurised to do this from the medical achool, but I knew that I'd had too much time out and couldn't guarantee when I'd be well enough to return. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make, and I've been through a sort of mourning for the life I'd dreamt of and worked so hard towards.

Fast forward a couple of years. I made the decision to apply for postgrad children's nursing. (As I'd completed 3 years and 360 credits I was awarded an honours degree in medical sciences). I had always wanted to specialise in paediatrics, and believed the path of being a dr was closed to me as in my eyes I'd failed medical school.

Anyway, here comes the issue. My medical school gave me the most glowing reference. They made it very clear that I hadn't failed, were very complimentary over how I was as a student, and said that I'd shown great insight and maturity to know that I wasn't well enough at the time to do full time study. And it's sort of made the penny drop with me - I hadn't failed, I am good enough, I'd always passed academically and clinically, I was just sick.

So now I don't know what to do. Pursue nursing and work hard and get to advanced practitioner level. Be less stressful, quicker to learn, fees paid for, certain to get in. Or withdraw my application and instead apply in 2014 to do graduate entry medicine? Which is crazily competitive, and I'm not sure how any uni would view the whole been to medical school before... My health is better, but I'm still not 100%. But I think I have the right treatment package around me.

I've been told by several people that I am too intelligent for nursing and should instead be looking at GEM. But I've left medical school full of personal doubts over my academic ability, although no one else has them in me.

What would you do? Thanks for any replies


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Go for it! I think you'd only regret it if you didn't try. As a medical student myself, it seems to me that medicine is the path you really want to take.
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Nuttyneuron
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Go for it! :-) It really does seem like you want to go back to medical school, there really isn't any harm in trying. If I was in your shoes I would honestly apply! Hope that helps, and good luck!
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Sarky
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Is it worth getting in touch with your old medical school to get their views on you reapplying? It would be unorthodox but it doesn't seem that yours is a traditional case.

Good luck whatever happens, and its great that you're in better health now.
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Becca-Sarah
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I'm not sure on the ins and outs of how it would work, but would your old medical school maybe consider letting you reapply for your original place? I.e. maybe repeat 3rd year to get back into things but otherwise continue where you left off? You're a very unusual case anyway (in the best possible way!), so there's no harm in asking about very unusual ways back into medicine.

Certainly, as Sarky suggested, speak to your old school about your plans regardless. It sounds like your confidence took quite a knock with having to leave, and whichever route you choose to take it would be sensible to do it knowing that you are academically capable of succeeding in whatever you put your mind to, and an old tutor might be able to have a chat with you to that end.
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sarahlikesgrapes
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(Original post by Quin87)
Thank you for your advice. I think you're right about not wanting to have any regrets. Good luck with your application!


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Thank you! And you too, whatever you decide in the end
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Quin87
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(Original post by Sarky)
Is it worth getting in touch with your old medical school to get their views on you reapplying? It would be unorthodox but it doesn't seem that yours is a traditional case.

Good luck whatever happens, and its great that you're in better health now.
I might do that. Even if I just email the guy who did my reference. Unfortunately my academic tutor has since left the medical school, and he knew me best, but I still have contacts within the medical school. Thanks


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Quin87
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(Original post by Becca-Sarah)
I'm not sure on the ins and outs of how it would work, but would your old medical school maybe consider letting you reapply for your original place? I.e. maybe repeat 3rd year to get back into things but otherwise continue where you left off? You're a very unusual case anyway (in the best possible way!), so there's no harm in asking about very unusual ways back into medicine.

Certainly, as Sarky suggested, speak to your old school about your plans regardless. It sounds like your confidence took quite a knock with having to leave, and whichever route you choose to take it would be sensible to do it knowing that you are academically capable of succeeding in whatever you put your mind to, and an old tutor might be able to have a chat with you to that end.
No unfortunately once I withdrew and got my BSc instead, that was it. I was told by the medical school at the time (meetings with the academic sub dean etc) that they had no questions over me academically. I guess partly I felt it because it was a real struggle on top of being so unwell? I flew through my first year, when my health was ok, but then got diagnosed with epilepsy in my second year and my health seemed to unravel and work was much harder. It definitely was a massive confidence knock. Thanks for your help


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Quin87
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Tomkeys and nuttyneuron - thank you. My heart is definitely in medicine. I need to be happy with whatever decision I make, and I wish it was easier. Stupid health!!


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Crumpet1
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Contact your old medical school, explain you're now well enough to resume studying, and ask what you need to do to get back into medicine.
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xx-Samantha-xx
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If your heart is with Medicine then do that Nursing is great however, it is not medicine. If that is what you have always wanted you may not be satisfied with Nursing, while you can work up to Nurse practitioner etc If your heart lies somewhere else then you won't enjoy it as much and with the stress everyone in the NHS is under at the moment you need to be absolutely sure. As you and your previous university it wasn't the academic work that was lacking, you just had a bad time health wise and I don't really see any medical schools having that much of a problem with it so stick with what your heart wants and good luck
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1219269
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Get your ass back to that medical school


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