What do you look for in a Medicine Entry Day Course? Watch

Bow Tie
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There are many medicine entry day courses out there and some are great and some leave the applicant wanting more.

I was wondering, what do you look for in a medicine entry day course apart from the obvious UKCAT/BMAT help and interview help?
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HopelessMedic
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
There are many medicine entry day courses out there and some are great and some leave the applicant wanting more.

I was wondering, what do you look for in a medicine entry day course apart from the obvious UKCAT/BMAT help and interview help?
If they are free then go for it, anything that you have to pay for is imo a waste of money. Everything you need can be found online.

If you are going to pay for one then pick one that gives you personal and individual help e.g improving your PS or interview skills, ignore the ones that basically are just lectures or talks.
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Bow Tie
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(Original post by HopelessMedic)
If they are free then go for it, anything that you have to pay for is imo a waste of money. Everything you need can be found online.

If you are going to pay for one then pick one that gives you personal and individual help e.g improving your PS or interview skills, ignore the ones that basically are just lectures or talks.
Yes everything can be found online but a properly constructed course can concisely bring together the relevant content. By that argument, anyone can be a "doctor" as everything about all diseases is online...
Good courses can give model live interviews, and ongoing support etc. and give it to you all in a concise day course (you pay kinda for the convenience of it being researched and packed into a day for you).

I mean before I went to med school, I attended a couple of courses and i remember one doing some of the stuff above and I thought it was well worth the £90 I paid...
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
A properly constructed course can concisely bring together the relevant content.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Medicine
http://www.medschools.ac.uk/SiteColl...al-schools.pdf


(Original post by Bow Tie)
Good courses can give model live interviews
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...cine+interview




I can't really comment on these courses as I didn't attend a paid one and don't know personally anyone who did. But the internet is really a fantastic resource, and especially tsr is pretty spectacular. There's loads and loads of very useful info packed together, plus the option to ask others if there's anything you're uncertain about.

I attended one free course as I happened to be in that city then. It was decent but basically all of the info was stuff you could easily find out online, and a fair amount of it was plainly false. (This is one of the benefits of tsr - there are lots of people looking at the stuff that's being said and saying something in case it's wrong. If you attend a course, you're sort of expected to just believe everything the people tell you, which isn't necessarily that accurate.)

If I were you, I'd first get a good basic knowledge of the application process from online and start preparing your application, and then maybe attend one or two courses that focus largely on YOUR application by e.g. giving you feedback on your personal statement or having one-to-one mock interviews with feedback.


edit: just read your posts again and realised that you probably weren't asking for yourself - sorry about the rather irrelevant answer then lol. Oh well. Anyway, a course that I personally would find most useful and worth the time and money would be one that would give me lots of personal support, indicate me towards good basic resources, and perhaps include some tips and tricks for the different parts of the application.
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Bow Tie
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(Original post by StationToStation)
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Medicine
http://www.medschools.ac.uk/SiteColl...al-schools.pdf




https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...cine+interview




I can't really comment on these courses as I didn't attend a paid one and don't know personally anyone who did. But the internet is really a fantastic resource, and especially tsr is pretty spectacular. There's loads and loads of very useful info packed together, plus the option to ask others if there's anything you're uncertain about.

I attended one free course as I happened to be in that city then. It was decent but basically all of the info was stuff you could easily find out online, and a fair amount of it was plainly false. (This is one of the benefits of tsr - there are lots of people looking at the stuff that's being said and saying something in case it's wrong. If you attend a course, you're sort of expected to just believe everything the people tell you, which isn't necessarily that accurate.)

If I were you, I'd first get a good basic knowledge of the application process from online and start preparing your application, and then maybe attend one or two courses that focus largely on YOUR application by e.g. giving you feedback on your personal statement or having one-to-one mock interviews with feedback.


edit: just read your posts again and realised that you probably weren't asking for yourself - sorry about the rather irrelevant answer then lol. Oh well. Anyway, a course that I personally would find most useful and worth the time and money would be one that would give me lots of personal support, indicate me towards good basic resources, and perhaps include some tips and tricks for the different parts of the application.
Thanks for the reply! So in regard to the main topic, one of the things you value the most from a paid course would be ongoing support if necessary, concise knowledge and person tips/tricks?

I understand a lot of people (especially on TSR) are vehemently against paying for anything to do with entry into university but there is a market for it and paid resources are often of equal if not better quality sometimes (in my experience anyway). I mean, why buy into private healthcare when a free NHS exists? (maybe not the best comparison but of well) One reason MAY be because when money becomes involved, there is a greater incentive to improve oneself and a service and hence why I think paid courses aren't all that bad... The payment is incentive to deliver a high quality product.
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
So in regard to the main topic, one of the things you value the most from a paid course would be ongoing support if necessary, concise knowledge and person tips/tricks?
Yes, I would've loved some sort of ongoing support. Actually, instead of a day course, if I'm starting to think about some ideal course I would've loved to have, it would've maybe been virtually based. It could've had a "timeline" with online interactive Skype/youtube/something sessions on topics relevant in that time - work experience quite early, UKCAT in early summer, personal statement in early summer, BMAT in early autumn, applying to your strengths in early autumn etc etc. These sessions could include some concise introduction, references to relevant information and resources, tips and tricks, and an opportunity to ask questions. The course could also have mock interview sessions you could attend either in person or through Skype, feedback on personal statements and BMAT essays, and maybe even analysis of what you're doing wrong in mock UKCAT and BMAT tests.


(Original post by Bow Tie)
I understand a lot of people (especially on TSR) are vehemently against paying for anything to do with entry into university but there is a market for it and paid resources are often of equal if not better quality sometimes (in my experience anyway). I mean, why buy into private healthcare when a free NHS exists? (maybe not the best comparison but of well) One reason MAY be because when money becomes involved, there is a greater incentive to improve oneself and a service and hence why I think paid courses aren't all that bad... The payment is incentive to deliver a high quality product.
I agree to some extent. I've heard that lots of the paid application courses and UKCAT courses are practically a waste of time and money though. Not all of them, probably, but at least I want to encourage people to first find out stuff by themselves and then maybe invest in a couple of high-quality resources that will help them with stuff they couldn't have done by themselves.
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Bow Tie
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(Original post by StationToStation)
Yes, I would've loved some sort of ongoing support. Actually, instead of a day course, if I'm starting to think about some ideal course I would've loved to have, it would've maybe been virtually based. It could've had a "timeline" with online interactive Skype/youtube/something sessions on topics relevant in that time - work experience quite early, UKCAT in early summer, personal statement in early summer, BMAT in early autumn, applying to your strengths in early autumn etc etc. These sessions could include some concise introduction, references to relevant information and resources, tips and tricks, and an opportunity to ask questions. The course could also have mock interview sessions you could attend either in person or through Skype, feedback on personal statements and BMAT essays, and maybe even analysis of what you're doing wrong in mock UKCAT and BMAT tests.




I agree to some extent. I've heard that lots of the paid application courses and UKCAT courses are practically a waste of time and money though. Not all of them, probably, but at least I want to encourage people to first find out stuff by themselves and then maybe invest in a couple of high-quality resources that will help them with stuff they couldn't have done by themselves.
Thats some really good insights thanks! So you're saying maybe the only thing you'd attend or maybe get more worth out of would be an interview course? The ongoing support I think is a great idea. I didn't go on any courses where we had that.

And again, I would agree there are quite a few bad eggs out there. Maybe a dedicated interview practice course would be good though. My school at least was awful for giving us practice interviews
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
Thats some really good insights thanks! So you're saying maybe the only thing you'd attend or maybe get more worth out of would be an interview course? The ongoing support I think is a great idea. I didn't go on any courses where we had that.

And again, I would agree there are quite a few bad eggs out there. Maybe a dedicated interview practice course would be good though. My school at least was awful for giving us practice interviews
I think ongoing support with particular focus on mock interviews and feedback on personal statements and BMAT essays would be ideal. I think a lot of people could also use some advice on where it would be wise to apply with their particular set of qualifications - you can find this out by yourself but it's rather time-consuming and it seems like lots of people don't bother to do adequate research.

I also got zero help from my school. I bought a set of four Skype mock interviews which were fairly useful - in addition to that I personally felt like I wouldn't have benefitted from any course, except perhaps from some feedback on my ps and BMAT essays.
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Bow Tie
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(Original post by StationToStation)
I think ongoing support with particular focus on mock interviews and feedback on personal statements and BMAT essays would be ideal. I think a lot of people could also use some advice on where it would be wise to apply with their particular set of qualifications - you can find this out by yourself but it's rather time-consuming and it seems like lots of people don't bother to do adequate research.

I also got zero help from my school. I bought a set of four Skype mock interviews which were fairly useful - in addition to that I personally felt like I wouldn't have benefitted from any course, except perhaps from some feedback on my ps and BMAT essays.
Ok, thanks so much for the guidance. I'm in the process of setting up some affordable interview courses and these answers help me mould it.

So i'm thinking an interview course - morning session spent on interview preparation skills and NHS current events and ethics and then an afternoon session on mock interviews (panel and MMI - with proper MMI stations) and maybe some personal statement feedback (as they do address this in the interview).

I feel if you are going to attend and pay for any course, an interview course is the best value for money as it's very hard to find interview practice out there (finally something the internet cannot readily provide...).

And I take it you would also appreciate as a potential medic, a complimentary personal statement feedback service?
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
Ok, thanks so much for the guidance. I'm in the process of setting up some affordable interview courses and these answers help me mould it.

So i'm thinking an interview course - morning session spent on interview preparation skills and NHS current events and ethics and then an afternoon session on mock interviews (panel and MMI - with proper MMI stations) and maybe some personal statement feedback (as they do address this in the interview).

I feel if you are going to attend and pay for any course, an interview course is the best value for money as it's very hard to find interview practice out there (finally something the internet cannot readily provide...).

And I take it you would also appreciate as a potential medic, a complimentary personal statement feedback service?
Sounds pretty good. I'd also add the option to have an Oxbridge style mock - it'll be the first choice of lots of people so they'd appreciate it. Also, I'd spend the contact time on teaching interview skills, maybe demonstrating a good and a bad interview, maybe doing some practice scenarios etc with other applicants, and doing mocks with feedback, and only perhaps give a handout on stuff like ethics and NHS instead of wasting time "lecturing" about these.

The PS feedback system sounds good. Something like a "book an interview day, get 2 or 3 ps reviews whenever you want" policy could maybe work well.
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Bow Tie
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(Original post by StationToStation)
Sounds pretty good. I'd also add the option to have an Oxbridge style mock - it'll be the first choice of lots of people so they'd appreciate it. Also, I'd spend the contact time on teaching interview skills, maybe demonstrating a good and a bad interview, maybe doing some practice scenarios etc with other applicants, and doing mocks with feedback, and only perhaps give a handout on stuff like ethics and NHS instead of wasting time "lecturing" about these.

The PS feedback system sounds good. Something like a "book an interview day, get 2 or 3 ps reviews whenever you want" policy could maybe work well.
A good idea the only thing is oxbridge interviews are often quite scientific and technical (not like the panel and MMI styles) and may not be applicable to everyone whereas the panel and MMI is usually applicable for all. So essentially, if I included this, people may not find it useful and it'll be a waste of time for them.

I think a small talk on NHS and ethics may be useful but a handout is definitely a good idea.
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
A good idea the only thing is oxbridge interviews are often quite scientific and technical (not like the panel and MMI styles) and may not be applicable to everyone whereas the panel and MMI is usually applicable for all. So essentially, if I included this, people may not find it useful and it'll be a waste of time for them.

I think a small talk on NHS and ethics may be useful but a handout is definitely a good idea.
Yeah, I agree that putting everybody through Oxbridge interviews wouldn't be a good idea. But you could e.g. ask who has applied there and then for instance put those people through Oxbridge style panel interviews while the others did normal panel interviews, and also put everybody through some MMI stations.
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Bow Tie
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(Original post by StationToStation)
Yeah, I agree that putting everybody through Oxbridge interviews wouldn't be a good idea. But you could e.g. ask who has applied there and then for instance put those people through Oxbridge style panel interviews while the others did normal panel interviews, and also put everybody through some MMI stations.
Exactly my thinking. However, this would need 3 interviewers whereas I want to keep it to 2 interviewers. I'll have to play around with this until I get it right I feel!
Currently, i'm splitting the cohort into two and alternating between panel and MMI so that there is more individual attention so you can see how having an extra cohort for oxbridge may make it more difficult.
Unless I did a separate oxbridge interview course but that will obviously get less people.
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StationToStation
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(Original post by Bow Tie)
Exactly my thinking. However, this would need 3 interviewers whereas I want to keep it to 2 interviewers. I'll have to play around with this until I get it right I feel!
Currently, i'm splitting the cohort into two and alternating between panel and MMI so that there is more individual attention so you can see how having an extra cohort for oxbridge may make it more difficult.
Unless I did a separate oxbridge interview course but that will obviously get less people.
Ah right, I understand. A possible solution to this would be to put e.g. some sort of data interpretation question on the MMI, and/or ask questions about some research the applicant has read about, and then say that your interviews also include Oxbridge style questions. (In one of my MMIs I spent 7 minutes talking about a graph and I felt like those 7 minutes were even more in depth and technical, even if slightly less mathematical, than the data interpretation questions I got at Oxford so something like this wouldn't necessarily be useless for non-Oxbridge applicants either.)
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