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    Hi everyone,
    I'm currently in year 13 and will be studying Biomedical Material Science (BMS) at university. For a while now I've been thinking of studying Medicine, however due to my average grades I applied for biomedical science instead. My plan was to apply for Graduate Entry Medicine after my 3 years of BMS. The problem is if I for example choose to specialize in General practice (shortest specialty) I will be 30 by the time I am fully qualified. 30 years of age is really not that old but it's not very ideal when you want to have kids in your mid/early twenties. My other option is to start working after gaining my BSc and have kids sometime in my 20s or do a masters and similarly have child or two in my 20s. The later option is more ideal for my preferred future family life, however I still feel like I would not be satisfied with my career if I don't become a doctor. Would doing a PhD be a good solution? or should I go ahead and study Medicine and forget about my family life?. I feel like its a 100:0, by which work is great and family is non-existing and vice versa.
    My next question is: Is it possible to become a mother while working towards you profession as a doctor, i.e. have a child before or after residency?
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    Why couldn't you have a family before being fully qualified as a GP? Tonnes of GP (and other specialty) trainees have children during their training programme!

    Edit: and 30 really isn't that old to be having your first child anyway...
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    never let go of dreams. dream big.
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    nah just kidding - you haven't got a chance
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    It's been said before but I'll say it again: there's never an 'ideal time' to have kids. It just doesn't exist. You try and organise your life, wrap up all the strings in your career so it won't interfere with you having young children, and then BAM your house catches fire. Or your mum gets sick. Or you realise that your life can never be complete unless you relocate to Svalbald.

    Things are always happening in life, and if you wait for the perfect moment in your relationship/career/whatever, you'll die childless. People have kids in all different careers - men and women - and at all different stages in those careers. And they make it work because once you have a kid, you just kind of have to.

    Being a junior doctor/in training isn't waiting for your real life to start when you finally 'arrive' at the end of your career path. It's real life all the way baby.
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    (Original post by mindandsoul)
    Hi everyone,
    I'm currently in year 13 and will be studying Biomedical Material Science (BMS) at university. For a while now I've been thinking of studying Medicine, however due to my average grades I applied for biomedical science instead. My plan was to apply for Graduate Entry Medicine after my 3 years of BMS. The problem is if I for example choose to specialize in General practice (shortest specialty) I will be 30 by the time I am fully qualified. 30 years of age is really not that old but it's not very ideal when you want to have kids in your mid/early twenties. My other option is to start working after gaining my BSc and have kids sometime in my 20s or do a masters and similarly have child or two in my 20s. The later option is more ideal for my preferred future family life, however I still feel like I would not be satisfied with my career if I don't become a doctor. Would doing a PhD be a good solution? or should I go ahead and study Medicine and forget about my family life?. I feel like its a 100:0, by which work is great and family is non-existing and vice versa.
    My next question is: Is it possible to become a mother while working towards you profession as a doctor, i.e. have a child before or after residency?
    Instead of doing GEM why not get the work experience and improve your grades and do Medicine at undergrad? Also you don't know whether there will be GEM by the time you finish. You will be in your mid 20's by the time you finish medicine not faffing about applying for a 2nd degree thats more competitive.
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    (Original post by mindandsoul)
    I'm currently in year 13 and will be studying Biomedical Material Science (BMS) at university. For a while now I've been thinking of studying Medicine, however due to my average grades I applied for biomedical science instead. My plan was to apply for Graduate Entry Medicine after my 3 years of BMS. The problem is if I for example choose to specialize in General practice (shortest specialty) I will be 30 by the time I am fully qualified. 30 years of age is really not that old but it's not very ideal when you want to have kids in your mid/early twenties. My other option is to start working after gaining my BSc and have kids sometime in my 20s or do a masters and similarly have child or two in my 20s. The later option is more ideal for my preferred future family life, however I still feel like I would not be satisfied with my career if I don't become a doctor. Would doing a PhD be a good solution? or should I go ahead and study Medicine and forget about my family life?. I feel like its a 100:0, by which work is great and family is non-existing and vice versa.
    First things first - are you thinking about doing a PhD just for the sake of getting a PhD to enhance career prospects or the prestige? Or are you doing it because you love research/science? If it is for the former, I can guarantee you that there is a high probability of becoming unhappy during the early years and dropping out of the program.

    Entering a MBBS program or doing a PhD are not easy decisions, and there are negative aspects to pursuing either one. Pursuing either one can also be rewarding, but it depends on what you are looking to get out of it.

    Like what others have said, life can change things. Your interests could change during your undergraduate years. You might end up with a wonderful opportunity to do something else at the end of your BMS. You could end up in a relationship with someone and be put into the spot of deciding between your career, or significant other. There is no guarantee that you will be doing a MBBS/PhD in the same university you are doing your BMS in, and it is likely that a SO might not even end up where you are at. Even a career post-MBBS/PhD study can involve moving somewhere else.
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    Well this post has certainly made me feel old! I am 31 and an ST3 in Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery with 8-10 years left (including PhD) before I can reasonably expect to be a consultant... I also have a small son, as do many of my junior doctor colleagues.

    The job begins long before you become a fully trained consultant/GP and lots of doctors have children while they are training. You are entitled to the same maternity rights as any other employee. The NHS is also pretty good at accommodating flexible working / less-than-full-time training.

    I honestly don't believe that graduate entry medicine followed by GP training would be incompatible with a fulfilling family life.
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    This post made log in almost 5 years later to stop you making a mistake I made.

    Listen up.

    I rushed into University, I had decent grades but I decided that my reaction to 4 medical school rejections was to rush off an do a course I barely knew about. The result? I'm a 3rd year student on a course which I was never truly interested in. Now that I've been at Uni for some time I've realised something. Years don't matter. Seriously. There are plenty of Medics who took a gap year (or two!) before they applied, people who've been rejected multiple times before they get in. Your career will be 35+ years long in Medicine, waiting a year or two to improve your grades won't hurt (in the long run).

    Another reality is that if you do not get into the GPEP/GEM (4 year programme) you will have to self-fund the 5 year programme. Think of it this way, 1 year out + 6 years (including intercalating) or 3 years (on a degree you may not like) + 4 years (on an insanely difficult programme to get into which you must part fund). It's the same. Plus with a year out you enter Uni more mature and with access to a student loan.

    To conclude, you're stressing and thinking way too far ahead. I can totally understand the way you're coming from, but no-one will judge you for re-sitting A-levels (anyone who does you can ignore)*. I've seen plenty of people do so and get into more competitive courses - ultimately helping their career. Regarding specialties, a lot of people I know have ended up throughout their time at Medical school. I would be hesistant to make such solid plans (especially childbirth!) at 18. Why did I post this all? Because years ago just like you I thought I'd go do a degree and get into GPEP easily*2. The reality? I didn't get into GPEP, but fortunately have a place on a 5 year course starting this year. How I wish I'd not be a wuss, ignored (what I thought) other people would think about me and just taken a year out.

    *Apart from Med school. Do care about what they think about re-sits when applying...
    *2 I'm not saying you will never get into GPEP/GEM, but the odds are low and its a risky venture. Everyone told me so when I was in Year 13, but I ignored them. Check the competition ratios if you don't believe me. You can totally avoid this insane competition, by just taking a year out and it won't take you any longer.
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    (Original post by Raynor)
    This post made log in almost 5 years later to stop you making a mistake I made.

    Listen up.

    I rushed into University, I had decent grades but I decided that my reaction to 4 medical school rejections was to rush off an do a course I barely knew about. The result? I'm a 3rd year student on a course which I was never truly interested in. Now that I've been at Uni for some time I've realised something. Years don't matter. Seriously. There are plenty of Medics who took a gap year (or two!) before they applied, people who've been rejected multiple times before they get in. Your career will be 35+ years long in Medicine, waiting a year or two to improve your grades won't hurt (in the long run).

    Another reality is that if you do not get into the GPEP/GEM (4 year programme) you will have to self-fund the 5 year programme. Think of it this way, 1 year out + 6 years (including intercalating) or 3 years (on a degree you may not like) + 4 years (on an insanely difficult programme to get into which you must part fund). It's the same. Plus with a year out you enter Uni more mature and with access to a student loan.

    To conclude, you're stressing and thinking way too far ahead. I can totally understand the way you're coming from, but no-one will judge you for re-sitting A-levels (anyone who does you can ignore)*. I've seen plenty of people do so and get into more competitive courses - ultimately helping their career. Regarding specialties, a lot of people I know have ended up throughout their time at Medical school. I would be hesistant to make such solid plans (especially childbirth!) at 18. Why did I post this all? Because years ago just like you I thought I'd go do a degree and get into GPEP easily*2. The reality? I didn't get into GPEP, but fortunately have a place on a 5 year course starting this year. How I wish I'd not be a wuss, ignored (what I thought) other people would think about me and just taken a year out.

    *Apart from Med school. Do care about what they think about re-sits when applying...
    *2 I'm not saying you will never get into GPEP/GEM, but the odds are low and its a risky venture. Everyone told me so when I was in Year 13, but I ignored them. Check the competition ratios if you don't believe me. You can totally avoid this insane competition, by just taking a year out and it won't take you any longer.
    My biggest problem is that my sixth form pressured my to study BTEC because I didn't get A in maths GCSE. So I would have to do 2 years of A levels that I'm not very familiar with. Would you still recommend me to do 2 more years of A levels?
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    (Original post by mindandsoul)
    My biggest problem is that my sixth form pressured my to study BTEC because I didn't get A in maths GCSE. So I would have to do 2 years of A levels that I'm not very familiar with. Would you still recommend me to do 2 more years of A levels?
    I'm sorry but I don't know enough about non-A level routes to Medicine to advise you what to do. Perhaps you could research on the Internet universities which offer doing a Foundation year to non-A level students. It would be best to also ring up individual universities which you may wish to apply to in the future, regarding their stance on admission to applicants applying having done an entry to Medicine course. Honestly I'm not sure if Universities would want you to do A levels after doing Btec, but its best to ask more informed people on this site.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    Well this post has certainly made me feel old! I am 31 and an ST3 in Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery with 8-10 years left (including PhD) before I can reasonably expect to be a consultant... I also have a small son, as do many of my junior doctor colleagues.

    The job begins long before you become a fully trained consultant/GP and lots of doctors have children while they are training. You are entitled to the same maternity rights as any other employee. The NHS is also pretty good at accommodating flexible working / less-than-full-time training.

    I honestly don't believe that graduate entry medicine followed by GP training would be incompatible with a fulfilling family life.

    I'm applying for medicine 2017 entry and when looking at specialities I discovered surgery sounds like the one that would suit my skills the most but of course this would likely change when I get more experience. I am also really keen on having a family in my 20s and I was just wondering whether after having your son did you return to train LTFT and if you did/didn't can I ask how many hours you work on a weekly basis? Sorry if this is too personal but it's something I think about as it is clearly a big factor in having a child and although the limit a junior doctor can work is 48 hours I know it's likely that surgeons work over that
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    (Original post by futuredoctorx)
    I'm applying for medicine 2017 entry and when looking at specialities I discovered surgery sounds like the one that would suit my skills the most but of course this would likely change when I get more experience. I am also really keen on having a family in my 20s and I was just wondering whether after having your son did you return to train LTFT and if you did/didn't can I ask how many hours you work on a weekly basis? Sorry if this is too personal but it's something I think about as it is clearly a big factor in having a child and although the limit a junior doctor can work is 48 hours I know it's likely that surgeons work over that
    You are very likely to change your mind once you experience the huge range of clinical specialties that are available. I am currently a PhD student and taking a break from training, which means I can be pretty flexible with my working hours. This is an option that a lot of female trainees take up as it can create flexibility for a few years in which to start a family. The downside is that is means surgical training takes longer.

    I know many surgical trainees that work LTFT for family reasons. Again, the downside is that, if you reduce training to 50%, it takes twice as long. A typical route might be to take 12 months maternity leave after a first child followed by 1-2 years LTFT before returning to full-time training. Obviously this is easier if your partner isn't also trying to train as a surgeon!

    It's difficult to say how many hours surgeons work when they are full-time because it depends on the individual, the specialty they are rotating through, their consultant, the hospital, etc. In orthopaedics, there are some rotations in which I am working routine hours (e.g. 8.30am to 5.30pm) for six months at a time (perhaps also working one in eight weekends). However, there are other rotations in which I have worked 14+ hour days 5 days a week as well as one in four weekends and five nights every fourth week... Other surgical specialties will vary... at a guess I would think ear/nose/throat surgery might be more routine and general surgery / neurosurgery much more brutal.

    I would recommend working out whether you want to be a doctor first (balanced against the various things you want to get out of life) before jumping too far ahead and thinking about specialty choice. If you want to be a doctor then the right specialty for you (all things considered) will start to become apparent later on.
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    Im applying for medicine 2017 entry and surgery seems like the most suited speciality to me but I'm also really keen to have a family so I'm just wondering did you go back to train LTFT and if you did/didn't then what hours do you often work because that's obviously quite a primary concern of mine when thinking about a family?
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    (Original post by chikane)
    Instead of doing GEM why not get the work experience and improve your grades and do Medicine at undergrad? Also you don't know whether there will be GEM by the time you finish. You will be in your mid 20's by the time you finish medicine not faffing about applying for a 2nd degree thats more competitive.
    Resits aren't allowed for Med applicants are they?
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    Most universities require 6 A*-A grades in GCSE unfortunately I didn't get those grades, but I am doing Biology and Chemistry A levels if I get the universities A level grade say 3 As and a B would I still get in ? Or would they not accept me since I didn't get my GCSE grades ?
    Thankyou
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    (Original post by 1lastchance)
    Resits aren't allowed for Med applicants are they?
    Th
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    (Original post by chikane)
    Th
    ??
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    (Original post by 1lastchance)
    ??
    Sorry didn't realise I typed anything
    Yes that is true but I'm sure there are some med school that will accept it?
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    (Original post by 1lastchance)
    Resits aren't allowed for Med applicants are they?
    Resitting a whole year is generally frowned upon, though some places will accept it if there were significant extenuating circumstances.

    Resitting individual modules within the 2 year period is usually ok, though I don't know how this will work with the latest changes to A-levels.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    You are very likely to change your mind once you experience the huge range of clinical specialties that are available. I am currently a PhD student and taking a break from training, which means I can be pretty flexible with my working hours. This is an option that a lot of female trainees take up as it can create flexibility for a few years in which to start a family. The downside is that is means surgical training takes longer.

    I know many surgical trainees that work LTFT for family reasons. Again, the downside is that, if you reduce training to 50%, it takes twice as long. A typical route might be to take 12 months maternity leave after a first child followed by 1-2 years LTFT before returning to full-time training. Obviously this is easier if your partner isn't also trying to train as a surgeon!

    It's difficult to say how many hours surgeons work when they are full-time because it depends on the individual, the specialty they are rotating through, their consultant, the hospital, etc. In orthopaedics, there are some rotations in which I am working routine hours (e.g. 8.30am to 5.30pm) for six months at a time (perhaps also working one in eight weekends). However, there are other rotations in which I have worked 14+ hour days 5 days a week as well as one in four weekends and five nights every fourth week... Other surgical specialties will vary... at a guess I would think ear/nose/throat surgery might be more routine and general surgery / neurosurgery much more brutal.

    I would recommend working out whether you want to be a doctor first (balanced against the various things you want to get out of life) before jumping too far ahead and thinking about specialty choice. If you want to be a doctor then the right specialty for you (all things considered) will start to become apparent later on.
    Can you apply for LTFT during your foundation years if you have a child during medical school?


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