pepsiu
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Specifically cambridge, but I imagine Oxford is a very similar experience vs rest of medical schools.

I know prestige isn't a factor so we can take that out of it. Before I considered medicine I always wanted to go to Cambridge. There's the obvious pros that come to mind:

-collegiate system, typical pros but specifically with medicine it allows you to meet and socialise with a lot more non-medics than you probably would elsewhere.
-loads of extra-curricualars and societies
-short terms ( a pro for me at least)
- living and studying in beautiful, old and historically significant buildings
- the cambridge experience (formals and such)
- world-class academics and research

But then the cons

- compulsory intercalation means I'm there for 6 years wether I like it or not. I really can't know if id like to intercalate yet or not.
- short terms = veryyy intense terms. Very high workload, is there even enough time to enjoy all that there is to enjoy
- no patient contact for the first 3 years. I can't say wether this bothers me, but maybe it would when I'm there.
- very academically smart cohort = harder to place in a higher decile. Which could actually hurt my chances in the foundation programme right?


I don't really know. I'm visiting Cambridge next week to see if I could see myself there. And I've yet to sit the UCAT and BMAT, so it's all hypothetical at this point.

Thoughts?
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nellie12
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every medicine course is gonna have an academically smart cohort, so you should expect that anywhere you go since entry requirements really don't vary too much between med schools. no patient contact is pretty brutal tho - as someone who is going into 4th year at a med school where there is v early clinical contact, it can be hard to sort of see the end goal when all you're doing is lectures. ik getting to visit gp and hospital definitely helped keep things into perspective. I personally went to a uni where you apply for intercal which is what I'm doing, but it's pretty brutal bc lots of your friends will be moving straight on so you have quite a split cohort and it can be sad knowing you're not going to graduate with the people you've come to know. so keep that in mind that at least if you do the 6 years you won't be split off and u get to do it all together.

I think a gut feeling can be the most important thing to consider. for example, I was very indecisive about intercal - I'd make a decision one day then change it the next and so on. pros and cons for either I think. but once I made my official decision, I haven't regretted it once. if you think of going to another med school and your heart isn't in it, don't go. there will always be a part of you that wishes you went to that one. food for thought! good luck though - where else might you consider?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by pepsiu)
Specifically cambridge, but I imagine Oxford is a very similar experience vs rest of medical schools.

I know prestige isn't a factor so we can take that out of it. Before I considered medicine I always wanted to go to Cambridge. There's the obvious pros that come to mind:

-collegiate system, typical pros but specifically with medicine it allows you to meet and socialise with a lot more non-medics than you probably would elsewhere.
-loads of extra-curricualars and societies
-short terms ( a pro for me at least)
- living and studying in beautiful, old and historically significant buildings
- the cambridge experience (formals and such)
- world-class academics and research

But then the cons

- compulsory intercalation means I'm there for 6 years wether I like it or not. I really can't know if id like to intercalate yet or not.
- short terms = veryyy intense terms. Very high workload, is there even enough time to enjoy all that there is to enjoy
- no patient contact for the first 3 years. I can't say wether this bothers me, but maybe it would when I'm there.
- very academically smart cohort = harder to place in a higher decile. Which could actually hurt my chances in the foundation programme right?


I don't really know. I'm visiting Cambridge next week to see if I could see myself there. And I've yet to sit the UCAT and BMAT, so it's all hypothetical at this point.

Thoughts?
I think for 'pros' you missed out Supervision - small teaching groups by experts where you get to really iron out any problems in understanding and do some serious learning. Probably the biggest pro of them all.
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becausethenight
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(Original post by pepsiu)
Specifically cambridge, but I imagine Oxford is a very similar experience vs rest of medical schools.

I know prestige isn't a factor so we can take that out of it. Before I considered medicine I always wanted to go to Cambridge. There's the obvious pros that come to mind:

-collegiate system, typical pros but specifically with medicine it allows you to meet and socialise with a lot more non-medics than you probably would elsewhere.
-loads of extra-curricualars and societies
-short terms ( a pro for me at least)
- living and studying in beautiful, old and historically significant buildings
- the cambridge experience (formals and such)
- world-class academics and research

But then the cons

- compulsory intercalation means I'm there for 6 years wether I like it or not. I really can't know if id like to intercalate yet or not.
- short terms = veryyy intense terms. Very high workload, is there even enough time to enjoy all that there is to enjoy
- no patient contact for the first 3 years. I can't say wether this bothers me, but maybe it would when I'm there.
- very academically smart cohort = harder to place in a higher decile. Which could actually hurt my chances in the foundation programme right?


I don't really know. I'm visiting Cambridge next week to see if I could see myself there. And I've yet to sit the UCAT and BMAT, so it's all hypothetical at this point.

Thoughts?
I'd probably point out that all med schools have loads of societies (and you can always start them yourself) and that the world-class academics may not mean much in practice, as none of my friends at Oxbridge are particularly involved in research.

For me the most important decision in not applying to Oxbridge was the course - I knew I was unlikely to succeed on their type of course. I stand by this as one of my friends at Cambridge is having to resit two first year papers (the biochem ones) and she is very clever, just not biochem-focused. I'm glad I'm not in that position and having to study material I don't enjoy.

I would also think about if you will get into the universities - for Cambridge you need A*A*A min in 3 sciences and a good BMAT, for Oxford 9+ 9/8 grade GCSEs and a high BMAT. Even if it would be perfect for you a medicine place is a medicine place and if what you mainly want is to go to Oxbridge then it may be better to apply for Russian!

This may seem a bit down on Oxbridge but hopefully it's just food for thought - it is absolutely the right place for some people and I do know people who are loving their time there as well. You just have to be realistic about if you'll get in and then if you'll enjoy a very esoteric course.
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Oxford Mum
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You can still become a doctor whichever medical school you attend.
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flamingolover
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(Original post by pepsiu)
Specifically cambridge, but I imagine Oxford is a very similar experience vs rest of medical schools.

I know prestige isn't a factor so we can take that out of it. Before I considered medicine I always wanted to go to Cambridge. There's the obvious pros that come to mind:

-collegiate system, typical pros but specifically with medicine it allows you to meet and socialise with a lot more non-medics than you probably would elsewhere.
-loads of extra-curricualars and societies
-short terms ( a pro for me at least)
- living and studying in beautiful, old and historically significant buildings
- the cambridge experience (formals and such)
- world-class academics and research

But then the cons

- compulsory intercalation means I'm there for 6 years wether I like it or not. I really can't know if id like to intercalate yet or not.
- short terms = veryyy intense terms. Very high workload, is there even enough time to enjoy all that there is to enjoy
- no patient contact for the first 3 years. I can't say wether this bothers me, but maybe it would when I'm there.
- very academically smart cohort = harder to place in a higher decile. Which could actually hurt my chances in the foundation programme right?


I don't really know. I'm visiting Cambridge next week to see if I could see myself there. And I've yet to sit the UCAT and BMAT, so it's all hypothetical at this point.

Thoughts?
Okay so this is just based on what I’ve heard (I considered Cambridge for vet med). As far as I’m aware the course is very academic and not that practical and a lot of the graduates go into research.

It depends what sort of course you want.
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gjd800
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My ex housemate does grad entry med at Oxon. Biomedical science degree first. There are always options.
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Helenia
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(Original post by pepsiu)
Specifically cambridge, but I imagine Oxford is a very similar experience vs rest of medical schools.

I know prestige isn't a factor so we can take that out of it. Before I considered medicine I always wanted to go to Cambridge. There's the obvious pros that come to mind:

-collegiate system, typical pros but specifically with medicine it allows you to meet and socialise with a lot more non-medics than you probably would elsewhere.
-loads of extra-curricualars and societies
-short terms ( a pro for me at least)
- living and studying in beautiful, old and historically significant buildings
- the cambridge experience (formals and such)
- world-class academics and research

But then the cons

- compulsory intercalation means I'm there for 6 years wether I like it or not. I really can't know if id like to intercalate yet or not.
- short terms = veryyy intense terms. Very high workload, is there even enough time to enjoy all that there is to enjoy
- no patient contact for the first 3 years. I can't say wether this bothers me, but maybe it would when I'm there.
- very academically smart cohort = harder to place in a higher decile. Which could actually hurt my chances in the foundation programme right?


I don't really know. I'm visiting Cambridge next week to see if I could see myself there. And I've yet to sit the UCAT and BMAT, so it's all hypothetical at this point.

Thoughts?
My pros and cons list was almost exactly the same as yours. It was a long time ago now but I went and had a fantastic time. It is intense but it was a brilliant experience. Go on the visit and see how it makes you feel. Good luck!
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pepsiu
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(Original post by Helenia)
My pros and cons list was almost exactly the same as yours. It was a long time ago now but I went and had a fantastic time. It is intense but it was a brilliant experience. Go on the visit and see how it makes you feel. Good luck!
Hi Heleniaa

Great to hear you enjoyed your time there. I visited yesterday and absolutely loved it. One of my main concerns was it would be too small and quiet but it wasn’t at all. It honestly felt busier than my home city despite having 1/10th the population. And I imagine there’s loads to do as part of the uni. Did you find you always had enough to do? Didn’t get bored?

Thanks
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pepsiu
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(Original post by becausethenight)
I'd probably point out that all med schools have loads of societies (and you can always start them yourself) and that the world-class academics may not mean much in practice, as none of my friends at Oxbridge are particularly involved in research.

For me the most important decision in not applying to Oxbridge was the course - I knew I was unlikely to succeed on their type of course. I stand by this as one of my friends at Cambridge is having to resit two first year papers (the biochem ones) and she is very clever, just not biochem-focused. I'm glad I'm not in that position and having to study material I don't enjoy.

I would also think about if you will get into the universities - for Cambridge you need A*A*A min in 3 sciences and a good BMAT, for Oxford 9+ 9/8 grade GCSEs and a high BMAT. Even if it would be perfect for you a medicine place is a medicine place and if what you mainly want is to go to Oxbridge then it may be better to apply for Russian!

This may seem a bit down on Oxbridge but hopefully it's just food for thought - it is absolutely the right place for some people and I do know people who are loving their time there as well. You just have to be realistic about if you'll get in and then if you'll enjoy a very esoteric course.
No it’s absolutely helpful. I think I could enjoy it tbh. But either way I will probably just wait until I get my UCAT. If it’s a very strong, it’s maybe not worth applying to a BMAT school. If it’s an average/low UVAT, then I should maybe apply to 1-2 BMAT schools. Does that sound smart?
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becausethenight
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(Original post by pepsiu)
No it’s absolutely helpful. I think I could enjoy it tbh. But either way I will probably just wait until I get my UCAT. If it’s a very strong, it’s maybe not worth applying to a BMAT school. If it’s an average/low UVAT, then I should maybe apply to 1-2 BMAT schools. Does that sound smart?
It really depends - I saw my strong UCAT as evidence the BMAT would go well and I’d have two interviews even if it didn’t!
If your favourite school is BMAT and you have 3 guaranteed UCAT interviews, why not do the BMAT - but equally if you have 4 UCAT schools you really love, why waste your time with an extra exam.
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Oxford Mum
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My son is in his 5th year of Oxford medical school and says it’s ten times better than he even dreamed of
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Helenia
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(Original post by pepsiu)
Hi Heleniaa

Great to hear you enjoyed your time there. I visited yesterday and absolutely loved it. One of my main concerns was it would be too small and quiet but it wasn’t at all. It honestly felt busier than my home city despite having 1/10th the population. And I imagine there’s loads to do as part of the uni. Did you find you always had enough to do? Didn’t get bored?

Thanks
Yes, loads of sports, activities, societies for almost any interest you can think of. I came there from a very small rural town so Cambridge was pretty huge by comparison, and I think some of my friends from bigger cities found the nightlife a bit cheesy/limited. But clubbing aside I think there are plenty of opportunities for most interests.
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