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    Give me hope please!

    I was torn between doing biomed and nursing but I ended up applying for nursing, I have had offers from all the top universities in the country. I am very passionate about working with people, I have been a volunteer for over a year, just became a HCA, I am also a first aider. I am very much looking forward to my nursing career, and I am glad that I chose this over biomed, labs are just not for me, I love patient contact.

    However med school is something that I always dreamed about. Haven't performed outstandingly in my GCSE's, I have 15 all grade A-C. Because I didn't achieve a B in maths I was not allowed to do sciences at college which is the reason why I cannot go to med school now. I only did humanities subjects. I am currently doing an access course which enabled me to get into university.

    My plans include doing science A Levels privately, get a first and applying for GEM. I will continue work experience and become a part of plenty of societies. Can anyone tell me if it's possible to do this or is my dream really far fetched?
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    From a first person inference, I would definitely say that you're up for it.
    I've had my lazy days-- we all had at one point.
    However, you have very obviously matured since and have taken the initiative to follow up on your dream.
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    Doing A levels + getting a first, then doing GEM is stupidly long-winded and difficult.

    Decline your offers and do A levels, apply for next year or the year after.

    Bear in mind you'll need all As (maybe one B) though - what are your Access Course grades?
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    I have all distinctions, AAAa in my a levels.

    I'm not sure if I'd wanna be at college/do a levels for another 2 years I think I'd like to have a degree plus I feel like I have a better chance with GEM due to my GCSEs
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    (Original post by rnv)
    I have all distinctions, AAAa in my a levels.

    I'm not sure if I'd wanna be at college/do a levels for another 2 years I think I'd like to have a degree plus I feel like I have a better chance with GEM due to my GCSEs
    Have you looked into the 6-year Medicine courses that have a foundation year? I think you can usually apply if you have good A2 grades in humanities subjects. Getting a degree first and applying for GEM medicine is obviously possible but it is a very long and expensive route.
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    Yes I have unfortunately for most you need science a levels or have a poorer background I don't qualify for them
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    (Original post by rnv)
    Yes I have unfortunately for most you need science a levels or have a poorer background I don't qualify for them
    Hmm, I think your options are probably do the A-levels now and apply (although you'd probably have to call the med schools first and explain the situation because they can be strict about when you do the A-levels etc.), or complete your degree and apply for GEM.

    One thing to consider is looking at the new Physician Associate courses that are popping up - they're postgraduate courses that train you up to become (basically) a supervised doctor. The role isn't the same as a doctor, but they can do a lot of the things that junior doctors would be expected to do.
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    Do you think the gem route is doable for me?

    I have thought about the course that you mentioned also! This is what I will do if I didn't get in
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    (Original post by rnv)
    Do you think the gem route is doable for me?

    I have thought about the course that you mentioned also! This is what I will do if I didn't get in
    Funding is uncertain in the future, a lot can change in 3 years. Also, GEM is more competitive (and less places) than via A-levels. I'd honestly only recommend looking to GEM after exhausting all your options. You risk studying a studying a degree you may not necessarily enjoy for 3 years - that's a long time.
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    I will enjoy it, I've done work experience in it and I continue to do so so even if I don't get into med I'll be fine, it's just my dream😊
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    (Original post by Aghareza)
    From a first person inference, I would definitely say that you're up for it.
    I've had my lazy days-- we all had at one point.
    However, you have very obviously matured since and have taken the initiative to follow up on your dream.
    Thank you! this is exactly the response I'm looking for
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    (Original post by rnv)
    Do you think the gem route is doable for me?

    I have thought about the course that you mentioned also! This is what I will do if I didn't get in
    Like Es0phagus has said, the future of GEM courses is uncertain. I'm sure you'd be capable of doing it if you put the work in; however GEM courses are competitive, expensive and the future of them is uncertain as there is talk of moving the point of full registration to graduation (meaning that the current 4 year GEM courses wouldn't meet European regulations). You can of course apply for the normal 5 year programmes, but there is the issue of an extra year of funding which is dependent on your financial state.

    I think the Physicians Associate courses are a great back-up if its something you'd enjoy. There's a massive push for them at the moment, so it might be a good option financially as well, for example my medical school has just launched a PA course which has 30 fully-funded scholarships.
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    Can you explain to me why the future of GEM courses is not certain? So should the 5 year courses be available still?
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    Wait I don't get it, you said you love patient contact, and isn't that what you're doing in nursing? What's wrong with nursing?
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    Nothing! Either way I will love what I'm doing, med school is just something I have always wanted and never thought I'm actually capable of achieving
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    (Original post by rnv)
    Can you explain to me why the future of GEM courses is not certain? So should the 5 year courses be available still?
    GEM viability is being discussed at the moment, I think I have read something about the EU minimum teaching hours being unachievable in 4-year courses. 5-year courses will remain, of course, but I think you would have to fund the majority of the fees: years 1-4 (only the 5th year is funded for graduates at the moment, which may itself change) - £40k of tuition alone, not to mention maintenance etc. It sounds like I am painting a grim picture, but I think it really is. I, myself, am trying to get into GEM at the moment (hopefully before anything changes).
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    So does that mean you can't borrow any money from student finance? I wish you luck!
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    (Original post by rnv)
    I have all distinctions, AAAa in my a levels.

    I'm not sure if I'd wanna be at college/do a levels for another 2 years I think I'd like to have a degree plus I feel like I have a better chance with GEM due to my GCSEs
    You won't be doing A levels for 2 years, self study and you should be able to do the 2 in the space of a year (seeing as your access course will have already taught you a good amount). Doing nursing then medicine is 9 years of your life before you can call yourself a doctor. The extra year isn't a big deal in the scheme of things, and for a year of doing a couple of A levels, you can be registered in 7 potentially (8 if you miss the October application deadline) and have much better chances of getting on a course.
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    (Original post by rnv)
    So does that mean you can't borrow any money from student finance? I wish you luck!
    There are currently concerns that GEM in its current form will be phased out. In the last two years two Universities have closed their programs completely, one has changed to be five years instead of four, another has cut its intake in half and another has closed its intake to everyone except for life science graduates which I believe does not include Nursing.

    The current fears are that this will continue due to the recommendations made in the recent Shape of Training Review which recommended that full GMC registration should be moved to the end of the final year of Medical School rather than F1. There are quite a few problems associated with this but the problem for GEM is that European regulations state that all Medicine programs have to be five years long, so GEM currently uses the F1 year to meet this requirement. If the recommendations go through then GEM courses won't be able to exist in their current form and will most likely either be scrapped entirely or turned into five year courses.

    The problem with the latter is that five year courses (including the new five year GEM course at Imperial) are not eligible for tuition fee funding from Student Finance until the fifth year so you need to fund 4x£9000 yourself. You can however apply for a maintenance loan from student finance during this time. It is therefore very unlikely that these new five year courses would attract any funding.

    The funding of GEM in its current form is also at risk. The government has said that from 2017 the NHS bursary for Nursing and other health professionals will be scrapped and replaced by a loan. Currently half of the tuition and living costs for GEM in years 2-4 are paid for by the NHS. We don't yet know whether GEM funding will also be removed in 2017 but if it is then this may be replaced by a loan (which means a lot more debt) or scrapped completely meaning that graduates will have to continue to self fund the £3.5k that they currently need to self fund in year 1.

    Since 2012 the current funding put in place for GEM was only supposed to be temporary and has been extended for only a year each time. Funding for 2016 entry has not even been confirmed yet (which makes me very nervous as I'm due to start GEM at Warwick in September!).

    At the moment these are only concerns, nobody knows either way whether GEM will continue to exist. However, even if it does continue GEM is a lot more expensive and competitive than Undergraduate Medicine and the places available have been decreasing every year. There are 33 Medical Schools in the UK that offer Undergraduate Medicine and the average amount of places is probably around 250 in each institution. However, there are only 12 Medical Schools in the UK that offer the 4 year GEM course and the average number of places is probably around 40 at each institution (Warwick is the exception to this with significantly more but many also have significantly less).

    I think that you would certainly be a strong applicant with your academics but I would still use GEM as a last resort rather than a definite plan. If I had known that I definitely wanted to study Medicine when I was doing my A levels then I wouldn't have chosen the route I did, although I don't regret it now that I have. If there is any way that you could enter Medicine as an undergraduate than I would try everything possible to do so. If you have an access course then I particularly recommend looking at Universities that have different requirements for Mature Non-graduate applicants. Southampton is very good for this, and has much lower GCSE requirements if you can be classed as a mature applicant, you will need to sit A level Chemistry for this to be an option but there may be other Universities that don't require this. I would also look closer at the Universities that offer a foundation year because I think there are one or two that are intended for students in your position e.g. Cardiff and Dundee both offer a foundation year for able students who lack a science background. This link is really useful: http://www.medschools.ac.uk/STUDENTS...nicalyear.aspx (although the information for GEM is out of date because Bristol are closing their program this year and Imperial now only offer a non-funded five-year program)

    Sorry for such a long reply but I hope it helps and good luck!
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    Wow thank you so much! I'm gonna have a look at more options
 
 
 
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