Turn on thread page Beta

Applying for medicine - requirements? watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, i have just finished my year 11 and am going into 6th form this year. I have chosen to persue a career in medicine and have a few queries;

    - How much work experience is recommended to apply to a good university? I have already done 10 days work exp at a General Practice. I am also going to shadow a surgeon for a week and maybe another week of work exp in various other departments in the hospital.
    - How much extra curricular activities do u need to do?? So far, i have completed my duke of Edinburgh silver award, play chess on a regional level and play tennis, badminton and cricket recreationally.
    - To get into a good university, what grades/subjects are needed/recommended at gcse and AS? I recently got my GCSEs and scored 8 A*s and 2 As and i am taking 3 sciences and maths for AS with mandarin chinese as a general studies option.
    - Lastly, would i have a shot at cambridge? :p:

    Thanks for your time.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    You need to go away and read prospectuses. Go to UCAS, type in A100 and get all thirty-odd. I did, it made a pleasant fortnight's light reading and it moved my thinking on step.

    Even more important than that, much much more crucially important, is that you read some very cynical writing about medicine and the job. Really take the shine off the whole thing. I know these instructions are nothing to do with what you've asked, but just trust me on this. What you've asked is barking up the wrong tree.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Work Experience: The good old saying: "Its quality not quantity!" stands well here. The key is what you've learnt from your experience and how it's reiterated you desire to study Medicine. Anyone can stand and watch a Doctor at work and say "oh yes, it was very interesting and I want to do that." You need to reflect well on what you've learnt when you eventually write your personal statement etc etc.

    Same goes for extra-curricular activity; its no use listing what you do and showing a great quantity - you need to emphasise that such things show you have leadership skills, team-working ability and all that jazz - what you've got is fine if you write about it in the correct way.

    Lastly, your GCSE's are perfectly good enough for any medical school in the country. If your UMS scores at AS are really high (say, 270+) in most subjects, then theres no reason why you shouldn't have a chance at getting into Cambridge. Spend time reading each of the universities prospectuses as has been said above.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    i am applying to cambridge this year - my oxbridge tutor says that i have a very decent chance of getting in even with my (relatively) average gcses and as-levels, so you'll be fine. admittedly i do have maths a year early which works to my advantage.

    bmat universities eg cambridge apparently like you to have at least score 19 overal (in bmat). unfortunately, you take the bmat after you have sent off your ucas application and the CAF ...

    you are almost guaranteed an interview at cambridge, since they interview everyone who meet the minimum criteria, so make sure you get all A predictions at A-level. (this is true of magdalene, not sure about the other colleges, but i am fairly certain this is the case)

    when you do work experience - make sure you actually take notes afterwrads about what you saw and read around the subject. eg, when i observed varicose vein surgery i researched about why the patient had to have the op, and found out about the deep and superficial systems; how the concentration gradients resulted in buildup of tissue fluid etc....

    as for subjects at a-level - there is no set combination, but some cambridge colleges like you to have 3 out of 4 sciences/maths at A-level and the remaining at AS. if your school allows it, i would strongly advise you to do an essay based subject like history at AS level too, as this would

    a) help you in the bmat essay question
    b) keep your options open, should you decide to not apply for medicine
    c) allow you to display a broad range of interests, ie open minded

    whatever you choose is dodwn to you but try not to pick any of the subjects on this list;

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ments/#alevels

    (scroll donw to bottom and read the table)

    i havent had a problem with doing all science and maths so far, just cant apply to ucl without being disadvantaged, since they 'prefer' applicants with a contrasting arts subject, although i never wanted to go there anyway.

    extracurricular - your ones are fine - see if you can relate each of them to a character trait that you feel is important for a doctor. eg for me -- umpiring hockey has developed my ability to make quick decisions under time pressure.

    also, i agree very much with AEH. ensure you read around the profession. gossip with the doctors about mmc, mtas, time directives, etc. they will probably tell you to steer well clear of medicine and become a lawyer but take any of these comments with a pinch of salt although you can ask yourself why they are making such remarks.

    Bedside Stories; Confessions of A Junior Doctor by michael foxton is an amusing read.

    general studies is almost treated as a third class qualifcation (behind the soft a-levels which are sort of second class) so noone cares about it.

    hope this helps.
    Jason.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.ucas.com/candq/curr2000/medical06.pdf
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    right, i have a much better idea now, thanks.

    btw in general what's better? to have a 4th variation subject in your AS or just do full on 3 sciences and maths?
    and i read some universites require you to an "arts" subject or something. can somebody tell me what that is? thx
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by silversurfer)
    btw in general what's better? to have a 4th variation subject in your AS or just do full on 3 sciences and maths?
    depends on where you want to apply, eg ucl give preference ot those with contrasting arts subjects, and how good you are at essay writing.
    i found 3 sciences and maths a doddle (wihtout sounding too bigheaded :p:) becasue they have quite a lot of overlapping material. but my friend who does chem bio maths and history found history a gruelling experience if not a change from the number crunching and the laboratory

    (Original post by silversurfer)
    and i read some universites require you to an "arts" subject or something. can somebody tell me what that is? thx
    an arts subject eg english, humanities (rs geog history), etc. basically something that involves hardly any maths or science; they are usually very heavy on the written work.

    look on university websites. look up the main subjects that you want to study at A-level and see what they are classified as at degree level; arts are BA; sciences BSc. this is a general rule - doesnt apply to everyhting but you get an idea.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    See the wiki too
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    hi
    i got 4A* 7A's 2B's. Would i have a chance in applying for medicine?
    Offline

    14
    (Original post by El-Taji)
    hi
    i got 4A* 7A's 2B's. Would i have a chance in applying for medicine?
    Hey go to this thread http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=391050 you can find specific help.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by El-Taji)
    hi
    i got 4A* 7A's 2B's. Would i have a chance in applying for medicine?
    don't worry about your gcses there really good. exactly the same as me in fact, but im applying for 2008 entry. as-levels and a-level predictions matter more to you now as you cannot change what you already have (unless you pay a lot of money to get evrything remarked).
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Work experience:
    The careers department at my college are pretty good and they told me that if you want to apply for medicine, you should try and cover these three areas:
    General practice -You've done this, so great!
    Hospital medicine -Again, you've arranged something for this so you're sorted.
    Care home/Hospice -This one is the most important one because it's only here that you are actually going to be able to have siginificant interaction with patients/residents. Ring up your local care home and ask if you can volunteer there for a week. Even if it's only making tea or playing jigsaw puzzles with the residents (or like me, putting up Halloween decorations) it's vital because you'll be using communication skills which unis rate very highly these days.
    I also volunteer at a charity shop which isn't strictly necessary but I enjoy it and it certainly didn't count against me for my medicine application.
    Be sure to relate your work experience to skills required in medicine and make sure to talk to the doctors you're working with about their jobs to get their personal perspective. You're a while off writing your PS at the moment so it might be worth jotting a few things down whilst you're there so you can remember them. They may ask you about anything you've done at interview!


    Extra-curricular activities:
    As someone else said, you've done more than enough extra-curricular activities. You shouldn't devote very much space in your PS to them, maybe only a few lines or so, but it does show that you have good time management skills and are able to successfully juggle non-academic things and your school workload. Plus unis generally like 'rounded' applicants.


    Subjects at AS/A2:
    Chemistry and at least one other science subject are pretty much vital. So if you're taking all three sciences and maths you should be completely fine. I took English lit, chem, bio and maths and I had no trouble- I only did it because I can't stand physics and love English. If you do decide to take an arts subject (i.e. one that requires a significant amount of essay-writing) then it may benefit you as the medicine courses at Oxford and Cambridge are pretty essay-heavy.
    As for continuing four AS subjects into A2 as opposed to three, officially it shouldn't give you a significant advantage.
    As for general studies... I doubt there is any medical department in any respected university that gives a toss about it.
    Your GCSEs are also fantastic and will give you an advantage when you take the BMAT (an extra test they make you take to apply to Oxbridge to help them choose who to interview) as it is judged on a sliding scale favouring those with more A*s at GCSE.


    Cambridge?
    I'd say you certainly have a shot at Cambridge. I applied successfully to Oxford this year and I should think that the general application procedure and interviews are similar. If you would like any interview or PS tips then please PM me and I'll try and help.
    The thing that helped me the most was choosing a pet area that I was interested in (for me, virology) and reading one or two books about it to mention in my PS. It acts as a lead for any questions or topics they may ask you on at interview- I'd much rather be asked about something I know a little about and am interested in than absolutely anything! It also shows you're enthusiastic about medicine in general.
    Cutting out any articles from magazines or papers, particularly those that deal with ethical issues is a good idea too. I set my homepage to the health section of the BBC news website so I couldn't help but get some idea of current issues in healthcare.


    Anyway, enough of my rambling. You sound like you'll do great and I wish you all the best with your application.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    thanks alot
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: August 28, 2007

University open days

  • Heriot-Watt University
    School of Textiles and Design Undergraduate
    Fri, 16 Nov '18
  • University of Roehampton
    All departments Undergraduate
    Sat, 17 Nov '18
  • Edge Hill University
    Faculty of Health and Social Care Undergraduate
    Sat, 17 Nov '18
Poll
Have you ever experienced bullying?

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

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