Change of a degree that one has applied for - Accounting to Medicine

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Grace Johnson
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Is it possible change a degree that one has applied for say from Accounting and Finance to Economics or to Medicine. My daughter keeps oscillating between these 3 degrees. She has very good grades and has been doing Chemistry, Maths and French for her A Level exams.
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JOSH4598
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On results day when you accept an offer, phone the university up and ask if you can change courses. They may say no, but then you still have your place on the course you originally applied for. As far as I know once you accept the offer, UCAS don't get involved any more so it's just between the student and the university making it easier to change.
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artful_lounger
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What exactly do you mean in terms of "change degree"? As in, after applying, ask the uni if they can make an offer for one of the other courses? Or transfer course after starting?

In both cases medicine is going to almost certainly be out of the question if she applies for anything other than medicine, with the exception of a handful of biomedical science degrees with designated internal transfer pathways. These are few and far between, and enormously competitive for the students on the courses. It is not otherwise possible to transfer into a medical degree from any other course, and several medical schools will not consider applicants who have started a degree elsewhere until they are a graduate (or in their final year) as a new applicant. Many others indicate they would strongly prefer applicants complete the degree they have started before reapplying to medicine (rather than dropping out and then applying).

For changing between A&F and economics, in both cases it will ultimately be at the discretion of the course provider whether they can change her offer or facilitate a transfer once she starts. In the latter case it is also not guaranteed she would be able to "transfer" into e.g. year 2 of economics after doing year 1 of A&F; they may say she can only transfer into the first year of the new course. Either way, it is not guaranteed and so it is possible that she may need to reapply, either taking a gap year and reapplying in the first case, or applying via clearing, or applying after starting uni on the other course. Some unis have in the past not accepted applicants currently studying at another university (Cambridge had this policy previously, although I think they have relaxed it now provided the applicant has "strong support from the current university" for the application).

Going from medicine to either of the other courses would be as above (although necessarily she would need to apply for/start again in first year of the new course as there would be no overlapping material), however it is very important to note that would almost certainly be the end of any prospective medical career in the UK. Almost all (possibly all) medical schools in the UK indicate they will either not consider applicants who have previously withdrawn from another medical course for any reason, or they will only consider such applicants if the withdrawal was due to extraordinary extenuating circumstances beyond the applicants control (which changing their mind a few times would not qualify as).

In all cases where she would start a degree somewhere and then reapply/transfer to the first year of a new degree course, it is worth noting that this will have a knock on effect on her eligibility for funding from Student Finance England. It would in effect use up the "gift year" of funding from SFE, which means that if she subsequently had to repeat a year on the new course she would need to self fund that year's tuition fees (she would still be eligible for a maintenance loan though).

However it may be possible to mix and match such subject areas across multiple degree programmes, i.e. to do an undergraduate degree in one area and postgraduate studies in another. Doing a accounting and/or finance masters degree after an economics degree wouldn't be uncommon at all, although vice versa may depend on the content of the first degree (and may require a conversion diploma or similar first).

It may also be possible to do a finance/accounting (or more general business/management type subject) as a masters degree after a medical degree, and there may even be options to intercalate in that or a similar area on medical courses with an intercalated degree option. For economics it would be almost certain that she would need to do a conversion diploma before doing a masters in that area after medicine, and I doubt there are any intercalated degree options available in that field.

In principle It would be possible to do graduate entry medicine after an economics or A&F degree, although there would be a slightly narrower range of medical schools to choose from for applications as several GEM courses require a STEM degree (or even life sciences degree specifically). Note however that GEM is considerably more competitive than undergraduate (standard) entry in general, and applicants for GEM often will apply to one or two standard entry courses if they are able to fund themselves on one of those. Bear in mind there is much reduced funding available for doing standard entry medicine as a graduate.

ecolier usually advises that those thinking of doing medicine or "something else" would typically be served best by doing the "something else" (at least initially), presumably since medicine as a career is a very significant commitment to make and not one that really is amenable to half-measures!
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ecolier
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Is it possible change a degree that one has applied for say from Accounting and Finance to Economics or to Medicine. My daughter keeps oscillating between these 3 degrees. She has very good grades and has been doing Chemistry, Maths and French for her A Level exams.
Good grades itself is not very useful I'm afraid. Also, not taking Biology means that her choices are more limited.

Medicine is intensely competitive and there is simply no way of "transferring" into Medicine without some sort of prior arrangement (e.g. Some Biomedical sciences courses have a few slots per year to transfer to Medicine).

I take it your daughter hasn't done the UCAT / BMAT etc. either? If she wanted to do Medicine, she'll have to take a gap year, do some work experience, prepare for UCAT / BMAT, draft a new personal statement and reapply. There's no way around this.

But I always said if you wanted to do medicine or something else, do something else.

Finally, it's best to get your daughter to post on here herself - second / third hand information is never ideal.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Is it possible change a degree that one has applied for say from Accounting and Finance to Economics or to Medicine. My daughter keeps oscillating between these 3 degrees. She has very good grades and has been doing Chemistry, Maths and French for her A Level exams.
Has she already applied this year, or would she be applying for 2021 entry?

(Original post by JOSH4598)
On results day when you accept an offer, phone the university up and ask if you can change courses. They may say no, but then you still have your place on the course you originally applied for. As far as I know once you accept the offer, UCAS don't get involved any more so it's just between the student and the university making it easier to change.
This is true for a lot of courses, but it wouldn't apply for Medicine. For starters, most unis in the UK don't have a med school! Medicine is still very competitive and it is rare for spaces to be available in clearing. It is very unlikely (probably impossible) these spaces would be offered to someone who hadn't initially applied for medicine, as the course is so competitive- very often unis will prefer to offer them to people who they rejected at interview, for example.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
This is true for a lot of courses, but it wouldn't apply for Medicine. For starters, most unis in the UK don't have a med school! Medicine is still very competitive and it is rare for spaces to be available in clearing. It is very unlikely (probably impossible) these spaces would be offered to someone who hadn't initially applied for medicine, as the course is so competitive- very often unis will prefer to offer them to people who they rejected at interview, for example.
Ah yes my bad, I forgot about the additional requirements for medicine. I was basing it off my experience as I enquired about swapping Politics & IR with Politics & Economics, so similar courses I guess. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Democracy
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Is it possible change a degree that one has applied for say from Accounting and Finance to Economics or to Medicine. My daughter keeps oscillating between these 3 degrees. She has very good grades and has been doing Chemistry, Maths and French for her A Level exams.
Osscilating between accounting and finance and economics is understandable as there are at least some similarities between the two degrees.

Osscilating between either of them and medicine is a bit different however and immediately makes me curious as to why. Is your daughter possibly focusing on an unrealistic vision of medicine? How much research has she done into a career in medicine? Any work experience?

My observation is that applicants who are stuck between "totally unrelated degree X" and medicine sometimes haven't done their research about medicine and the following themes tend to come up:

1) Dazzled by prospect of job "certainty" in medicine - doesn't exist the way the uninitiated think it does
2) Prestige - pretty much non-existent in the UK
3) Salary - again, as with point 1, far more nuanced and complex than what laypeople think
4) Focusing on "getting into medicine" as an academic end achievement rather than the beginning of professional training

Do you think this is the case for your daughter? There isn't much background in your post so apologies if these are all entirely irrelevant assumptions, but it's based on many years of observation
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Ah yes my bad, I forgot about the additional requirements for medicine. I was basing it off my experience as I enquired about swapping Politics & IR with Politics & Economics, so similar courses I guess. Thanks for clearing that up.
No worries!

(Original post by Democracy)
Osscilating between accounting and finance and economics is understandable as there are at least some similarities between the two degrees.

Osscilating between either of them and medicine is a bit different however and immediately makes me curious as to why. Is your daughter possibly focusing on an unrealistic vision of medicine? How much research has she done into a career in medicine? Any work experience?

My observation is that applicants who are stuck between "totally unrelated degree X" and medicine sometimes haven't done their research about medicine and the following themes tend to come up:

1) Dazzled by prospect of job "certainty" in medicine - doesn't exist the way the uninitiated think it does
2) Prestige - pretty much non-existent in the UK
3) Salary - again, as with point 1, far more nuanced and complex than what laypeople think
4) Focusing on "getting into medicine" as an academic end achievement rather than the beginning of professional training

Do you think this is the case for your daughter? There isn't much background in your post so apologies if these are all entirely irrelevant assumptions, but it's based on many years of observation
I agree with this to an extent as well.

Getting through a med degree and being a junior doctor in the UK is bloody tough and I think only something you can do if your heart is really in it? And if you are thinking of other degrees, then it probably isn't?
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UndisputedChamp
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You can use UCAS Adjustment on results day, but i'm not sure how often they will agree to changing courses.
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Grace Johnson
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
On results day when you accept an offer, phone the university up and ask if you can change courses. They may say no, but then you still have your place on the course you originally applied for. As far as I know once you accept the offer, UCAS don't get involved any more so it's just between the student and the university making it easier to change.
Thank you! That makes sense.
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Grace Johnson
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(Original post by Democracy)
Osscilating between accounting and finance and economics is understandable as there are at least some similarities between the two degrees.

Osscilating between either of them and medicine is a bit different however and immediately makes me curious as to why. Is your daughter possibly focusing on an unrealistic vision of medicine? How much research has she done into a career in medicine? Any work experience?

My observation is that applicants who are stuck between "totally unrelated degree X" and medicine sometimes haven't done their research about medicine and the following themes tend to come up:

1) Dazzled by prospect of job "certainty" in medicine - doesn't exist the way the uninitiated think it does
2) Prestige - pretty much non-existent in the UK
3) Salary - again, as with point 1, far more nuanced and complex than what laypeople think
4) Focusing on "getting into medicine" as an academic end achievement rather than the beginning of professional training

Do you think this is the case for your daughter? There isn't much background in your post so apologies if these are all entirely irrelevant assumptions, but it's based on many years of observation
Thank you for your reply. My daughter has been studying chemistry to a very high level and she has been following her interest in this subject under the lockdown, even though she does not have to take her A Level exam anymore. She has not applied to do medicine as she has not been doing Biology. There is a requirement to do A Level in Biology for most universities except perhaps to get into Cambridge. She tends to be good at anything she does but on this occasion she has not played her cards right. She should have done Biology too. She learned that most of the A Level Biology knowledge is not that relevant for the purpose of doing medicine and a lot of it will need to completely forgotten as it will not be used....
Unfortunately, some pupils do have real difficulties deciding on their future career and perhaps my daughter is one of them. She would love to study medicine but she is not entirely sure if she would be happy being a doctor for life, even though she is a very curios, detailed and a very caring person. She still finds it difficult to make a final decision....
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Thank you for your reply. My daughter has been studying chemistry to a very high level and she has been following her interest in this subject under the lockdown, even though she does not have to take her A Level exam anymore. She has not applied to do medicine as she has not been doing Biology. There is a requirement to do A Level in Biology for most universities except perhaps to get into Cambridge. She tends to be good at anything she does but on this occasion she has not played her cards right. She should have done Biology too. She learned that most of the A Level Biology knowledge is not that relevant for the purpose of doing medicine and a lot of it will need to completely forgotten as it will not be used....
Unfortunately, some pupils do have real difficulties deciding on their future career and perhaps my daughter is one of them. She would love to study medicine but she is not entirely sure if she would be happy being a doctor for life, even though she is a very curios, detailed and a very caring person. She still finds it difficult to make a final decision....
Most medical schools just require two STEM subjects, typically specifying one of biology or chemistry (more commonly chemistry). Cambridge is actually the one medical school she would definitely be unable to apply to, since they require 3 STEM subjects at A-level. There are many other medical schools that just require chemistry and another STEM subject (such as maths) though.

I think the above posters raised a good point in the notion of a medical degree and "studying" medicine not being the end goal in of itself but really just the start of a career in the area (and a necessary step in developing that career). If she doesn't want to be in medicine professionally then a medical degree is probably not going to be that relevant/appropriate for her. If she is interested in aspects of medical science academically, then there are other degrees she could consider (e.g. various life sciences degrees; many of which are available with a foundation year for those who didn't take all the necessary subjects i.e. biology).

It sounds as though she is more directly interested in chemistry than medicine - has she considered a chemistry degree? There may be options on such a course to study biochemistry, pharmacology, or medicinal chemistry, which might allow her to explore any academic interests in medical sciences while continuing her pursuit of the core subject. It would also be a perfectly suitable background to go into various business/accounting/finance roles after graduating (and may be suitable for some masters courses in those areas) as well as for going into graduate entry medicine if she does later decide she definitely wants a career in medicine as a doctor.
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Democracy
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Thank you for your reply. My daughter has been studying chemistry to a very high level and she has been following her interest in this subject under the lockdown, even though she does not have to take her A Level exam anymore. She has not applied to do medicine as she has not been doing Biology. There is a requirement to do A Level in Biology for most universities except perhaps to get into Cambridge. She tends to be good at anything she does but on this occasion she has not played her cards right. She should have done Biology too. She learned that most of the A Level Biology knowledge is not that relevant for the purpose of doing medicine and a lot of it will need to completely forgotten as it will not be used....

No problem. The first thing I would say is that, assuming she has the right grades, your daughter is still able to apply to a number of medical schools without biology. I would check here: https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf

However - it's important to be aware that there is basically zero pure chemistry in a medical degree or at work as a doctor. If enjoying chemistry specifically is what's attracting your daughter to medicine, I would consider another degree. The principles of human biology actually feature more frequently in a medical degree, but ultimately medicine is neither biology or chemistry...it's medicine: a practical and professional degree designed to produce doctors, not laboratory scientists.

Unfortunately, some pupils do have real difficulties deciding on their future career and perhaps my daughter is one of them. She would love to study medicine but she is not entirely sure if she would be happy being a doctor for life, even though she is a very curios, detailed and a very caring person. She still finds it difficult to make a final decision....
Yes, this is common. It's a significant decision to be making at a young age after all, so I would reassure her that it's not too late by any means. I think once things have become more normal in hospitals and GP practices, your daughter needs to arrange some work experience to see what the job is like for herself. Volunteering in healthcare settings (hospices, nursing homes etc) is also important.

In the meantime, she may find the following helpful for gaining insight into the profession:

https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...f-covid-19.pdf (specifically the online resources on page 4)

https://www.gmc-uk.org/gmpinaction/g...rted/index.asp

It may also be helpful to read books relevant to being a junior doctor e.g. Bedside Stories by Michael Foxton or This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. They're not "work experience" but in the current climate it's still a window into the job.

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Grace Johnson
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Most medical schools just require two STEM subjects, typically specifying one of biology or chemistry (more commonly chemistry). Cambridge is actually the one medical school she would definitely be unable to apply to, since they require 3 STEM subjects at A-level. There are many other medical schools that just require chemistry and another STEM subject (such as maths) though.

I think the above posters raised a good point in the notion of a medical degree and "studying" medicine not being the end goal in of itself but really just the start of a career in the area (and a necessary step in developing that career). If she doesn't want to be in medicine professionally then a medical degree is probably not going to be that relevant/appropriate for her. If she is interested in aspects of medical science academically, then there are other degrees she could consider (e.g. various life sciences degrees; many of which are available with a foundation year for those who didn't take all the necessary subjects i.e. biology).

It sounds as though she is more directly interested in chemistry than medicine - has she considered a chemistry degree? There may be options on such a course to study biochemistry, pharmacology, or medicinal chemistry, which might allow her to explore any academic interests in medical sciences while continuing her pursuit of the core subject. It would also be a perfectly suitable background to go into various business/accounting/finance roles after graduating (and may be suitable for some masters courses in those areas) as well as for going into graduate entry medicine if she does later decide she definitely wants a career in medicine as a doctor.
Many thanks for your reply. You have provided very good and thorough advice.
There is also another aspect to my daughter’s situation. She would really like to be earning money and be financially independent as fast as possible. Most Chemistry degrees take 4 years and my daughter might not feel like undergoing even heavier type of studies after that. I am not sure how many years she would have to study to become a doctor if she was to take this longer route. Could she do medicine after completing any degree?
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Emily5243
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Many thanks for your reply. You have provided very good and thorough advice.
There is also another aspect to my daughter’s situation. She would really like to be earning money and be financially independent as fast as possible. Most Chemistry degrees take 4 years and my daughter might not feel like undergoing even heavier type of studies after that. I am not sure how many years she would have to study to become a doctor if she was to take this longer route. Could she do medicine after completing any degree?
If she was to opt for graduate entry medicine, it would be an extra 4 years on top of the degree she has already done. I'm not sure on the specifics of which degrees you are allowed but I believe there are medical schools that accept people with any degree. However, graduate entry medicine is even more competitive than undergraduate. She could do a degree then apply for undergraduate medicine which would be 5 years on top of the years she spent doing her first degree.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Many thanks for your reply. You have provided very good and thorough advice.
There is also another aspect to my daughter’s situation. She would really like to be earning money and be financially independent as fast as possible. Most Chemistry degrees take 4 years and my daughter might not feel like undergoing even heavier type of studies after that. I am not sure how many years she would have to study to become a doctor if she was to take this longer route. Could she do medicine after completing any degree?
Some GEM (graduate entry medicine) courses accept any degree (even non-science ones), but taking biomedical sciences or similar degree will open the doors to virtually all GEM courses.

Be advised though, GEM is much more competitive than standard undergraduate medicine. GEM degrees are usually one year shorter than standard undergraduate medicine but you have to take (at least) a 3 year degree course to be eligible, hence if your heart is set on medicine we usually advise you to take a gap year to improve your stats and reapply for standard undergraduate medicine because it's shorter, costs less and less competitive going this way.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Many thanks for your reply. You have provided very good and thorough advice.
There is also another aspect to my daughter’s situation. She would really like to be earning money and be financially independent as fast as possible. Most Chemistry degrees take 4 years and my daughter might not feel like undergoing even heavier type of studies after that. I am not sure how many years she would have to study to become a doctor if she was to take this longer route. Could she do medicine after completing any degree?
There are GEM courses that accept any degree (Cambridge and Warwick off the top of my head I believe don't require any specific degree subject), although many require a STEM degree specifically (and a smaller number of those only accept life sciences subjects). I would note that most 4 year chemistry degrees are also available in 3 year versions (even at e.g. Oxford I believe it is possible to supplicate for the BA rather than the MChem if the student wishes to leave after 3 years).

In terms of becoming financially independent "fast", I'm not sure medicine is the best option in that context even if she does standard entry medicine after doing a gap year. A standard entry medicine degree is at least 5 years, frequently 6 if an intercalated degree is undertaken (which is required at some medical schools e.g. Oxford and Cambridge). In terms of further study I would also note that medicine does entail studying (to some extent) even after the degree is complete and she is working as a doctor - there are postgraduate medical exams that must be taken for many specialties, and requirements to demonstrate professional development via ePortfolios etc.

As above, if she knows she wants to do medicine, she should pursue that immediately rather than plan to do GEM. It does not sound as though this is the case though, hence my suggestion that she look at other options - especially since you indicated she is primarily interested in chemistry. Even while pursuing those other options, medicine would be a potential end possibility. If her main aim is to try and be financially independent as quickly as possible though her best bet is probably exploring degree apprenticeship options, as then she would be earning and able to support herself while also gaining a degree.
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Grace Johnson
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(Original post by Emily5243)
If she was to opt for graduate entry medicine, it would be an extra 4 years on top of the degree she has already done. I'm not sure on the specifics of which degrees you are allowed but I believe there are medical schools that accept people with any degree. However, graduate entry medicine is even more competitive than undergraduate. She could do a degree then apply for undergraduate medicine which would be 5 years on top of the years she spent doing her first degree.
Thank you so much!!!!! Someone told me about it long time ago but I forgot that this possibility exists. Thank you so much!!! If you have any other advice in relation to this issue I would be very happy to hear from you again. I really appreciate your help and the time you took to do so! Kind regards and best wishes. Grace
PS My daughter is genuinely interested in health issues, nutrition, herbalism, staying healthy and in medicine.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Grace Johnson)
Thank you so much!!!!! Someone told me about it long time ago but I forgot that this possibility exists. Thank you so much!!! If you have any other advice in relation to this issue I would be very happy to hear from you again. I really appreciate your help and the time you took to do so! Kind regards and best wishes. Grace
PS My daughter is genuinely interested in health issues, nutrition, herbalism, staying healthy and in medicine.
I think she should seriously consider a year out. Better than rushing into a degree she's not committed to.
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Grace Johnson
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(Original post by Democracy)
No problem. The first thing I would say is that, assuming she has the right grades, your daughter is still able to apply to a number of medical schools without biology. I would check here: https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...hools-2021.pdf

However - it's important to be aware that there is basically zero pure chemistry in a medical degree or at work as a doctor. If enjoying chemistry specifically is what's attracting your daughter to medicine, I would consider another degree. The principles of human biology actually feature more frequently in a medical degree, but ultimately medicine is neither biology or chemistry...it's medicine: a practical and professional degree designed to produce doctors, not laboratory scientists.



Yes, this is common. It's a significant decision to be making at a young age after all, so I would reassure her that it's not too late by any means. I think once things have become more normal in hospitals and GP practices, your daughter needs to arrange some work experience to see what the job is like for herself. Volunteering in healthcare settings (hospices, nursing homes etc) is also important.

In the meantime, she may find the following helpful for gaining insight into the profession:

https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2...f-covid-19.pdf (specifically the online resources on page 4)

https://www.gmc-uk.org/gmpinaction/g...rted/index.asp

It may also be helpful to read books relevant to being a junior doctor e.g. Bedside Stories by Michael Foxton or This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. They're not "work experience" but in the current climate it's still a window into the job.

Thank you sooooo much! Yes, this is what we started discussing with my daughter; NHS work experience and also reading literature as you suggested! Amazing help!!! Thank you so much!😊🤔
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