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    (Original post by -inspired-)
    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!
    Are you doing the graduate route?
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    (Original post by rnv)
    Are you doing the graduate route?
    Yes, I'm starting GEM at Warwick in September
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    Well done!
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    (Original post by hopefulGEM17)
    I know its a long shot but I'm trying to start a petition regarding the funding situation for graduates wanting to do medicine! it needs at least 5 supporters to get off the ground

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...1#post63586151 this is the thread I started regarding this, please have a look and comment if you're interested.

    doubt it'll make that much of a difference but we have got to start somewhere! I come from a low income family and seeing two of my friends going off to study medicine after we graduate in June because their families can support them is so upsetting for me (very happy for them but it still feels SO unfair!!) because I know that if GEM is phased out it'll never happen for me.

    please please take a look!
    I know it's frustrating seeing people get there through a faster, easier route and I know my post sounds very negative and GEM is getting more competitive as places are reduced but I don't expect it to completely disappear in the next year (if ever) so I just wanted to reassure you that you definitely still have a chance. I don't know what degree you did but if you studied a life science degree then you still have 12 universities open to your currently, and you can only apply for four anyway. If you didn't, well, I studied English literature and only had the time/money to sit the UKCAT last year which gave me a choice of three universities and I got in and will be starting at Warwick this year. The main difference between Undergraduate and Graduate Medicine selection process is the importance of the entrance test. There is no reason why you can't ace this and then you only need to perform your best at interview, it is difficult but by no means impossible.

    I had to take time out of education to work full time to afford to go to Medical School as did most of the people I've met who will be joining me at Warwick so you will by no means be the only one, GEM is full of people who took the long and often complicated route to Medicine but they made it eventually and will often be a better Doctor because of it. Good luck!
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    (Original post by -inspired-)
    I know it's frustrating seeing people get there through a faster, easier route and I know my post sounds very negative and GEM is getting more competitive as places are reduced but I don't expect it to completely disappear in the next year (if ever) so I just wanted to reassure you that you definitely still have a chance. I don't know what degree you did but if you studied a life science degree then you still have 12 universities open to your currently, and you can only apply for four anyway. If you didn't, well, I studied English literature and only had the time/money to sit the UKCAT last year which gave me a choice of three universities and I got in and will be starting at Warwick this year.

    I had to take time out of education to work full time to afford to go to Medical School as did most of the people I've met who will be joining me at Warwick so you will by no means be the only one, GEM is full of people who took the long and often complicated route to Medicine but they made it eventually and will often be a better Doctor because of it. Good luck!
    what did you get in your degree/ukcat if you don't mind me asking? thankyou for your encouragement, really losing hope as the months go on as everyone seems to have negative things to say regarding the future of GEM!
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    (Original post by hopefulGEM17)
    what did you get in your degree/ukcat if you don't mind me asking? thankyou for your encouragement, really losing hope as the months go on as everyone seems to have negative things to say regarding the future of GEM!
    I got a 2:1 in my degree and 715 in my UKCAT. I did well, but certainly not exceptionally. Once you meet the cut off score for the entrance test it's entirely down to how you perform at interview. I know it's frustrating, but the negativity is just guessing because nobody really knows what will happen to GEM and a lot of it is people venting their own worries and frustrations. GEM is by no means an impossible route and since you already have a degree it's your best option. The statistics behind GEM do sound very daunting but the admissions process is actually very straight forward. There's no reason why you can't ace the entrance test so I would focus on that, and make sure you have enough work experience to meet any cut-offs (e.g. 70 hours at Warwick).

    Unfortunately the Government's answer to the funding issue IS GEM which has a lot of advantages over Undergraduate Medicine (partly funded through grants, only four years etc...) so while this still exists I don't see loans being available for Graduates on the Undergraduate course, even though this is incredibly frustrating for those that choose the Undergraduate route (which would have at least meant that I could have filled my four options on UCAS). If these loans were available it would probably be used as a reason for the Government to scrap GEM entirely. Also, Undergraduate Medicine isn't always easier for a Graduate to get into because a lot of courses consider us separately and allocate a small amount of places specifically for Graduates. This means that we're still competing against Graduates who often have higher entrance test scores and the places set aside are often less than the amount of places available on a GEM course (although the scores required are often still lower but not by that much and this varies depending on the individual University). However, if the current form of GEM does change to a five year course then this will be another issue entirely that will have to be addressed.

    Personally, I don't think the Government would be able to get rid of GEM completely without a huge fight, particularly because the whole point of GEM is that it is a widening access course and there is a lot of evidence to support its success. If the Shape of Training recommendations go ahead then the format will likely have to change but I believe that whatever this new format is there will (at least) be loans available.

    (However, for people who have not got a degree already this should still remain a last option as it IS more competitive and its future is too uncertain to risk signing up for (at least) three years of a degree that you may not even like).
 
 
 
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