Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Complete Career Change - Advice Needed with Starting Medical School Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey guys,I've recently decided that i want to completely change the direction my currently career and life is going and have started putting some serious thought into a career as a Doctor.

    My current career in events and marketing is fun but not satisfactory in the slightest.

    My plan is to study A level Chemistry and Biology over this next year at night school as will still need to work full time.Subject to grades (and I recognise that I will need 2 As), I will then continue onto University PT studying a Science, Psychology or Maths. I know this seems a bit long winded but am aware i have to go back to the basics as my original A levels were in subjects not relevant and only C's.

    Does anyone think this is crazy? Also how difficult will it be studying A levels again after all this time? Has anyone got any experience of doing this or studying these subjects many years after leaving school? Is this the quickest and only route i can take?

    Thanks guys, looking forward to your responses...any info and advice is greatly appreciated.T
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey guys,

    I've recently decided that i want to completely change the direction my currently career and life is going and have started putting some serious thought into a career as a Doctor.

    My current career in events and marketing is fun but not satisfactory in the slightest.

    My plan is to study A level Chemistry and Biology over this next year at night school as will still need to work full time.

    Subject to grades (and I recognise that I will need 2 As), I will then continue onto University PT studying a Science, Psychology or Maths.

    I know this seems a bit long winded but am aware i have to go back to the basics as my original A levels were in subjects not relevant and only C's.

    Does anyone think this is crazy? Also how difficult will it be studying A levels again after all this time? Has anyone got any experience of doing this or studying these subjects many years after leaving school? Is this the quickest and only route i can take?

    Thanks guys, looking forward to your responses...any info and advice is greatly appreciated.

    T
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Hey there, I think I can maybe offer some advice as I went back to medicine when I was 26. Am I right in thinking that you are planning to do A-levels for a year, then an undergraduate degree in science/maths and then apply to medicine? If you are then I would have a rethink if Im honest. Medicine is long and arduous enough without sentencing yourself to another 4 years of study beforehand. Being a student gets really old, especially if you are mature and already have life/work experience. A degree in medicine is both challenging and interesting, but it can be draining and soul destroying at times! I would still recommend it, but there is no need for you to do another degree first. Have you been to university before to study marketing?
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Do you have an existing degree? If not try to avoid the GEM route, it's more expensive, more competition, and longer.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for the quick reply. I was at university before but had to stop at the start of third year due to financial problems. Unfortunately this was some time ago so can no longer go back and finish.

    I agree with you that it will pretty long, though i can obviously still re asses upon completion of the undergrad course. Ultimately i want to be able to leave my options open so that if i get to that stage and am still passionate i can go from there. If not then i have a decent spread of A levels and a degree to match.


    (Original post by Zakadoh)
    Hey there, I think I can maybe offer some advice as I went back to medicine when I was 26. Am I right in thinking that you are planning to do A-levels for a year, then an undergraduate degree in science/maths and then apply to medicine? If you are then I would have a rethink if Im honest. Medicine is long and arduous enough without sentencing yourself to another 4 years of study beforehand. Being a student gets really old, especially if you are mature and already have life/work experience. A degree in medicine is both challenging and interesting, but it can be draining and soul destroying at times! I would still recommend it, but there is no need for you to do another degree first. Have you been to university before to study marketing?
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    Have you looked into access courses? They may be worth a look in your situation.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ThomLouis)
    Thanks for the quick reply. I was at university before but had to stop at the start of third year due to financial problems. Unfortunately this was some time ago so can no longer go back and finish.

    I agree with you that it will pretty long, though i can obviously still re asses upon completion of the undergrad course. Ultimately i want to be able to leave my options open so that if i get to that stage and am still passionate i can go from there. If not then i have a decent spread of A levels and a degree to match.
    Do you mind me asking how old you are and what qualifications you have already? Just because there could potentially be a much faster route than the one you are suggesting. Doing A levels, then a part time science degree, then medicine, and who knows what else life will throw at you during that time, could end up being the best part of 15 years!

    If your GCSEs are good then you could just do 3 A levels and enter medicine via the traditional undergraduate route saving loads of time and money in the process.

    Alternatively, and there are a lot less places available via this route, if your GCSEs dont meet the entrance criteria then medicine with a foundation year sometimes lowers GCSE expectations if you have achieved 3 As at A level. In Manchester for example, as long as you havent studied chemistry at A level, unless it is your only science/maths subject, and you dont have bio/phys/maths as a combination then you can do just one extra year at the beginning of the medicine degree. Im sure there will be similar arrangements at the other medical schools too.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Not at all. Im 31. GCSE'S - 10x B/Cs. A level - Psychology C, Law D.

    Obviously the quicker route the better what with being slightly older and the financial side of things.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Indirectly, though they are all asking for better A levels than I currently possess.
    (Original post by CEW19)
    Have you looked into access courses? They may be worth a look in your situation.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Not at all. Im 31. GCSE'S - 10x B/Cs. A level - Psychology C, Law D. Obviously the quicker route the better what with being slightly older and the financial side of things.


    (Original post by Zakadoh)
    Do you mind me asking how old you are and what qualifications you have already? Just because there could potentially be a much faster route than the one you are suggesting. Doing A levels, then a part time science degree, then medicine, and who knows what else life will throw at you during that time, could end up being the best part of 15 years!

    If your GCSEs are good then you could just do 3 A levels and enter medicine via the traditional undergraduate route saving loads of time and money in the process.

    Alternatively, and there are a lot less places available via this route, if your GCSEs dont meet the entrance criteria then medicine with a foundation year sometimes lowers GCSE expectations if you have achieved 3 As at A level. In Manchester for example, as long as you havent studied chemistry at A level, unless it is your only science/maths subject, and you dont have bio/phys/maths as a combination then you can do just one extra year at the beginning of the medicine degree. Im sure there will be similar arrangements at the other medical schools too.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Improve your A' levels and go for an access course (or course with a foundation year).
    Also, if you're serious about this, start thinking about when you'd take your entrance exams and do your work experience / volunteering.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks mate. Yea that currently seems like the best option as it will leave me with a greater scope for other things IF i chose a different route as well as bringing me back up to speed with he basics, and not so basics, after this long out of education.

    (Original post by munkie)
    Improve your A' levels and go for an access course (or course with a foundation year).
    Also, if you're serious about this, start thinking about when you'd take your entrance exams and do your work experience / volunteering.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ThomLouis)
    Hey guys,I've recently decided that i want to completely change the direction my currently career and life is going and have started putting some serious thought into a career as a Doctor.

    My current career in events and marketing is fun but not satisfactory in the slightest.

    My plan is to study A level Chemistry and Biology over this next year at night school as will still need to work full time.Subject to grades (and I recognise that I will need 2 As), I will then continue onto University PT studying a Science, Psychology or Maths. I know this seems a bit long winded but am aware i have to go back to the basics as my original A levels were in subjects not relevant and only C's.

    Does anyone think this is crazy? Also how difficult will it be studying A levels again after all this time? Has anyone got any experience of doing this or studying these subjects many years after leaving school? Is this the quickest and only route i can take?

    Thanks guys, looking forward to your responses...any info and advice is greatly appreciated.T
    I'm 23 years old self-teaching AS-level Maths and Biology and it is a lot of hard work. I recently had to quit my day job just so I have enough time to revise over the exam period. I think you should go for it, otherwise you'll regret it later in life! And no you're not crazy! I thought I was crazy at first, but you learn so much about yourself once you get started and jump right in to the deep end
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    It's not crazy, but I think a lot of research is needed. Questions I don't know the answers to but you will need to find out-
    Will SFE fund you? You used more than the grace year in a degree you didn't finish. How much will they fund?
    Which universities will ignore your past unfinished degree, A Levels and GCSEs and focus only on the ones you do now? (Some places expect you to do 3 A Levels over 2 years and potentially with a 4th to AS, is that achievable with your workload? Applying with 2 won't be enough anywhere as far as I know)
    Have you tried the UKCAT? it's a pretty major hurdle even with 3 As.

    You may have to prove you dropped out due to financial difficulties and that during your time at uni you performed well. Also get yourself some good experiences so you can put together a strong personal statement and interview, you won't need masses for A100 but they will want to know why the change and if you have realistic expectations.

    It's entirely doable to switch career in your 30s, just go stalk some of the old GEM threads to see how everyone managed it (or why it didn't happen). Good luck.
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    There are plenty of people that do this and there is some good advice above.

    It sounds like you've thought about the financial implications, but to reiterate: You'll need to be able to dedicate enough time to your pre-university qualifications, then go through 5 years of med school during which SFE will probably give you £3500pa to live on for two of them, then you will need to be paying them £9,000 for two (maybe 3) more. You will then be an FY1 on an average starting salary of around £26,000 (based on a look at the new contract), which may or may not be less than your current salary. It goes up relatively sharply after that, but you will be working a lot of weekends, evenings and nights for at least the next 5 years - I don't know if that will affect your home life at all.

    Its a huge financial commitment basically!
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ThomLouis)
    Not at all. Im 31. GCSE'S - 10x B/Cs. A level - Psychology C, Law D.

    Obviously the quicker route the better what with being slightly older and the financial side of things.
    My best advice to you at this stage then would be to check the GCSE entry requirements for the universities that interest you. I think it is likely that you will have to have your A level grades confirmed before you can apply because they are significantly higher (usually at least a handful of A/A*s) if applying with predicted grades.

    Then you need to think about A levels. Which subjects to take and whether you want them to be science based......your grades are ultimately what will decide whether you are eligible for a place, and you will need at least 3 As, so choose subjects that you expect you would do well in. If they arent sciencey then you could look at a foundation course, if they are then you may be able to do the standard 5 years. Check the individual websites for the requirements for whichever universities interest you. Chemistry and at least one other science/maths is a pretty standard requirement. They need to all be sat in a 2 year period though, you cant take them part time or complete them one after another. There are a lot less places on foundation courses, which you would need to take into account, and then of course, as mentioned above, look at funding. Anyone applying now is paying a lot more than I had to so make sure it is realistic. Once you have found out all this and made any decisions you can think about work experience and entrance exams etc.

    Thats about it I reckon, but I am happy to answer any other questions you have. If you think medicine is for you, and you commit to it, it could be the best decision you ever make! I am really happy that I made the jump when I did.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Guys thank you so much for all your input. It has saved me so much time trawling through endless text and a lot more useful coming from people who know all of this first had.

    I just want to summarise quickly to make sure we're all on the same page;

    Firstly to improve on A levels. Three needed of which two should be a Biology and Chemistry and a final being preferably Math or Physics. These would work well for me as although they are not the easiest it will obviously be beneficial for me long run giving me a greater understanding of the 'basics' before attending med school.

    This should be over a two year period. Something i need to work around my FT employment - will have to start looking into how to juggle this.

    Once completed start looking into gaining experience via volunteering or medical related work for my portfolio. Also preparation for UKCAR or similar medical exams.

    I am right in saying if i have my three A's and a good portfolio then continuation onto University at this point would not necessarily be needed? I can apply straight to Medical School (A100) and enter via a foundation year.

    Financially I'm aware all will need to be paid out of my own pocket. Im buying my first property (Buy to Let) which would be able to support and help me save enough on top of current wage over the next few years before actually applying. If there is any funding from elsewhere available that will be great but will be trying to cover everything myself before i start.

    How is this sounding so far? Please let me know if I've missed anything glaringly obvious.

    Thanks guys,
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ThomLouis)

    I am right in saying if i have my three A's and a good portfolio then continuation onto University at this point would not necessarily be needed? I can apply straight to Medical School (A100) and enter via a foundation year.

    Financially I'm aware all will need to be paid out of my own pocket. Im buying my first property (Buy to Let) which would be able to support and help me save enough on top of current wage over the next few years before actually applying. If there is any funding from elsewhere available that will be great but will be trying to cover everything myself before i start.

    How is this sounding so far? Please let me know if I've missed anything glaringly obvious.

    Thanks guys,
    Have a go at the UKCAT now or next year if you can afford it because then you get a benchmark for your potential (although some people can improve their mark by a fair amount with practice and a second/third go).
    If you do non-science A Levels there are 6 year programmes that are an option. Saying you get your 3 Science A Levels then you just apply to A100 as any other high-achieving school leaver that is going down the medicine route. With Science AAA you wouldn't need a foundation year. You might need A*s to be competitive though.

    Potentially you could be able to get SFE funding for year 5 (and 6 if a foundation course) but that still leaves 36k plus living costs to find over that first 4 years. The government are set to change how rental income is taxed- look at that carefully before committing to anything too.

    Definitely call around the universities you are interested in (maybe just work through them all from Aberdeen to York) and see if any of them will only take the new grades into account and not preclude you because of an incomplete degree or the previous below threshold A Levels. Even if you are only left with one or two options you'll be able to really tailor your efforts to suit those places.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    For the normal 5 year medicine course you can do 3 science A levels if you want to, but you only need chemistry and another of either bio/maths/physics for most unis and then any other 3rd rigorous academic subject. No general studies for example, but english/history/music etc are all fine. Some unis actually recognise a range of subjects to be a good show of academic diversity, but you should check out each uni that interests you specifically and just choose something you will enjoy and will do well in. Chemistry is the most important one to have though if you want to do the course in 5 years. Foundation years are designed for people who dont have enough of a science background to tackle the physiology etc that 1st year of medicine involves so they are only an option if you dont study chemistry and another science at A level.

    If you do go on to get 3 As then it is likely you will be eligible for some kind of bursary from your university. I have had between £3000 and £4000 a year each time I went to uni and it was automatically allocated to me both times. The NHS will help you out as well in 5th year of med school by paying your fees and giving you a means tested monthly bursary, and you should talk to student finance because you may still be eligible for some funding help there.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.