linedpaper
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I keep seeing people saying 'I've got 4s and 5s what med schools will accept me', and even have a friend who is desperate to do it despite poor grades.
Medicine is a highly strenuous degree, it's hard and takes a long time before you can fully enter the career. It's reserved for the very best students both grade wise and societally, even though there are universities that have lower grade requirements.
You may say GCSE's do not define you, but they are a symbol of attainment and realistically not that hard. Getting 4's and 5's shows you are a very average student... I don't understand why the top careers in society would therefore be suitable. Even AAB is, although good, quite low if you are looking at strong medicine candidates having at least 2 A*.
Surely if you have more poor grades, especially at GCSE which are more important for a Medicine degree, Nursing or a Biomed science degree is more your thing?
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ecolier
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(Original post by linedpaper)
I keep seeing people saying 'I've got 4s and 5s what med schools will accept me', and even have a friend who is desperate to do it despite poor grades.
Medicine is a highly strenuous degree, it's hard and takes a long time before you can fully enter the career. It's reserved for the very best students both grade wise and societally, even though there are universities that have lower grade requirements.
You may say GCSE's do not define you, but they are a symbol of attainment and realistically not that hard. Getting 4's and 5's shows you are a very average student... I don't understand why the top careers in society would therefore be suitable. Even AAB is, although good, quite low if you are looking at strong medicine candidates having at least 2 A*.
Surely if you have more poor grades, especially at GCSE which are more important for a Medicine degree, Nursing or a Biomed science degree is more your thing?
I wonder what's your opinion of Medicine with a Foundation Year / Gateway Year courses then - their A-Level requirements can be as low as BBC, but most are BBB.

Grades do not (solely) define whether one makes a good doctor or not.
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concernedLMAO
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(Original post by linedpaper)
I keep seeing people saying 'I've got 4s and 5s what med schools will accept me', and even have a friend who is desperate to do it despite poor grades.
Medicine is a highly strenuous degree, it's hard and takes a long time before you can fully enter the career. It's reserved for the very best students both grade wise and societally, even though there are universities that have lower grade requirements.
You may say GCSE's do not define you, but they are a symbol of attainment and realistically not that hard. Getting 4's and 5's shows you are a very average student... I don't understand why the top careers in society would therefore be suitable. Even AAB is, although good, quite low if you are looking at strong medicine candidates having at least 2 A*.
Surely if you have more poor grades, especially at GCSE which are more important for a Medicine degree, Nursing or a Biomed science degree is more your thing?
There are plenty of legit excuses for bad GCSEs which I don’t think would effect how good of a doctor you are. E.g. couldn’t be arsed and later developed a better work ethic, abusive home, family member dies right before they started.

Even if this wasn’t the case not having the qualifications isn’t going to stop someone wanting a certain job.
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linedpaper
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(Original post by ecolier)
I wonder what's your opinion of Medicine with a Foundation Year / Gateway Year courses then - their A-Level requirements can be as low as BBC, but most are BBB.

Grades do not (solely) define whether one makes a good doctor or not.
I don't really think Medicine with a foundation year is great- it is a degree that should be full of intelligent and high calibre students.
However I'm not going to say we should deny someone of their dream if they've had extenuating circumstances or are truly capable.

Obviously you can be a good doctor without having high grades, but the degree is the obstacle in the way and it is difficult. Not getting the grades for no other reason do show it may not be for you.
Either way I think a solution is just having less universities and plug different pathways to medical careers that may not be a doctor or a surgeon.
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ecolier
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(Original post by linedpaper)
I don't really think Medicine with a foundation year is great- it is a degree that should be full of intelligent and high calibre students.
However I'm not going to say we should deny someone of their dream if they've had extenuating circumstances or are truly capable.
Really? Interesting idea considering that more and more med schools are providing this.

Do you know why we do Medicine with a Foundation Year courses?

Obviously you can be a good doctor without having high grades, but the degree is the obstacle in the way and it is difficult. Not getting the grades for no other reason do show it may not be for you.
Either way I think a solution is just having less universities and plug different pathways to medical careers that may not be a doctor or a surgeon.
We already do that - there are lots of careers that work in a limited medical capacity e.g. advanced nurse practitioner, physician associates etc.

P.S. May I ask what is your background?
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YungCheezy
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'Medicine reserved for very best students grade wise and societally'

Wtf are you high?? Medicine is not reserved for upper classes, otherwise I'd have no chance of getting in lol

Also where did you get the idea that you need 2 A* at least for medicine, unis I've had interviews at offer either AAA, ABA* or AAB with EPQ
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linedpaper
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(Original post by concernedLMAO)
There are plenty of legit excuses for bad GCSEs which I don’t think would effect how good of a doctor you are. E.g. couldn’t be arsed and later developed a better work ethic, abusive home, family member dies right before they started.

Even if this wasn’t the case not having the qualifications isn’t going to stop someone wanting a certain job.
This is obviously a different kind of attainment. I'm more on the lines of 4's and 5's were genuinely their best effort.
(Original post by ecolier)
Really? Interesting idea considering that more and more med schools are providing this.

Do you know why we do Medicine with a Foundation Year courses?



We already do that - there are lots of careers that work in a limited medical capacity e.g. advanced nurse practitioner, physician associates etc.

P.S. May I ask what is your background?
Obviously a shortage of medics can't help, but I assume foundation year course increases are to open up medicine to more people as a result of that. Lower A level results I guess are more excusable, but really getting low GCSE's does indicate you may not be suitable. The desire to do medicine when you have lower grades may come from cultural influences though (and society)

Single parent (ex primary school teacher now supply), poor but comfortable, grammar school (on merit)
I haven't experienced being around aspirational yet middling students so my view is from my own environment

(Original post by YungCheezy)
'Medicine reserved for very best students grade wise and societally'

Wtf are you high?? Medicine is not reserved for upper classes, otherwise I'd have no chance of getting in lol

Also where did you get the idea that you need 2 A* at least for medicine, unis I've had interviews at offer either AAA, ABA* or AAB with EPQ
Sadly I'm not high rn. I didn't mean only the upper classes should be medics, that would be awful! I meant that society views the profession as one full of the very best students, of which I don't complain.
I guess A*AB/AAA is pretty good... chemistry is hard. Very strong candidates do have higher grades though, the ones that are likely to be strong in the degree.
At the end of the day though I don't begrudge someone having dreams, just maybe more realistic ones in terms of some students.
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ecolier
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(Original post by linedpaper)
...Obviously a shortage of medics can't help, but I assume foundation year course increases are to open up medicine to more people as a result of that. Lower A level results I guess are more excusable, but really getting low GCSE's does indicate you may not be suitable. The desire to do medicine when you have lower grades may come from cultural influences though (and society)
Most med schools aren't GCSE-heavy, but virtually all med schools requires AAA or above in A-Level for their standard undergrad medicine courses (exceptions = Buckingham, KMMS and UCLan, their standard offer is AAB)

Indeed Cambridge has no GCSE requirements at all, stating that "Our research shows that post-16 examination performance is a much better predictor of degree success at Cambridge. While GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, this is within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were attained, and strong performance in Years 12 and 13 can make up for a less stellar performance at GCSE."

Single parent (ex primary school teacher now supply), poor but comfortable, grammar school (on merit)
I haven't experienced being around aspirational yet middling students so my view is from my own environment
I see. Only asking because I have seen plenty of disadvantaged students wanting to do medicine and Medicine with a Foundation Year courses are made for them.
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becausethenight
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Practically all med schools ask for AAA+ at A level, though, so to my mind that’s really what acts as the academic “quality control”. Applicants who go from poor GCSEs to stellar A levels sound like exactly the kind of people who’d make good doctors, surely?

The beauty of med admissions is the variability in requirements, which means we have a (relatively) diverse cohort in terms of stats (so GCSEs, A levels, BMAT, UCAT, PS, extracurricular etc). I don’t think medicine needs, particularly, to be restricted to the “most academically able” students. You just have to pass the degree and if anything we don’t want people who are so clever they run off to academic medicine and PhDs before slaving as a FY in the NHS!
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Incidentaloma
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The academic requirements for medicine are already rigorous. I don't understand the complaint here - are you worried that students who can't cope with the course are getting in? Because dropout rates are very low and most med students successfully become doctors. That suggests medical students are choosing the right calibre of student.

Some people obviously do aspire to medicine for the wrong reasons. Anyone whose main questions involve the earning potential of an Oxbridge-educated neurosurgeon makes me suspicious, because they've clearly based their goals on perceived prestige and imagined salary rather than the day to day life of a doctor. But attitudes like the ones in the OP - that medicine is "a top career in society" that should be reserved for "the very best" - actually feed into that unhelpful mentality. It reinforces the idea that doctors are some extra special brand of genius and that becoming one is a social reward for extraordinary intelligence, as opposed to a career you might pick if you enjoy problem-solving, can synthesise information, have an interest in the human body and mind, and can communicate clearly and kindly with a wide range of people.

Edited to add: The suggestion that people should just go for nursing or biomed if they get low GCSEs also contributes to misconceptions. Nursing isn't the backup option for people who just aren't bright enough for medicine, something made very clear in this post by a doctor who is currently trying to fulfill the role of a critical care nurse during the pandemic. There are excellent doctors who would make mediocre nurses. It isn't to do with grades.
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linedpaper
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Fair enough, thank you for your replies everyone especially ecolier
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Chief Wiggum
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(Original post by Incidentaloma)
Edited to add: The suggestion that people should just go for nursing or biomed if they get low GCSEs also contributes to misconceptions. Nursing isn't the backup option for people who just aren't bright enough for medicine, something made very clear in this post by a doctor who is currently trying to fulfill the role of a critical care nurse during the pandemic. There are excellent doctors who would make mediocre nurses. It isn't to do with grades.
I've got to hand it to you, that is some top notch virtue signalling.
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Incidentaloma
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
I've got to hand it to you, that is some top notch virtue signalling.
I had several years as a HCA and it left me with a healthy appreciation for what nurses do. The misconceptions about their role are prevalent enough for it to still be worth pointing out that their role isn't medicine lite. If you think that's "virtue signalling" (whatever that vacuous phrase even means), fair enough, but there are enough stressed out nursing students on TSR who also read on here and who might be encouraged by recognition of what they do.
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