Psych_MA
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Hi,

So I am at a bit of a crossroad I have recently graduated from uni and now have a 2:1 in BSc Psychology. I initially went to uni in the hope of becoming a clinical psychologist, then felt I may as well apply for medicine if I am going to go back to uni for at least 3 years anyway.

I now am not sure which to pursue? I am currently working as a HCA to gain some clinical experience, but I am considering applying for a assistant psychologist jobs soon, which will hopefully put me in a good position for both?

However I know both Graduate Entry Medicine and Clinical Psychology are extremely competitive, I am not looking to study a masters (despite only having a 2:1) but would love to know what my chances are for both? And what the fundamental differences are between the two roles?
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Psych_MA)
Hi,

So I am at a bit of a crossroad I have recently graduated from uni and now have a 2:1 in BSc Psychology. I initially went to uni in the hope of becoming a clinical psychologist, then felt I may as well apply for medicine if I am going to go back to uni for at least 3 years anyway.

I now am not sure which to pursue? I am currently working as a HCA to gain some clinical experience, but I am considering applying for a assistant psychologist jobs soon, which will hopefully put me in a good position for both?

However I know both Graduate Entry Medicine and Clinical Psychology are extremely competitive, I am not looking to study a masters (despite only having a 2:1) but would love to know what my chances are for both? And what the fundamental differences are between the two roles?
First off, please do not post the same thing multiple times across the forums. I've gotten rid of your other thread. Medicine is very competitive and requires years of dedication so if you're unsure about it it probably isn't for you. It does sound like you're just looking for a way, any way forward and haven't really thought about what you want to do which you may want to spend some time doing. Clinical psychology is not a walk in the park either and also requires hard work and dedication. Maybe take some time to get some work experience and then decide? Pathways to clin psy can be read about here.
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Psych_MA
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(Original post by alleycat393)
First off, please do not post the same thing multiple times across the forums. I've gotten rid of your other thread. Medicine is very competitive and requires years of dedication so if you're unsure about it it probably isn't for you. It does sound like you're just looking for a way, any way forward and haven't really thought about what you want to do which you may want to spend some time doing. Clinical psychology is not a walk in the park either and also requires hard work and dedication. Maybe take some time to get some work experience and then decide? Pathways to clin psy can be read about here.
Sorry both posts were slightly different so I didn't mean to post more than once, additionally if it seemed I was repeating posts it was because I was unsure where to post it

Yes I am aware that both are competitive, I just don't know whether I stand a chance in either in terms of my degree. I am prepared to work for both though as I am aware that they are competitive. I know a few people may have the same issue hence the posting, and a lot of the posts already are quite old.

Thanks
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Psych_MA)
Sorry both posts were slightly different so I didn't mean to post more than once, additionally if it seemed I was repeating posts it was because I was unsure where to post it

Yes I am aware that both are competitive, I just don't know whether I stand a chance in either in terms of my degree. I am prepared to work for both though as I am aware that they are competitive. I know a few people may have the same issue hence the posting, and a lot of the posts already are quite old.

Thanks
A 2.1 is the minimum requirement anyway so you should be fine.
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kayelove
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(Original post by Psych_MA)
Sorry both posts were slightly different so I didn't mean to post more than once, additionally if it seemed I was repeating posts it was because I was unsure where to post it

Yes I am aware that both are competitive, I just don't know whether I stand a chance in either in terms of my degree. I am prepared to work for both though as I am aware that they are competitive. I know a few people may have the same issue hence the posting, and a lot of the posts already are quite old.

Thanks
I am in the same position as you. I got accepted for a HCA role at a mental health hospital but I am awaiting my DBS. I was thinking of getting into forensic psychology or psychiatry.

Based on my research because you have a 2:1 in psychology like me, if you decide to take the psychiatry path it would take you 5 years extra in terms of study. Whereas in psychology it would take 3 more years of study. Or you can go through work experience and shadowing route via the NHS. I am not sure how long that route takes. However, I am keeping my options open.

What are your daily activities as a HCA? I am excited to start.
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Psych_MA
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(Original post by kayelove)
I am in the same position as you. I got accepted for a HCA role at a mental health hospital but I am awaiting my DBS. I was thinking of getting into forensic psychology or psychiatry.

Based on my research because you have a 2:1 in psychology like me, if you decide to take the psychiatry path it would take you 5 years extra in terms of study. Whereas in psychology it would take 3 more years of study. Or you can go through work experience and shadowing route via the NHS. I am not sure how long that route takes. However, I am keeping my options open.

What are your daily activities as a HCA? I am excited to start.
Yeah I'm a bit like I want to do both so think I'll just keep both doors open as long as possible.

I work as a HCA for dermatology clinics so probably won't be doing the same activities as you. Are you working on a ward?

I help in clinics which consist of face to face consultations with patients, mainly just chaperoning the consultation. Preparations for minor operations, and also run clinics photo screening patients.

I really miss psychology and would have loved to get a job in a mental health hospital.

Yeah I know it's a bit of a choice, I mean I want to do both. My main issue with psychiatry is the focus on medication. But I have shadowed a psychiatrist in the past so think I might need to do it again to gain a further insight
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username2936508
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Hello there, I did a conversion masters in psychology as I thought I wanted to be a psychologist, but have now decided to apply for GEM instead. I have almost 4 years of experience in graduate psychology roles (clinical research / AP) and it's a decision I took a lot of time over.

You won't be able to apply for the clin psych doctorate for a few years. Most people who get on have an AP job / IAPT experience, plus a research assistant job. For GEM you would need to start preparing NOW to make an application next September / October. I would recommend researching different GEM entry requirements and deciding if you are going to do UKCAT and / or GAMSAT, or if you think getting A level chemistry might be helpful (would open up Southampton, QMUL, and ScotGEM).

When you are at medical school you do not spend that much time thinking about psychiatry, and most foundation jobs in psychiatry are terrible (these are some of the reasons it is so under subscribed as a specialty). So you need to think hard about whether you want to spend 4 years learning about systems and hard science, and 2 years doing various medical / surgical jobs, so you can eventually go into psychiatry. Why do you want to be a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist anyway?

You need to think hard about that question and apply for jobs that will help you find the answers. You are right that experiences that are good for one are good for both, and as applying for either takes years of planning, try and find yourself a graduate job instead of doing HCA work indefinitely. I think applying for IAPT would be an excellent idea - it is probably slightly easier to get into than lots of AP jobs (you will struggle with a 2.1 and only HCA experience) and lots of my colleagues believe it is the most useful job for learning about NHS psychology services and whether you want to be a psychologist. If you decide to apply for medicine it will be a great experience as well - patient facing but with more responsibility than the usual band 2/3 work people do, and more unusual. It would give you great skills for the interview stage as well.
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Psych_MA
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(Original post by Mincepiemmmm)
Hello there, I did a conversion masters in psychology as I thought I wanted to be a psychologist, but have now decided to apply for GEM instead. I have almost 4 years of experience in graduate psychology roles (clinical research / AP) and it's a decision I took a lot of time over.

You won't be able to apply for the clin psych doctorate for a few years. Most people who get on have an AP job / IAPT experience, plus a research assistant job. For GEM you would need to start preparing NOW to make an application next September / October. I would recommend researching different GEM entry requirements and deciding if you are going to do UKCAT and / or GAMSAT, or if you think getting A level chemistry might be helpful (would open up Southampton, QMUL, and ScotGEM).

When you are at medical school you do not spend that much time thinking about psychiatry, and most foundation jobs in psychiatry are terrible (these are some of the reasons it is so under subscribed as a specialty). So you need to think hard about whether you want to spend 4 years learning about systems and hard science, and 2 years doing various medical / surgical jobs, so you can eventually go into psychiatry. Why do you want to be a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist anyway?

You need to think hard about that question and apply for jobs that will help you find the answers. You are right that experiences that are good for one are good for both, and as applying for either takes years of planning, try and find yourself a graduate job instead of doing HCA work indefinitely. I think applying for IAPT would be an excellent idea - it is probably slightly easier to get into than lots of AP jobs (you will struggle with a 2.1 and only HCA experience) and lots of my colleagues believe it is the most useful job for learning about NHS psychology services and whether you want to be a psychologist. If you decide to apply for medicine it will be a great experience as well - patient facing but with more responsibility than the usual band 2/3 work people do, and more unusual. It would give you great skills for the interview stage as well.
Thank you, yes I know for both I need to start preparing hence why I have been really thinking about it, I plan to take the GAMSAT and the probably the UKCAT (I did it earlier this year). I was just a bit worried that work experiences as an assistant psychologist won't be considered for GEM courses.

I have previously applied for IAPT positions but didn't get very far. Hopefully my HCA experience will help. I did originally plan on applying when I finished uni but decided I wanted to focus on medical experience so had previously looked into it a lot.

Out of curiosity why have you decided to go for GEM?
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username2936508
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(Original post by Psych_MA)
Thank you, yes I know for both I need to start preparing hence why I have been really thinking about it, I plan to take the GAMSAT and the probably the UKCAT (I did it earlier this year). I was just a bit worried that work experiences as an assistant psychologist won't be considered for GEM courses.

I have previously applied for IAPT positions but didn't get very far. Hopefully my HCA experience will help. I did originally plan on applying when I finished uni but decided I wanted to focus on medical experience so had previously looked into it a lot.

Out of curiosity why have you decided to go for GEM?
After working in different teams I felt I was more interested in what the doctors were doing than what the psychologists were doing, in terms of their role in the team and what they do for patients.
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BethyO
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Hi,
I’m in a similar position, and leaning towards Clinical Psychology mainly because you get paid during training and I have a family to support.
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