Two 2.1 degrees. Graduate medicine? Watch

KatieBlogger
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Hi, I previously posted about the financial aspect of doing this - I've discovered that it is viable.

But now I'm concerned about the academic aspect. My situation is a little bit odd. I have two undergraduate degrees (both 2.1) my first degree was history and my second degree is nursing and I don't have science A levels at all.

Is there any chance I can get onto a 4 year medicine course with this unconventional background?

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beautifulbigmacs
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Being qualified in nursing could give you a strong starting point.

If it's what you want to do, submit a strong application that features a good personal statement.
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KatieBlogger
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(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
Being qualified in nursing could give you a strong starting point.

If it's what you want to do, submit a strong application that features a good personal statement.
Would it be necessary to sit GAMSAT? I want to try to avoid that.

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liam__
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Yes, just apply to unis that don't require A levels. Warwick (UKCAT), Swansea (GAMSAT), Notts (GAMSAT), Georges (GAMSAT), Newcastle (UKCAT) spring to mind.
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KatieBlogger
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(Original post by liam__)
Yes, just apply to unis that don't require A levels. Warwick (UKCAT), Swansea (GAMSAT), Notts (GAMSAT), Georges (GAMSAT), Newcastle (UKCAT) spring to mind.
Thank you. Do you think it's worth taking A levels or just sticking to the entrance tests? I'm pretty sure I won't apply to GAMSAT unis.

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liam__
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(Original post by KatieBlogger)
Thank you. Do you think it's worth taking A levels or just sticking to the entrance tests? I'm pretty sure I won't apply to GAMSAT unis.

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If you're not going to do the GAMSAT then you have a grand total of 2 places that will take you. Honestly, the effort and work required to do well in the gamsat is way less than spending 2 years doing A Levels that are completely unnecessary as there are perfectly good unis that will take you without them.

Just applying to 2 places is quite risky. This process is really competitive, even with 4 places, there's no need to stack the odds against you even further.

I'd say take the UKCAT and GAMSAT and choose your options depending on your UKCAT score (eg if your UKCAT sucks then choose 3 GAMSAT choices, if it's good then have 2 UKCAT 2 GAMSAT).
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beautifulbigmacs
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Apply everywhere that is of interest to you. Candidates with non conventional yet suitable previous qualifications and experience can be considered.
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KatieBlogger
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(Original post by liam__)
If you're not going to do the GAMSAT then you have a grand total of 2 places that will take you. Honestly, the effort and work required to do well in the gamsat is way less than spending 2 years doing A Levels that are completely unnecessary as there are perfectly good unis that will take you without them.

Just applying to 2 places is quite risky. This process is really competitive, even with 4 places, there's no need to stack the odds against you even further.

I'd say take the UKCAT and GAMSAT and choose your options depending on your UKCAT score (eg if your UKCAT sucks then choose 3 GAMSAT choices, if it's good then have 2 UKCAT 2 GAMSAT).
Thanks for your reply. I just don't think I'll do well on the GAMSAT at all due to the Chem/Phys content in the final section and knowing that there are unis which don't feel it's necessary to test graduates in such a way, I'm much less inclined to tackle it. It's frustrating because I have friends at med school and FY1/2 docs who have told me there is minimal chem/phys content in the degree.
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ForestCat
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(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
Apply everywhere that is of interest to you. Candidates with non conventional yet suitable previous qualifications and experience can be considered.
That is really bad advice for medicine.
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liam__
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(Original post by KatieBlogger)
Thanks for your reply. I just don't think I'll do well on the GAMSAT at all due to the Chem/Phys content in the final section and knowing that there are unis which don't feel it's necessary to test graduates in such a way, I'm much less inclined to tackle it. It's frustrating because I have friends at med school and FY1/2 docs who have told me there is minimal chem/phys content in the degree.
Meh, I have no science background and passed it just fine. At the end of the day, getting into medicine requires a degree of hard work and the GAMSAT is used as much to filter out people who aren't willing to put in that work as it is an aptitude test.

If you still don't want to take it, you'll have to accept it might take a few years to get in, because with only 2 options you're severely reducing your chances.
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liamb80
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Wow you must really want to be a doctor having completed 2 degrees, and still being willing to apply. Just out of curiosity, how come you wouldn't prefer a career in nursing? Experienced nurses with additional qualifications, such as a masters can do virtually everything a doctor does, with the exception of full on surgery. My mum is a practice nurse , works as an advanced practitioner , prescribes medication, does minor operations, and even does first contacts. She also gets a salary that's higher then a lot of doctors. Just that for much less work you could probably have a career that is very similar to what most doctors do. I think you should look on the NHS website at the band 8 nursing jobs and see if you'd be happy doing any of those, and then you could begin working towards it. Don't get me wrong I can see some genuine reasons for wanting to do medicine, it could be a childhood dream to become a doctor, there are some specific roles which are only available to doctors, such as plastic surgeon. I'm just asking out of curiosity.
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KatieBlogger
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(Original post by liam__)
Meh, I have no science background and passed it just fine. At the end of the day, getting into medicine requires a degree of hard work and the GAMSAT is used as much to filter out people who aren't willing to put in that work as it is an aptitude test.

If you still don't want to take it, you'll have to accept it might take a few years to get in, because with only 2 options you're severely reducing your chances.
Yeah, I think in all honesty I'm just being a toddler about it. I will do it - I really just would rather not. But I knew I would apply to medicine even before I applied to my first degree - this has been a lifelong plan. I just had no chance after my A levels and after my first degree I wanted to at least work in a similar environment, build relevant practical experience and do something fulfilling (hence nursing) rather than fruitlessly apply to GEM with a History degree whilst working in retail...and I didn't want to just settle on working as a HCA for the rest of my life as a grad.

So yes, I'm pretty determined about it, it hasn't left my mind since I left school I'm getting pretty close to 30 now - I'll just have to suck it up and do the GAMSAT.

Did you use any particular books or resources or go on any prep courses? I've got Griffiths and use Khan academy - getting mixed reviews about gold standard and private tuition.

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liam__
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(Original post by KatieBlogger)
Yeah, I think in all honesty I'm just being a toddler about it. I will do it - I really just would rather not. But I knew I would apply to medicine even before I applied to my first degree - this has been a lifelong plan. I just had no chance after my A levels and after my first degree I wanted to at least work in a similar environment, build relevant practical experience and do something fulfilling (hence nursing) rather than fruitlessly apply to GEM with a History degree whilst working in retail...and I didn't want to just settle on working as a HCA for the rest of my life as a grad.

So yes, I'm pretty determined about it, it hasn't left my mind since I left school I'm getting pretty close to 30 now - I'll just have to suck it up and do the GAMSAT.

Did you use any particular books or resources or go on any prep courses? I've got Griffiths and use Khan academy - getting mixed reviews about gold standard and private tuition.

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I wrote a bit about it a few weeks ago in these posts.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...3#post64164033

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...5#post64385725

Any other questions, let me know.
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Quilverine
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Warwick aren't fussed about alternative backgrounds, crap A Levels or a circuitous route to medicine. It took me 3 goes to get a high enough UKCAT but the interview process is fab for people with alternative backgrounds and a clear idea about their suitability for medicine. Good luck! I was a makeup artist & photographer before deciding to change track to medicine and I'm not ultra clever but Warwick made me an offer

Having 2 options isn't a disaster, both Newcastle and Warwick are brilliant universities.
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123ash
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(Original post by Quilverine)
Warwick aren't fussed about alternative backgrounds, crap A Levels or a circuitous route to medicine. It took me 3 goes to get a high enough UKCAT but the interview process is fab for people with alternative backgrounds and a clear idea about their suitability for medicine. Good luck! I was a makeup artist & photographer before deciding to change track to medicine and I'm not ultra clever but Warwick made me an offer

Having 2 options isn't a disaster, both Newcastle and Warwick are brilliant universities.
perfect reply! :-) 2 options isn't a disaster.
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