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Gap Medics and BMAT/UKCAT Dilemma

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    I'll be applying to university in the autumn of 2017 and I am therefore trying to get as much work experience as I can. I will be doing one voluntary placement with a paediatric surgeon, another voluntary place tbc, and I would be fundraising for my gap medic place. My question is: should I be spending most of my summer revising for the UKCAT (which I would be sitting at the latest date possible) and the BMAT, in which case should I not do gap medics in order to have 2 more weeks for revision? Any information is appreciated

    There are study rooms at the gap medics houses
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    I don't know what gap medics is (sounds like something that would have a high profit margin for those running it) but safe to say that 2 weeks revision is not going to make that much of a difference. Just start 2 weeks earlier. For the BMAT in particular you'll have loads of time after you get back surely?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I don't know what gap medics is (sounds like something that would have a high profit margin for those running it) but safe to say that 2 weeks revision is not going to make that much of a difference. Just start 2 weeks earlier. For the BMAT in particular you'll have loads of time after you get back surely?
    Gap medics is basically work experience abroad yeah I'd have quite a bit of time I just don't want to overwhelm myself with a load of work to do when I'm back I guess 😅


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    You probably only need 2-3 weeks for UKCAT, a couple of months for bmat
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    (Original post by HouseOfRichman)
    I'll be applying to university in the autumn of 2017 and I am therefore trying to get as much work experience as I can. I will be doing one voluntary placement with a paediatric surgeon, another voluntary place tbc, and I would be fundraising for my gap medic place. My question is: should I be spending most of my summer revising for the UKCAT (which I would be sitting at the latest date possible) and the BMAT, in which case should I not do gap medics in order to have 2 more weeks for revision? Any information is appreciated

    There are study rooms at the gap medics houses
    I did GapMedics, are you doing the Warsaw placement? I don't think there was a study room there..?
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    I would definitely say don't do Gap Medics!! The UKCAT is often the most important part (or close to it) of selection for interview. Gap Medics doesn't really prove a whole lot apart from the fact that you have the money to do it! IMO it would be much better to focus on getting a good UKCAT score and finding other work experience / volunteering in the UK
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    I did Gap Medics in Tanzania and it was the best decision I have ever made!


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    Gap medics meh... Work experience here in the UK is enough, and at the end of the day they don't care what you did. they care about what you have learnt from it.
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    UKCAT takes two weeks to prep, in my opinion.

    In terms of the gap medic placement, it's obviously your choice but it's a lot of money and I wouldn't say unis look at it any differently than other work experience. If you can, show some intuition and sort some medical experience yourself. I spent less travelling India for 6 months than you would for one of those trips and I volunteered in schools and various hospital wards. But, like I said, it's up to you. I have heard good things from those placements, and I won't lie, I was contemplating going on one a while ago but I'm glad I didn't.


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    (Original post by Imogen1208)
    I did Gap Medics in Tanzania and it was the best decision I have ever made!


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    wasn't dangerous in Tanzania? I'd love to get medical work overseas but I read the travel advice on the UK government site and it say it's dangerous, a family got kidnapped and killed, robbery etc. also in India risk of rape, Thailand...

    I just need a honest opinion about it and did you get a medical experience at the NHS as well? did you get your place at medical school?

    thanks
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    (Original post by fennec)
    wasn't dangerous in Tanzania? I'd love to get medical work overseas but I read the travel advice on the UK government site and it say it's dangerous, a family got kidnapped and killed, robbery etc. also in India risk of rape, Thailand...

    I just need a honest opinion about it and did you get a medical experience at the NHS as well? did you get your place at medical school?

    thanks
    Hey, at the time I was very worried about danger etc, but I was consistently reassured by gap medics that you are very well protected in the Morogoro house, there is security etc and also the town is small and perfectly safe. I mean obviously there is danger wherever you go so it's just a case of being careful and not going places alone. But honestly it was such an amazing experience, it hit me hard and made me appreciate the difference between the health care in this country compared to such areas in Africa.

    And yes, I also did 1 weeks work experience in a hospital in the U.K, a day with a GP and I also volunteer with children with learning difficulties and in a care home.

    I haven't applied for medicine this year as I am taking a gap year so I will be applying in October for 2018 entry!




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    We usually say to our students that 3-4 weeks of serious preparation is sufficient for the UKCAT. The BMAT requires a little more time but don't forget it's in November. If I were you, I definitely wouldn't sacrifice what sounds like a fantastic opportunity to get some medical work experience abroad to in order to dedicate any more time admissions tests. Enjoy your gap year and the long holidays you have now because once you get to medical school it all goes down hill...

    Alex, 4th year UCL medic
    6med
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    I would not spend more then 3-4 weeks prepping for your UKCAT. Also do it coming up to the day of the exam. BMAT it has been 4 years since I took it so really not sure how long it takes now.

    Remember that although your UKCAT and BMAT scores are important, work experience is very valuable as well. But first and foremost is your exams as those are what give you a "cutoff" for interview. You dont talk about your work experience until your interview and in your PS.
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    (Original post by 6med)
    We usually say to our students that 3-4 weeks of serious preparation is sufficient for the UKCAT. The BMAT requires a little more time but don't forget it's in November. If I were you, I definitely wouldn't sacrifice what sounds like a fantastic opportunity to get some medical work experience abroad to in order to dedicate any more time admissions tests. Enjoy your gap year and the long holidays you have now because once you get to medical school it all goes down hill...

    Alex, 4th year UCL medic
    6med
    Thanks btw I was thinking, given that my dad is a gynaecologist, to shadow him 🤓 but what is meant to shadow a doctor exactly? Would it be a good idea to shadow my dad instead of following a random GP through his work? Then I thought to volunteer at my nearest NHS and probably help in a care home a for how long doing these 2 activities? ...Would this be enough medical experience?

    Btw I'll apply to Brighton and they are the only uni of my list that request BMAT. When do i have to register, when to take the test etc? :confused:

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    (Original post by fennec)
    Thanks btw I was thinking, given that my dad is a gynaecologist, to shadow him 🤓 but what is meant to shadow a doctor exactly? Would it be a good idea to shadow my dad instead of following a random GP through his work? Then I thought to volunteer at my nearest NHS and probably help in a care home a for how long doing these 2 activities? ...Would this be enough medical experience?

    Btw I'll apply to Brighton and they are the only uni of my list that request BMAT. When do i have to register, when to take the test etc? :confused:

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    Hey Shadowing is basically just following a doctor around and seeing what they get up to. However, there may be some restrictions on what you can do/see depending on your hospital. For example, sitting in on outpatient clinics may be fine but you might not be allowed to following a surgeon into theatre to watch an operation. I would just ask your dad/his hospital what you are allowed to do.

    There’s no need to choose between your dad and a GP, you can both! Getting experience of both secondary and primary care is desirable and is useful for seeing just how diverse medicine is. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘local NHS’ but volunteering in a care home is definitely a good idea. Do it for as long as you can as demonstrating sustained commitment to anything is great.

    In terms of amount of work experience, the amount you have suggested sounds fine but it really is quality over quantity. Medical schools want to know what you have learned from your experiences not just what you have done. This is why it important to really engaged (asking questions, inquisitive, reflective etc.) during your work experience; maybe carry a notebook with you to jot down any thoughts/feelings/revelations that hit you on the spot?

    If you are at school, you should be able to register for BMAT with them. Everybody sits the BMAT on the same day in early November and registration opens in early September.

    Hope that helps and feel free to throw any more questions our way!

    Alex, 4th year UCL medic 6med
 
 
 
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