Cool-Light
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Hello, my sister would like to Study medicine, the concerning question is "what subjects should I pick" - "honestly, I have no idea" is what I said, could someone help me please?

She wants to choose:-

Maths
Further Maths
Chemistry
Psychology

What I think is she'll face heavy competition, and only having 3 science subjects, and one social science; does this not reduce the chance of a medical applicant being successful?

Could someone recommend me what she needs to take, the main question is does she need Biology or Physics? I told her do the subjects you enjoy or you'll go through difficult times...
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username638250
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Tell her to do Biology or else it will make her a comparatively weak candidate for pretty much any medical school as the vast majority of people would be taking Biology. Plus, she would need A Level Biology knowledge for the BMAT.

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Rob da Mop
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A lot of places require biology and most prefer it. The stereotypical medicine applicant takes chemistry, biology and either physics or maths+/-further maths. That's by no means required and plenty of people get in without physics/maths or even biology, but there is a reason most people do it.

I haven't kept up to date with admissions recently, so your sister's best bet is to look up each medical school individually and see what they suggest. There are only 20-30 in the UK so it won't take that long. There used to be a TSR wiki page with all the medical schools and their requirements, but I'm not sure if it's still around.

If she doesn't really know what she's doing with regards to applying for medicine she should start looking into work experience possibilities as soon as possible in places like care homes. Any contacts who can get her experience shadowing in a hospital or GP should also be flattered/bribed/blackmailed into seeing what they can do as well.

As for what the above poster says, the BMAT does need some biological knowledge, but it also needs physics and plenty of people just read up on that for the BMAT itself. No reason not to do the same with biology. Then the fact remains that only 4 schools actually use the BMAT.
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returnmigrant
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Lots of info here - including what A level subjects each Medical School requires - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/medicine
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Origami Bullets
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I've moved this to the medicine forum
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em.d_4
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(Original post by Cool-Light)
Hello, my sister would like to Study medicine, the concerning question is "what subjects should I pick" - "honestly, I have no idea" is what I said, could someone help me please?

She wants to choose:-

Maths
Further Maths
Chemistry
Psychology

What I think is she'll face heavy competition, and only having 3 science subjects, and one social science; does this not reduce the chance of a medical applicant being successful?

Could someone recommend me what she needs to take, the main question is does she need Biology or Physics? I told her do the subjects you enjoy or you'll go through difficult times...
Chemistry is a 100% essential and biology strongly advised because the big question is if you don't like biology why exactly do you want to be a doctor they go hand in hand really?!
In terms of further maths most medical schools don't count it as one of 4 a levels so it's only worth doing for personal enjoyment or to keep options open incase she were to.backtrack on medicine

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nexttime
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You need to look at which med schools accept someone without biology, especially without even AS. They exist, but its substantially limiting choices and needs to be consciously considered.

(Original post by emma201295)
In terms of further maths most medical schools don't count it as one of 4 a levels so it's only worth doing for personal enjoyment or to keep options open incase she were to.backtrack on medicine
Is that definitely true? This website at least suggests that as a 4th subject, most places would accept it.

As a third subject so e.g. if this candidate dropped psychology... now that would be very limiting.
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em.d_4
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(Original post by nexttime)
You need to look at which med schools accept someone without biology, especially without even AS. They exist, but its substantially limiting choices and needs to be consciously considered.



Is that definitely true? This website at least suggests that as a 4th subject, most places would accept it.

As a third subject so e.g. if this candidate dropped psychology... now that would be very limiting.
Well a lot of open days I went to were pretty dismissive if it, tbh if in any doubt don't risk it, because medical applications are pretty confusing even for those with standard straightforward qualifications


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mliela
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I would say definitely do biology as well as it will give her a better chance. The thing about medicine is that thy practically tell you what subjects you have to do. In order to be able to get into the top universities she needs to do chemistry, biology and maths or physics.
What year is she in?
She needs to start thinking about work experience hospitals, nurseries, old peoples homes and work with disable people are great. I also advise applying early as many work experience places are taken up quickly.
I hope this helps and goo luck to her.


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nexttime
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(Original post by mliela)
The thing about medicine is that thy practically tell you what subjects you have to do. In order to be able to get into the top universities she needs to do chemistry, biology and maths or physics.
An interesting conclusion, given that only one university of 30+ gives even a hint that a third science is needed.
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SilverArch
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Chemistry is essential and I highly recommend Biology because not having it will put a big limit on what medical schools she can apply to, and I don't think it's a great idea to limit yourself that much at this stage

You don't need maths. You don't need physics. One university (Cambridge) want 3 science subjects. One University (UCL) tends to prefer a contrasting humanities subject as a third A Level, but that's not obligatory. Other than those 2, no university cares whether you do a science subject or a non-science subject as your third A Level

I did History as my third A Level, and did better in that any of my science subjects. I also took Maths at AS Level but dropped it sharpish after getting a C in it. And that C was very disadvantaging, because it limited where I could apply, as some medical schools want either an A or a B in your 4th subject. The moral of the story is - never do maths or physics just because you think it will be advantageous, because they really aren't. Do them if you're good at them and you'll enjoy them more than other subjects. If you'd get higher marks on English or French or Geography, and you would prefer that to Maths, then for goodness sake, take English/etc instead of Maths. Unless you're desperate to get into Cambridge, you are not disadvantaging yourself at all

The reason so many med applicants do 3 sciences/maths IMHO, is a combination of lots of med applicants naturally being quite science oriented anyway and enjoying science/maths, and schools falsely assuming that maths/physics are much better than humanities subjects (which isn't true) and therefore guiding all their students to do 3 sciences. Leaving aside people who want to apply to Cambridge, who are the only people who do definitely need 3 science subjects

So I would advise your sister to take Chemistry, Biology, and 2 other subjects of her choice, either humanities or sciences, whichever she'll do better at and enjoy more. Avoid media studies and other subjects regarded as fluffy. Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Psychology would be fine, and that's most of what she wants.
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mliela
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(Original post by nexttime)
An interesting conclusion, given that only one university of 30+ gives even a hint that a third science is needed.
I meant that, that is what she needs to do in order to have a shot at most medical universities, but it is not completely essential. But you are right, it depends which medical schools she is aiming for.
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