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    Hiya,

    Now I do understand that many 'Am I good enough' for medicine threads are created. My situation differs slightly and I was wondering if anyone could spare any advice.

    I'm currently 17 years old. I'm currently in my first year of A Levels (Lower Sixth) but I am due to retake my first year due to an unforeseen circumstance. I was experiencing some illness symptoms before my GCSEs which affected my study and performance. Unfortunately In February this year, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Since my diagnosis, I've felt the desire to help people possibly within the medical profession, but I am now maybe restricted due to my condition affecting my GCSE grades. I was on track for higher grades A*, but they were as follows;

    Mathematics - A
    English Language - C (is currently under investigation for 'harsh marking' - considering to resit)
    Core Science - A
    Additional Science - A
    Further Additional Science - C
    Business Studies - B (1 mark off of an A)
    Geography - B
    GCSE PE - B

    I then chose Maths, Physics, Business Studies & Economics to study at A Level. I have been given a second chance at my first year and can now revise if I wish to study different subjects. Now wishing to pursue a medical career, I'm now asking for your advice regarding my options for next September. Whether to take Chemistry/Biology or not. I do understand that it is a very competitive profession, but I do really wish to help people who have to go through conditions like myself. I feel that I can empathise greatly with people. Is there any chance for me? What advice can you spare?

    Any help will be hugely appreciated,

    Kind Regards.
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    If you can get the A grades just avoid applying anywhere GCSE heavy and try your best to smash the UKCAT/BMAT. Universities are really supportive of students with disabilities/chronic illness. I will be starting medical school this year and I have ulcerative colitis, initially misdiagnosed as Crohns. Ultimately, academically, I had to have the same grades as all the other applicants but the university support service will be aware of my condition and I did undergrad whilst in and out of hospital in my final 2 years. Mitigatating circumstances meant I could have extended deadlines to make up for time in hospital.

    If you get competitive results you have proof that, despite being at a disadvantage, you're still fit to practice. Additionally, it's not just doctors that have interaction with bowel disease patients. Consider specialist nurses like in the stoma care team or working with ccuk. Both could potentially have a really positive impact, same with research and development as a biomedical scientist or pharmocologist.

    Prioritise your health, aim high with your A Levels and have faith in the fact you have many options and ways to achieve your goal of helping others like yourself. Chemistry will be really important if you don't want to apply for 6 year medicine courses but I think there are a couple of options for people who don't take the usual A Levels.

    Good luck and best wishes, IBD is *****y but it isn't going to prevent you from being a doctor if that's what you want. X
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    (Original post by Quilverine)
    If you can get the A grades just avoid applying anywhere GCSE heavy and try your best to smash the UKCAT/BMAT. Universities are really supportive of students with disabilities/chronic illness. I will be starting medical school this year and I have ulcerative colitis, initially misdiagnosed as Crohns. Ultimately, academically, I had to have the same grades as all the other applicants but the university support service will be aware of my condition and I did undergrad whilst in and out of hospital in my final 2 years. Mitigatating circumstances meant I could have extended deadlines to make up for time in hospital.

    If you get competitive results you have proof that, despite being at a disadvantage, you're still fit to practice. Additionally, it's not just doctors that have interaction with bowel disease patients. Consider specialist nurses like in the stoma care team or working with ccuk. Both could potentially have a really positive impact, same with research and development as a biomedical scientist or pharmocologist.

    Prioritise your health, aim high with your A Levels and have faith in the fact you have many options and ways to achieve your goal of helping others like yourself. Chemistry will be really important if you don't want to apply for 6 year medicine courses but I think there are a couple of options for people who don't take the usual A Levels.

    Good luck and best wishes, IBD is *****y but it isn't going to prevent you from being a doctor if that's what you want. X
    Thanks very much for some info! I really wouldn't care if I had to apply for the 6 year courses instead as the outcome would be the same either way. I just hope I have a realistic chance rather than just a dead ambition.
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    (Original post by Jordanch)
    Thanks very much for some info! I really wouldn't care if I had to apply for the 6 year courses instead as the outcome would be the same either way. I just hope I have a realistic chance rather than just a dead ambition.
    Just make sure that the extenuating circumstances you apply for show you sitting your A Levels over 2 years. Ideally you'd want this year written off due to your illness. A few unis won't accept A Levels taken over more than 2 years.

    Degree level study can be quite exhausting even withoyt chronic illness so get into good habits now. Pace yourself and spread your workload evenly with periods set aside for hobbies/exercise/resting. Speak to your IBD nurse about nutrition so you're getting the best possible chance to be well.

    I still have periods of denial or anger regarding my illness and I think it's normal to take some time to come to terms with accepting there's no cure. Because of this your motivation may not be consistent, get the support of friends and family to drive you forwards through the tough times with kindness, understanding and encouragement.

    Being ill myself really changed my attitude towards my patients (currently work for the NHS in a different field). Use it to aid empathy and respect but try maintain some objectivity. Seeing awful outcomes for people with your illness could be traumatizing if you haven't developed resilience and ways to debrief. Try get yourself some work experience or shadowing with a few different medical specialties, there is way more to medicine than gastroenterology and specialism doesn't happen until you complete foundation and core training (ie. Potentially 12 years from now assuming you do a 6 year or 5 year plus gap year and don't take any time out between training stages.).
 
 
 
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