dismissed from medical school, not sure what to do

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Anonymous #1
#1
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#1
Hi, I was looking for some advice on what to do next. I was a 2nd year medical student repeating the year as i deferred my exams until august in 2021 (due to illness) and then passed all of them but my OSCE (1st time i’d ever done one cos of covid i panicked). So I resat 2nd year this year bc i had to wait til the end of the year for the next resit and it’s been such a bad year, I got arthritis out of nowhere and ended up disabled, my mental health got worse but I kept on top of my work and I passed my january exams. I sat my summer exams and was really worried i’d failed my written exams but they went fine and i passed SBA and SAP. With my OSCE i prepared so much more I knew every examination and history and I went onto my results and I’d passed by % but i failed one too many stations and on the extra station i failed i got 6.33 when i needed 6.37 to pass. I never expected this to happen, even when I sat my OSCE it went fine apart from one station (that i didn’t even end up failing lol). Anyway, now I have no idea what to study next because medicine is the only thing I’ve wanted for so long. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could consider for my next steps? I did chemistry psychology and maths a levels but lab stuff doesn’t really interest me so i’m not sure about biomed etc.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
...Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could consider for my next steps? I did chemistry psychology and maths a levels but lab stuff doesn’t really interest me so i’m not sure about biomed etc.
Sorry to hear.

Why are you thinking about dropping out of medicine already?

Have you asked if they would let you resit another year first of all?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
Sorry to hear.

Why are you thinking about dropping out of medicine already?

Have you asked if they would let you resit another year first of all?
If it was up to me I’d do anything to stay but i already resat this year (only to do my osce again really but had to do everything again) and you only get 2 attempts to any exam so they called me on results day and said I had to leave and I could appeal but it wouldn’t change my marks. Which makes me think there’s no point in appealing? I’m not sure they were very vague about the process
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
If it was up to me I’d do anything to stay but i already resat this year (only to do my osce again really but had to do everything again) and you only get 2 attempts to any exam so they called me on results day and said I had to leave and I could appeal but it wouldn’t change my marks. Which makes me think there’s no point in appealing? I’m not sure they were very vague about the process
Oh definitely appeal - you have nothing to lose.

I also wouldn't be thinking about dropping out and picking what subjects to do before fighting and going down every possible avenue.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
Oh definitely appeal - you have nothing to lose.

I also wouldn't be thinking about dropping out and picking what subjects to do before fighting and going down every possible avenue.
Thank you, the way they presented the option to me made it sound like it wasn’t worth pursuing but you’re right I’ll definitely appeal. This might be stupid but what kind of things are you even meant to say in the appeal?
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you, the way they presented the option to me made it sound like it wasn’t worth pursuing but you’re right I’ll definitely appeal. This might be stupid but what kind of things are you even meant to say in the appeal?
Literally everything that you said in the first post - to me it's exceptional circumstances (new diagnosis of arthritis, mental health etc.)
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TriplexA
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#7
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, I was looking for some advice on what to do next. I was a 2nd year medical student repeating the year as i deferred my exams until august in 2021 (due to illness) and then passed all of them but my OSCE (1st time i’d ever done one cos of covid i panicked). So I resat 2nd year this year bc i had to wait til the end of the year for the next resit and it’s been such a bad year, I got arthritis out of nowhere and ended up disabled, my mental health got worse but I kept on top of my work and I passed my january exams. I sat my summer exams and was really worried i’d failed my written exams but they went fine and i passed SBA and SAP. With my OSCE i prepared so much more I knew every examination and history and I went onto my results and I’d passed by % but i failed one too many stations and on the extra station i failed i got 6.33 when i needed 6.37 to pass. I never expected this to happen, even when I sat my OSCE it went fine apart from one station (that i didn’t even end up failing lol). Anyway, now I have no idea what to study next because medicine is the only thing I’ve wanted for so long. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could consider for my next steps? I did chemistry psychology and maths a levels but lab stuff doesn’t really interest me so i’m not sure about biomed etc.
Hi there.

I have no advice as ecolier has done a great job giving advice (as always) but I'm just posting to wish you all the best.
Last edited by TriplexA; 1 month ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
Literally everything that you said in the first post - to me it's exceptional circumstances (new diagnosis of arthritis, mental health etc.)
But wouldn’t they ask me why I didn’t defer the exams for these circumstances?
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
But wouldn’t they ask me why I didn’t defer the exams for these circumstances?
Well, why didn't you?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ecolier)
Well, why didn't you?
Because it wasn’t likely my circumstances would change before the second sitting period in August. I did have an arthritis flare in the weeks leading up to my exams so I got a steroid injection but it’s effects started wearing off a couple days before the exams started. But because I’d done so much revision by this point my passmed scores were looking good etc and i’d revised pretty much every possible station over and over I thought I might as well sit them. Like I said I really wasn’t expecting to fail my OSCE because it went considerably better than my first one and the only station I thought i’d failed was BP because i couldn’t even inflate the cuff lol but i somehow passed. In my first osce i had a GI exam station and I was visibly panicking didn’t really remember any steps because i’d only actually done the exam once months before but i got 9/10 whereas this year when I knew it all i was a lot more relaxed and engaged with the patient more somehow got 6/10. I’m waiting to be assessed for autism so I thought maybe that contributed but my scores for communication and leading the exam etc were decent so yeah this has just come as a complete shock. I thought I was well prepared with revision and my arthritis and mental health issues wouldn’t be in a much better place by august because I was on a waiting list for therapy and my arthritis isn’t really improving much with DMARDs so far.
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Because it wasn’t likely my circumstances would change before the second sitting period in August. I did have an arthritis flare in the weeks leading up to my exams so I got a steroid injection but it’s effects started wearing off a couple days before the exams started.
There you go - this is a valid point

But because I’d done so much revision by this point my passmed scores were looking good etc and i’d revised pretty much every possible station over and over I thought I might as well sit them. Like I said I really wasn’t expecting to fail my OSCE because it went considerably better than my first one and the only station I thought i’d failed was BP because i couldn’t even inflate the cuff lol but i somehow passed. In my first osce i had a GI exam station and I was visibly panicking didn’t really remember any steps because i’d only actually done the exam once months before but i got 9/10 whereas this year when I knew it all i was a lot more relaxed and engaged with the patient more somehow got 6/10. I’m waiting to be assessed for autism so I thought maybe that contributed but my scores for communication and leading the exam etc were decent so yeah this has just come as a complete shock. I thought I was well prepared with revision and my arthritis and mental health issues wouldn’t be in a much better place by august because I was on a waiting list for therapy and my arthritis isn’t really improving much with DMARDs so far.
I think you'd have a good case for an appeal, personally. But of course I am not well rehearsed with your individual circumstances and can only comment based on the limited information that you have given here.

With regards to the GI (or any other systems) exam - practice makes perfect. If you are allowed to resit, always just pop to the wards in the weeks before the exam and practise, practise, practise!

Feel free to PM me if you wanted any tips re: exam prep too, for future reference.
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FergieD99
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Quick bit of advice re: appealing

Have a good read through of the university policy on appealing exam results, you need to work out what line(s) your pursuing. A focused argument is key.

As far as I'm aware, all medical schools will consider the examiners marks "academic judgment" and therefore, unquestionable. This is probably what they meant when they said your mark can't be changed.

You can, and people do, have exams and results thrown out wholesale, allowing you another resit. But you'd need to justify why, within your own university's policy, this should happen. Depending on your circumstances / financial situation - legal advise might not be a terrible idea, there are some very good lawyers who specialise in academic appeals, and some even more specifically in medical school academic appeals.

I'd get on it fairly quickly too - most schools have very strict deadlines on appeals, and you'll lose all your rights if you miss them.

Best of luck!
Last edited by FergieD99; 1 month ago
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jzdzm
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Definitely appeal!

See this thread for more advice: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=1768781
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OrangeOwl12
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I may be completely off the mark here but from the way you’ve described the exams this sounds like the med school I went too (a pretty far northern one?). If yes, from what I’ve heard they are quite strict with resits, and do have a policy that if you’ve sat the exam that’s your declaring yourself fit for it. However, I know of people who have had legal help and successfully challenged things, I don’t know if this is an option for you? A big thing imo would be showing that what happened this year won’t happen again, eg you will hopefully be in therapy then, your arthritis will be more stable, or you will have got adjustments from the med school. Wishing you luck!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by OrangeOwl12)
I may be completely off the mark here but from the way you’ve described the exams this sounds like the med school I went too (a pretty far northern one?). If yes, from what I’ve heard they are quite strict with resits, and do have a policy that if you’ve sat the exam that’s your declaring yourself fit for it. However, I know of people who have had legal help and successfully challenged things, I don’t know if this is an option for you? A big thing imo would be showing that what happened this year won’t happen again, eg you will hopefully be in therapy then, your arthritis will be more stable, or you will have got adjustments from the med school. Wishing you luck!
It does sound like we’re talking about the same school, what do you mean by legal help though like who do I go to? they gave me basically 0 info about this so i’m a bit lost
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ecolier
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It does sound like we’re talking about the same school, what do you mean by legal help though like who do I go to? they gave me basically 0 info about this so i’m a bit lost
They, of course, wouldn't tell you which lawyer you can hire to sue (or threaten to) them.

Appeal first, and think about further steps (e.g. hiring a lawyer) when it comes to that.
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FergieD99
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(Original post by ecolier)
They, of course, wouldn't tell you which lawyer you can hire to sue (or threaten to) them.

Appeal first, and think about further steps (e.g. hiring a lawyer) when it comes to that.
To be clear, you can (and probably should) use a lawyer for your appeal, don't wait to get advice until after your appeals have been rejected. Your legal options are very limited at that point
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micholate9
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It does sound like we’re talking about the same school, what do you mean by legal help though like who do I go to? they gave me basically 0 info about this so i’m a bit lost
I’m really sorry to her about this.

Have you contacted your student union for advice on appealing?
Last edited by micholate9; 1 month ago
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junior.doctor
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Sorry to hear about your situation. I was going to link to the thread I wrote on appeals (10 years ago - eek - but I think the info in it is still accurate) - but someone above best me to it.

There is nothing to lose in appealing. If medicine is what you still want to do, then go for it. Be clear with everything you’ve written above. Very clear detail about exactly how things affected you and literally spell it out to them even if it seems obvious (eg not just “arthritis made it hard” but “arthritis caused swollen painful hand joints making typing and holding a pen hard, which limited the time I was able to study, and the degree of pain distracted me on the day of my exam, making it difficult to focus” for example). The medical school wont give you help with appeals etc - but try to meet with someone at the student union etc - they were the most helpful to me in terms of explaining the process of appeals and the dos and don’ts. Your medical school MUST signpost you to the appeals procedure. Look at the dates and deadlines in those now, as they’re normally quite tight - and make sure you adhere to them.

Best of luck. I hope you have some kind and supportive people around you. This can feel like a very lonely time, especially if you’re the only one within your friends and colleagues who’s in this situation.
Last edited by junior.doctor; 1 month ago
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OrangeOwl12
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It does sound like we’re talking about the same school, what do you mean by legal help though like who do I go to? they gave me basically 0 info about this so i’m a bit lost
It would mean getting a lawyer and I presume either trying to prove that the med school haven’t followed their own procedures or that they have not supported you with your disability which they legally have to do, but I don’t know much about it, I’m sorry! I don’t know if you feel either of these situations apply to you either? I just know of people who have used lawyers to appeal med school decisions successfully
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