Jay Tommy
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Hello,

So I got rejected from all my offers for undergraduate Medicine and I am thinking to go through the GEM route through Medical Sciences at Exeter.

However, my sister said I could always go into Physician Associate at Reading (undergraduate) instead as it’s practically the same thing (I’m not convinced it is). Would it be possible to apply at Reading for Physician Associate in late January for September 2021 (she said you don’t have to use UCAS, you could go private) or would I need to take a gap year?

Thanks
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Democracy
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(Original post by Jay Tommy)
Hello,

So I got rejected from all my offers for undergraduate Medicine and I am thinking to go through the GEM route through Medical Sciences at Exeter.

However, my sister said I could always go into Physician Associate at Reading (undergraduate) instead as it’s practically the same thing (I’m not convinced it is). Would it be possible to apply at Reading for Physician Associate in late January for September 2021 (she said you don’t have to use UCAS, you could go private) or would I need to take a gap year?

Thanks
It is not practically the same thing. It's important to know this to avoid disappointment later on.

Why don't you take a gap year and reapply for medicine?

(Sorry, I don't know the answer to the gap year vs private application question).
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nexttime
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It is definitely not the same thing. It is a bit of a shortcut to be able to do some junior doctor duties, basically created because the NHS is desperately short of doctors. But you're capped there - you can never gain more responsibility and will never have that scientific understanding to make the big decisions expected of registrars and consultants. It has its place though, and I'm sure can be a rewarding career if that is what you want.

Edit: PA is undergrad now, who knew.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Jay Tommy)
Hello,

So I got rejected from all my offers for undergraduate Medicine and I am thinking to go through the GEM route through Medical Sciences at Exeter.

However, my sister said I could always go into Physician Associate at Reading (undergraduate) instead as it’s practically the same thing (I’m not convinced it is). Would it be possible to apply at Reading for Physician Associate in late January for September 2021 (she said you don’t have to use UCAS, you could go private) or would I need to take a gap year?

Thanks
If you wanted to do medicine, I would recommend taking a gap year and reapplying to standard undergrad medicine because doing a degree with the sole aim to do graduate entry medicine will take longer, cost more and (most importantly) much more competitive.

PA is not the same thing as being a doctor, can you not apply via UCAS since the deadline is delayed?

(Original post by nexttime)
...Its a graduate entry degree - you need to have an undergrad first. Google it.
There are now two undergrad entry PA masters - at UCLan and Reading. The course is 4 years long.

https://www.uclan.ac.uk/undergraduat...e-studies-mpas

http://www.reading.ac.uk/pharmacy/ph...rogrammes.aspx
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Jay Tommy
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(Original post by Democracy)
It is not practically the same thing. It's important to know this to avoid disappointment later on.

Why don't you take a gap year and reapply for medicine?

(Sorry, I don't know the answer to the gap year vs private application question).
So I don’t really want to take a gap year due to personal reasons which I don’t really want to share but just know, it would be the worst option for me personally although I know it has helped loads of people with getting into medicine. But ah okay, is it possible if you can explain what the main differences are as I have tried to search this up but it isn’t very clear haha!

(Original post by ecolier)
There are now two undergrad entry PA masters - at UCLan and Reading. The course is 4 years long.

https://www.uclan.ac.uk/undergraduat...e-studies-mpas

http://www.reading.ac.uk/pharmacy/ph...rogrammes.aspx
I mean, I want to do Medical Sciences at Exeter as the course itself interests me and Exeter is also a great uni, beautiful campus and would be enjoyable to live out there (I am especially interested in the professional training year). Part of me doing Medical Sciences is because I do want to use it as a gateway to Medicine and they also have a separate route for GEM specifically for those doing Medical Sciences at Exeter. But like I said, it’s the course itself that interests me (Medical Sciences that is). Of course, I am hoping to be a specialised doctor through Medicine by the end of it but I guess for now we may have to wait and see what the future holds. I know it will be tough for me to take this route but it would be even tougher if I took a gap year. I would rather do this and try my very best to see where it may lead me.
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tyeed
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Why don't you work as an HCA for a year and reapply for next year? HCA will provide you with a good insight to working with patients and will (I would hope) help with your application!
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UniofReading
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(Original post by Jay Tommy)
Hello,

So I got rejected from all my offers for undergraduate Medicine and I am thinking to go through the GEM route through Medical Sciences at Exeter.

However, my sister said I could always go into Physician Associate at Reading (undergraduate) instead as it’s practically the same thing (I’m not convinced it is). Would it be possible to apply at Reading for Physician Associate in late January for September 2021 (she said you don’t have to use UCAS, you could go private) or would I need to take a gap year?

Thanks
Hi Jay Tommy,

It's great to hear you're thinking of applying for Reading Uni! I can understand it can be a complicated decision with a multitude of factors to consider. At Reading Uni we offer both the Medical Sciences degree and the physician's associate degree. At Reading Uni the first two years of the physicians associate degree are taught alongside the medical sciences degree and in both degrees there are lots of opportunities to complete placements. If after your first or second year of your medical sciences degree you can chose to transer to the physcians associate degree if you have achieved certain grades. This might make it a bit easier to help you figure out which to go for. You can see this information here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-st...iences-ug.aspx

You might find it useful to speak to students the course and see how their finding it. Lina studies medical science and you can speak to here: https://api.unibuddy.co/og/universit...Position=share For the physicans associate degree we have alumni stories you can view here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/p...ories_Book.pdf

In terms of applying privatley, I don't believe that this is possible however to double check I would ask here https://www.reading.ac.uk/forms/crm/question.aspx
In terms of deadlines for applicants the UCAS deadline is the 29th Jan 2021 however, Reading Uni will consider late applicants until 30th June 2021 however, bear in mind that courses might begin to fill up so it's best to apply as soon as you can!

Hope this helps you and feel free to let us know if you have any questions!😊
From,

Amina
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Democracy
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(Original post by Jay Tommy)
So I don’t really want to take a gap year due to personal reasons which I don’t really want to share but just know, it would be the worst option for me personally although I know it has helped loads of people with getting into medicine. But ah okay, is it possible if you can explain what the main differences are as I have tried to search this up but it isn’t very clear haha!
nexttime has outlined the main differences.

PAs do not receive the same level of undergrad or postgrad science education and they complete fewer hours of clinical placements/work compared with a consultant or GP.

Doctors can deviate from strict guidelines if justified by clinical judgement or scientific evidence. PAs are not able to to do this because they do not have the same level of clinical experience. The role is more restrictive and protocol driven with less emphasis on lateral thinking and applying first medical principles.
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Becky5232
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Hi! Second year PA student here, due to graduate in a few months. I can say they are definitely not basically the same thing, and I can confidently outline these things for you, as well as clear up a few misconceptions about the role. I chose PA over medicine for personal reasons, for example I wanted a good work/life balance (PAs work mostly Monday-Friday 9-5) and I did not have the ambition/want to work upwards in a career for many years like doctors do. PA’s are very much trained in a similar way to doctors, we are trained to the medical model in a very intense way. I am on the masters which is 2 years, it’s extremely fast paced and intense. When qualified we don’t have to ‘climb’ vertically up the ladder like doctors, however there is room to become extremely skilled and to earn more money etc. We can make clinical decisions using our knowledge, and yes we follow guidelines however we can also deviate from them as doctors do, currently that would involve a quick discussion with a senior. The PA role will be regulated this year, and therefore we will be able to work more independently. Unlike DRs PA’s do not specialise, so if you work in A E for 5 years and fancy a change you can work somewhere completely different, where as doctors are quite tied into their training programmes once they decide which direction they are going. There are many many perks to being a PA and I personally found it the best option for me, but if you have a passion for medicine and you want constant career progression and are willing to dedicate your life to it then I would wait and reapply to medicine as the PA role may not fulfil you. As stated about you could get a job as HCA or a ward clerk? it would give you a great insight and stand you in good stead for interviews etc. Please feel free to ask me any questions
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tyeed
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(Original post by Becky5232)
Hi! Second year PA student here, due to graduate in a few months. I can say they are definitely not basically the same thing, and I can confidently outline these things for you, as well as clear up a few misconceptions about the role. I chose PA over medicine for personal reasons, for example I wanted a good work/life balance (PAs work mostly Monday-Friday 9-5) and I did not have the ambition/want to work upwards in a career for many years like doctors do. PA’s are very much trained in a similar way to doctors, we are trained to the medical model in a very intense way. I am on the masters which is 2 years, it’s extremely fast paced and intense. When qualified we don’t have to ‘climb’ vertically up the ladder like doctors, however there is room to become extremely skilled and to earn more money etc. We can make clinical decisions using our knowledge, and yes we follow guidelines however we can also deviate from them as doctors do, currently that would involve a quick discussion with a senior. The PA role will be regulated this year, and therefore we will be able to work more independently. Unlike DRs PA’s do not specialise, so if you work in A E for 5 years and fancy a change you can work somewhere completely different, where as doctors are quite tied into their training programmes once they decide which direction they are going. There are many many perks to being a PA and I personally found it the best option for me, but if you have a passion for medicine and you want constant career progression and are willing to dedicate your life to it then I would wait and reapply to medicine as the PA role may not fulfil you. As stated about you could get a job as HCA or a ward clerk? it would give you a great insight and stand you in good stead for interviews etc. Please feel free to ask me any questions
Hey! I am looking into the role of a PA and am really interested in potentially pursing it after my undergrad. My question is, what did you do for your undergradute degree?
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Lewis T K
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(Original post by Jay Tommy)
I mean, I want to do Medical Sciences at Exeter as the course itself interests me and Exeter is also a great uni, beautiful campus and would be enjoyable to live out there (I am especially interested in the professional training year). Part of me doing Medical Sciences is because I do want to use it as a gateway to Medicine and they also have a separate route for GEM specifically for those doing Medical Sciences at Exeter. But like I said, it’s the course itself that interests me (Medical Sciences that is). Of course, I am hoping to be a specialised doctor through Medicine by the end of it but I guess for now we may have to wait and see what the future holds. I know it will be tough for me to take this route but it would be even tougher if I took a gap year. I would rather do this and try my very best to see where it may lead me.
Taking a gap year is not a bad thing if you use your time wisely by undertaking relevant work experience. Actually it can be beneficial to your med application as you will be able to have a good PS and perform well in interviews by reflecting on your experience. Applying for GEM is extremely competitive, and now I believe that your undergrad degree does not count towards any additional points for getting into to specialist training (@ecolier may be able to correct me here if I’m wrong).
I would dissuade someone from following the GEM route unless they only decided upon a career in medicine after they had already completed a degree.
Very best of luck with your application 😊
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Becky5232
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(Original post by tyeed)
Hey! I am looking into the role of a PA and am really interested in potentially pursing it after my undergrad. My question is, what did you do for your undergradute degree?
Hello,

I did psychology, but there’s a huge mix bag on my course; biomedicine, midwifery, nursing, teaching, events management.

I am at Swansea, but each uni has different criteria for what undergrads they accept, so just be sure to check that.
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priscillaaa_
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(Original post by nexttime)
It is definitely not the same thing. It is a bit of a shortcut to be able to do some junior doctor duties, basically created because the NHS is desperately short of doctors. But you're capped there - you can never gain more responsibility and will never have that scientific understanding to make the big decisions expected of registrars and consultants. It has its place though, and I'm sure can be a rewarding career if that is what you want.

Edit: PA is undergrad now, who knew.
You actually can gain more responsibility by being a Senior/Lead PA or by going into teaching of med students and PA students. I feel like there’s a stigma around PA’s and they are always being downgraded as “cheap doctors and not recognised by a lot of people. Please be nicer about the profession and don’t downplay the importance of PA’s !!!!! And no, it isn’t a “shortcut”
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Democracy
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:rolleyes:
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priscillaaa_
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(Original post by Democracy)
:rolleyes:
Strange......but okay
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nexttime
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(Original post by priscillaaa_)
Please be nicer about the profession and don’t downplay the importance of PA’s !!!!! And no, it isn’t a “shortcut”
Yes that's what all the PAs [on here] say - you should do it as its only two years, when the doctors have to train for 7 to be at the same level! But nope not a shortcut definitely not.

I don't think that many doctors are completely against the role. But when you see people advertising it as 'you can do everything a doctor does but also dump all the prescribing and scan requesting paperwork and literally all out of hours work on them, win-win', it does rather grate yes.
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priscillaaa_
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(Original post by nexttime)
Yes that's what all the PAs [on here] say - you should do it as its only two years, when the doctors have to train for 7 to be at the same level! But nope not a shortcut definitely not.

I don't think that many doctors are completely against the role. But when you see people advertising it as 'you can do everything a doctor does but also dump all the prescribing and scan requesting paperwork and literally all out of hours work on them, win-win', it does rather grate yes.
You seem so hurt by the PA course 😂 I don’t know what PA’s have done to offend you but you need to calm down😬.... Anyways, I don’t know if you have done your research but the PA role was introduced here to reduce the stress on the healthcare system, so no, PA’s don’t just dump work on others, they are a vital and important role in the NHS.
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nexttime
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(Original post by priscillaaa_)
You seem so hurt by the PA course 😂 I don’t know what PA’s have done to offend you but you need to calm down😬.... Anyways, I don’t know if you have done your research but the PA role was introduced here to reduce the stress on the healthcare system, so no, PA’s don’t just dump work on others, they are a vital and important role in the NHS.
Then you clearly haven't understood the PA role and doctors' concerns at all then.

Currently, PAs can't prescribe or request any ionising radiation, not even a chest x-ray. That means that a completely normal, common scenario is 'Hi doc, I've assessed this SOB patient, I think they need a CTPA and some furosemide - prescribe it please'. Firstly, that is dumping work on others I have no idea how you can pretend otherwise. But overall you'd hope that workload was less, right?

Well the reason many have major concerns, is that when a doctor prescribes any medication or orders any test, the responsibility for that decision is 100% on them. If a PA tells you to prescribe some IV potassium to a child with hyperkalaemia say, and the worst happens, its the doctor who ends up in front of the GMC +/- prison sentence, not the PA. Now hopefully that'd be very unlikely, but take the scenario above. The PA presumably thinks this patient has heart failure - but what if they don't? What if its an infection - that furosemide could be very harmful. And CTPA - what's the renal function? Could they be pregnant? Its a large dose of radiation - is it truly warranted? These are all questions the doctor has to take full responsibility for, so many are now going to feel the need to just repeat everything the PA has done.

That's pretty much a worst case scenario, but things similar to it are very common. And the other major concern is PAs taking training opportunities of course, but then they disappear out of hours when their skills would be most of use.

I personally have had mixed experiences with PAs, but mostly positive. The ones I work with now are good and useful (although an actual junior doctor would be more useful and, somehow, slightly cheaper). They can be very useful when they are in more specific roles which lets them get very skilled at a particular thing, like LPs or ascitic drains etc. I'm just explaining why some people might be concerned, which you seem just completely oblivious to.
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priscillaaa_
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(Original post by nexttime)
Then you clearly haven't understood the PA role and doctors' concerns at all then.

Currently, PAs can't prescribe or request any ionising radiation, not even a chest x-ray. That means that a completely normal, common scenario is 'Hi doc, I've assessed this SOB patient, I think they need a CTPA and some furosemide - prescribe it please'. Firstly, that is dumping work on others I have no idea how you can pretend otherwise. But overall you'd hope that workload was less, right?

Well the reason many have major concerns, is that when a doctor prescribes any medication or orders any test, the responsibility for that decision is 100% on them. If a PA tells you to prescribe some IV potassium to a child with hyperkalaemia say, and the worst happens, its the doctor who ends up in front of the GMC +/- prison sentence, not the PA. Now hopefully that'd be very unlikely, but take the scenario above. The PA presumably thinks this patient has heart failure - but what if they don't? What if its an infection - that furosemide could be very harmful. And CTPA - what's the renal function? Could they be pregnant? Its a large dose of radiation - is it truly warranted? These are all questions the doctor has to take full responsibility for, so many are now going to feel the need to just repeat everything the PA has done.

That's pretty much a worst case scenario, but things similar to it are very common. And the other major concern is PAs taking training opportunities of course, but then they disappear out of hours when their skills would be most of use.

I personally have had mixed experiences with PAs, but mostly positive. The ones I work with now are good and useful (although an actual junior doctor would be more useful and, somehow, slightly cheaper). They can be very useful when they are in more specific roles which lets them get very skilled at a particular thing, like LPs or ascitic drains etc. I'm just explaining why some people might be concerned, which you seem just completely oblivious to.
I 100% understand your concerns about prescribing, PA’s are going to be regulated soon so in the years to come, PA’s will be able to prescribe independently, obviously after taking a prescribing course and exam (but we don’t 100% know yet) . But for now, unfortunately there are restrictions and this is what PA’s have to do. As much it is annoying for doctors, maybe even more for them, it is for PA’s too. Thanks for expressing your concerns though
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