Genetics degree before medicine Watch

cynicphysicist
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So basically I either want to do a 3 year genetics degree before a 6 year medical course (and then 6 years of specialising in cardiology) or intercalate in the middle of said medical course.

Pros of doing the degree separately: I can have a more chilled introduction to uni and get the partying out of the way

Pros of intercalating: I can graduate sooner

Thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated
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JD1lla
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
So basically I either want to do a 3 year genetics degree before a 6 year medical course (and then 6 years of specialising in cardiology) or intercalate in the middle of said medical course.

Pros of doing the degree separately: I can have a more chilled introduction to uni and get the partying out of the way

Pros of intercalating: I can graduate sooner

Thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated
Err that sounds like it's going to cost a lot?

Do you really need to do 3 years of genetics? It sounds like a waste of time and money to me. Post graduate medicine is very competitive. And medics party hard there will be no 'getting it out of the way'.
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Helenia
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
So basically I either want to do a 3 year genetics degree before a 6 year medical course (and then 6 years of specialising in cardiology) or intercalate in the middle of said medical course.

Pros of doing the degree separately: I can have a more chilled introduction to uni and get the partying out of the way

Pros of intercalating: I can graduate sooner

Thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated
If you are really keen to be a doctor, then do medicine at somewhere with lots of intercalation options. If you're not sure and your main interest is genetics, then by all means do that, but if you do then go onto medicine there's no reason to do a 6 year course - a 4 year grad entry or 5 year standard course would be enough - and know that it will cost a lot more than going for a normal course.

Don't commit to one particular specialty too early, either.
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Going_To_California
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Assuming you'd start a 3 year genetics degree in 2016, you wouldn't finish until 2019. The future of graduate entry medicine is currently uncertain, as well as being more competitive and a lot more expensive.

You say you want to do a 6 year medical course, and maybe intercalate... Currently, if you have a degree, you don't get any funding for tuition fees on a non-graduate medicine course. Also, I doubt you'd need to do the 6 year course. These courses have a foundation year, which you wouldn't need if you have the A-Levels to get onto a genetics degree. If you intercalate, this adds 1 year onto a 5 year medical degree and you would not need to do this as a graduate, as you'd already hold a BSc.

If you have the grades for medicine, apply now. 5 year courses are less intense than graduate medicine, so you'd still be able to enjoy some social life. If you wait, you're costing yourself more money, time and there's no guarantee GEM will still exist in the future.
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cynicphysicist
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(Original post by JD1lla)
Err that sounds like it's going to cost a lot?

Do you really need to do 3 years of genetics? It sounds like a waste of time and money to me. Post graduate medicine is very competitive. And medics party hard there will be no 'getting it out of the way'.
1. I'll pay back the student loans
2. I freaking love genetics

(Original post by Helenia)
If you are really keen to be a doctor, then do medicine at somewhere with lots of intercalation options. If you're not sure and your main interest is genetics, then by all means do that, but if you do then go onto medicine there's no reason to do a 6 year course - a 4 year grad entry or 5 year standard course would be enough - and know that it will cost a lot more than going for a normal course.

Don't commit to one particular specialty too early, either.
I want to study medicine at Oxford but they don't have many intercalation options, which is why I'm thinking it'd be better to do a separate degree elsewhere (not many unis offer genetics as a degree). Also with the cardiology thing - I've wanted to do it for years, so I'm relatively committed at the moment but I don't actually have to make a decision for many years to come ^-^
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JD1lla
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
1. I'll pay back the student loans
2. I freaking love genetics



I want to study medicine at Oxford but they don't have many intercalation options, which is why I'm thinking it'd be better to do a separate degree elsewhere (not many unis offer genetics as a degree). Also with the cardiology thing - I've wanted to do it for years, so I'm relatively committed at the moment but I don't actually have to make a decision for many years to come ^-^
I love physics and ended up doing a degree in it and I'm not even finished and I hate physics now. I had much more interest in it when I just read lightly around the subject. Maybe just me though.

You only get 4 years of funding from student finance...?
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cynicphysicist
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(Original post by JD1lla)
I love physics and ended up doing a degree in it and I'm not even finished and I hate physics now. I had much more interest in it when I just read lightly around the subject. Maybe just me though.

You only get 4 years of funding from student finance...?
Not really worried about funding..

The reason I think I'd enjoy a genetics degree is because it's far more focussed than a degree on an entire science - I've already looked at the modules taught at various unis and they still sound appealing.
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Democracy
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
Not really worried about funding..

The reason I think I'd enjoy a genetics degree is because it's far more focussed than a degree on an entire science - I've already looked at the modules taught at various unis and they still sound appealing.
This is a bit doubtful - even "specialised" science degrees (e.g. genetics, immunology etc) are very broad based simply because you can't teach a first year advanced genetics when they don't even have the first clue about basic biochemistry and physiology. You'll probably find that the "specialist" modules will mostly crop up in final year.

I agree with the others - if you want to be a doctor, do medicine. Don't faff around for 3 years with an irrelevant degree.
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JD1lla
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I'm sorry but for somebody who has the ambition to attend Oxford, you don't sound like you've researched enough. How can you worry about funding? You won't get funded through 8/9 years of university. Unless ofcourse, your parents are paying for you...

Judging how appealing a module is based off of a prospectus is a big, big mistake. Approach with caution.

You want to become a doctor? If you have the aptitude for undergraduate entry, go for that. In my opinion, it would be silly to 'do a degree for enjoyment' and then want to specialize in cardiology?! You're willing to spend 27k on enjoyment?

There are certain situations where a degree can be useful. My brother didn't get into medicine at undergraduate level, so he finished a neuroscience degree and got into medicine that way, hes just finished now. And by the way, he didn't decide on his specialization till a year ago. He's starting F1 in a few months.

The fact you know what you want to do is great, it gives you a big advantage as you can prepare now. It just seems the genetics degree is not very necessary. You need to start bulking up your resume as early as possible. Read the posts above as well, they're useful!
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Do medicine now


/thread
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cynicphysicist
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Alright, I wasn't exactly expecting to be attacked.. I wasn't asking to be judged on the subjects I want to study, I was asking for opinions over which (if I do choose to do genetics) would be better: a separate degree or intercalation.

Advice is always appreciated and of course I've read everything here, but there's no need to be snarky. I apologise if you didn't mean it to come off in that way.
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JD1lla
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
Alright, I wasn't exactly expecting to be attacked.. I wasn't asking to be judged on the subjects I want to study, I was asking for opinions over which (if I do choose to do genetics) would be better: a separate degree or intercalation.

Advice is always appreciated and of course I've read everything here, but there's no need to be snarky. I apologise if you didn't mean it to come off in that way.
I was not attacking you, nor your decision to want to study genetics. Take everything you read here with a pinch of salt. But people on here can be wise and well informed..

You haven't started A levels yet, have you? I think I saw in another thread you said you were 15. Correct me if I am wrong. You have a long way to go sweetheart. Remain ambitious. But do educate yourself. Attend the oxbridge open days. Ask lots of questions. Ask the people there whether a genetics degree is important for your application. Post graduate medicine entry is no joke.
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Chief Wiggum
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If you know you want to do medicine, then I'd say just intercalate in Genetics. Doing a separate degree then trying for medicine will increase the time taken to qualify, the cost of qualifying, and also graduate entry medicine can be very competitive indeed. I think it would just be making things more difficult for yourself for no real reason.
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JenniB22
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
So basically I either want to do a 3 year genetics degree before a 6 year medical course (and then 6 years of specialising in cardiology) or intercalate in the middle of said medical course.

Pros of doing the degree separately: I can have a more chilled introduction to uni and get the partying out of the way

Pros of intercalating: I can graduate sooner

Thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated
I would definitely advise intercalating instead of doing 2 degrees. Partly because there is uncertainty around the future of gem and partly because it is really expensive! You only get some of the fees loan for gem, and you don't get anywhere near as much maintenance loan either, so it can be a real struggle.


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abc_1234
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Sounds like a typical naive medical applicant.

'partying'

lmao.
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*pitseleh*
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(Original post by JD1lla)
You only get 4 years of funding from student finance...?
Not strictly true; you still get a second maintenance loan (not tuition fee loan though) if you're studying Medicine as a second degree. I should know as it's how I'm funding myself. Admittedly for post-2012 students, trying to cover £9k tuition fees plus rent etc on a loan of £6-7k poses some problems, but it is viable with a combination of university bursaries and/or parental help, work, and career development loans. I would agree that the OP is naïve not to consider how she's going to pay for all of this though (unless she's made of money, that is).

(Original post by JD1lla)
You haven't started A levels yet, have you? I think I saw in another thread you said you were 15. Correct me if I am wrong. You have a long way to go sweetheart. Remain ambitious. But do educate yourself. Attend the oxbridge open days. Ask lots of questions. Ask the people there whether a genetics degree is important for your application. Post graduate medicine entry is no joke.
No need for that.

OP: As others have said, it seems unwise to do a degree in something like genetics knowing that you want to be a medical doctor. With respect, if you're 15 you're unlikely to have yet had the exposure to either genetics or cardiology to know with any certainty that you enjoy them enough to base your educational/career choices around them. You will have plenty of opportunity to get stuck into both genetics and cardiology when you get to the relevant modules of a medical degree, and I'd strongly advise waiting until at least then before you try to figure out whether those are specialties you'd like to pursue further. If you still feel like you haven't got the genetics bug out of your system after 5 or 6 years of medical school, you can always do a postgraduate degree (some people do go down this path, so you wouldn't be alone). You asked for advice, and this is what most of us seem to be telling you: if you know you want to be a doctor, apply for the course that will train you to be one.
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Stepidermis
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)
Alright, I wasn't exactly expecting to be attacked.. I wasn't asking to be judged on the subjects I want to study, I was asking for opinions over which (if I do choose to do genetics) would be better: a separate degree or intercalation.

Advice is always appreciated and of course I've read everything here, but there's no need to be snarky. I apologise if you didn't mean it to come off in that way.
Go for genetics. 3 years is nothing in the grand scheme of things, better to spend it in university than working, especially since it's a subject you love!
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Etomidate
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If money is no option, do whatever makes you happy. Three years isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. Just make sure you're as certain as you can be before you start. If you start getting itchy feet halfway through a genetics degree you will enter into a whole world of pain.

Intercalating seems to be the best happy medium, though.
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Helenia
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(Original post by cynicphysicist)

I want to study medicine at Oxford but they don't have many intercalation options, which is why I'm thinking it'd be better to do a separate degree elsewhere (not many unis offer genetics as a degree). Also with the cardiology thing - I've wanted to do it for years, so I'm relatively committed at the moment but I don't actually have to make a decision for many years to come ^-^
What is it particularly about Oxford that appeals if not the intercalated options? FWIW Cambridge does have genetics as a 3rd year option if the Oxbridge course/life style appeals. And although universities may not specifically have a degree titled "Genetics," many more will have flexible biosciences-type degrees with plenty of genetics modules, so it's worth exploring a bit more.
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JD1lla
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(Original post by *pitseleh*)
Not strictly true; you still get a second maintenance loan (not tuition fee loan though) if you're studying Medicine as a second degree. I should know as it's how I'm funding myself. Admittedly for post-2012 students, trying to cover £9k tuition fees plus rent etc on a loan of £6-7k poses some problems, but it is viable with a combination of university bursaries and/or parental help, work, and career development loans. I would agree that the OP is naïve not to consider how she's going to pay for all of this though (unless she's made of money, that is).


No need for that.

OP: As others have said, it seems unwise to do a degree in something like genetics knowing that you want to be a medical doctor. With respect, if you're 15 you're unlikely to have yet had the exposure to either genetics or cardiology to know with any certainty that you enjoy them enough to base your educational/career choices around them. You will have plenty of opportunity to get stuck into both genetics and cardiology when you get to the relevant modules of a medical degree, and I'd strongly advise waiting until at least then before you try to figure out whether those are specialties you'd like to pursue further. If you still feel like you haven't got the genetics bug out of your system after 5 or 6 years of medical school, you can always do a postgraduate degree (some people do go down this path, so you wouldn't be alone). You asked for advice, and this is what most of us seem to be telling you: if you know you want to be a doctor, apply for the course that will train you to be one.
I meant specifically tuition fees, should of clarified.

The bit in bold, I meant she has a lot of time to decide what she wants to do/how she should approach it. Should of clarified that as well it looks very patronising indeed when that wasnt my intention
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