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    I'm currently in my first year studying Engineering at Oxford but I don't want to continue. My course doesn't interest me and I feel like I made the wrong choice. I am not deluded I know how competitive and selective medical schools are but I think that is where I want to be. Before UCAS began I had completed a great deal of work experience for Veterinary Medicine, of course there are many differences between vet med and Human Medicine but I know that I could cope with the physical challenges of being a medical student ie surgery etc. At A-Level I have A*A*AA in Biology, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry so I meet the requirements for medical schools in the UK (of course I haven't done the UKCAT and BMAT)... I was just wondering if anybody could give me some advice on how to go about this change. I know I will have to take a year out of uni to gain work experience and take admissions tests and to complete UCAS. Thank you!
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    (Original post by lucyox)
    I'm currently in my first year studying Engineering at Oxford but I don't want to continue. My course doesn't interest me and I feel like I made the wrong choice. I am not deluded I know how competitive and selective medical schools are but I think that is where I want to be. Before UCAS began I had completed a great deal of work experience for Veterinary Medicine, of course there are many differences between vet med and Human Medicine but I know that I could cope with the physical challenges of being a medical student ie surgery etc. At A-Level I have A*A*AA in Biology, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry so I meet the requirements for medical schools in the UK (of course I haven't done the UKCAT and BMAT)... I was just wondering if anybody could give me some advice on how to go about this change. I know I will have to take a year out of uni to gain work experience and take admissions tests and to complete UCAS. Thank you!
    Medical schools will not usually accept someone who is quitting a degree; if you are set on this, here are their policies on applicants from other courses, http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...fferent_Course
    but you should also contact medical schools individually to see how they regard your situation and if they would accept an application from you. Can you bear to complete your degree? Graduates are in a stronger position to apply than those who have started a degree and quit it, and you may be eligible for the shorter, cheaper graduate entry programmes if you finish your degree.

    It's not about the physical challenges of surgery so much as it is about having empathy, patience, good interpersonal and communication skills and dealing with the decidedly less than glamorous parts of the job (which are most of it). I don't say this to try and put you off, just out of concern that if you quit your degree to do this before getting actual medical work experience you may later find that the realities of life as a doctor are actually not for you and you may regret giving up your place at Oxford. You need to think through this thoroughly, try if possible to get some work experience/research into life as a doctor before making any final decisions. Have you talked to your personal tutor or anyone else at your college or student services?
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    That's tough. If it had been any other course you could have talked to your tutor and straight swapped into it at Oxford (if you were good enough), no years out required. To my knowledge they will not allow this for medicine though.

    This is a huge choice - medicine is a career not a degree. You will be locked into study for years at the very least. Make sure you are certain, and its not just based on what the medics you currently know are like.

    The options are: drop out of engineering, take a year out to get the application ready, apply and do medicine. Very competitive, no guarantee you will get in (almost 2 in 3 people do not). Potentially problems with funding as well given that you've already used on of your years from student finance. I suspect you'll have to pay an extra £9000 out of your own pocket, but I do not know for sure.

    Second option is to complete engineering degree and go for postgraduate. Safer in that you will already have a degree and that the funding path is clearer. However, its even more competitive than undergraduate medicine. Again, no guarantee you will get in.

    Good luck with your decision.
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    I agree about contacting universities directly to see if they would consider you, but I would not be optimistic. Unfortunately with the way that applications into medicine work people who choose the wrong degree initially are in the worst possible place to make a move into medicine. Drop-outs are not seen favorably at all.

    What is it about medicine that appeals to you, and do you think are are any other degrees that could satisfy what you're looking for?
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    I agree with the others - contact individual medical schools to ask for their advice. Although transferring into medicine at Oxford is very unlikely, I would be tempted to ask to meet the head of the undergraduate course anyway, even if just for advice about how best to manage your career from this point. They might have some helpful words of wisdom and (who knows) might allow you to apply in open competition next year and transfer in if successful.

    If all of this proves to be impossible, I would complete your degree and aim to apply as a graduate. With those A-levels, a good Oxford degree, and all the other necessary ingredients, you are likely to have a very strong application. I've certainly come across a few graduate engineers working as doctors and there is plenty of overlap between engineering and medicine in trauma and orthopaedic surgery.
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    I second the suggestion to have a chat about your options with the undergraduate medicine admissions tutor at Oxford. If nothing else, they might help you to reflect on what's driving your wish to study medicine, which (although it sounds trivial) is actually a ******* of a thing to articulate.

    You could drop out now to minimise your financial exposure (paying for a degree that you don't want to complete). Another option would be to get permission to apply for the Oxford (or another) first year course, while continuing your engineering studies. You then wouldn't risk getting rejected from medicine after dropping out of engineering. However, if successful, you may be on the hook for £9 k fees plus £8 k maintenance times two years.

    The alternative would be to make it through to your final year (is it a 3 year or 4 year course?) and apply for medicine through the graduate route. This does have the advantage of having an existing funding structure, and you get the other benefits of being a mature and more grounded student. Plus, if you decide against medicine, you're already an engineer! However, the future funding and even existence of graduate-entry schemes is quite uncertain, so you'd be taking a risk that way.

    Best of luck either way, though. One of the happiest medical students I know has an engineering PhD, and says it's the best decision he ever made.
 
 
 
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