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Is getting into med school the hardest part of becoming a doctor? watch

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    I think getting into medical school is harder than the actual degree in medicine and qualifying as doctor.

    Entry to medical school

    Getting into Medical school is the hardest career to enter, very high A level grades required such as grade A for chemistry (perhaps the hardest A Level subject of all). Even GCSE grades scrutinised and no retakes permitted.
    If you can get through the academic requirements then there is the harsh selection process, making sure you have sufficient relevant work experience, your personality etc.

    I’m not sure on the numbers but for every 50 applicants only 1 is successful getting into med school, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Studying medicine and qualifying.

    By contrast once you are in Medical school I can imagine it’s not so hard. Yes there is a lot of memory work with anatomy but physiology is more functional, certainly none of it can be much harder than A’ Level chemistry. The pathophysiology etc can be very interesting to learn indeed most of Medicine is an enjoyable subject. You need to pass the exams with high scores but you are being examined in a subject you are passionate about and enjoy learning.

    I think actually getting into medical school is the hardest part in the whole process of becoming a doctor.

    Please discuss.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I think getting into medical school is harder than the actual degree in medicine and qualifying as doctor.

    Entry to medical school

    Getting into Medical school is the hardest career to enter, very high A level grades required such as grade A for chemistry (perhaps the hardest A Level subject of all). Even GCSE grades scrutinised and no retakes permitted.
    If you can get through the academic requirements then there is the harsh selection process, making sure you have sufficient relevant work experience, your personality etc.

    I’m not sure on the numbers but for every 50 applicants only 1 is successful getting into med school, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Studying medicine and qualifying.

    By contrast once you are in Medical school I can imagine it’s not so hard. Yes there is a lot of memory work with anatomy but physiology is more functional, certainly none of it can be much harder than A’ Level chemistry. The pathophysiology etc can be very interesting to learn indeed most of Medicine is an enjoyable subject.

    I think getting into medical school is the hardest part in the whole process of becoming a doctor.

    Please discuss.
    No, attaining the offer made, and then making it through so many years of abstract learnings and overlapping systems has got to be much much tougher, which is why the admission is strict, but its definitely not the hardest part, didnt you see the TSR video, where the girl got BBB in her a levels, is doing resits this year and got and A*AA offer from kings college london....so its obviously not impossible. The degree itselfs and getting the A level grades is far harder.
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    I'd say it isn't the 'hardest' part but it isn't easy. Generally for every 5 applicants that applies to a single medical school, one gets an offer. Jobs IRL have a lower applicant to offer ratio.

    Personally, I think the hardest part of qualifying as a doctor is the foundation training. You might have days where you're in the hospital for over 11 hours. Maybe you'll get emergency phone calls when you're sleeping at 3am. Who knows but they don't have it easy.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I think getting into medical school is harder than the actual degree in medicine and qualifying as doctor.

    Entry to medical school

    Getting into Medical school is the hardest career to enter, very high A level grades required such as grade A for chemistry (perhaps the hardest A Level subject of all). Even GCSE grades scrutinised and no retakes permitted.
    If you can get through the academic requirements then there is the harsh selection process, making sure you have sufficient relevant work experience, your personality etc.

    I’m not sure on the numbers but for every 50 applicants only 1 is successful getting into med school, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Studying medicine and qualifying.

    By contrast once you are in Medical school I can imagine it’s not so hard. Yes there is a lot of memory work with anatomy but physiology is more functional, certainly none of it can be much harder than A’ Level chemistry. The pathophysiology etc can be very interesting to learn indeed most of Medicine is an enjoyable subject. You need to pass the exams with high scores but you are being examined in a subject you are passionate about and enjoy learning.

    I think actually getting into medical school is the hardest part in the whole process of becoming a doctor.

    Please discuss.
    Getting an offer is more difficult than getting through med school yes (assuming you're aiming to pass vs getting honours/distinctions and so on). That said, med school and being a doctor is absolutely not about rote memorisation and parrot fashion learning. But yeah, the course content isn't much more advanced in terms of difficutly than A level biology.

    Your ratio is way out - the applicant acceptance rate is not 2%! There are about 8000 med school places in the UK; this year the number of applicants was 20,730. Difficult but certainly possible and achievable.

    https://www.ucas.com/corporate/news-...figures-reveal



    I think getting into medical school is the hardest part in the whole process of becoming a doctor
    Lol yes, I think everyone thinks that until they start work :p:
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    Funny, in life they always say just make it through sciool (uni whatever) and when you get a great you paying job you will love it, then you finally finish school get that great high paying job and everyone wishes they were back at uni lol.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I think getting into medical school is harder than the actual degree in medicine and qualifying as doctor.

    Entry to medical school

    Getting into Medical school is the hardest career to enter, very high A level grades required such as grade A for chemistry (perhaps the hardest A Level subject of all). Even GCSE grades scrutinised and no retakes permitted.
    If you can get through the academic requirements then there is the harsh selection process, making sure you have sufficient relevant work experience, your personality etc.

    I’m not sure on the numbers but for every 50 applicants only 1 is successful getting into med school, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Studying medicine and qualifying.

    By contrast once you are in Medical school I can imagine it’s not so hard. Yes there is a lot of memory work with anatomy but physiology is more functional, certainly none of it can be much harder than A’ Level chemistry. The pathophysiology etc can be very interesting to learn indeed most of Medicine is an enjoyable subject. You need to pass the exams with high scores but you are being examined in a subject you are passionate about and enjoy learning.

    I think actually getting into medical school is the hardest part in the whole process of becoming a doctor.

    Please discuss.
    Interesting question. I remember when I applied I got rejection after rejection after rejection....
    Getting in certainly is not easy however I wouldn't say that once your at medical school then everything is just a breeze.

    Exams in medical school are still very difficult (both written and practical) and you need to work exceptionally hard. There are definitely people who got into medical school relatively "easily" but then went on to fail their end of year exams or even drop out.

    However I totally agree with you in the sense that the pressure and stress of actually trying to get in is very unique. It depends on the person.

    However although I'm not actually a doctor yet I would definitely say that the hardest part is your foundation training and those first few months as a doctor.
    I've spoken to a few young doctors who all say the hours, stress and responsility are what makes being a doctor very difficult.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I’m not sure on the numbers but for every 50 applicants only 1 is successful getting into med school, please correct me if I’m wrong.
    As said, that is way off.

    It is tough, much tougher than almost any other subject, but about 40% of applicants do secure an offer. Not 2%!

    You could argue that if everyone who wanted to do medicine but didn't have the grades applied anyway, that figure may not be too far off. But that is a pure hypothetical.

    (Original post by rickyrossman)
    You might have days where you're in the hospital for over 11 hours.
    OMG 11 hours :eek:

    Sarcasm, btw. You will definitely do 13 hour shifts because that is an entirely normal long day shift!

    24 hour on calls are also completely normal once a bit more senior, although you are generally expected to be able to get some sleep for that unless its a terrible shift.

    (Original post by Realitysreflexx)
    Funny, in life they always say just make it through sciool (uni whatever) and when you get a great you paying job you will love it, then you finally finish school get that great high paying job and everyone wishes they were back at uni lol.
    I definitely wish i was back at uni - so much less responsibility, in work and out!
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    I think getting into medical school is harder than the actual degree in medicine and qualifying as doctor.
    I wonder what is the reason behind your thinking?

    Entry to medical school

    Getting into Medical school is the hardest career to enter, very high A level grades required such as grade A for chemistry (perhaps the hardest A Level subject of all).
    Really? What are your statistics to back this up?

    Even GCSE grades scrutinised and no retakes permitted.
    If you can get through the academic requirements then there is the harsh selection process, making sure you have sufficient relevant work experience, your personality etc.
    Your personality bears no relevance. I am an interviewer and I can confirm unless you are an arrogant **** you do not get "judged" on this.

    I’m not sure on the numbers but for every 50 applicants only 1 is successful getting into med school, please correct me if I’m wrong.
    Yep, wrong. See @nexttime's stats.

    Studying medicine and qualifying.

    By contrast once you are in Medical school I can imagine it’s not so hard. Yes there is a lot of memory work with anatomy but physiology is more functional, certainly none of it can be much harder than A’ Level chemistry. The pathophysiology etc can be very interesting to learn indeed most of Medicine is an enjoyable subject. You need to pass the exams with high scores but you are being examined in a subject you are passionate about and enjoy learning.

    I think actually getting into medical school is the hardest part in the whole process of becoming a doctor.

    Please discuss.
    Agreed re: once in medical school you are very well supported and things work well. The pass rate for medical school is very high once you are in med school.

    BUT the worst bit is to come. What about working as a doctor?

    (Original post by rickyrossman)
    ...Personally, I think the hardest part of qualifying as a doctor is the foundation training. You might have days where you're in the hospital for over 11 hours.
    Yep 13 hours is legally the longest shift and obviously the rota contains this. A 8am-9pm or 8pm-9am shift is not unusual at all. You would be expected to be working flat out for the majority of this, with maybe a short break (legally protected time, but practically, no way!).

    Maybe you'll get emergency phone calls when you're sleeping at 3am. Who knows but they don't have it easy.
    You don't get to sleep at work as a junior, junior doctor. You could get into trouble sleeping when you are at work (technically you shouldn't even be sleeping during breaks).

    Unless you are doing non-resident on call which is these shifts that slightly more senior junior doctors / consultants do (which @nexttime has eluded to). Yours truly do a bit of them, 24 hour on-call and you can go home and sleep. But you do get woken up to come in at 3am then.
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    Med students are usually high-fliers who have been used to getting A/A* and many have always been the smartest kid at school. Failing a major exam in the second or third year is therefore often the crunch-moment that is the most difficult bit of all. Now you are surrounded by people who are equally clever - and demonstrably cleverer than you are - this is a mammoth learning experience where you have to rethink your own idea of your abilities. And there will also be other confidence-shattering moments - but involving patients. You'll look back and realise the passing an MMI was a piece of cake.
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    from personal experience, the amount of work in medschool is definitely much larger than in A-levels (surprise surprise), but generally speaking the pressure is much lower. you don't need A's everywhere, you just need to pass.
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    Ehhh stuff like this is very difficult to quantify, in my opinion.

    I'd personally say that I found getting through medical school itself to be significantly harder than getting a medical school offer.
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    (Original post by ecolier)
    Yep 13 hours is legally the longest shift and obviously the rota contains this. A 8am-9pm or 8pm-9am shift is not unusual at all. You would be expected to be working flat out for the majority of this, with maybe a short break (legally protected time, but practically, no way!).
    Ugh, don't you even get time to eat lunch and dinner? I don't know how I'd feel about that. I do bodybuilding and my diet/training is very important haha. Do you think I'd have to give it up when I become a junior doctor?


    (Original post by ecolier)
    You don't get to sleep at work as a junior, junior doctor. You could get into trouble sleeping when you are at work (technically you shouldn't even be sleeping during breaks).
    Thats understandable. In most jobs you'd get into trouble for sleeping at work. Interestingly, in some cultures such as Japan, sleeping at work is respected because it shows you're working very hard.


    (Original post by ecolier)
    Unless you are doing non-resident on call which is these shifts that slightly more senior junior doctors / consultants do (which @nexttime has eluded to). Yours truly do a bit of them, 24 hour on-call and you can go home and sleep. But you do get woken up to come in at 3am then.
    What are the on-calls usually about? Is it a case of the hospital needing more people? I imagine on a Friday night at like 3am (when the clubs are shutting) A&E can get overcrowded from all the drunk incidents.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    OMG 11 hours :eek:

    Sarcasm, btw. You will definitely do 13 hour shifts because that is an entirely normal long day shift!

    24 hour on calls are also completely normal once a bit more senior, although you are generally expected to be able to get some sleep for that unless its a terrible shift.
    Are day long shifts (12-13hrs) the exception or the norm? I know in some careers like investment banking its perfectly normal to work 80-100 hours a week. Can doctors get paid more for doing more shifts at antisocial hours?
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    (Original post by rickyrossman)
    Are day long shifts (12-13hrs) the exception or the norm?
    In most jobs they will be regularly scheduled into your timetable but they are not your 'normal' hours no.

    I know in some careers like investment banking its perfectly normal to work 80-100 hours a week.
    It gets complicated bear with me...

    Your scheduled hours will not exceed an average of 48 hours per week - that was in the recently negotiated contract and is European law.

    However, doctors frequently do work a lot more than this:
    1) Staying late because there is too much work. If this happens you can submit an 'exception report' and in most cases they will either give you compensatory time off or some extra pay. However, in some departments the culture is such that some people feel pressured to not submit these in case seniors disapprove.
    2) Studying for mandatory doctor's exams is very time consuming (pass rates are generally around 50%, sometimes lower, are only held 3x per year and cost ~£500 per sitting). You rarely, rarely have time to do revision during hours. So loads of extra unpaid work there.
    3) Its expected that doctors will do audits/quality improvement projects. Again, rarely time to do that when on duty.
    4) You have to keep an eportfolio, and its extremely bureaucratic and time consuming. Again, generally done in your own time.

    And of course as mentioned you should probably add commute time, which for doctors can be very high as they insist on moving your job from city to city almost every year - that's hundreds of hours you very definitely aren't paid for!

    Can doctors get paid more for doing more shifts at antisocial hours?
    You get a higher rate for work outside of 9am-9pm and at weekends yes. If you want detailed numbers look below

    https://www.bma.org.uk/-/media/files...-june-2016.pdf
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    (Original post by ecolier)
    You don't get to sleep at work as a junior, junior doctor. You could get into trouble sleeping when you are at work (technically you shouldn't even be sleeping during breaks).
    I don’t think this is really true. If there’s no work to do, you’re hardly expected to sit bolt upright at a table staring at your bleep like a coiled spring at 4am.

    When I was a trauma and orthopaedics SHO, there were some nights that I could get 4-6 hours sleep.

    Besides didn’t the GMC release some publication talking about the benefits of power napping on nights?
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    Yeah I've slept on nights in a quiet DGH, as have other F1s/SHOs. Was expected and not "frowned upon" at all.

    (Obviously we answered our bleeps and did jobs when necessary!)
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    (Original post by rickyrossman)
    I'd say it isn't the 'hardest' part but it isn't easy. Generally for every 5 applicants that applies to a single medical school, one gets an offer. Jobs IRL have a lower applicant to offer ratio.

    Personally, I think the hardest part of qualifying as a doctor is the foundation training. You might have days where you're in the hospital for over 11 hours. Maybe you'll get emergency phone calls when you're sleeping at 3am. Who knows but they don't have it easy.
    emm do they pay for junior doctors in foundation training?
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    (Original post by AQEN)
    emm do they pay for junior doctors in foundation training?
    If they didn't pay junior doctors, there would be pitchforks and torches instead of peaceful protests. :laugh:

    FY1 - £26,614
    FY2 - £30,805

    Can be more depending on region. Possibility of higher salary for overtime.

    Source: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employ...rs-pay-england
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    (Original post by rickyrossman)
    If they didn't pay junior doctors, there would be pitchforks and torches instead of peaceful protests. :laugh:

    FY1 - £26,614
    FY2 - £30,805

    Can be more depending on region. Possibility of higher salary for overtime.

    Source: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employ...rs-pay-england
    LOL thank you very much!
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    Anybody have experience with mental health issues and studying medicine? Given the very skew routine and such, I'm curious to see how people have found it.

    As far as I'm aware, there is a heck of a lot more work compared to A levels. Plus, at university, you don't really have anyone there sitting over you telling you to get the work done like you do at school. It was an adjustment that was hard for me.
 
 
 
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