Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I think I know what's going to happen as those in medicine won't want to debate this beyond the usual outreach and raising aspirations arguments and those outside medicine won't have any interest but let's see.

    Personally I think those from upper middle class backgrounds have much too large an advantage in applying to medicine whether it is work experience obtained via contacts, time and tutoring to prepare for entrance exams or (possibly unintentional) bias in the interviews. What does everyone else think?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    The upper classes do have the upper hand don't they!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    There is a definite advantage for those who are able to afford the right books, courses, overseas volunteering experiences etc. when it comes to medicine applications.

    The only way I can see to fix this would be for more free materials to be available but that'll probably be unlikely.

    Saying that, it is very possible to do very well with regards to work experience, entrance exams and interviews without any paid 'extras' because I've done it this year.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tortious410)
    There is a definite advantage for those who are able to afford the right books, courses, overseas volunteering experiences etc. when it comes to medicine applications.

    The only way I can see to fix this would be for more free materials to be available but that'll probably be unlikely.

    Saying that, it is very possible to do very well with regards to work experience, entrance exams and interviews without any paid 'extras' because I've done it this year.
    I do think it is perfectly possible to put do very well without any paid extras but in the other hand there will be a lot of candidates that will be borderline in one aspect or another without extra 'help'. The candidates that get extra help of course then become statistically more likely to get the places.

    There is of course the option of giving things away for free in the existing interview process but how about removing hurdles instead? In a lot of other countries a significant proportion of places are reserved for those with the highest entrance exam scores or academic results, which prevents the selection of candidates in the image of those already in the profession that I believe seems to occur to some extent?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    You're judged by your academic ability not your wealth status.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Those with auspicious developments tend to be upper or middle class, with educated parents themselves.
    Doctors are usually from such backgrounds, which is in part why they are pushing for the diversity in medicine. I think.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Thomb)
    You're judged by your academic ability not your wealth status.
    Do you honestly think it's that simple or are being deliberately ignorant?

    How do you think someone becomes academically excellent? Do you think perhaps it would be rather more difficult to achieve 4 As at A-level and string of GCSEs if you lived in a single parent family on a council estate with no one in your immediate family in employment and went to a comprehensive school filled with badly behaved children and disillusioned teachers?

    Maybe if you had 2 supportive and well adjusted parents who were in professional roles and you went to a grammar or public school with excellent teachers, facilities, pastoral care and work experience opportunities you'd fare a bit better? Especially if you were surrounded by children raised with manners and discipline who got into the school based on prior achievement - children who would challenge you to work harder rather than ridicule you for any hint of intelligence.

    OP - this isn't just a problem particular to medicine, it's a deep rooted problem in the whole structure of this country which is shameful to still be so profound in the 21st century. Look at, management, medical related professions, teaching, councils, law etc. But especially look at the government. The higher echelons of British society are saturated with middle class publicly educated people (mostly men). This isn't unique to medicine - it's a problem with our society. From the moment they're born, some people are miles ahead in terms of the education, opportunities and support they will have. That's just how the world is. It's not fair - but life isn't. It's how you deal with the hand you're dealt that defines you, not what you were dealt.

    I say this as a working class comprehensive educated woman from a single parent family with a degree - about to start another in a typically middle class profession related to medicine. I know how hard it is because I've personally experienced it and not many people (virtually none) have the patience, resilience and determination to do what I've done coming from my background.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Do you honestly think it's that simple or are being deliberately ignorant?

    How do you think someone becomes academically excellent? Do you think perhaps it would be rather more difficult to achieve 4 As at A-level and string of GCSEs if you lived in a single parent family on a council estate with no one in your immediate family in employment and went to a comprehensive school filled with badly behaved children and disillusioned teachers?

    Maybe if you had 2 supportive and well adjusted parents who were in professional roles and you went to a grammar or public school with excellent teachers, facilities, pastoral care and work experience opportunities you'd fare a bit better? Especially if you were surrounded by children raised with manners and discipline who got into the school based on prior achievement - children who would challenge you to work harder rather than ridicule you for any hint of intelligence.

    OP - this isn't just a problem particular to medicine, it's a deep rooted problem in the whole structure of this country which is shameful to still be so profound in the 21st century. Look at, management, medical related professions, teaching, councils, law etc. But especially look at the government. The higher echelons of British society are saturated with middle class publicly educated people (mostly men). This isn't unique to medicine - it's a problem with our society. From the moment they're born, some people are miles ahead in terms of the education, opportunities and support they will have. That's just how the world is. It's not fair - but life isn't. It's how you deal with the hand you're dealt that defines you, not what you were dealt.

    I say this as a working class comprehensive educated woman from a single parent family with a degree - about to start another in a typically middle class profession related to medicine. I know how hard it is because I've personally experienced it and not many people (virtually none) have the patience, resilience and determination to do what I've done coming from my background.
    I'm from this background precisely and my GCSE's weren't that bad; even if I was getting bullied. I don't know if they'd get me onto a graduate medicine course but it is possible. Unlikely, but possible
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Do you honestly think it's that simple or are being deliberately ignorant?

    How do you think someone becomes academically excellent? Do you think perhaps it would be rather more difficult to achieve 4 As at A-level and string of GCSEs if you lived in a single parent family on a council estate with no one in your immediate family in employment and went to a comprehensive school filled with badly behaved children and disillusioned teachers?

    Maybe if you had 2 supportive and well adjusted parents who were in professional roles and you went to a grammar or public school with excellent teachers, facilities, pastoral care and work experience opportunities you'd fare a bit better? Especially if you were surrounded by children raised with manners and discipline who got into the school based on prior achievement - children who would challenge you to work harder rather than ridicule you for any hint of intelligence.

    OP - this isn't just a problem particular to medicine, it's a deep rooted problem in the whole structure of this country which is shameful to still be so profound in the 21st century. Look at, management, medical related professions, teaching, councils, law etc. But especially look at the government. The higher echelons of British society are saturated with middle class publicly educated people (mostly men). This isn't unique to medicine - it's a problem with our society.

    I say this as a working class comprehensive educated woman from a single parent family with a degree - about to start another in a typically middle class profession related to medicine. I know how hard it is because I've personally experienced it and not many people (virtually none) have the patience, resilience and determination to do what I've done coming from my background.
    I agree with you and thanks for taking the time to post this.

    I guess I tend to approach this from a slightly different perspective as a working class man from a single parent family (although my parents were together until into my teens) where employment/finances have been major problems, who has been gifted enough to manage to get decent qualifications but I definitely think my background has counted against me in many interviews including those for medicine.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    I'm from this background precisely and my GCSE's weren't that bad; even if I was getting bullied. I don't know if they'd get me onto a graduate medicine course but it is possible. Unlikely, but possible
    They don't look at your GCSEs much really. Get a first or 2.i, a high UKCAT score and the GCSEs won't matter.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Life is what you make of it. There will be people from worse off situation that still end up doing medicine.
    Yes, socioeconomics is a factor but it shouldn't be used as a clutch to being mediocre, but rather a push to rise above one's circumstances and come out at the top.
    Not many will be able to do this, but some people will still be able to use this disadvantage as motivation to do better.

    All fingers are not equal, so one shouldn't expect everyone to be the same. The society we live in is actually fairly meritocratic to surpass socioeconomic status, though there will be people few and far between that end up at the upper echelons of society from low socioeconomic backgrounds. That isn't to say that this isn't possible, just that it would be harder, but then nothing free comes in life and hardwork does pay at the end, though it may take a while.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    yes, the upper classes do have a bit of advantage but at the same time it is not all impossible for the rest of us. I live on the council estate, from a single parent family, went to comprehensive. I am a re-applicant with two offers for medicine and sill waiting to hear the results from the remaining two interviews. It wasn't an easy ride I don't need to tell you that but I met a few applicants from the doctor's families and they were also re-applying!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CharlieGEM)
    I agree with you and thanks for taking the time to post this.

    I guess I tend to approach this from a slightly different perspective as a working class man from a single parent family (although my parents were together until into my teens) where employment/finances have been major problems, who has been gifted enough to manage to get decent qualifications but I definitely think my background has counted against me in many interviews including those for medicine.
    How do you think your background affected your interviews?

    I can't say mine ever came up during any of my interviews.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Do you honestly think it's that simple or are being deliberately ignorant?

    How do you think someone becomes academically excellent? Do you think perhaps it would be rather more difficult to achieve 4 As at A-level and string of GCSEs if you lived in a single parent family on a council estate with no one in your immediate family in employment and went to a comprehensive school filled with badly behaved children and disillusioned teachers?

    Maybe if you had 2 supportive and well adjusted parents who were in professional roles and you went to a grammar or public school with excellent teachers, facilities, pastoral care and work experience opportunities you'd fare a bit better? Especially if you were surrounded by children raised with manners and discipline who got into the school based on prior achievement - children who would challenge you to work harder rather than ridicule you for any hint of intelligence.

    OP - this isn't just a problem particular to medicine, it's a deep rooted problem in the whole structure of this country which is shameful to still be so profound in the 21st century. Look at, management, medical related professions, teaching, councils, law etc. But especially look at the government. The higher echelons of British society are saturated with middle class publicly educated people (mostly men). This isn't unique to medicine - it's a problem with our society. From the moment they're born, some people are miles ahead in terms of the education, opportunities and support they will have. That's just how the world is. It's not fair - but life isn't. It's how you deal with the hand you're dealt that defines you, not what you were dealt.

    I say this as a working class comprehensive educated woman from a single parent family with a degree - about to start another in a typically middle class profession related to medicine. I know how hard it is because I've personally experienced it and not many people (virtually none) have the patience, resilience and determination to do what I've done coming from my background.

    Ok it was perhaps a bit thoughtless of me but I do come from a background not to dissimilar to the one you're describing and although I left school without gcse my sister went to grammar school did her degree got a masters and is now a lecturer at university etc. I agree that environment is about 50% of the factor but the fact still remains that once you've got to university you are judged on your academic ability.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tortious410)
    How do you think your background affected your interviews?

    I can't say mine ever came up during any of my interviews.
    The way you walk, the way you talk, your presence in a room. All considerably influenced by background as peoples' perceptions of them are influenced by their background.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CharlieGEM)
    The way you walk, the way you talk, your presence in a room. All considerably influenced by background as peoples' perceptions of them are influenced by their background.
    That is true, and I can see where you are coming from. People tend to be drawn to those like themselves. Which is why I quite liked the MMIs, there is more opprtunity to get interviewed by a greater range of people.

    But I do think while it's not perfect (and probably will never be perfect), it is getting better. Just out of curiosity, so are you saying you'd like to see a switch to a purely academic basis of entry to medicine?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tortious410)
    That is true, and I can see where you are coming from. People tend to be drawn to those like themselves. Which is why I quite liked the MMIs, there is more opprtunity to get interviewed by a greater range of people.

    But I do think while it's not perfect (and probably will never be perfect), it is getting better. Just out of curiosity, so are you saying you'd like to see a switch to a purely academic basis of entry to medicine?
    Nope, but I would probably like to see circa 20% admitted on academic results alone like Germany or Australia. Everyone else going through an interview process.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CharlieGEM)
    Nope, but I would probably like to see circa 20% admitted on academic results alone like Germany or Australia. Everyone else going through an interview process.
    Until very recently, neither Edinburgh nor Southampton interviewed prospective medical students. They must have had a very good reason for changing their system. :vroam:

    I find it quite incredible that applicants for any health care course were ever selected without interview.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by NHSFan)
    Until very recently, neither Edinburgh nor Southampton interviewed prospective medical students. They must have had a very good reason for changing their system. :vroam:
    Indeed but things like personal statements figured very prominently in their recruitment processes which is not the same thing as selection by academic results.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CharlieGEM)
    Nope, but I would probably like to see circa 20% admitted on academic results alone like Germany or Australia. Everyone else going through an interview process.
    I can't see how that would solve the issue of socioeconomic diversity. I think further improving the interview system would be the way to go.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
    Useful resources

    Quick links:

    Unanswered Health and Emergency services Threads

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.