surgical trainee vs surgical care practitioner Watch

geniequeen48
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Hi so I didnt manage to get into medicine twice due to grades and so I have no choice but to look for plan B.

I have taken interest in the role of a SCP but I want to know the clear difference between a trainee and a SCP.

I'm scared I will be bored of the role because of lack of career development and studies compared to what medicine entails. Can SCP diagnose patients? Can they prescribe medication? Or is their role just to finish off a doctor's work or work on pre-made diagnostics of each patient? I want to be satisfied in a career where I can still be independent and make a big difference to people's lives, especially by understanding what is wrong with them medically. I can't go back to trying for medicine so I have to look at alternatives. I am not interested in graduate entry as I am aware of the competition and I'm just being realistic. I also really liked studying body systems in medicine and diseases associated with them but I feel like I wouldn't learn about that if I studied ODP to become a SCP (after masters I know). I wouldn't want to waste 3 years of studying something like biomedical science as well because I don't like the prospects it offers. I have the choice to go into ODP this year or look for other things which I tried but found nothing, but I'm intimidated by how intense the course is and how quickly I'm having to ditch my student life and be an adult so early. I also don't want to be the youngest student (19 years old).

What should I do and can someone clarify this.
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geniequeen48
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Can someone highlight the differences please. Can surgical care practitioners prescribe and diagnose? Can they see their patients and find out what's wrong with them? Or do they just work on patients who were already diagnosed and just finish off the doctor's job...
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Royal Oak
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https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/exp...e-practitioner

Are you 100% sure you don't want to consider GEM? It may be more competitive but plenty of people who think they have no chance get offers each year.

I currently work as a TSW and on the most part the ODPs I work with seem to enjoy their job. If you were considering medicine then surely an ODP course can't look that intimidating in terms of intensity? And don't worry about being thr youngest or having to become a 'real adult'. Earning your own money is much more enjoyable than being a student forever.
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geniequeen48
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Its because I'm losing my student life, I wont be able to join societies and fully grasp the university life. I really don't care about money. How is making money fun if you're having to worry about finding a place to live and pay bills from 22 years old? Being surrounded by 30 year olds with children doesnt sound fun to me at all. At least with medicine i would have time to develop and appreciate things slowly, and figure out what's wrong in people medically.
(Original post by Royal Oak)
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/exp...e-practitioner

Are you 100% sure you don't want to consider GEM? It may be more competitive but plenty of people who think they have no chance get offers each year.

I currently work as a TSW and on the most part the ODPs I work with seem to enjoy their job. If you were considering medicine then surely an ODP course can't look that intimidating in terms of intensity? And don't worry about being thr youngest or having to become a 'real adult'. Earning your own money is much more enjoyable than being a student forever.
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Royal Oak
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(Original post by geniequeen48)
Its because I'm losing my student life, I wont be able to join societies and fully grasp the university life. I really don't care about money. How is making money fun if you're having to worry about finding a place to live and pay bills from 22 years old? Being surrounded by 30 year olds with children doesnt sound fun to me at all. At least with medicine i would have time to develop and appreciate things slowly, and figure out what's wrong in people medically.
Just to clarify, have you actually started university yet? Because many people find the 'student life' very overrated after a while. You don't have to be at university to join social clubs either. Also, as a student I will be very surprised if you manage to avoid the worrying about money + somewhere to live bubble. Three years or six years, you will eventually have to make adult decisions, probably during your time of being a student.

If your heart is set on medicine and you can't get in as a school leaver, go down the graduate route then. Yes it's longer and more expensive and relatively more competitive, but it's not impossible to get into. Just read the threads from this year and previous years, people from all different backgrounds get in every year.
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geniequeen48
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I just finished a foundation year at university to try transfer to medicine. That year I joined societies, was involved in a sports team, competeted nationally, it was the best year of my life. I have the option to try again next year but the chances are slim of course or go to another uni and do ODP.
(Original post by Royal Oak)
Just to clarify, have you actually started university yet? Because many people find the 'student life' very overrated after a while. You don't have to be at university to join social clubs either. Also, as a student I will be very surprised if you manage to avoid the worrying about money + somewhere to live bubble. Three years or six years, you will eventually have to make adult decisions, probably during your time of being a student.

If your heart is set on medicine and you can't get in as a school leaver, go down the graduate route then. Yes it's longer and more expensive and relatively more competitive, but it's not impossible to get into. Just read the threads from this year and previous years, people from all different backgrounds get in every year.
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Royal Oak
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(Original post by geniequeen48)
I just finished a foundation year at university to try transfer to medicine. That year I joined societies, was involved in a sports team, competeted nationally, it was the best year of my life. I have the option to try again next year but the chances are slim of course or go to another uni and do ODP.
Well transfering to medicine is notoriously difficult to do. If you want to study medicine, why not just try? Or graduate entry. It doesn't sound like you are actually that interested in being an ODP.
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ltsmith
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why not apply again?
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Democracy
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You've made a lot of threads on here asking about SCPs, PAs, "surgical first assistant" etc vs medical training.

The answer is unchanged. The SCP role is still quite new - I don't think anyone on here can tell you exactly what your job responsibilities would be or what future regulations might be. The responsibilities listed here can be used as a guide and would likely vary depending on local demand and pressures. I think the best route to becoming a surgeon (in any meaningful sense of the term) is still via medical school and surgical training.

The one thing I can tell you is that the rainbows and unicorns version of the SCP job (and similar "practitioner" roles) is flawed - you clearly will not be able achieve the same level of diagnostic or clinical acumen as a doctor. Could an SCP diagnose someone with appendicitis? Possibly. Would they be able to confidently decide when an appendicitis is mesenteric adenitis, an abscess, gynae pathology, pyelonephritis, DKA, MI or any of the other myriad causes of surgical and non-surgical abdominal pain? Less likely given their highly focused and limited training compared with medical education.

If having a good all-round knowledge of the body is important to you, then I think your best bet is to go for GEM or study medicine abroad.

What was your foundation year in? If it was a foundation year in medicine, why weren't you able to progress to the first year of medical school?
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geniequeen48
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It was a foundation year in medicine but only around 25 can transfer to medicine. The medical school required a 70% average across all modules but they emphasized they needed a 70% in the chemistry module. I got the 70% average but for chemistry I got 67%.

I'm not allowed to study medicine abroad. I have the choice to go back and try again in year 1 but this time it's first year medicine with 60% average being required. But that means if I fail I lose the years of student finance because I would have already taken 2 years of uni and I would probably look for another course at another university. My parents want me to look for an entirely different university course but my a level grades are limiting (BBC). Knowing how much more competitive GEM is compared to undergraduate med is it seems silly for them to suggest I do an entirely different degree and think about GEM after because of the financial situations as well.
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geniequeen48
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read above
(Original post by ltsmith)
why not apply again?
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ltsmith
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(Original post by geniequeen48)
read above
then your only option is GEM.

remember

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ecolier
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(Original post by ltsmith)
...
Except being born to a rich family, or winning the lottery

OP sorry to be off-topic, but listen to Democracy, Royal Oak and ltsmith.
Last edited by ecolier; 4 weeks ago
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geniequeen48
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so you're saying it's better to do another degree entirely then do GEM rather than go to uni for one more try?
(Original post by ecolier)
Except being born to a rich family, or winning the lottery

OP sorry to be off-topic, but listen to Democracy, Royal Oak and ltsmith.
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ecolier
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(Original post by geniequeen48)
so you're saying it's better to do another degree entirely then do GEM rather than go to uni for one more try?
Your options are:

(1) leave your course now, retake A-Levels and then apply to undergrad medicine
(2) continue your course then apply to GEM

On TSR we would always advocate (1) because it's cheaper, shorter and easier (relatively less competitive to get into undergrad medicine than GEM) than doing a degree that you don't like.
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geniequeen48
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This is going to sound random but is vet medicine more competitive than medicine? I was thinking to take a gap year, complete a BTEC then apply whilst gaining experience. Or is that a silly idea.
(Original post by ecolier)
Your options are:

(1) leave your course now, retake A-Levels and then apply to undergrad medicine
(2) continue your course then apply to GEM

On TSR we would always advocate (1) because it's cheaper, shorter and easier (relatively less competitive to get into undergrad medicine than GEM) than doing a degree that you don't like.
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ecolier
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(Original post by geniequeen48)
This is going to sound random but is vet medicine more competitive than medicine? I was thinking to take a gap year, complete a BTEC then apply whilst gaining experience. Or is that a silly idea.
No med school will accept a BTEC. It's A-Levels only.

You'll need to decide between vet med and med sharpish. It's definitely frowned upon that you haven't made that pretty fundamental decision.

Remember degrees like vet med or dentistry isn't a back up for medicine. I am pretty sure they are as competitive if not more competitive. Their salary is also lower (for vet surgeons) in the long run.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Democracy)
The one thing I can tell you is that the rainbows and unicorns version of the SCP job (and similar "practitioner" roles) is flawed - you clearly will not be able achieve the same level of diagnostic or clinical acumen as a doctor. Could an SCP diagnose someone with appendicitis? Possibly. Would they be able to confidently decide when an appendicitis is mesenteric adenitis, an abscess, gynae pathology, pyelonephritis, DKA, MI or any of the other myriad causes of surgical and non-surgical abdominal pain? Less likely given their highly focused and limited training compared with medical education.
Reading the link you provided it seems unlikely that this role (which seems to be aimed at after- and pre-operative care and simple surgical procedures) is designed to be a specialist surgical nurse + a bit. Given its locus in and around the theatre (when conditions are either already diagnosed or being undertaken to diagnose by the supervising surgeon) and the pre-surgery clinic (when they will largely be checking the patient is ready for surgery and properly briefed) and the fact that actual procedures are always under supervision, the scope for diagnosis seems extremely limited. There certainly won't be any cutting open and spotting a problem unsupervised, will there?
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Democracy
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(Original post by geniequeen48)
It was a foundation year in medicine but only around 25 can transfer to medicine. The medical school required a 70% average across all modules but they emphasized they needed a 70% in the chemistry module. I got the 70% average but for chemistry I got 67%.

I'm not allowed to study medicine abroad. I have the choice to go back and try again in year 1 but this time it's first year medicine with 60% average being required. But that means if I fail I lose the years of student finance because I would have already taken 2 years of uni and I would probably look for another course at another university. My parents want me to look for an entirely different university course but my a level grades are limiting (BBC). Knowing how much more competitive GEM is compared to undergraduate med is it seems silly for them to suggest I do an entirely different degree and think about GEM after because of the financial situations as well.
So wait, you have the chance to start year 1 of medicine?

(Original post by geniequeen48)
This is going to sound random but is vet medicine more competitive than medicine? I was thinking to take a gap year, complete a BTEC then apply whilst gaining experience. Or is that a silly idea.
What is it you actually want to do? Doctor, SCP, ODP, vet?!
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GANFYD
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Reading the link you provided it seems unlikely that this role (which seems to be aimed at after- and pre-operative care and simple surgical procedures) is designed to be a specialist surgical nurse + a bit. Given its locus in and around the theatre (when conditions are either already diagnosed or being undertaken to diagnose by the supervising surgeon) and the pre-surgery clinic (when they will largely be checking the patient is ready for surgery and properly briefed) and the fact that actual procedures are always under supervision, the scope for diagnosis seems extremely limited. There certainly won't be any cutting open and spotting a problem unsupervised, will there?
Locally our Surgical Care Practitioners tend to work in Ortho. They are either Ortho Specialist NPs or Extended Scope Physios who have done some (I do not know what) extra training.
They run the Carpal Tunnel clinic and filter out (apparent) ganglions, etc. So they do investigate and diagnose, but only in a limited, already triaged situation. It is quite tick box for them, I think, if a CTS does not meet all standard criteria they do not proceed without support. But they do offer a good service seeing, diagnosing and then operating on a limited pool of patients
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