Medicine or Geography at university? Please help!!

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    I know I'm only in lower sixth form, and I've still got a year to go but I want to start getting work experience/extra curriculars to help wih my UCAS application next year so hear me out!

    So I am taking Chemistry, Biology and Geography for a levels. My GCSE results were:
    6A*'s (chemistry,biology,physics,geogr aphy,English lit and PE)
    6A's (maths, Spanish, English language, RE, graphic design, art)

    My a level predicted results are in ALPS band 1 (what our school use to predict a level results using GCSE results score) which is A*AA.

    I am currently tossing between apply for medicine or geography at uni. Below are the reasons for and against why I think I should/shouldn't do them.

    Medicine:
    I have always been interested in science and the sciences are my strongest subjects at school. Human anatomy particularly interests me and I like helping people.

    However there are 2/3 main reasons that are stopping me applying. One is I don't think my GCSE results are 'good enough' for an average medical school applicant so I'm worried this would hold me back. Also I'm worried that I would get rejected for all the place I apply to (possibly due to results etc) and would have to take a gap year which I really don't want to do! Also I don't study maths a level so I'm not sure if medical schools would look down at me on this?

    Geography:
    I am equally interested in geography as I am in science and love both physical and human aspects of it! Lots of universities have interesting courses for geography too, especially Cambridge (although I don't think I'd have a chance of getting in).

    However my main concern with geography is there isn't a specific job to go into after (unlike medicine where you become a doctor or something else in the field). I know this shouldn't influence it but I was wondering what field of work most geography graduates go into? If anyone could shed some light on this I'd be pleased to know!

    The other course I was considering would be physiotherapy (mainly sports) as I love sports and compete to a high level (international).

    If anyone could give me any advice on this please reply! Thank you.



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    (Original post by amyjf)
    I know I'm only in lower sixth form, and I've still got a year to go but I want to start getting work experience/extra curriculars to help wih my UCAS application next year so hear me out!

    So I am taking Chemistry, Biology and Geography for a levels. My GCSE results were:
    6A*'s (chemistry,biology,physics,geogr aphy,English lit and PE)
    6A's (maths, Spanish, English language, RE, graphic design, art)

    My a level predicted results are in ALPS band 1 (what our school use to predict a level results using GCSE results score) which is A*AA.

    I am currently tossing between apply for medicine or geography at uni. Below are the reasons for and against why I think I should/shouldn't do them.

    Medicine:
    I have always been interested in science and the sciences are my strongest subjects at school. Human anatomy particularly interests me and I like helping people.

    However there are 2/3 main reasons that are stopping me applying. One is I don't think my GCSE results are 'good enough' for an average medical school applicant so I'm worried this would hold me back. Also I'm worried that I would get rejected for all the place I apply to (possibly due to results etc) and would have to take a gap year which I really don't want to do! Also I don't study maths a level so I'm not sure if medical schools would look down at me on this?

    Geography:
    I am equally interested in geography as I am in science and love both physical and human aspects of it! Lots of universities have interesting courses for geography too, especially Cambridge (although I don't think I'd have a chance of getting in).

    However my main concern with geography is there isn't a specific job to go into after (unlike medicine where you become a doctor or something else in the field). I know this shouldn't influence it but I was wondering what field of work most geography graduates go into? If anyone could shed some light on this I'd be pleased to know!

    The other course I was considering would be physiotherapy (mainly sports) as I love sports and compete to a high level (international).

    If anyone could give me any advice on this please reply! Thank you.



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    Hello,
    I've just applied for Medicine for 2017 entry. I can't help you much with Geography, but regarding your fears about Medicine:
    1. Your GCSEs are absolutely fine - there's a few med schools who wouldn't take you (Cardiff or Oxford for example), but there's many more that will find those GCSEs perfectly fine and will consider things like your UKCAT score to be much more important.
    2. You're right to worry about not getting in as it is very very competitive! But again you won't be rejected solely on the basis of GCSEs if you apply wisely.
    3.No med schools want Maths/a third science apart from Cambridge. Every other med school doesn't care that you didn't do Maths.

    My advice would be to start volunteering in a caring setting, which will be useful for your CV even if you decide against Medicine. This will help you to decide. Also arrange some work experience ASAP - you don't need to be sure you want to do Medicine to start getting the work experience etc - the whole point of it is to decide whether Medicine is for you!!

    Geography is a well-respected degree and I'm sure as your A-Level studies progress, you'll discover if you are enjoying it enough to do it as a degree. If Medicine is still an option, though, start getting volunteering and work experience now, and then you won't have to cram it all in last-minute.

    Hope that helps!
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    (Original post by Zedna)
    Hello,
    I've just applied for Medicine for 2017 entry. I can't help you much with Geography, but regarding your fears about Medicine:
    1. Your GCSEs are absolutely fine - there's a few med schools who wouldn't take you (Cardiff or Oxford for example), but there's many more that will find those GCSEs perfectly fine and will consider things like your UKCAT score to be much more important.
    2. You're right to worry about not getting in as it is very very competitive! But again you won't be rejected solely on the basis of GCSEs if you apply wisely.
    3.No med schools want Maths/a third science apart from Cambridge. Every other med school doesn't care that you didn't do Maths.

    My advice would be to start volunteering in a caring setting, which will be useful for your CV even if you decide against Medicine. This will help you to decide. Also arrange some work experience ASAP - you don't need to be sure you want to do Medicine to start getting the work experience etc - the whole point of it is to decide whether Medicine is for you!!

    Geography is a well-respected degree and I'm sure as your A-Level studies progress, you'll discover if you are enjoying it enough to do it as a degree. If Medicine is still an option, though, start getting volunteering and work experience now, and then you won't have to cram it all in last-minute.

    Hope that helps!
    Thank you for this! Yes I will defiantly look into work experience, I am going to contact my local care home soon to arrange it. I also know a GP so hopefully I can shadow them for a couple of days and will be volunteering at a hospital once I am allowed (have to be 17).


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    (Original post by amyjf)
    I know I'm only in lower sixth form, and I've still got a year to go but I want to start getting work experience/extra curriculars to help wih my UCAS application next year so hear me out!

    So I am taking Chemistry, Biology and Geography for a levels. My GCSE results were:
    6A*'s (chemistry,biology,physics,geogr aphy,English lit and PE)
    6A's (maths, Spanish, English language, RE, graphic design, art)

    My a level predicted results are in ALPS band 1 (what our school use to predict a level results using GCSE results score) which is A*AA.

    I am currently tossing between apply for medicine or geography at uni. Below are the reasons for and against why I think I should/shouldn't do them.

    Medicine:
    I have always been interested in science and the sciences are my strongest subjects at school. Human anatomy particularly interests me and I like helping people.

    However there are 2/3 main reasons that are stopping me applying. One is I don't think my GCSE results are 'good enough' for an average medical school applicant so I'm worried this would hold me back. Also I'm worried that I would get rejected for all the place I apply to (possibly due to results etc) and would have to take a gap year which I really don't want to do! Also I don't study maths a level so I'm not sure if medical schools would look down at me on this?

    Geography:
    I am equally interested in geography as I am in science and love both physical and human aspects of it! Lots of universities have interesting courses for geography too, especially Cambridge (although I don't think I'd have a chance of getting in).

    However my main concern with geography is there isn't a specific job to go into after (unlike medicine where you become a doctor or something else in the field). I know this shouldn't influence it but I was wondering what field of work most geography graduates go into? If anyone could shed some light on this I'd be pleased to know!

    The other course I was considering would be physiotherapy (mainly sports) as I love sports and compete to a high level (international).

    If anyone could give me any advice on this please reply! Thank you.



    Posted from TSR Mobile
    All your concerns about medicine can be easily answered here;
    1) your GCSEs are perfectly on the average of a medicine applicant (in fact you have a higher number of GCSEs than average) so this will not hold you back. the only time it will be a problem is if you were applying to the super GCSE heavy medical schools such as cardiff, QUB, birmingham, st andrews, edinburgh and oxford.
    2) If you apply smart (so apply where your credentials work well with the admissions criteria) you will be fine. For example if you got a UKCAT of 750+ you would be silly not to apply to UKCAT heavy medical schools as you would be very likely to get an interview there, wheras if you got 750+ in the UKCAT yet 2A*6A and 2B at GCSE and went to apply to oxford, cardiff, birmingham and st andrews you are not going to get an interview, its all about playing to your strengths.
    3) YOU DONT NEED MATHS FOR MEDICINE - AT ALL!! I did A2 bio, chem and geography just like you and I am now in second year of medical school, maths has never once held me back and a GCSE grade B level of maths is all that is required for medical school. so not doing maths is not going to have any impact on your application.

    I like you had this same dilemma in school, i didnt know which one to apply to, but after completing my work experience and voluntary work in hospitals and reading around into the career options for graduate geographers (to put it simply its a very saturated market and was very unnappealing to me) I chose medicine, and I have to say right now I 100% made the right choice for me, I love medicine and everything about it. A word of caution though, medicine as a degree and a career is not for the light hearted, it is hard, time consuming and the career at the minute is seeing overworked doctors in understaffed hospitals, you have to 100% want the career at the end if you are going to apply for medical school, applying just because you love biology and chemistry means very little sadly as the course is very much clinically orientated to the final aspect of the job which is diagnosing, managing and treating patients, it also must be noted that it is a very hands on job requiring the completion of many clinical procedures. Have a look into it and feel free to PM me or reply and ask me any questions you have/

    Nat x
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    (Original post by Natalierm2707)
    All your concerns about medicine can be easily answered here;
    1) your GCSEs are perfectly on the average of a medicine applicant (in fact you have a higher number of GCSEs than average) so this will not hold you back. the only time it will be a problem is if you were applying to the super GCSE heavy medical schools such as cardiff, QUB, birmingham, st andrews, edinburgh and oxford.
    2) If you apply smart (so apply where your credentials work well with the admissions criteria) you will be fine. For example if you got a UKCAT of 750+ you would be silly not to apply to UKCAT heavy medical schools as you would be very likely to get an interview there, wheras if you got 750+ in the UKCAT yet 2A*6A and 2B at GCSE and went to apply to oxford, cardiff, birmingham and st andrews you are not going to get an interview, its all about playing to your strengths.
    3) YOU DONT NEED MATHS FOR MEDICINE - AT ALL!! I did A2 bio, chem and geography just like you and I am now in second year of medical school, maths has never once held me back and a GCSE grade B level of maths is all that is required for medical school. so not doing maths is not going to have any impact on your application.

    I like you had this same dilemma in school, i didnt know which one to apply to, but after completing my work experience and voluntary work in hospitals and reading around into the career options for graduate geographers (to put it simply its a very saturated market and was very unnappealing to me) I chose medicine, and I have to say right now I 100% made the right choice for me, I love medicine and everything about it. A word of caution though, medicine as a degree and a career is not for the light hearted, it is hard, time consuming and the career at the minute is seeing overworked doctors in understaffed hospitals, you have to 100% want the career at the end if you are going to apply for medical school, applying just because you love biology and chemistry means very little sadly as the course is very much clinically orientated to the final aspect of the job which is diagnosing, managing and treating patients, it also must be noted that it is a very hands on job requiring the completion of many clinical procedures. Have a look into it and feel free to PM me or reply and ask me any questions you have/

    Nat x
    Thank you for this!


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    Get the medical work experience to help you decide. Medicine is not just a degree - its an entire career pathway lasting the rest of your life. Not a decision to be taken lightly!
 
 
 
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