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    Hello, all!

    I'm at some crossroads at the moment as to making a decision on the best route is to medicine.

    I am a mature-ish student (23) and have been out of education for five years. Post 16 I came out with pretty terrible grades (no way competitive enough for medicine); reasons were due to personal circumstances from year 10-11.

    Unable to take A-Levels due to GCSE grades I enrolled onto a media BTEC diploma - by this point I was over education and ready to be done with it all together (I stuck it out, passed and never looked back). Decided to work full-time, save and figure out what I wanted.

    I spent two years travelling the USA and New Zealand. I worked three summers as a youth worker in the USA, which was the spark that gave the incentive to pursue something healthcare related and to work with people.

    I have spent the last year working as an HCA at my local NHS trust, which has been invaluable for experience and exposure to healthcare. Alongside this, I have enrolled with a distance learning provider to re-take my GCSE and will be taking my exams in summer 2018.

    Should I take A-Levels next year in Chem, Bio and Maths at my local FE College or I could enrol at Durham University; they offer a foundation year to study undergraduate in biological science and would then pursue GEM.

    Sorry for the long winded message! I think I just need some guidance from strangers who may have more insight!
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    (Original post by jakef2008)
    Hello, all!

    I'm at some crossroads at the moment as to making a decision on the best route is to medicine.

    I am a mature-ish student (23) and have been out of education for five years. Post 16 I came out with pretty terrible grades (no way competitive enough for medicine); reasons were due to personal circumstances from year 10-11.

    Unable to take A-Levels due to GCSE grades I enrolled onto a media BTEC diploma - by this point I was over education and ready to be done with it all together (I stuck it out, passed and never looked back). Decided to work full-time, save and figure out what I wanted.

    I spent two years travelling the USA and New Zealand. I worked three summers as a youth worker in the USA, which was the spark that gave the incentive to pursue something healthcare related and to work with people.

    I have spent the last year working as an HCA at my local NHS trust, which has been invaluable for experience and exposure to healthcare. Alongside this, I have enrolled with a distance learning provider to re-take my GCSE and will be taking my exams in summer 2018.

    Should I take A-Levels next year in Chem, Bio and Maths at my local FE College or I could enrol at Durham University; they offer a foundation year to study undergraduate in biological science and would then pursue GEM.

    Sorry for the long winded message! I think I just need some guidance from strangers who may have more insight!

    Talk to Durham and find out your chances of getting onto GEM. They probably have some data.

    A levels would be more flexible (you could apply anywhere) but you have to get the grades (within the 2 years preferably). So either way is risky.

    I am a bit concerned as to previous exam performance and as you are only going to get one chance then maybe try GCSE first?
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    Definitely not GEM route, it is hugely expensive, more competitive and you actually have no guarantee that it will be running years in the future (for example they have cut GEM courses at Bristol and Leicester). Basically do everything that you can to avoid GEM!

    A-Level route is far, far easier and simple. What are your GCSE grades?
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Talk to Durham and find out your chances of getting onto GEM. They probably have some data.

    A levels would be more flexible (you could apply anywhere) but you have to get the grades (within the 2 years preferably). So either way is risky.

    I am a bit concerned as to previous exam performance and as you are only going to get one chance then maybe try GCSE first?
    Thanks for the reply. I'm waiting for Durham to get back to me, so will try and get some more information about that! Completely agree with you on GCSE, those results in August will be the deciding factor I guess. I think that's why its hard to decide now. I could have all the confidence in the world of doing well now, but the results could say something else haha.

    I do have mitigating circumstances for the exams I did when I was 16, I hoping the grades I get next year will be a better reflection on my ability

    (Original post by GEM2018)
    Definitely not GEM route, it is hugely expensive, more competitive and you actually have no guarantee that it will be running years in the future (for example they have cut GEM courses at Bristol and Leicester). Basically do everything that you can to avoid GEM!

    A-Level route is far, far easier and simple. What are your GCSE grades?
    I'll keep that in mind, thank you!
    English Literature C
    English Language C
    Maths C
    Science Core & Add C
    Art D
    History C
    German D
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    (Original post by jakef2008)
    Thanks for the reply. I'm waiting for Durham to get back to me, so will try and get some more information about that! Completely agree with you on GCSE, those results in August will be the deciding factor I guess. I think that's why its hard to decide now. I could have all the confidence in the world of doing well now, but the results could say something else haha.

    I do have mitigating circumstances for the exams I did when I was 16, I hoping the grades I get next year will be a better reflection on my ability



    I'll keep that in mind, thank you!
    English Literature C
    English Language C
    Maths C
    Science Core & Add C
    Art D
    History C
    German D
    Just to back up what Gem said if Durham dont offer a feasible route into medicine, then it will be obvious to do A levels. Its going to be quicker and give you more options. their feedback will make it clear i.e How many do they take who follow the path you intend.

    My advice is start teaching yourself a year before you declare it, You have to get A and A*. If you find it hard and falter then resits are not really an option plis your GCSEs are poor. That means you have to get the grades at first attempt. Do not underestimate how challenging it will be. Your GCSEs make me nervous.
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    GEM should be considered a backup, rather than a primary route, realistically. You may want to look into Access to Medicine courses - several are accepted by medical schools, although they usually specify which ones they accept, and will cover the necessary background in one year. They normally have competitive entry however, and often require relevant work experience.

    Beside that, the A-level route is perfectly suitable. Usually they don't weigh too heavily older results for mature students, as they don't give a very useful indication of how well the student is performing at the time of application due to the gap. However while this means your GCSE profile probably won't outright limit you, most do have minimal requirements for Maths/English and Science. As you have a C in all of those, you would nominally satisfy those as most, although some may specify a B is required in some/all of those - this might limit your choice of medical schools somewhat, but there should be enough to find 4 to apply to. A few (such as Cambridge) are phasing those out anyway however.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Just to back up what Gem said if Durham dont offer a feasible route into medicine, then it will be obvious to do A levels. Its going to be quicker and give you more options. their feedback will make it clear i.e How many do they take who follow the path you intend.

    My advice is start teaching yourself a year before you declare it, You have to get A and A*. If you find it hard and falter then resits are not really an option plis your GCSEs are poor. That means you have to get the grades at first attempt. Do not underestimate how challenging it will be. Your GCSEs make me nervous.
    I'm not sure if you're talking about GCSE or A-Levels...if its GCSE then I am already teaching myself through distance learning and taking those exams in June 2018 and aiming for A/A*.
    I hope in August I can make you less nervous! But I do appreciate how demanding A-levels are as well as medical school. The college will accept me on a conditional basis of obtaining the required GCSE, should I take a-levels; which seems like the best route from the advice you have. Appreciate your help!


    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    You may want to look into Access to Medicine courses
    Thanks for the info, I'll look into access to medicine. Unfortunately my local college is very fussy, even for mature students on GCSE grades - which is just one of the reasons as to why I am re-taking my GCSE.
 
 
 
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