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    I've applied to volunteer at the local hospital but the communication between myself and the hospital volunteer services is awful.

    They keep saying they've yet to receive a reference from a referee and I keep giving them the contact details but then they say in a couple of weeks that they're still waiting for a reference and I've asked my referee and he says he hasn't been contacted about references at all.

    And I'm still waiting to get told I've been cleared by occupational health but I've heard nothing and I handed in my application nearly 3 months ago.



    Should I just apply to volunteer at a different hospital?
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    (Original post by paniking_and_not_revising)
    They keep saying they've yet to receive a reference from a referee and I keep giving them the contact details but then they say in a couple of weeks that they're still waiting for a reference and I've asked my referee and he says he hasn't been contacted about references at all.

    Should I just apply to volunteer at a different hospital?
    Perhaps you could forward the email address of your contact at voluntary services to your referee so they can send the reference on now rather than waiting for a request. It may be the same at a different hospital so rather than risk another few empty months of waiting just get super proactive with the process you already started. Also contact OH by email to see what they need from you. The other option would be to go in and speak to the team in person which would cut down on time waiting for emails that might get forgotten about for a while.

    Good luck with your volunteering, it's a shame it isn't smooth running but it will pay off in the long run.
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    (Original post by Quilverine)
    Perhaps you could forward the email address of your contact at voluntary services to your referee so they can send the reference on now rather than waiting for a request. It may be the same at a different hospital so rather than risk another few empty months of waiting just get super proactive with the process you already started. Also contact OH by email to see what they need from you. The other option would be to go in and speak to the team in person which would cut down on time waiting for emails that might get forgotten about for a while.

    Good luck with your volunteering, it's a shame it isn't smooth running but it will pay off in the long run.
    Would it be okay to forward the email on so my referee can send the reference quickly? He's going abroad soon too so after next week he won't be able to send a reference for another month. Or should I email the lady first and let her know I'll forward the email convo to my referee so he can send a reference? just so she knows and isn't confused or anything.

    Thanks. I'll find the contact info for Occupational health.
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    (Original post by paniking_and_not_revising)
    Would it be okay to forward the email on so my referee can send the reference quickly? He's going abroad soon too so after next week he won't be able to send a reference for another month. Or should I email the lady first and let her know I'll forward the email convo to my referee so he can send a reference? just so she knows and isn't confused or anything.

    Thanks. I'll find the contact info for Occupational health.
    Drop your contact an email explaining that your referee hasn't heard from the service and is due to leave the country shortly. Also say that you hope that it is okay to forward on the contact details so that your application process isn't drawn out longer than it has to be. So long as you come across as enthusiastic and dedicated and not impatient or critical I am sure that it would be fine.

    Sadly a lot of hospital administrative services are really overstretched. Whilst volunteers are an important part of providing a good, cost-effective service sometimes it can be quite a challenge to get volunteers in, screened and trained. Just stick with it, there can be big waiting lists for voluntary positions so it it's great that they are interested in you and what you can bring to the service.
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    (Original post by Quilverine)
    Some universities have decided to stop offering GEM because they don't feel they can cover the syllabus in the shorter time frame. At present (with F1 being under provisional registration) GEM courses still fit within the guidelines set by the EU. Should full registration move to graduation rather than after F1 it may be that 4 year GEM courses have to be replaced with 5 year courses. Whether or not the funding is adjusted to accommodate this no one knows.

    Also with the financial pressures universities are under- better to get 5 or 6 normal years of funding out of a student than 4 with an intensive, longer first year that costs more to provide than a standard first year. I really hope it continues to be an option as it is an amazing way to widen participation.
    Does that mean you do 5 years of med school and then you do FY1 and FY2? Would they not be able to incorporate FY1 into the 5 year program so you go straight into FY2?
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    (Original post by shopaholic123)
    Does that mean you do 5 years of med school and then you do FY1 and FY2? Would they not be able to incorporate FY1 into the 5 year program so you go straight into FY2?
    It means that under EU legislation a minimum number of hours are required of medical students to ensure a thorough education can be delivered. Say the change is brought about at some point and medical degrees have to be at least 5 years by law then it may just be that grads have to apply to A100 courses. Imperial and UCL both offer a 5 year GEM programme, instead of gaining an intercalated BSc/MSc/PhD like the 6 year students do, you just study medicine.

    Plenty of A100 courses accept graduates, the issue is paying for it under the current finance system. Either the loans system will have to change or prospective grad entrants will have to plan carefully to ensure they are able to save up the ~£45,000 they'll need for course fees. The whole future of finance for healthcare subjects is wobbly right now anyway. NHS funding for allied professions is being scrapped and I wouldn't be surprised if it happened to medical and dental degrees too. They'll make sure that low income students aren't frozen out at the point of entry but I foresee American sized student debts in our futures.

    Once you graduate you apply to F1 like the A100 streams do. Foundation is a job, you're employed by a Trust. The education is overseen by the regional deanery not the medical school you went to.
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    (Original post by Quilverine)
    Drop your contact an email explaining that your referee hasn't heard from the service and is due to leave the country shortly. Also say that you hope that it is okay to forward on the contact details so that your application process isn't drawn out longer than it has to be. So long as you come across as enthusiastic and dedicated and not impatient or critical I am sure that it would be fine.

    Sadly a lot of hospital administrative services are really overstretched. Whilst volunteers are an important part of providing a good, cost-effective service sometimes it can be quite a challenge to get volunteers in, screened and trained. Just stick with it, there can be big waiting lists for voluntary positions so it it's great that they are interested in you and what you can bring to the service.

    Thanks. I'll do that. Hopefully my referee can send the reference by the end of the week.

    It's been really nerve-wracking because I quit my job for volunteering because my work rota kept changing so I couldn't commit to volunteering.
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    Hey everyone! Does anyone have any friends who have applied this year and got in/not got in!? I am currently studying in my 3rd year at UCL studying Molecular Biology with predicted 1st/2.1 and am hoping to apply next year. Currently freaking out a little as some of our top students haven't got in to GEM. From any friends you know who have got in have any of you seen particular aspects of their application that really made them stand out (maybe in terms of work experience/personality). Sorry for the freakout post, need some hope
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    (Original post by hopefulgrad94)
    Hey everyone! Does anyone have any friends who have applied this year and got in/not got in!? I am currently studying in my 3rd year at UCL studying Molecular Biology with predicted 1st/2.1 and am hoping to apply next year. Currently freaking out a little as some of our top students haven't got in to GEM. From any friends you know who have got in have any of you seen particular aspects of their application that really made them stand out (maybe in terms of work experience/personality). Sorry for the freakout post, need some hope
    One of my undergrad cohort got into the last batch of Leicester GEMs last year. She had strong A Levels, First class honours, a clinical job and really amazing extra curricular activities. She is one of the smartest, kindest people I have ever met and incredibly focussed. The sort of person where if I was terribly injured then I would feel safe in her hands.

    I'm on my third try at GEM, waiting to hear back after interviews at Barts and Warwick.
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    Hi All! Fab to hear like minded people's opinions and experiences. I'm studying for a PhD in medical physics (having a physics undergrad and masters) but looking to apply for GEM 2017.

    Currently I spend 2 days every week in a neurology clinic, interacting with and scanning MS patients as part of the PhD. Alongside this I have close interaction with neurologists, ophthalmologists and MS nurses. I was wondering if this would be enough in terms of "work experience", and also whether my PhD would at all help my application (are departments only concerned with undergrad degrees)?
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    Does anyone know with the universities that require a specific number of hours such as Warwick, in what capacity they want the hours?

    Would a mixture of work experience and volunteering count or do they want 70 hours at a specific place i.e. 70 hours volunteering in a hospital? It isn't clear on the website.
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    (Original post by eepm)
    Does anyone know with the universities that require a specific number of hours such as Warwick, in what capacity they want the hours?

    Would a mixture of work experience and volunteering count or do they want 70 hours at a specific place i.e. 70 hours volunteering in a hospital? It isn't clear on the website.
    It's anything that is patient or people centred and gives you insight into patients, being a carer, healthcare professionals, the NHS etc. Also it doesn't have to be 70 hours in one placement.

    I'm not sure about other unis but if there's a minimum requirement it will say in the entry requirements. If it doesn't specify, then there isn't one. Having said that most places (Nottingham?? Idk can't remember) place a huge emphasis and expect you to have extensive and diverse experience.
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    (Original post by KashifSalim)
    Hey! I've been reading through the comments to see if there's anyone in a similar position - Medicine was always an option for me but ended up changing my mind in year 12 and did Accounting and Finance at university whilst being sponsored by one of the big 4 and just ended up getting stuck into the job. I'm now a fully qualified Chartered Accountant for one of the big 4. I've been working for 3 years and in a really good job but I'm not really happy...I always keep thinking about having done medicine instead!

    I'm currently still working but seriously considering starting my application for GEM 2017!

    Are you still working in your Finance job? Are you planning to continue your job and do the medicine application on the side?
    Hello! I'm glad I'm not the only one here! I've also been trawling through to see if there was anyone else in the same boat. I graduated in 2014 with a 2:1 degree in Business (mostly Accounting) and French. Medicine had always been my intention but I was more successful with my Business school applications so that's the route I took. I've been working since I graduated and I'm about to go travelling but I'm also beginning to seriously consider applying.
    I'm going to try and get a lot more research and some UKCAT practice in while I'm away and see what position I'm in when I get back. Hopefully once I'm home I can get my head down and focus on work experience and my application. I'm a little concerned about the finances concerned with Medicine but I'm pushing that to the side for now.
    Do you know where you'll apply to? Do you have much experience yet?
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    Hey I am a qualified mental health nurse with 3 years' experience of mental health nursing under my belt. I am sticking to applying to the universitities which require ukcat as I don't think I would I would have the time to study for gamsat as well as preparing for ukcat as well as working a 37.5 hour week. Am strongly leaning to towards Newcastle and Warwick those would be my ideal choices but looking at Birmingham and Southampton. I must add that whilst I have a BSc in health sciences and an MA in Nursing I don't have A levels and I achieved very average GCSEs. I didn't even make a C in Science. So I do think I am still at a disadvantage.

    I am staying positive because I am quite confident in my clinical skills and knowledge my ability to work with people from all walks of life and I am hoping to emphasise this in my application.
    My preparation will involve a lot of reading over the next few months, especially with the ukcat. I also want to get to grips with the MMI and write a good personal statement where I can show that I am an apt health practitioner.

    Saying all this it is scary but I have a passion for healthcare and for medicine so I am going to put my all into my application over the next year.
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    Feels like almost everyone on here has YEARS worth of full time paid experience with patients 😫 How are weekly volunteers supposed to compete!


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    (Original post by Themightylaa)
    Feels like almost everyone on here has YEARS worth of full time paid experience with patients 😫 How are weekly volunteers supposed to compete!


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    It's more about how you're reflected on what you've experienced. Not how much you've experienced. Plenty of people who've only been weekly volunteers have been accepted onto GEM courses.

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    (Original post by ah639)
    It's more about how you're reflected on what you've experienced. Not how much you've experienced. Plenty of people who've only been weekly volunteers have been accepted onto GEM courses.

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    Yeah I get that and you are correct. However if it's more on how you've reflected on the time you've spent in experience, why have a form sent out (ie Nottingham) that then determines alongside your GAMSAT if you get an interview? Since that's before you have a chance to explain what you learnt from the experience. It's just a quantification at that stage. And many admit to not reading the personal statements. So 300 hours volunteering looks bleak next to 4000 paid work on a form, and you need to be given the chance at an interview in order to justify why your experience is worthy of a place.

    Don't mind me, having a bit of a 'rant' day by poking at arguable flaws in the system.


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    (Original post by Kamsarju)
    Hey I am a qualified mental health nurse with 3 years' experience of mental health nursing under my belt. I am sticking to applying to the universitities which require ukcat as I don't think I would I would have the time to study for gamsat as well as preparing for ukcat as well as working a 37.5 hour week. Am strongly leaning to towards Newcastle and Warwick those would be my ideal choices but looking at Birmingham and Southampton. I must add that whilst I have a BSc in health sciences and an MA in Nursing I don't have A levels and I achieved very average GCSEs. I didn't even make a C in Science. So I do think I am still at a disadvantage.

    I am staying positive because I am quite confident in my clinical skills and knowledge my ability to work with people from all walks of life and I am hoping to emphasise this in my application.
    My preparation will involve a lot of reading over the next few months, especially with the ukcat. I also want to get to grips with the MMI and write a good personal statement where I can show that I am an apt health practitioner.

    Saying all this it is scary but I have a passion for healthcare and for medicine so I am going to put my all into my application over the next year.
    Just FYI, you need at least a c in chemistry a level to apply to Southampton.


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    I will be applying for GEM 2017 after being unsuccessful for 2016 entry. Not sure where to apply. all depends on UKCAT score and if I do well in GAMSAT (fingers crossed).
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    Hello there I'm irene and I'm 25!
    I'm working as an hospital cardiac technician . I'm thinking about GEM but I'm so confused! I did my A levels in Italy 5 years ago with no great grades and I just graduate with 2:1 in cardiac physiologist . I've no volunteering expletive though . What are my chances to get a place and also what about fanancial help during GEM??


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