smo123
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So I'm in a little bit of a predicament at the moment, and I'm wondering if there's anyone out there who is in a similar situation, or has any advice for me.

I applied to study medicine for the 2013/2014 intake. I had 2 interviews and was given 2 offers, my lowest of which was AAB, the A's being in Chemistry and Biology specifically. My A level results were A*AB, with a B in Chemistry, so I didn't meet the entry requirements. In a bit of a blind panic on results day, I gained a place at university through UCAS clearing to study Biology, but I'm hating it at the moment! I struggle to find any motivation to study, as Medicine was the only thing I was interested in doing, and I'm considering dropping out. Ultimately I still want to be a doctor, but I'm not sure I can handle 3 years of a degree I'm not enjoying.

I'm sure there's lots of people out there doing courses other than medicine, who still want to be doctors but aren't enjoying their current course. Has anyone been in this position or is anyone currently in this position, who can offer some words of wisdom?

Cheers
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parentlurker
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If you still want to be a doctor you have two, maybe 4, options - finish your degree and get a first or drop out, retake Chemistry and get an A* and apply again. You might be able to complete year one and reapply to med school but you'd need a good result in year 1 exams. You could look at european med schools if your parents can fund you (loans not available in the same way). If you have an AS language (even English) malta is worth a look but I dont remember their grade requirement. Both financially and practically the drop out route is difficult so my advice would be stick with the degree and get a bank nursing assistant job in the holidays to remind yourself why you have to study hard. The relatively weak Chemistry is always going to be a problem and you need a first or to improve the A level, ideally both.

Sorry to be unkind but if you can't maintain the motivation to complete your degree you might struggle to persuade a medical school to take you.

Any other degree you could switch to that might motivate you better?

To anyone else who misses their grades - the gap year and retake Chemistry route would have been a better choice immediately post a level..
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Ronove
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(Original post by parentlurker)
If you still want to be a doctor you have two, maybe 4, options - finish your degree and get a first or drop out, retake Chemistry and get an A* and apply again. You might be able to complete year one and reapply to med school but you'd need a good result in year 1 exams. You could look at european med schools if your parents can fund you (loans not available in the same way). If you have an AS language (even English) malta is worth a look but I dont remember their grade requirement. Both financially and practically the drop out route is difficult so my advice would be stick with the degree and get a bank nursing assistant job in the holidays to remind yourself why you have to study hard. The relatively weak Chemistry is always going to be a problem and you need a first or to improve the A level, ideally both.

Sorry to be unkind but if you can't maintain the motivation to complete your degree you might struggle to persuade a medical school to take you.

Any other degree you could switch to that might motivate you better?

To anyone else who misses their grades - the gap year and retake Chemistry route would have been a better choice immediately post a level..
It's not at all necessary to get a First. Even the universities that want Chemistry A-level from Grad Med applicants aren't going to care that it wasn't an A (except perhaps for the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, who can likely afford to discriminate).
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parentlurker
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(Original post by Ronove)
It's not at all necessary to get a First. Even the universities that want Chemistry A-level from Grad Med applicants aren't going to care that it wasn't an A (except perhaps for the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, who can likely afford to discriminate).
All universities that accept graduate applicants can afford to be very choosy for the graduate programmes - and only marginally less choosy for the undergraduate programmes. Most medicine applicants are very highly qualified. A first isn't an absolute requirement but a B at Chemistry A level and a 2.1 reduce already low chances of a place. There may be the odd person on a grad course with a B in chem A level and a 2.1 but there wont be many. Never much t lose by trying but any sensible person maximises their chances
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Ronove
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(Original post by parentlurker)
All universities that accept graduate applicants can afford to be very choosy for the graduate programmes - and only marginally less choosy for the undergraduate programmes. Most medicine applicants are very highly qualified. A first isn't an absolute requirement but a B at Chemistry A level and a 2.1 reduce already low chances of a place. There may be the odd person on a grad course with a B in chem A level and a 2.1 but there wont be many. Never much t lose by trying but any sensible person maximises their chances
Getting a 2:1 is a tick box for 90+% of the GEM programmes. A First will do nothing for you. Your A-level grades are also of little importance to many of them. You are simply required to have passed Chemistry/Biology at A2 for some places. Very few care about the grades to any significant degree. UKCAT and GAMSAT are by far the main indicators of whether you will get to interview or not. Please don't spread misinformation.
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parentlurker
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(Original post by Ronove)
Getting a 2:1 is a tick box for 90+% of the GEM programmes. A First will do nothing for you. Your A-level grades are also of little importance to many of them. You are simply required to have passed Chemistry/Biology at A2 for some places. Very few care about the grades to any significant degree. UKCAT and GAMSAT are by far the main indicators of whether you will get to interview or not. Please don't spread misinformation.
Since neither of us is involved in admissions at every medical school we cannot be sure what is misinformation and what not but saying a first will do nothing for you is just silly. Getting past automatic sifts is just one hurdle in getting to interview and then offer. Yes UKCAT, GAMSAT (and possibly BMAT if applying for an undergrad course) all matter but again they are part of a wider process. I think you are misguided if you feel the staff dont consider all the information they have, including the A level grades, I agree that other A level grades dont matter much once you have a degree but Chemistry is considered more relevant.

However you are missing the main point - how a young person who is struggling to motivate themself to do a degree can find that motivation. Should they manage to get to a degree they can talk to the staff of different medical schools and form their own view.
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Ronove
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(Original post by parentlurker)
Since neither of us is involved in admissions at every medical school we cannot be sure what is misinformation and what not but saying a first will do nothing for you is just silly. Getting past automatic sifts is just one hurdle in getting to interview and then offer. Yes UKCAT, GAMSAT (and possibly BMAT if applying for an undergrad course) all matter but again they are part of a wider process. I think you are misguided if you feel the staff dont consider all the information they have, including the A level grades, I agree that other A level grades dont matter much once you have a degree but Chemistry is considered more relevant.

However you are missing the main point - how a young person who is struggling to motivate themself to do a degree can find that motivation. Should they manage to get to a degree they can talk to the staff of different medical schools and form their own view.
You seem to be labouring under the illusion that everyone else must be as uninformed on the matter as yourself. Feel free to inform yourself via further research (it's really not that hard), but please stop trying to give people advice on this until you have done so.
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lemon_sherbert123
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(Original post by parentlurker)
All universities that accept graduate applicants can afford to be very choosy for the graduate programmes - and only marginally less choosy for the undergraduate programmes. Most medicine applicants are very highly qualified. A first isn't an absolute requirement but a B at Chemistry A level and a 2.1 reduce already low chances of a place. There may be the odd person on a grad course with a B in chem A level and a 2.1 but there wont be many. Never much t lose by trying but any sensible person maximises their chances
I take it you aren't doing grad med rounds of applying all that matters for most is 2:1 they may ask for a pass in chem bio. However a solid 2:1 In a science degree qualifies you for almost any grad scheme. The big decider is ukcat and gamsat ace them your sorted. Decent work experience etc. But 1st and a levels don't matter and also people are in med school with Ds in chemistry
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manupalace
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(Original post by parentlurker)
Since neither of us is involved in admissions at every medical school we cannot be sure what is misinformation and what not but saying a first will do nothing for you is just silly. Getting past automatic sifts is just one hurdle in getting to interview and then offer. Yes UKCAT, GAMSAT (and possibly BMAT if applying for an undergrad course) all matter but again they are part of a wider process. I think you are misguided if you feel the staff dont consider all the information they have, including the A level grades, I agree that other A level grades dont matter much once you have a degree but Chemistry is considered more relevant.
What lemon_sherbert said is correct. For most GEM programmes the 2:1 is a tick box requirement. Plenty of programmes don't even look at your A levels. Some don't care if you haven't done science since GCSE. Implying that a 2:1 or a higher chemistry grade is needed is spreading misinformation and it is not helpful.

OP: If you decide to stick with your course you need to aim to do as well as they can in your degree as you would with any educational qualification. Also dropping out can have financial implications so you should contact student finance to get clarification before making a decision. Though the longer you wait the more complicated and difficult things become financially so try to to get clarification soon so you know where you stand.

One other option (in addition to dropping out and resetting A levels which could leave you with relatively few options) you could drop out and choose another course that you may enjoy more. That way if you don't get into GEM (it is very competitive) you have a degree you have enjoyed doing that is potentially relevant to a field you would enjoy working in.

If you can bring yourself to stick with it, you should get some work experience during the holidays, this will help with motivation and any future grad entry medicine application. I had a similar problem, got onto a course through UCAS Extra and hadn't thought much about it. Then started to hate it (the course and the place) in first year. I worked as a HCA during the summer holidays which provided me with reminders of why I was working hard. I also did a couple of relevant internships/work experience placements. When the time came to choose options and my research project I chose areas that interested me and were medicine related and relatively clinical.

I decided to make sure I had things I enjoyed outside of university and work/volunteering so tried out a few societies.

Thats just my brief story. I found focussing on what I enjoyed and doing loads of other activities helped me. This may not work for you. You need to have a good think, talk it over with friends/family if that'll help.
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Seeker_SM
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Hey, I've applied for Medicine for 2014 entry however, having not heard from any of my medical applications yet I'm considering my options for next year. I just want to know if you have any knowledge on what the circumstances are for me if I were to reapply next year after taking a gap year and working in a hospital / whatever if I get three As in August for my A2s? Is that a good idea or should I take my plan B which is a offer from UCL for pharmacy? Medicine is really what I want to do but dont want to chuck away a good place like UCL.

If you have any experience of this situation or know anyone who has please let me know. I really like to find out what chance I have if I do get 3 As in August and reapply next year. I got 3A*s, 8As and 2 Bs for GCSE.
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Ronove
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(Original post by Seeker_SM)
Hey, I've applied for Medicine for 2014 entry however, having not heard from any of my medical applications yet I'm considering my options for next year. I just want to know if you have any knowledge on what the circumstances are for me if I were to reapply next year after taking a gap year and working in a hospital / whatever if I get three As in August for my A2s? Is that a good idea or should I take my plan B which is a offer from UCL for pharmacy? Medicine is really what I want to do but dont want to chuck away a good place like UCL.

If you have any experience of this situation or know anyone who has please let me know. I really like to find out what chance I have if I do get 3 As in August and reapply next year. I got 3A*s, 8As and 2 Bs for GCSE.
60% of people do not get any Medicine offer on their first application.

Lots of people get in the second time round.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...ine_rejections

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/medicine_gap_years

2014 Medicine Re-Applicants

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...age_2014_entry - a healthy proportion of the few offers that have been given so far seem to have been given to re-applicants.
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Seeker_SM
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(Original post by Ronove)
60% of people do not get any Medicine offer on their first application.

Lots of people get in the second time round.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...ine_rejections

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/medicine_gap_years

2014 Medicine Re-Applicants

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...age_2014_entry - a healthy proportion of the few offers that have been given so far seem to have been given to re-applicants.

Thank you for such a great reply!
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Ronove
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(Original post by Seeker_SM)
Thank you for such a great reply!
No worries. Make sure you get the grades, and make sure you get on with improving your application in whatever way you need to. Don't rely on the gap year, because remember that you will be writing and sending off your personal statement before it's really begun. You can talk about your medical job/whatever at interviews, but you'll likely want to have beefed up your experiences a bit before September comes around, to make sure you stand a better chance at getting to said interviews.
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