Medicine at Oxford Watch

IHaveTakenOver
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So I’m looking to go onto to do a degree in medicine at hopefully Oxford. I’ll be starting my second year of college in June and the a levels I’m taking are biology, chemistry, history and English lit. As I have a few more months until I need to apply, what can I do now that will put me in the best possible position when applying to Oxford? Do you have any tips or experiences? Anything will greatly help, thank you.
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barror1
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Tagging Oxford Mum for her endless wisdom on the topic :adore:
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Muttley79
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(Original post by barror1)
Tagging Oxford Mum for her endless wisdom on the topic :adore:
I think simbasoul is also a medicine expert Simbasoul
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barror1
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(Original post by Muttley79)
I think simbasoul is also a medicine expert Simbasoul
Ah ok thanks for the heads up :heart:
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Simbasoul
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Thanks! I’m in the car currently so will give some advice later.
(Original post by Muttley79)
I think simbasoul is also a medicine expert Simbasoul
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Burtycat
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Start revising for BMAT early bc there's a lot to cover theres some good books on amazon.

I applied for Biomed at Oxford and the interviews are hard to prepare for because the questions are so abstract but if you just listen to what the question however weird it is and try relate it to something you covered then you'll be fine ) they help you as well, the questions are hard they don't expect you to know the answer straight away maybe watch some mock interviews now to get an idea of what they're like
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nexttime
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(Original post by IHaveTakenOver)
So I’m looking to go onto to do a degree in medicine at hopefully Oxford. I’ll be starting my second year of college in June and the a levels I’m taking are biology, chemistry, history and English lit. As I have a few more months until I need to apply, what can I do now that will put me in the best possible position when applying to Oxford? Do you have any tips or experiences? Anything will greatly help, thank you.
Pre-interview GCSE and BMAT are the most important factors. You should make sure you prepare well for the BMAT. Mitigating circumstances such as being from a poorly performing school can also play a role.

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...ions_statist_3

Once you get an interview that becomes the most important factor. You are interviewed at two colleges and most colleges do two interviews. Some do three, some do one. You should aim to be knowledgeable about medicine and current affairs but probably more important is being knowledgeable about your school subjects and being able to think logically on your feet. The aim is to give you a problem you don't know the answer to, and see how you try to work it out.

Remember you have three other choices who are also very competitive (more than half of applicants get no offers at all), and getting into a lifelong career in medicine is the much bigger goal here. Don't try to tailor the personal statement to Oxford or anything like that - its actually used much more heavily at other unis.
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Oxford Mum
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Wow that’s three requests in one day! Will have to sort my systems out soon. Speak to you soon
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Oxford Mum
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If there is one thing I recommend to everybody on this thread it is to join St. John ambulance 🚑. It is about so much more than just getting a first aid certificate. There will be people there from different schools and backgrounds most wanting to be doctors 🥼 nurses and paramedics. And St. John’s was a great stepping stone in their careers. You can take badges a bit like in the scouts. Most are on medical topics but you can take other subjects like photography. When you’ve got a lot of badges you may end up with a grand prior award which is like queen’s scout. You will learn cpr they give you scenarios such as one big accident and who do you treat first etc . The leaders act as casualties. You can enter national sja competitions and go in the first aid ⛺️ tents at say fun runs. You will be observing real doctors nurses and paramedics at work who will give you plenty of good advice. The best thing though, after you get your first aid certificate is to apply for a free course called peer educator. When qualified you will be teaching younger cadets about medicine eg they may say next week prepare a talk on strokes. I mentioned this to an interviewer at uea and he said this was ucas gold. Also yes, my son’s involvement in sja was praised in one of his Oxford interviews. Have a happy Easter everyone
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Oxford Mum
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Next time is much more qualified to give advice about Oxford medicine than I am, as he is an Oxford medicine graduate and a practising 👨*⚕️ doctor. The above advice is superb and all his help is right on the money. Tsr is lucky to have him.
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Simbasoul
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If you are starting your second year of College in June, I am assuming you are an international student? My advice would be, don't just concentrate on Oxford - make sure that anything you do is for any Medical School (assumably you are not just going to apply to Oxford?)

Unlike the other advice you have been given, which is relevant, I will give you more general advice. Whilst Oxford has global awareness, for medicine in the UK, actually most Medical Schools are fairly equal as the courses are ALL regulated by exactly the same governing body and have to meet the same rigid standards. All Medical Schools will require you to have some sort of Commitment to Care. This could be St John's Ambulance experience like Oxford Mum suggests, but, I have to be honest, I have known many medical students over the years in my schools (I'm a Careers Adviser) and none of them were in StJ's! All of them did have valuable - and continued - experience of working in a care home or hospice setting as a volunteer though. This is working with the older generation, or those needing specialist care/help due to something like cancer (or being a family member of someone affected by something like cancer). Medical Schools are not worried if you have no hands on medical/first aid experience - they are going to teach you that - they are interested to see if you have empathy, the ability to work in a team, the ability to work with an aging population, the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary approach etc.

You need to research the BMAT and the UKCAT tests as these are required for entry, alongside the A levels grades - and have to be taken very early in Y13. They each require a different skill set - and different universities use one or the other. You can either do both tests and then apply to unis that accept either, or just choose one and apply to unis that accept that one. In the schools I work in, most students choose one of the tests and focus on getting high marks in that (as a high BMAT/UKCAT score can overcome any dips in GCSE scores to get you an interview) - partly also because you can only apply to 4 Medical Schools thorugh UCAS, so you have to make some hard choices in university selection anyway!

And you need to work hard - on everything - not just academic studies - make sure you are a well rounded person - have other things in your life. Medical Schools are interested to see that you are not just a one trick pony - they want evidence of other things that you do outside of academia. You will be given the opportunity to discuss some of this in interview (although Oxford Uni interviews tend to focus more on the academic/research side rather than the personal).

Whilst Oxford is an aim, for medicine there are so many fantastic UK Medical Schools that bring out fantastic, well qualified, hands on practicable doctors, that are all equal, the minute they step away from university, please do not limit yourself to "just" Oxford! Good uck!
(Original post by IHaveTakenOver)
So I’m looking to go onto to do a degree in medicine at hopefully Oxford. I’ll be starting my second year of college in June and the a levels I’m taking are biology, chemistry, history and English lit. As I have a few more months until I need to apply, what can I do now that will put me in the best possible position when applying to Oxford? Do you have any tips or experiences? Anything will greatly help, thank you.
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StarbucksLife14
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(Original post by IHaveTakenOver)
So I’m looking to go onto to do a degree in medicine at hopefully Oxford. I’ll be starting my second year of college in June and the a levels I’m taking are biology, chemistry, history and English lit. As I have a few more months until I need to apply, what can I do now that will put me in the best possible position when applying to Oxford? Do you have any tips or experiences? Anything will greatly help, thank you.
Are you me? Honestly, the exact same ambition and the exact same a levels.
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IHaveTakenOver
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Not an international student, just from good ol’ Cornwall. Thanks for the advice. I have applied for a hospice volunteer role and have my mind set on other unis too, Oxford is the dream one. Thanks for the advice
(Original post by Simbasoul)
If you are starting your second year of College in June, I am assuming you are an international student? My advice would be, don't just concentrate on Oxford - make sure that anything you do is for any Medical School (assumably you are not just going to apply to Oxford?)

Unlike the other advice you have been given, which is relevant, I will give you more general advice. Whilst Oxford has global awareness, for medicine in the UK, actually most Medical Schools are fairly equal as the courses are ALL regulated by exactly the same governing body and have to meet the same rigid standards. All Medical Schools will require you to have some sort of Commitment to Care. This could be St John's Ambulance experience like Oxford Mum suggests, but, I have to be honest, I have known many medical students over the years in my schools (I'm a Careers Adviser) and none of them were in StJ's! All of them did have valuable - and continued - experience of working in a care home or hospice setting as a volunteer though. This is working with the older generation, or those needing specialist care/help due to something like cancer (or being a family member of someone affected by something like cancer). Medical Schools are not worried if you have no hands on medical/first aid experience - they are going to teach you that - they are interested to see if you have empathy, the ability to work in a team, the ability to work with an aging population, the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary approach etc.

You need to research the BMAT and the UKCAT tests as these are required for entry, alongside the A levels grades - and have to be taken very early in Y13. They each require a different skill set - and different universities use one or the other. You can either do both tests and then apply to unis that accept either, or just choose one and apply to unis that accept that one. In the schools I work in, most students choose one of the tests and focus on getting high marks in that (as a high BMAT/UKCAT score can overcome any dips in GCSE scores to get you an interview) - partly also because you can only apply to 4 Medical Schools thorugh UCAS, so you have to make some hard choices in university selection anyway!

And you need to work hard - on everything - not just academic studies - make sure you are a well rounded person - have other things in your life. Medical Schools are interested to see that you are not just a one trick pony - they want evidence of other things that you do outside of academia. You will be given the opportunity to discuss some of this in interview (although Oxford Uni interviews tend to focus more on the academic/research side rather than the personal).

Whilst Oxford is an aim, for medicine there are so many fantastic UK Medical Schools that bring out fantastic, well qualified, hands on practicable doctors, that are all equal, the minute they step away from university, please do not limit yourself to "just" Oxford! Good uck!
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Simbasoul
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Oxford Mum it would make far more sense if you posted your stuff on here on the open forum (like everyone else has up thread) so that everyone can benefit from your advice....It also means that people looking in the future can see your thoughts on it all.


(Original post by Oxford Mum)
...Happy Easter 🐣 everybody
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Oxford Mum
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I heartily agree with simbasoul when he says you should help in a residential home . There you will have time to really sit down and get to know the residents. You will also be able to observe the staff at work and get some tips on how to empathise with and speak to people. Definitely do not just limit yourself to Oxford as all medical schools are great. Oxford is not for everybody because you do not step on the wards until year four. But the medical grounding you are given for your first degree is very thorough.
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Oxford Mum
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It is very long advice, unlike that posted on this thread. I do absolutely want to post it in full and add some more points but not ready. Might I add that my son is hoping to give his own advice on tsr in due time and it is much more comprehensive and relevant than anything else I can post. However he is at present revising for his exams. Then he is going to be researching for four weeks. But we certainly are both wanting to help.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by IHaveTakenOver)
Not an international student, just from good ol’ Cornwall. Thanks for the advice. I have applied for a hospice volunteer role and have my mind set on other unis too, Oxford is the dream one. Thanks for the advice
I think the sort of volunteering you are looking at is much better than StJA as that is all organised for you. None of the many students Ive taught have done that particular extra curricular and I don't think it would give anyone an advantage. Listen to Simbasoul
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Both are valuable. My son helped out as a bingo caller and helped with art projects at a residential home. Not only did he meet some very interesting residents , but his favourite one, an ex fighter pilot in wwii inspired his epq
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
It is very long advice, unlike that posted on this thread. I do absolutely want to post it in full and add some more points but not ready. Might I add that my son is hoping to give his own advice on tsr in due time and it is much more comprehensive and relevant than anything else I can post. However he is at present revising for his exams. Then he is going to be researching for four weeks. But we certainly are both wanting to help.
You should not be sending it to people as this requires them to give you their e-mails which is not a good idea. Make an article and post it now - it can always be updated later or added to. Everyone else freely shares what they have on here .... that's what TSR is for.
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Simbasoul
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As Muttley79 says, certainly there are safety issues if you are asking people to share email addresses - if you are pm'ing advice through TSR, whilst that is safer, the problem there is nobody can add anything to your advice (which happens on the open forum) and, more significantly, if you are making any factual errors in your advice, this cannot be rectified. And, as you are keen to widen participation, I know you won't be shy to post openly, so that the most people possible can have the benefit of your advice.
(Original post by Oxford Mum)
It is very long advice, unlike that posted on this thread. I do absolutely want to post it in full and add some more points but not ready. Might I add that my son is hoping to give his own advice on tsr in due time and it is much more comprehensive and relevant than anything else I can post. However he is at present revising for his exams. Then he is going to be researching for four weeks. But we certainly are both wanting to help.
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