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Is it worth redoing a-levels to do medicine?

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    My situation:
    . Just graduated with english literature degree
    . Starting nursing degree in january
    . IB 36 points. HLs English 7, philosophy 6, biology 5. SLs psychology 5, maths 6, spanish 4, extras 3.

    Although I'm starting the nursing course, that's only because I can't do medicine, and advanced nursing is the closest you can get to being a doctor, without actually being a doctor. If I do this though, I know that there'll always be some level of shame at only being a small fraction of a doctor.

    I was looking at options for graduate-entry to medicine, but without having a science background, my options are limited to:
    Newcastle - UKCAT
    Warwick - UKCAT
    Nottingham - GAMSAT
    St George's - GAMSAT
    Swansea - GAMSAT

    Considering how I don't have a science background, nor am I good at maths, I don't see how I would be able to compete against those who do have science backgrounds in the GAMSAT.

    So now I see several options:
    . Only apply to UKCAT places
    . Try and teach myself alevel chemistry/ physics/ biology to be able to do the GAMSAT
    . Do alevels again in sciences, and then apply for normal bmbs courses. After having done the alevels, I would then have to do the UKCAT anyway, or try the bmat.

    Any advice is appreciated.
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    If you're not good at maths and don't have a science background, whats the point? I'm assuming you're in your late 20's and tbh its not really worth doing another degree now, especially medicine of all things.
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    (Original post by The_JoKeR)
    If you're not good at maths and don't have a science background, whats the point? I'm assuming you're in your late 20's and tbh its not really worth doing another degree now, especially medicine of all things.
    I'm 21.

    I planned on self-teaching chemistry and biology anyway, even if I only do the UKCAT exam, so that I wouldn't be lost if I ever started the course. My biology knowledge is still somewhat present, so I imagine it wouldn't be particularly difficult to get it back up to a decent standard. I'm assuming plants and ecology are irrelevant to medicine.

    How much of the course is actually maths/ physics based though? Someone I spoke to, from cambridge, said that you only need the grades for your application. Once you actually start, it's pretty much all biology, and they'll teach you anything necessary, even if it's only gcse/ alevel - level.
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    (Original post by ab677)
    I'm 21.

    I planned on self-teaching chemistry and biology anyway, even if I only do the UKCAT exam, so that I wouldn't be lost if I ever started the course. My biology knowledge is still somewhat present, so I imagine it wouldn't be particularly difficult to get it back up to a decent standard. I'm assuming plants and ecology are irrelevant to medicine.

    How much of the course is actually maths/ physics based though? Someone I spoke to, from cambridge, said that you only need the grades for your application. Once you actually start, it's pretty much all biology, and they'll teach you anything necessary, even if it's only gcse/ alevel - level.
    Hmm then it may be worth it if you're only 21 but it'll be a lot of effort, if you don't mind my asking why didn't you (re-)do A-Levels for medicine to begin with?
    And yes its more about the memorization which makes it difficult.
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    (Original post by The_JoKeR)
    Hmm then it may be worth it if you're only 21 but it'll be a lot of effort, if you don't mind my asking why didn't you (re-)do A-Levels for medicine to begin with?
    And yes its more about the memorization which makes it difficult.
    Initially I was planning to do law
    Started my english degree with the intention of doing post-grad law course
    Did internships/ work experience while studying and didn't like it
    Did event first aid + care home work and quite liked it
    Realised then that medicine would've been a much better decision, but lacked the grades to do medicine
    Tried to find out how close I could get to becoming a doctor, without actually being a doctor. Decided that advanced practice nursing would be best, hence the nursing bsc I'm starting in january.
    Found out about graduate entry to medicine programs, and now trying to find a way into that.
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    I'm not familiar with graduate entry requirements, but I just wanted to say that there are many entry points into medicine, and if it's what you truly want, then go for it. Just to share an anecdote, my personal tutor studied nursing, worked as a nurse for 3 years, before she decided to apply for medical school and is now working as a consultant.

    You can study all the science you need for A levels/GAMSAT/BMAT if you put your heart to it. No harm in trying, and I encourage you to do it.

    I do believe the reason why med schools look at chem/phys/math is not so much of whether it's directly relevant to medicine, but rather your ability to deal with and excel at subjects you do.

    That all being said, it's important that you don't go forward with the mindset that nurses are second-rate doctors, because they are not. Healthcare professionals work in teams and each member has their part to play. A doctor usually takes more responsibility, but that doesn't take away from the expertise of nurses nor their vital role in healthcare. A nurse with years of experience may know his/her way with patients better than a junior doctor and equipping nurses with more skills is becoming more and more common nowadays. In short, what I'm trying to say is that both are meaningful professions, and whether you become a nurse, or a doctor, you should take pride in your work, because you've been given the privilege to help others in such a meaningful way. be proud and be happy.

    best wishes with your applications.




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