Sorry, I don't really know if this is an appropriate place to vent (I'm using the app which is quite difficult to navigate), but I'm having a confidence crisis.
Basically, I'm 28 and in my Year 2 of a BSc (hons) Natural Science (Biology) with the Open University. I have academic year 2017-2018, 2018-2019 and 2019 summer 2020 until my degree is complete (because I'm doing it semi part time [more than half time but less than full time]- two young children and disabled husband).
I'm aiming at GEM for Sept 2020. Academically I think I'll be ok in terms of my BSc. My credits for year one resulted in a distinction (I know this doesn't actually count for classification) with an average mark exceeding 90% for every assignment/ exam. I'm hopeful this will continue through my remaining years and I'll achieve a 1st class degree?
I'm slowly getting my head around the GAMSAT and feel like I'm heading in the right direction, but I'm slightly concerned because my head is markedly scientist rather than section 1 and 2. I plan on sitting the GAMSAT Sept 2018, so as to spread my on going exams out a bit, also, if I do appallingly, it gives me 2 more chances before 2019 application. I have purchased a healthy amount of practise material, so hopefully my score will improve with greater test practise.
I'm just having a bit of an existential crisis-> that's probably being way over dramatic and a result of far too much caffeine, but I am really concerned that I'm not good enough to compete with the middle class graduates for that 10:1 place.
Currently I don't have any work experience (I'm my husband's carer and have been on the receiving end of care). I volunteered 5 years ago for 1 year in a nursing home until I became full time carer for my husband. Obviously I intend on improving this CV and have applied for voluntary placements for charities and requested some shadowing of GPs.... Though have been stonewalled as "funding isn't available in my local area for non- schooleavers work experience" (quote from a GP who deals with training), however, I remain undeterred.
I guess, I'm trying to process what I feel. Some days I am so confident that I'll pull it out of the bag and get an interview and then an offer, but moments like now, and I'm worrying that I won't even get an interview. I'm looking at St. George's, Nottingham, Swansea and potentially King's. London is really where we want to be, but to be honest, I'd just be so grateful of a place anywhere.
Please tell me that I'm not alone in feeling this way.... that it's normal to be worried you aren't going to sparkle into the field of medicine. I feel so confident that I'd make a fabulous doctor if I got that far (I've met enough from a patient perspective and that of a relative of a patient) and every waking moment is focussed on becoming the best I can be for medicine, but I just lack the conviction that someone like me (Gaps in CV, OU degree) will get a place at the side of someone who is better spoken, well read, more articulate etc.
I'm also concerned about funding. As it goes, we are broke. I'm my husbands carer as he is long term disabled, so money is beyond tight anyway, and we have two young children. Obviously I'd have to find the money to fund the first part of year 1, but I'm worried about funding a relocation to London as a family if this is where I would get an offer. We get housing benefit where we are now but I think this would be unavailable if I were to become a full time Uni student? Does anyone know where I would stand on financial issues with a family and a husband who is unable to work?
Or who I could talk to regarding this? The dWp were useless and could only give me an answer if I were to officially notify them about a change in circumstances, not able to give me hypothetical advice.
Apologies for my unstructured, panicky post.
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I'm having a massive confidence crisis watch
- Thread Starter
- 03-10-2017 22:02
- 03-10-2017 22:40
I'm sorry that I can't address the majority of your post but I just wanted to chip in with a couple of things:
- I'm at King's and I know someone who did natural sciences at OU, is in his 30s and is married. To be fair he's doing the A100 course, but getting into medicine with that combination is definitely doable.
- Universities will definitely appreciate your experience of caring for your husband if you are able to reflect on it well. You will need some other experience too, but that will give you a big head start.
All the best.
- 04-10-2017 07:41
Work-Experience: Your personal experience will count for a lot of medical schools. Some (such as Southampton I believe) state that personal experiences don't count but others state that they do or don't mention anything at all, so don't fret about that! I hear that doctor shadowing isn't really that important when it comes down to it. It's more beneficial for you than for the medical schools and plenty of normal entry and GEM medical applicants get in without it. A suggestion for voluntary work is look to see if there's a hospice nearby or your local hospital. Typically NHS hospitals are always looking for volunteers (such as ward volunteers) and you'd be in with an easy shot because of your caring background.
Choices - Be warned that King's is UKCAT, not GAMSAT and you have to score pretty damn well to even get a chance of interview for GEM.
It's good that you have confidence, even if it isn't constant. Getting into medical school is ****ing hard a d most GEM applicants are rejected first time round. But you're going to meet so many obstacles as a medical student and a doctor that having some confidence in yourself is so important. Don't compare yourself to other applicants because when it comes to GEM, it is impossible. GEM means that applicants will have such different backgrounds and no background is better than another. It may make some aspects of applying easier but by no means does that mean they are a better applicant. Every doctor is different and has been shaped by their experiences. Considering how there are some god-awful doctors is the world, it's a great thing thay everyone is different in their own way. Just focus on yourself because that's the only thing you can change. Everything else is out of your hands and it's best not to think about it
Funding - I have no advice for you since I don't know. But just keep in mind that it may be hard for you to stay in one plce due to placements etc. I personally would recommend against King's for this reason because Central London is expensive. However, many medical schools will take into account if you have reasons for not wanting to travel far and keep you closer to home etc. St. George's is one of those schools.