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    Last year, I applied for medicine and received 2 conditional offers. Although I got 42 IB points in total (exceeding the minimum), I got 765 in my HLs, so my firm (first) choice fell through, and I had to go with my insurance. The problem is, I absolutely hate the city that my insurance medical school is in. I spent some time there earlier this year, and it was like it sucked the life out of me and completely made me lose the will to live/study medicine (anyone want to venture a guess where it is?). I am currently taking a gap year, and I have no idea whether I want to go next year. Since my grades are not high enough and the deadline for medicine has long passed, I've been considering applying for something like neuroscience in London (UCL, Kings) and Edinburgh, and then apply for a 4-year graduate entry course after that. That would take 7 years, only a year longer than the normal (intercalated-degree including) 6 years. But, of course, the possibility that I wouldn't get into medicine a second time. So, my question is this: what should I do? Grit my teeth and get through the 5 years of medicine in a place that makes me want to blow my brains out at a fairly good university, or 7 years (3 in neuroscience + 4 GEM) in a beautiful city at a top 10 university?
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    If you want to do medicine, and you have a place. Take that place. Don't aim for GEM, its too expensive and too risky.

    Yes, it may not be ideal in terms of living. But there are ways around it. Friends can make even horrible places not bad to live in. You can take day trips at the weekend. In all fairness you'll be too busy with medicine to really care where you're based.

    You kind of have to get used to moving to places you don't necessarily want to. Its the life of a junior medic. You only have a small input in where you end up, especially for f1/f2.

    Oh and no one gives a crap about how prestigious the university is. Get over it.
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    Being at university somewhere is totally different to living there for another purpose. You'll make friends for life and can fill your time doing whatever makes you happy alongside studying. I have no idea what city you're talking about but if it has a wide demographic then the medicine may be more interesting. If you didn't get a place at one of your perfect universities for 5-year medicine then you may be even less likely to get a place for the more competitive 4 year.
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    This is just how it's done in medicine, so if you want to be a doctor, take the offer and start getting used to it.

    Medicine is the ultimate career of being sent to places you don't want to go, sometimes for years at a time. What are you going to do if/when you don't get your desired foundation programme or specialty training post? Refuse to take up work?

    Which city is it, out of interest? I would say (having lived for a period in a city which I also disliked) that it does get better with time. You might not ever fall in love with the place, but you'll at least learn to tolerate it. And with decent friends and regular weekend trips away, time will pass much quicker too.

    Think strategically and long term - med school is only five years, being a doctor is for the rest of your life. It would be silly to risk your dream job based on not wanting to live in a particular city for a few years.
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    Regardless of whatever uni you go to or your experiences there you'll still end up with the same degree, which you tried so hard to get in the first place, at the end of it. Do you think it is worth sacrificing personal preferences over your future?
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    I think if you definitely want to be a doctor, then you should really take up the medicine offer that you have. The Grad-Entry route would be a much riskier path to becoming a doctor.
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    (Original post by targaryens)
    Last year, I applied for medicine and received 2 conditional offers. Although I got 42 IB points in total (exceeding the minimum), I got 765 in my HLs, so my firm (first) choice fell through, and I had to go with my insurance. The problem is, I absolutely hate the city that my insurance medical school is in. I spent some time there earlier this year, and it was like it sucked the life out of me and completely made me lose the will to live/study medicine (anyone want to venture a guess where it is?). I am currently taking a gap year, and I have no idea whether I want to go next year. Since my grades are not high enough and the deadline for medicine has long passed, I've been considering applying for something like neuroscience in London (UCL, Kings) and Edinburgh, and then apply for a 4-year graduate entry course after that. That would take 7 years, only a year longer than the normal (intercalated-degree including) 6 years. But, of course, the possibility that I wouldn't get into medicine a second time. So, my question is this: what should I do? Grit my teeth and get through the 5 years of medicine in a place that makes me want to blow my brains out at a fairly good university, or 7 years (3 in neuroscience + 4 GEM) in a beautiful city at a top 10 university?
    Don't even think about graduate entry medicine if you have the grades for the conventional route -- it's just not worth it and an offer to study medicine should not be thrown away over something so trivial. If you're serious about the whole 'makes me want to blow my brains out' thing and just cannot conceive of living there another minute, then I would still suggest you stay away from graduate entry medicine, and instead reapply for the normal route elsewhere. However, you should know that there are a few medical schools that won't consider your application if you've turned down another medicine offer to apply to them, notably UCL.

    Out of interest, is your offer a deferred offer? I can't imagine which medical school has already started giving out non-deferred offers for 2016 entry. Oh, and you asked for guesses: Keele.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    If you want to do medicine, and you have a place. Take that place. Don't aim for GEM, its too expensive and too risky.

    Yes, it may not be ideal in terms of living. But there are ways around it. Friends can make even horrible places not bad to live in. You can take day trips at the weekend. In all fairness you'll be too busy with medicine to really care where you're based.

    You kind of have to get used to moving to places you don't necessarily want to. Its the life of a junior medic. You only have a small input in where you end up, especially for f1/f2.

    Oh and no one gives a crap about how prestigious the university is. Get over it.
    This OPs post is pretty unclear but here he/she says
    'I am currently taking a gap year, and I have no idea whether I want to go next year. Since my grades are not high enough and the deadline for medicine has long passed, I've been considering applying for something like neuroscience in London (UCL, Kings) and Edinburgh, and then apply for a 4-year graduate entry course after that. That would take 7 years, only a year longer than the normal (intercalated-degree including) 6 years. '

    I don't think they have a place and they are already on a gap year(like me :P), I doubt it's a great idea to apply next year as that is 2 years gone just applying for uni with no guarantee.

    If I am reading it wrong and OP you have got an offer for medicine, I would defo take it. But if it drains you, as you said, if even if you were to get paid a million pound, there is no point. Rather not end up getting depressed. Though don't confuse it with being stressed, pretty much all students get stressed for/in uni.

    Good luck OP.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    This is just how it's done in medicine, so if you want to be a doctor, take the offer and start getting used to it.

    Medicine is the ultimate career of being sent to places you don't want to go, sometimes for years at a time. What are you going to do if/when you don't get your desired foundation programme or specialty training post? Refuse to take up work?

    Which city is it, out of interest? I would say (having lived for a period in a city which I also disliked) that it does get better with time. You might not ever fall in love with the place, but you'll at least learn to tolerate it. And with decent friends and regular weekend trips away, time will pass much quicker too.

    Think strategically and long term - med school is only five years, being a doctor is for the rest of your life. It would be silly to risk your dream job based on not wanting to live in a particular city for a few years.
    That's just it - if I knew that medicine was definitely what I wanted to do, with every fibre of my being, it would be fine - but I don't. I'm having doubts about medicine itself, so when you add onto it the idea of the city...well.

    It's actually the strategic, long term thinking, that has brought me to this point - knowing I'll have little control over where I get into for my foundation programme, so the undesirable location won't just be the 5 years, it may very well end up being the next 10-12. The thought of spending my entire 20's and 30's somewhere I don't want to be is seriously diminishing my drive to get through medical school at all, which concerns me all the more (if I'm having doubts now, what will it be like once it actually gets tough?)
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Don't even think about graduate entry medicine if you have the grades for the conventional route -- it's just not worth it and an offer to study medicine should not be thrown away over something so trivial. If you're serious about the whole 'makes me want to blow my brains out' thing and just cannot conceive of living there another minute, then I would still suggest you stay away from graduate entry medicine, and instead reapply for the normal route elsewhere. However, you should know that there are a few medical schools that won't consider your application if you've turned down another medicine offer to apply to them, notably UCL.

    Out of interest, is your offer a deferred offer? I can't imagine which medical school has already started giving out non-deferred offers for 2016 entry. Oh, and you asked for guesses: Keele.
    Unfortunately, I had the predicted grades for the conventional route (776 with a 43), which is what got me my offers in the first place, but I was suffering from fairly debilitating depression during exam time, so my actual grades ended up being just below the requirements I'd need to reapply to any medical school. I've considered retaking my exams and reapplying (although most medschools don't accept retakes, I think that if there are medical reasons they consider them), but that would still mean another year before uni after my already-gap year. I didn't know that about UCL though :/

    Yes, it's deferred for 2016. And close, but no cigar. :cool: I actually remember telling my friend, that at least it's not Keele I've actually met several people who like it there, so it may be that I'm just spoiled from living in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It probably is that, but rationalising it and experiencing it are two very different things.
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    (Original post by RiskVsReward)
    This OPs post is pretty unclear but here he/she says
    'I am currently taking a gap year, and I have no idea whether I want to go next year. Since my grades are not high enough and the deadline for medicine has long passed, I've been considering applying for something like neuroscience in London (UCL, Kings) and Edinburgh, and then apply for a 4-year graduate entry course after that. That would take 7 years, only a year longer than the normal (intercalated-degree including) 6 years. '

    I don't think they have a place and they are already on a gap year(like me :P), I doubt it's a great idea to apply next year as that is 2 years gone just applying for uni with no guarantee.

    If I am reading it wrong and OP you have got an offer for medicine, I would defo take it. But if it drains you, as you said, if even if you were to get paid a million pound, there is no point. Rather not end up getting depressed. Though don't confuse it with being stressed, pretty much all students get stressed for/in uni.

    Good luck OP.
    I actually did get an offer, an accepted it with deferred entry for 2016. I feel like such a ungrateful wretch even considering not taking it because it is so difficult for anyone to get a place in the first place (it was for me), but yeah, it is emotionally draining. Of course, I've expected and accepted the stress that accompanies it, but but it's just so demoralising to even think about being there.

    And thanks, RiskVsReward. I'll definitely need it if I am to experience my eureka moment in which this whole mess becomes clear.
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    (Original post by targaryens)
    Unfortunately, I had the predicted grades for the conventional route (776 with a 43), which is what got me my offers in the first place, but I was suffering from fairly debilitating depression during exam time, so my actual grades ended up being just below the requirements I'd need to reapply to any medical school. I've considered retaking my exams and reapplying (although most medschools don't accept retakes, I think that if there are medical reasons they consider them), but that would still mean another year before uni after my already-gap year. I didn't know that about UCL though :/
    I suggest contacting medical schools you're interested in about retakes. There are quite a few medical schools that do, in fact, accept people retaking exams and you're in a fortunate position in that your grades are just below the requirement because most medical schools (for A Levels at least) stipulate a certain minimum that you must have achieved on the first attempt.

    The reason that it's important to contact them is that I don't know whether this applies to IB applicants -- for A Levels, the lowest standard offer in any UK medical school with the exception of Buckingham is AAA and most schools that consider applications from resitters require you to have had AAB or ABB at first attempt. I'm not sure what this converts to in IB terms.

    Exeter is the notable exception to this and does not disadvantage resit applicants regardless of how many times they've resat their exams provided they're set to achieve A*AA or equivalent by the time they start the course. More information: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...Resit_Policies.

    Should you not take up this medical school on their offer, definitely ask your referee to mention your depression in your reference, ideally with evidence of a diagnosis attached.

    Yes, it's deferred for 2016. And close, but no cigar. :cool: I actually remember telling my friend, that at least it's not Keele I've actually met several people who like it there, so it may be that I'm just spoiled from living in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It probably is that, but rationalising it and experiencing it are two very different things.
    I thought it was Keele because it's somewhat unique among UK medical schools in that its standard offer can be met with either AAA or A*AB at A Level and I figured, based on what you've said about meeting the offer for just that one medical school but no others, that if it's a similar system for IB, it must be Keele. You also describe it in tones that a lot of other city-lovers describe it because it's apparently in a really rural area and is therefore not really a city-person's cup of tea.
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    (Original post by targaryens)
    I actually did get an offer, an accepted it with deferred entry for 2016. I feel like such a ungrateful wretch even considering not taking it because it is so difficult for anyone to get a place in the first place (it was for me), but yeah, it is emotionally draining. Of course, I've expected and accepted the stress that accompanies it, but but it's just so demoralising to even think about being there.

    And thanks, RiskVsReward. I'll definitely need it if I am to experience my eureka moment in which this whole mess becomes clear.
    Good luck and your welcome. Just do what you enjoy, you get one life, if you can't cope with the course/lifestyle do something different. Medicine as many medics on here can vouch is quite content filled and requires lots of memorisation/effort so hating being somewhere doing something difficult is not great for you.

    I had nightshifts that I didn't like and was quite stressful, I just left because you eventually forget the positives and just think of the negatives.

    However you truly don't know whether you like it or not as you haven't done it.

    Medicine is a once in a lifetime thing, well unless you get lucky and get in via GEM or go to some other country in Europe.

    This is hard choice and I wish you the best.
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    (Original post by targaryens)
    That's just it - if I knew that medicine was definitely what I wanted to do, with every fibre of my being, it would be fine - but I don't. I'm having doubts about medicine itself, so when you add onto it the idea of the city...well.

    It's actually the strategic, long term thinking, that has brought me to this point - knowing I'll have little control over where I get into for my foundation programme, so the undesirable location won't just be the 5 years, it may very well end up being the next 10-12. The thought of spending my entire 20's and 30's somewhere I don't want to be is seriously diminishing my drive to get through medical school at all, which concerns me all the more (if I'm having doubts now, what will it be like once it actually gets tough?)
    This is fair enough really - committing to living in such a nomadic way when you're in your 20s and 30s is such a big ask. It's very natural to be put off by it imho.

    What are some of your other doubts and worries?
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    (Original post by targaryens)
    That's just it - if I knew that medicine was definitely what I wanted to do, with every fibre of my being, it would be fine - but I don't. I'm having doubts about medicine itself, so when you add onto it the idea of the city...well.

    It's actually the strategic, long term thinking, that has brought me to this point - knowing I'll have little control over where I get into for my foundation programme, so the undesirable location won't just be the 5 years, it may very well end up being the next 10-12. The thought of spending my entire 20's and 30's somewhere I don't want to be is seriously diminishing my drive to get through medical school at all, which concerns me all the more (if I'm having doubts now, what will it be like once it actually gets tough?)
    While it's true that medicine can send you all around the place, I wouldn't say it's true that you have 'little' control. Medicine as a career gives you an amazing amount of choice, and you can definitely choose to prioritise location over job if that is important to you (which it totally is for me).

    If, say, you HAVE to do cardiothoracic surgery in Bristol, you're likely to be disappointed. If you'd be happy doing any kind of surgery in Bristol, that is pretty attainable. I think the people who moan most about the system are those aren't willing to compromise somewhere.

    I'm currently studying in a city I dislike. It doesn't appeal to me on any level - too big, too modern, too far from the coast and countryside, nothing that I'm into. But really, most of the time it's whatever. Most of our hospital placements are outside the city anyway, and I've gotten used to it. Yeah I'm ready to leave and never look back once I graduate, but living here doesn't seriously negatively impact my wellbeing on the day to day.

    Anyway, are you much more likely to get a job in neuroscience in the city that you like once you graduate? Have you looked into career prospects for neuroscience? I'd suggest seriously looking into that when weighing up your options.
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    Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    I would always suggest taking the offer, no matter the circumstances, if you still want to do medicine.
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    :nopity:

    On a serious note though. I think you should definitely take that offer, you may come to like the place, and even if you don't, you''l be too distracted by your studies/friends to actually care all too much, surely?
    Having even one offer for medicine is a dream for many people (including me), so saying you'll refuse a place because of something as trivial as the location (why did you even apply there in the first place???) is just kind of, bad...

    Saying that though, if you really don't think you'll be able to cope with it, try applying again, and personally I wouldn't bother with GEM, so maybe apply next year, and do some AS-Levels this year or something to strengthen you application?
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    I think I speak on behalf of everyone when asking i) which city; and ii) what on earth could be so bad that it makes you blow your brains out?!

    medicine offers are incredibly lucrative, but the nature of the university place, and the career it leads to, is sacrificial- you won't end up doing you favourite area or medicine in your dream hospital under a fantastic team- at all times!- we all have to work in that manky DGH from time to time, or that impersonal tertiary center hospital under the leadership of the consultant who doesn't know you exist... the point I'm making is, it's rare that all the components are perfect, and in my personal view, a medical place is more important that ultimate happiness for a few years- even if it is in Keele, Swansea, Dundee or Hull (I have friends in all of these medical schools, and they love it!)

    How long have you really spent in the city; enough that you'd sacrifice your dream to not live there for a few years?!
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    I agree that if you want to do medicine the place is fairly unimportant. Hospitals and the insides of lecture theatres are fairly interchangeable as are the insides of bedrooms. These are where you spend most of your time.
    You adapt your hobbies to fit with what's available where you are and find a bunch of folk you enjoy being with and hang out with them.
    The rest is just wallpaper.

    If the city is really more important than doing medicine don't do medicine.
 
 
 
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