Failed First Year Medicine and having to repeat year 1. Advice needed please Watch

dreamer222
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So bit of a long story. I'm a first year medic and I have just found out that I failed my first year exams and will have to repeat the year.

I've had bit of a horrid year, spent the first term commuting between home and uni due to parental illness, then when it came to doing my first year exams I got glandular fever so had to do them as a first attempt during the resit period, which I have found out that I have failed. So I have been told that I have to repeat the whole of year 1 again.

I'm not stupid and I worked incredibly hard over the summer, I just feel that maybe learning methods aren't up to scratch and also I during the actual exams I found myself being incredibly anxious and almost having panic attacks. Again this is completely new to me as during my previous degrees and during schooling I always performed better in exams than coursework and was always pretty good at them.

What makes this even more embarrassing is that I am a graduate (I have a good BSc and MSc) but before commencing this course, I had been out of education for 6 years and working in a completely non related field, but a competitive one.

I went to speak to the head of year and they weren't very supportive and basically said "if you've been working hard and have failed then is it worth it continuing" and "if you get so anxious during first year medicine exams, it'll only get harder" and "what happens if you fail again, think about it, you are a grad and do you really want to waste your time".

Whilst I appreciate these questions need to be addressed, I don't doubt my commitment to medicine or my intellect and I would have appreciated an approach of "right we have a problem, let's find out where you went wrong and find a solution so this doesn't happen again"


Basically I just want to know if anyone has got any good advice for study techniques and also has anyone been in the position of having to resit a year?

This has completely knocked my confidence as I have never failed anything in my previous degrees and I will have to do all the in course assessments again, despite achieving above 80% on those. I just feel so unhappy about being left behind and am completely devastated. I am also now doubting my abilities to become a doctor and whether it is worth it as I'll be in my mid thirties when I qualify. To top it all off my parents have been abroad since May and will be until next year, so have literally no support

Any advice would be appreciated.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated
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Lemur12
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I can't advise on medicine, but regarding your unsupportive head of year: **** them.

I have to say I was very lucky with my university advisors, but in the past I have had a lot of people tell me I can't do things, and I've just ignored them and done it anyway. They are giving you advice based on the premise you are the average struggling student, but you know why you are committed to medicine, and you know their advice doesn't apply to you, so it's irrelevant.

Glandular fever and your parents' illness was just very bad luck, and you got over 80% in the course assessments, so you certainly have the potential to do well this year. One thing I would say is that a lot of my older friends have said that when you've been out of education for a while you can lose the capacity to absorb large volumes of information for exams - you are used to thinking analytically, not block memorising. I don't know if this applies to you, but it could be worth thinking about given you were a high achiever at school?

Good luck, anyway.
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xsashax
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hi! while I don't really have learning tips to give you, I can give support! Don't listen to those who say "is it worth continuing", if medicine is deffo the career you want then go for it because if you don't you'll just regret it! you've had a very difficult year it seems so it's completly understandable that you didn't do very well! just keep going and smilling
good luck!
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Helenia
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(Original post by dreamer222)
So bit of a long story. I'm a first year medic and I have just found out that I failed my first year exams and will have to repeat the year.

I've had bit of a horrid year, spent the first term commuting between home and uni due to parental illness, then when it came to doing my first year exams I got glandular fever so had to do them as a first attempt during the resit period, which I have found out that I have failed. So I have been told that I have to repeat the whole of year 1 again.

I'm not stupid and I worked incredibly hard over the summer, I just feel that maybe learning methods aren't up to scratch and also I during the actual exams I found myself being incredibly anxious and almost having panic attacks. Again this is completely new to me as during my previous degrees and during schooling I always performed better in exams than coursework and was always pretty good at them.

What makes this even more embarrassing is that I am a graduate (I have a good BSc and MSc) but before commencing this course, I had been out of education for 6 years and working in a completely non related field, but a competitive one.

I went to speak to the head of year and they weren't very supportive and basically said "if you've been working hard and have failed then is it worth it continuing" and "if you get so anxious during first year medicine exams, it'll only get harder" and "what happens if you fail again, think about it, you are a grad and do you really want to waste your time".

Whilst I appreciate these questions need to be addressed, I don't doubt my commitment to medicine or my intellect and I would have appreciated an approach of "right we have a problem, let's find out where you went wrong and find a solution so this doesn't happen again"


Basically I just want to know if anyone has got any good advice for study techniques and also has anyone been in the position of having to resit a year?

This has completely knocked my confidence as I have never failed anything in my previous degrees and I will have to do all the in course assessments again, despite achieving above 80% on those. I just feel so unhappy about being left behind and am completely devastated. I am also now doubting my abilities to become a doctor and whether it is worth it as I'll be in my mid thirties when I qualify. To top it all off my parents have been abroad since May and will be until next year, so have literally no support

Any advice would be appreciated.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated
Sounds like you've had a really tough year. I had glandular fever in my first year and it sucked, though fortunately (?) I got it in Lent term so was mostly better by exam time. Also sorry your head of year is not being more supportive.

I strongly suspect that your disappointment at your recent failure is clouding your feeling about medicine as a whole. You were obviously doing well during the year with your in-course assessments, but held up by the glandular fever and anxiety about exams.

Don't get stressed out about being "behind" or not graduating till your mid-thirties, unless financial pressures are really going to be an issue with the extra year. Try to look on this new year as a new start, rather than a failure. You don't have to deal with a horrible commute, so that's one less thing to stress you. You will have covered the material before, so it should be more familiar and easier to revise. Your friends in your original year will still be around, even if you don't see them as much in lectures etc, and you can make new friends in your new year. It's a shame that your parents are away, but can you Skype/facetime them? Can you visit in holidays?

Do you have a personal tutor of some description? And is there an academic affairs officer either within your medsoc or the students' union in general? They might be able to help you get more information about where you went wrong in your exams (do you know if it was just a paper or two or more than that?) and possibly target better study/revision strategies. I would also recommend seeing your GP and/or uni counselling service for help with your exam anxiety - there's no shame in it and you would not be the first med student to do so!

This all sounds like a lot of work, but I do think you can do it if you get your head in the right place. It might all seem like too much, but I think if you drop out now you'll always be left wondering "what if?"
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