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    Im drafting an email to some medical schools to see if they can offer advice.

    I want to be a medical examiner, unsure where to start.

    At the moment I'm looking at openuniversity, as I'm unsure what other options there are. I know I need to do medicine, and I was thinking if doing OU and then...do an undergrad in medicine? But many med schools seam to be after a levels...which I don't have...and the graduate schemes seam to ask for degrees.

    I don't even know if open university counts as a proper degree?

    Any advice? Been out if education for years now so its all a lot to take in.

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    You will probably get more knowledgeable replies if you ask this in the Medicine section of the forum, but here's my take on it. As far as I can tell, these are your options:

    Do A levels
    Time consuming and expensive. Probably not worth doing.

    Do an Access to Medicine course
    Not all Access to Medicine courses are accepted by med schools so it would be advisable to email each university individually and ask for a list of acceptable courses.

    Do a science degree and apply for graduate-entry medicine
    You will still need to do an Access to HE course to get onto a degree but it will be far less competitive. Once you have your degree you will be in a better position to apply for medicine and your lack of A levels won't matter. You obviously wouldn't need to do an Access course if you plan on doing an Open University degree, however the OU's lack of laboratory work might be an issue. Definitely email admissions tutors and ask for their thoughts on OU graduates applying for grad-entry medicine before you begin.

    Regardless of what option you pick, you should make sure you have GCSEs in English, Maths, Science (Biology and Chemistry) to at least grade B. You should also be aware that work experience is absolutely vital for medicine so if you haven't already, start volunteering now.
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    (Original post by fletch395)
    Im drafting an email to some medical schools to see if they can offer advice.

    I want to be a medical examiner, unsure where to start.

    At the moment I'm looking at openuniversity, as I'm unsure what other options there are. I know I need to do medicine, and I was thinking if doing OU and then...do an undergrad in medicine? But many med schools seam to be after a levels...which I don't have...and the graduate schemes seam to ask for degrees.

    I don't even know if open university counts as a proper degree?

    Any advice? Been out if education for years now so its all a lot to take in.

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    Your best bet is probably to do a foundation year that is linked to a medical degree (e.g. Southampton's programme). Most universities offer something like this as they are often tied together with widening participation goals. These foundation years will have lower entry requirements than if you applied for the normal five year degree but they will still probably require some level three qualification (e.g. A levels or an access course).

    Contrary to what Snufkin advised graduate-entry to any healthcare profession is actually more competitive than undergraduate entry, and in this case would take you at least two years longer than the route I suggest and has less chance of success.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    Contrary to what Snufkin advised graduate-entry to any healthcare profession is actually more competitive than undergraduate entry, and in this case would take you at least two years longer than the route I suggest and has less chance of success.
    I didn't say any such thing. I said applying to a science degree is far less competitive than applying to medicine. :colonhash:
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    You should start by managing your expectations.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    You should start by managing your expectations.
    This ^

    Sometimes these things just aren't worth chasing. You have acknowledged your limitations and you have missed the train (so to speak). Is this something you want to spend your time given the stastical likelihood of you ever reaching your ambition is incredibly slim. I'm not saying this to dishearten you, but the competition have flawless GCSEs, flawless A levels, flawless experience for their ages and an unparralelled passion for the subject. Why would any medical pick from you when they can choose from these guys.
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    (Original post by Anonynous)
    This ^

    Sometimes these things just aren't worth chasing. You have acknowledged your limitations and you have missed the train (so to speak). Is this something you want to spend your time given the stastical likelihood of you ever reaching your ambition is incredibly slim. I'm not saying this to dishearten you, but the competition have flawless GCSEs, flawless A levels, flawless experience for their ages and an unparralelled passion for the subject. Why would any medical pick from you when they can choose from these guys.
    None of this is true.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    None of this is true.
    For UK undergrad medschool, I would say it's fairly accurate.
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    (Original post by Anonynous)
    For UK undergrad medschool, I would say it's fairly accurate.
    Well it isn't. Plenty of people study medicine in their late 20s, 30s and even 40s. Likewise, many people overcome poor GCSEs/A levels and become doctors - why would universities offer foundation years or recommend Access courses if they weren't prepared to seriously consider non-standard applicants?
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I didn't say any such thing. I said applying to a science degree is far less competitive than applying to medicine. :colonhash:
    You implied applying for the accelerated programme with a science degree would be better option than applying for the undergraduate programme straight away ('[o]nce you have your degree you will be in a better position to apply for medicine'). This is clearly questionable advice given that graduate entry routes are more competitive across the entire healthcare sector and there are serious financial implications going down that route too.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    You implied applying for the accelerated programme with a science degree would be better option than applying for the undergraduate programme straight away ('[o]nce you have your degree you will be in a better position to apply for medicine'). This is clearly questionable advice given that graduate entry routes are more competitive across the entire healthcare sector and there are serious financial implications going down that route too.
    You keep talking about competitiveness, but I didn't say (or imply) that post-grad medicine was more or less competitive. I said the OP will be in a stronger position applying for post-grad because by that time they will have some solid academics to apply with. I will take your word for it that postgrad is more competitive in general, but is it really more competitive than applying for undergraduate medicine having done some kind of Access course? I really don't think so.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    You keep talking about competitiveness, but I didn't say (or imply) that post-grad medicine was more or less competitive. I said the OP will be in a stronger position applying for post-grad because by that time they will have some solid academics to apply with. I will take your word for it that postgrad is more competitive in general, but is it really more competitive than applying for undergraduate medicine having done some kind of Access course? I really don't think so.
    You discuss being in a better position academically as if it had nothing to do with what he actually wants to do: apply for medicine! Competitiveness is relevant because he will be applying against other people for a place on a medical degree. I made the point that it is not just about him. If he is more academically competent at the end of a science degree then that is great but so is everyone else. That is why it makes less sense to do a science degree, wasting significantly more time and money and with no actual guarantee that he will get on, when there are options open to him for undergraduate entry which are easier and have a better guarantee of getting on.

    Yes, it is relatively more competitive. Sometimes you have more candidates applying per place (i.e. the total number is smaller but ratio is usually higher). But the candidates at postgraduate level are of a far higher standard and have more experience than A level students (i.e. there are more factors to separate people). That is what makes it tougher.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    You discuss being in a better position academically as if it had nothing to do with what he actually wants to do: apply for medicine! Competitiveness is relevant because he will be applying against other people for a place on a medical degree. I made the point that it is not just about him. If he is more academically competent at the end of a science degree then that is great but so is everyone else. That is why it makes less sense to do a science degree, wasting significantly more time and money and with no actual guarantee that he will get on, when there are options open to him for undergraduate entry which are easier and have a better guarantee of getting on.

    Yes, it is relatively more competitive. Sometimes you have more candidates applying per place (i.e. the total number is smaller but ratio is usually higher). But the candidates at postgraduate level are of a far higher standard and have more experience than A level students (i.e. there are more factors to separate people). That is what makes it tougher.

    I'll just put my two cents here regarding GEM: Yes the competition for places is much greater than for standard entry from A-levels and like the poster said this is due to there being fewer places. King's College usually has the highest ratio of around 70:1. There is sometimes a workaround regarding competition but it is highly luck based: Some universities will give an automatic interview to people who get a high score on their UKCAT or above a threshold of around 67 on the GAMSAT provided you reach the minimum entry criteria - usually at least a 2.i in a science related degree or for the GAMSAT, a 2.i in any degree. But seeing as I applied 3 years ago and the funding was up in the air then, I don't know if you have to fund yourself through GEM or there is help available. I'm now writing up a PhD so I haven't kept up to date with this topic. Alternatively, definitely look into foundation degrees that lead onto direct entry to the MBBS degree. I used to want to be a medical doctor but the job isn't the only one out there, there are others that could be more enjoyable - Healthcare Practitioner, Physician assistant, Clinical Scientist...
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    If you haven't done A levels, your a bit behind. Do Bio, Chem, Physics and maths A level for medicine
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    Lots of info about all aspects of applying for Medicine here : http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Medicine
    As you will see, Medicine is very competitive and you will need both A grades at GCSE and A*/A A level grades AND months of relevant work experience. Its very difficult for anyone without this consistent academic profile to get a place - those taking retakes will immediately be put in the No pile. OU courses are not credible for entrance to Medicine - you will be competing with 18 year olds with A*A*A* at A level.

    Ideas about other (possibly more realistic) health job areas here : http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/

    Other 'medical' degrees to look at : http://www.surrey.ac.uk/undergraduat...medic-practice OR http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhea...undergraduate/
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    This post is either depressingly negative... or very realistic, depending on your point of view.

    I've always thought I wanted to be a doctor, but things didn't work out at school. A few years back I looked into the realities of going down the mature student entry route and I came to the conclusion it would be practically impossible to achieve as a mature student with a shaky academic background, health problems and other outside commitments. Coming from a background of poor or no GCSEs or A levels it would require a total shift of lifestyle to one totally dedicated studying for a minimum of 2 years. Then you have to get months of relevant (probably unpaid) work experience and do the UKCAT test. The results of the UKCAT seem to have little relation to your actual potential, but a mediocre result will disqualify you from applying to many med schools.

    After all of that you may have Access or A-level qualifications that are roughly equivalent to the 18 year old kids, meaning you too can enter the application lottery that sees tens of highly qualified and able students apply for each place. And on a cynical note after I did my research I came to the conclusion that if you are from black, ethnic minority or international background the system is against you from day one until the day you retire. The costs involved are quite significant too, 5 years of study fees + living fees just to get through uni (60k+ debt?). After uni you earn a barely the average wage as a trainee doctor but will still have significant study related costs, increased living costs, etc. For this reason I believe it is important to have some savings before you start, or have family/partner that will help you out.

    Grad entry can be even more competitive as you will be going up against people with 1st/2:1 degrees in science and healthcare related subjects. Many will have graduated some time ago and have years worth of real world experience working within the NHS or other relevant roles. When I looked into it (a few years ago now I admit) there were more applicants per place than available than at undergraduate entry level.

    I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it is incredibly difficult and should only be attempted if you are totally dedicated but at the same time prepared for failure.

    I will be 29 this year and I would still love to do it but the barriers are too great and I would be 40 before being fully trained. Plus the total lack of respect for doctors in this country; especially GPs who make up a large % of workforce.

    On the positive side there are at least a few Access courses and 6 year (w/foundation) courses available now, so the universities are at least attempting to widen access to students from non-typical backgrounds. You are doing the right thing by emailing admissions tutors but I suggest you get yourself along to open days so you can chat face to face to both tutors and students. You will also need to contact colleges offering access courses and do the same.... maybe contact local colleges as well and see what they offer in the way of GCSEs & A-levels for mature students.
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    Hmm, this is an interesting thread as i am currently studying a degree in Health Science at Open University and preparing Gamsat at the same time, i guess i will be pushing 50 before being fully trained... so i have mix feelings about what has been said.
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    (Original post by Pagliaccio)
    Hmm, this is an interesting thread as i am currently studying a degree in Health Science at Open University and preparing Gamsat at the same time, i guess i will be pushing 50 before being fully trained... so i have mix feelings about what has been said.
    Aplogies for going off topic, but can I ask how you find the Health Sciences course (is it Q71?).

    I'm seriously considering signing up for it myself
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    (Original post by fletch395)
    Im drafting an email to some medical schools to see if they can offer advice.

    I want to be a medical examiner, unsure where to start.

    At the moment I'm looking at openuniversity, as I'm unsure what other options there are. I know I need to do medicine, and I was thinking if doing OU and then...do an undergrad in medicine? But many med schools seam to be after a levels...which I don't have...and the graduate schemes seam to ask for degrees.

    I don't even know if open university counts as a proper degree?

    Any advice? Been out if education for years now so its all a lot to take in.

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    Hi

    Your profile seems to make you an ideal candidate for an access course, have you considered this option as of yet? There are a number in the UK, including one in Manchetster, Lambeth College in London, and two I'm aware of in Scotland.

    I hope this helps.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    Aplogies for going off topic, but can I ask how you find the Health Sciences course (is it Q71?).

    I'm seriously considering signing up for it myself
    i really enjoy all the modules even though sometimes they can be a little challenging but so far i have no complains and i will recommend it to anyone who is willing.
 
 
 
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