lukasthepoet
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So a few months ago I posted a thread here seeking advice on whether or not to study medicine as an undergraduate or neuroscience/psychology as undergraduate then post grad medicine with the overall aspiration of becoming a surgeon.
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2824185

Thanks to all the advice i received then, I have since decided that going straight into 6 year undergraduate medicine (with a preliminary/foundation year) is the right thing to do.
However I have literally been having a panic attack, with the deadline looming closer and closer for medicine applicants.
My predictions are A*A*A + A* EPQ

My personal statement is good to go, i'm pretty happy with it but i am so stressed over finalizing my university choices.
So far the choices I have
Manchester MBCHb with foundation (6 years)
Dundee MBChb with foundation (6 years)
Sheffield MBCHb with foundation (6 years)

I figured my safest bet is to apply to those 3 medical schools and leave my remaining 2 options for medicine/neuroscience-related courses.
So far i'm really seriously looking into Nottingham's Medical physiology with therapeutics but cant really seem to find a lot of information on the course and experience. The fact that its based in derby is also a bit of a concern, does that mean i wont have access to the main nottingham university campus/libraries and student body etc. I dont mind being a derby as long as its intergrated with the rest of nottingham university. also i plan to live on my own in a studio flat and I have a car for transport.

I'v been considering sussex for neuroscience because i'v heard that they sometimes let people transfer from medical related courses into the medical school. but i'v been told by some friends that it might be a waste to be applying to universities with low grade requirements when i'v worked so hard to achieve very high grades/predictions. my other option was exeter for psychology, leicester for psychology with neuroscience or st andrews for psychology since it seems to be flexible. but apparently st andrews doesn't have the same standard of equipment/resources for psychology, compared to other unis which have brain imagining facilities etc.

Can anyone offer me some advice. What should I do/what would you do in this situation?
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parentlurker
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it would take too long to find your last thread and it's impossible to advise without knowing your background and if you qualify for widening access. You could look at UEA or Bristol for foundation year courses - or link to your thread for better advice.
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lukasthepoet
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(Original post by parentlurker)
it would take too long to find your last thread and it's impossible to advise without knowing your background and if you qualify for widening access. You could look at UEA or Bristol for foundation year courses - or link to your thread for better advice.

Thanks for your reply
my original thread is http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2824185

As for widening access. I am a looked after young person in care by the local authority (foster care) and had severe extenuating circumstances during my gcse and early as level period.
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parentlurker
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OK - you are probably going to meet widening access criteria and you have excellent grade predictions but no sciences and little experience of medicine.

Applying for a medical degree is definitely the right way to go but if you are going to do that you can't place too much emphasis on neuroscience/psychology in your personal statement as the degree is medicine and they know that many people change their minds on what sort of medicine they want to do when they know more about it. I wonder why you ruled out UEA as I know that they will often offer those they reject for medicine the option to be considered for an alternative course. I think they then allow you to submit a separate personal statement.

If you didn't get a medical place what would you do next? One possibility would be to do a fast track chemistry A level (you do AS and A level chemistry in a year) and AS biology. If you get the A* grades you should be capable of getting A grade predictions and reapplying to medicine with science subjects if necessary. I don't know how you would manage financially but something to discuss with your foster parents/ social worker. You could apply for other courses in clearing if you or through extra if rejected by all medical schools.

Do think hard about running a car at university as it's rarely necessary and an expensive luxury. Most students get around by bike. I can appreciate why you may want a studio flat to yourself but living in hall is helpful for meeting other students.
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lukasthepoet
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(Original post by parentlurker)
OK - you are probably going to meet widening access criteria and you have excellent grade predictions but no sciences and little experience of medicine.

Applying for a medical degree is definitely the right way to go but if you are going to do that you can't place too much emphasis on neuroscience/psychology in your personal statement as the degree is medicine and they know that many people change their minds on what sort of medicine they want to do when they know more about it. I wonder why you ruled out UEA as I know that they will often offer those they reject for medicine the option to be considered for an alternative course. I think they then allow you to submit a separate personal statement.

If you didn't get a medical place what would you do next? One possibility would be to do a fast track chemistry A level (you do AS and A level chemistry in a year) and AS biology. If you get the A* grades you should be capable of getting A grade predictions and reapplying to medicine with science subjects if necessary. I don't know how you would manage financially but something to discuss with your foster parents/ social worker. You could apply for other courses in clearing if you or through extra if rejected by all medical schools.

Do think hard about running a car at university as it's rarely necessary and an expensive luxury. Most students get around by bike. I can appreciate why you may want a studio flat to yourself but living in hall is helpful for meeting other students.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply with such helpful advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this
In my personal statement, i havent explicitly stated that i want to go into a career in neurosurgery/neurology but i did mention that it was my interest in the brain that got me interested in medicine in the first place. What do you think about this? Should i have mentioned that?
I know, and they know, that everyone goes into medicine for many different reasons and from many different interests. i want to be honest in what got me interested in the subject.

it doesn't feel right to not do so because the truth is i never had some childhood dream to study medicine and i didn't have some special epiphany or revelationary moment that made me want to go to medical school. I am truly interested in the care and treatment of others. I have had some relevant work experience and have attended relevant tutorials/lectures by surgeon and neuroscientists. the problem is fitting all of these into my statement.

I'v spent quite a chunk of my Personal statement talking about my EPQ which i'm doing in clinical neurology, my research and what i'v learned from the experience of undertaking this particular epq.
I'v found that its so so difficult to mention things i would love to put across in my personal statement because of the limit.

the most annoying thing is that i still have a lot of characters left, but i'v reached the 47 line limit and i dont want to get rid of blank lines because i think its important to use good paragraphs to my statement more readable and not just a huge clump of sentences.

as my epq is centered on neurology, and i'v mentioned a lot of my epq, theres certainly a lot of that involved in the statement, but now that you've mentioned not placing emphasis on neurology i'm very worried i might need to rewrite.

I'v considered fast track chemistry in a gap year if i get no offers. i guess it'll be better than doing a degree i dont want and then applying as a graduate
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parentlurker
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it's Ok to mention study of clinical neurology leading you into wishing to study medicine but the emphasis needs to be on showing what you learnt about medicine and about your aptitude for it. You aren't the first student to be led into medicine by learning about the brain. You need to question why every line in your statement is there and what it adds.

If your local authority would support you for a fast track chemistry A level and AS biology that plus a 5 year medicine course is cheaper for you than racking up an extra year of student debt doing a foundation year and gives a wider choice of medical school to apply to. However applying now gives you experience of the process and hopefully of interviews.

Applying for 3 med schools and 2 other suggests maybe you aren't totaly committed to a medical degree yet. Medical schools don't see where you have applied but may pick up on any ambivalance in you.
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lukasthepoet
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(Original post by parentlurker)
it's Ok to mention study of clinical neurology leading you into wishing to study medicine but the emphasis needs to be on showing what you learnt about medicine and about your aptitude for it. You aren't the first student to be led into medicine by learning about the brain. You need to question why every line in your statement is there and what it adds.

If your local authority would support you for a fast track chemistry A level and AS biology that plus a 5 year medicine course is cheaper for you than racking up an extra year of student debt doing a foundation year and gives a wider choice of medical school to apply to. However applying now gives you experience of the process and hopefully of interviews.

Applying for 3 med schools and 2 other suggests maybe you aren't totaly committed to a medical degree yet. Medical schools don't see where you have applied but may pick up on any ambivalance in you.

Thank you so much for the advice about my personal statement!

I'm applying to 3 med schools because they're the only ones i can actually apply to. other ones like UEA have requirements to do with having attended specific schools for my gcses which i dont meet. So the 3 i have applied to are the only ones i meet requirements for which are direct progression routes. The other options aren't direct progression routes and transferring to the medical degree after the foundation year isn't guaranteed.
my fourth choice is nottingham's medical physiology and therapeutics course which i think is good because it apparently involves a lot of shared lectures and teaching with the medical students.

its my 5th choice that i'v been trying to figure out. so far i'v put in the university of reading's psychology with neuroscience course.
its just awkward because in the statement i have to make it clear that "medicine" is what i want to study. So i'v mentioned medicine many times and i'm not sure how reading my view my personal statement because of that despite having a bit of my neurology interests and extended work.

i'm considering asking my school if they'll allow me to take As chemistry this year if i do most of the studying myself, they can enter me for the exam and practicals.
that way if a gap year is needed, i would have already done As chemistry and can just continue with the A2 instead of having them both in the same year. if my school say no to that then i'll have to look into the fast track chemistry route.
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parentlurker
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what about Cardiff or Keele?
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Ronove
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(Original post by lukasthepoet)
Thank you so much for the advice about my personal statement!

I'm applying to 3 med schools because they're the only ones i can actually apply to. other ones like UEA have requirements to do with having attended specific schools for my gcses which i dont meet. So the 3 i have applied to are the only ones i meet requirements for which are direct progression routes. The other options aren't direct progression routes and transferring to the medical degree after the foundation year isn't guaranteed.
my fourth choice is nottingham's medical physiology and therapeutics course which i think is good because it apparently involves a lot of shared lectures and teaching with the medical students.

its my 5th choice that i'v been trying to figure out. so far i'v put in the university of reading's psychology with neuroscience course.
its just awkward because in the statement i have to make it clear that "medicine" is what i want to study. So i'v mentioned medicine many times and i'm not sure how reading my view my personal statement because of that despite having a bit of my neurology interests and extended work.

i'm considering asking my school if they'll allow me to take As chemistry this year if i do most of the studying myself, they can enter me for the exam and practicals.
that way if a gap year is needed, i would have already done As chemistry and can just continue with the A2 instead of having them both in the same year. if my school say no to that then i'll have to look into the fast track chemistry route.
I've only skimmed most of the posts in this thread so I apologise if I've missed something here, but:

As long as you have somewhere to live while you do it, can you not consider staying an extra year and doing AS and A2 Chemistry (and a couple of other AS levels if needed to meet the 'full time education' thing), if the specification change doesn't completely rule that out? Obviously self-teaching and doing the exams and practicals at school is also an option if they're happy to facilitate that, but if you worry you won't be capable of getting the A by self-teaching then you should still be entitled to a third year at Sixth Form, as long as you haven't taken an extra year at any point already and the rules haven't changed. My sister has just gone into her third year at Sixth Form so she can finish a BTEC in Applied Sciences that she started in Year 13.
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