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Oxford vs Cambridge

Which is better/lenient for medicine (asking for my brother in year 12)
(edited 10 months ago)

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Better or lenient? You can't separate those with a forward slash!

What measure of 'better' do you want? Oxford grads do a bit better in doctor's exams I guess? Both are far ahead of anywhere else though. They also pass the first year as a doctor marginally more, and do somewhat better in the exam you do to get your first job. But there are lots of other measures of 'better' or 'good doctor' people will argue for.

'Lenient' - objectively gotta be Cambridge given the applicant to place ratios. But do you have three sciences? Will you meet the A-level offer?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Catlova67
Which is better/lenient for medicine

Why? Neither is ideal if you want to be a doctor as ther's so little patient contact in the first three years.
Reply 4
Neither are better, or for that matter, the best. Cambridge has a slightly higher offer rate, but the typical offer is A*A*A instead of A*AA.
Original post by Catlova67
Which is better/lenient for medicine


Neither is better that the other, nor better than any other UK med school. Both are hard to get an offer from (like every other med school!), but they are not the most competitive of all med schools (if that's what you mean by lenient?).
Original post by Tremelim
Both are far ahead of anywhere else though.


That’s a pretty sweeping statement. Depends on what you mean by ‘far ahead’….
Original post by AnnaBananana
That’s a pretty sweeping statement. Depends on what you mean by ‘far ahead’….


In exam results, like I said.
Original post by Tremelim
What measure of 'better' do you want? Oxford grads do a bit better in doctor's exams I guess? Both are far ahead of anywhere else though. They also pass the first year as a doctor marginally more, and do somewhat better in the exam you do to get your first job. But there are lots of other measures of 'better' or 'good doctor' people will argue for.

What a lot of nonsense! Please don't pass off speculation as fact like this - it has the potential to mislead applicants. Outlandish claims like this need referencing via a reliable, credible source if you want them to be taken seriously (good luck with that, lol)
Original post by Reality Check
What a lot of nonsense! Please don't pass off speculation as fact like this - it has the potential to mislead applicants. Outlandish claims like this need referencing via a reliable, credible source if you want them to be taken seriously (good luck with that, lol)

Ok ok - but just to check, I come back with references showing Oxbridge do better in exams, pass first year as a doctor more often, and do better (not the best every year, but better) on the exam to get your first job, it sounds like it'd shake up your world view of med schools a lot yes? :wink:
Original post by Tremelim
Ok ok - but just to check, I come back with references showing Oxbridge do better in exams, pass first year as a doctor more often, and do better (not the best every year, but better) on the exam to get your first job, it sounds like it'd shake up your world view of med schools a lot yes? :wink:

Credible references attesting to those 'facts' - I'll eat my hat.

Edit: 'credible' means published, authoritative, peer-reviewed or established sources. They do not include social media, blogs, opinions, speculation, hearsay or other tittle-tattle.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Tremelim
Ok ok - but just to check, I come back with references showing Oxbridge do better in exams, pass first year as a doctor more often, and do better (not the best every year, but better) on the exam to get your first job, it sounds like it'd shake up your world view of med schools a lot yes? :wink:


Passing MRCS/MRCP part 1 is not the be all and end all of measures of what makes a "good" doctor though. Likewise ARCP outcomes that are unsatisfactory can be down to a variety of reasons and there are many factors (GEM grads tend to be more likely to get a poorer ARCP outcome, but this doesn't mean they can't and don't make good doctors). Also MRCP/MRCS part 1 performance doesn't even mean anything for people planning to go into specialties not requiring those .Also some of those postgraduate exams have very low pass rates across the board, and it's not uncommon for doctors to need more than one attempt.

Additionally correlation does not imply causation. It's not possible to conclusively say that there is a causal relationship between where one did their medical degree affects how "good a doctor" they become, and it would be misleading to suggeest it is. For example the nature of the kinds of students who tend to self select into applying to Oxbridge may be the cause of the correlation, rather than the degree itself, for example. I'd also note that the difference between the "best" and "worst" performing medical schools in those metrics are relatively small, and most of the "worst" performing medical schools are the newest and have very large error bars.

The world is considerably less simplistic than you paint it, and it's unhelpful to skew applicant's views on the basis of very reductive reasoning like this.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
Passing MRCS/MRCP part 1 is not the be all and end all of measures of what makes a "good" doctor though. Likewise ARCP outcomes that are unsatisfactory can be down to a variety of reasons and there are many factors (GEM grads tend to be more likely to get a poorer ARCP outcome, but this doesn't mean they can't and don't make good doctors). Also MRCP/MRCS part 1 performance doesn't even mean anything for people planning to go into specialties not requiring those .Also some of those postgraduate exams have very low pass rates across the board, and it's not uncommon for doctors to need more than one attempt.

Additionally correlation does not imply causation. It's not possible to conclusively say that there is a causal relationship between where one did their medical degree affects how "good a doctor" they become, and it would be misleading to do so. For example the nature of the kinds of students who tend to self select into applying to Oxbridge may be the cause of the correlation, rather than the degree itself, for example. I'd also note that the difference between the "best" and "worst" performing medical schools in those metrics are relatively small, and most of the "worst" performing medical schools are the newest

The world is considerably less simplistic than you paint it, and it's unhelpful to skew applicant's views on the basis of very reductive reasoning like this.


PRSOM
Reply 13
Original post by Catlova67
Which is better/lenient for medicine


Oxford and Cambridge have the some of the best reputations in the world. QS rankings have them as the top 2 medical schools in the UK. And for the majority of courses, going to oxbridge will give you a significant advantage in terms of employability. However, medicine is one of the few EXCEPTIONS. Oxford and Cambridge certainly are fantastic medical schools (I'd argue they all are though lmao), but they give you no advantage in terms of getting a job as a doctor. As far as I'm aware, the university you go to isn't even looked at. Oxbridge probably go into more detail in terms of scientific content, but all medical schools in the UK cover what is required to become a junior doctor. Their traditional course structure means you get very little patient contact in the first 3 years.

I'm actually applying to Oxford med myself this year, but I still don't think it's better than the others. As far as I'm aware, there are certain unis with lower admissions to offer ratios, so you could argue that oxbridge isn't even the most competitive. Oxford has lower grade requirements. Cambridge also pretty much needs 3 science subjects. Oxford interviews WAY less applicants than Cambridge.

If you want to apply to oxbridge, that's great. But don't do it cos of its reputation.
Yup - exam results are not the be all and end all of what makes a good doctor.

Also - ranking tables are not a straightforward way to assess anything - there are many different ranking tables, produced by many different organisations. Each of these use different criteria and hence produce different results, there’s no definitive ranking list, it’s all too subjective.

I had the grades for Cambridge, my BMAT would have got me an interview. I chose not to apply because I didn’t feel the course structure would be right for me - particularly the late patient contact. Does that mean that I’m automatically going to be an inferior doctor? I’ve been consistently in the top decile for the first three years of the course I am doing…
Original post by Reality Check
Credible references attesting to those 'facts' - I'll eat my hat.

Edit: 'credible' means published, authoritative, peer-reviewed or established sources. They do not include social media, blogs, opinions, speculation, hearsay or other tittle-tattle.


Ok claims were:

"Oxford grads do a bit better in doctor's exams I guess? Both are far ahead of anywhere else though".

Best source for this has unfortunately been removed. Another user had a screenshot of it here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7102578&page=244#post97612098, with Oxbridge unfortunate cut off the top but you can just see the dot of where Cambridge is, Oxford is above that.
Its the source referred to in this article again: https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/news/gmc-report-highlights-oxford-medical-school2019s-graduate-success
But that's very unsatisfactory so here are some peer reviewed articles, as requested: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-6-5
https://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2621
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22331918/

"They ... pass the first year as a doctor marginally more [often]".

Again main source is now removed, but mentioned in the same article, source being a report from the GMC https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/news/gmc-report-highlights-oxford-medical-school2019s-graduate-success

"[Oxford students] do somewhat better in the exam you do to get your first job":

Called the SJT. See table 1.18. There is a report like this every year. https://healtheducationengland.sharepoint.com/sites/UKFPOT/WebDocs/Forms/AllItems.aspx?id=%2Fsites%2FUKFPOT%2FWebDocs%2F6%2E%20Resources%2FReports%2FRecruitment%20Stats%20and%20Facts%2F2019%20Recruitment%20Stats%20and%20Facts%20Report%2Epdf&parent=%2Fsites%2FUKFPOT%2FWebDocs%2F6%2E%20Resources%2FReports%2FRecruitment%20Stats%20and%20Facts&p=true&ga=1


When I first heard this, and how huge the difference was, I found it really shocking so can definitely empathise with you not believing it at first!
Original post by a._5
Oxford and Cambridge have the some of the best reputations in the world. QS rankings have them as the top 2 medical schools in the UK. And for the majority of courses, going to oxbridge will give you a significant advantage in terms of employability. However, medicine is one of the few EXCEPTIONS. Oxford and Cambridge certainly are fantastic medical schools (I'd argue they all are though lmao), but they give you no advantage in terms of getting a job as a doctor. As far as I'm aware, the university you go to isn't even looked at. Oxbridge probably go into more detail in terms of scientific content, but all medical schools in the UK cover what is required to become a junior doctor. Their traditional course structure means you get very little patient contact in the first 3 years.

I'm actually applying to Oxford med myself this year, but I still don't think it's better than the others. As far as I'm aware, there are certain unis with lower admissions to offer ratios, so you could argue that oxbridge isn't even the most competitive. Oxford has lower grade requirements. Cambridge also pretty much needs 3 science subjects. Oxford interviews WAY less applicants than Cambridge.

If you want to apply to oxbridge, that's great. But don't do it cos of its reputation.

The very best of luck with your Oxford application
Original post by AnnaBananana
Yup - exam results are not the be all and end all of what makes a good doctor.

Also - ranking tables are not a straightforward way to assess anything - there are many different ranking tables, produced by many different organisations. Each of these use different criteria and hence produce different results, there’s no definitive ranking list, it’s all too subjective.

I had the grades for Cambridge, my BMAT would have got me an interview. I chose not to apply because I didn’t feel the course structure would be right for me - particularly the late patient contact. Does that mean that I’m automatically going to be an inferior doctor? I’ve been consistently in the top decile for the first three years of the course I am doing…

Not sure why you're talking about "ranking tables" when we're talking about doctors exams?

Never claimed that being better at doctors exams (note to the unknowing this does the practical ones where you examine patients, are assessed on communications skills etc) are the only measure of being a good doctor. In fact I specifically said there are lots of possible measures.

Congrats on your great results so far.
Original post by AnnaBananana
Yup - exam results are not the be all and end all of what makes a good doctor.

Also - ranking tables are not a straightforward way to assess anything - there are many different ranking tables, produced by many different organisations. Each of these use different criteria and hence produce different results, there’s no definitive ranking list, it’s all too subjective.

I had the grades for Cambridge, my BMAT would have got me an interview. I chose not to apply because I didn’t feel the course structure would be right for me - particularly the late patient contact. Does that mean that I’m automatically going to be an inferior doctor? I’ve been consistently in the top decile for the first three years of the course I am doing…

I agree wholeheartedly. The best and most successful doctors are those who can work as a team and go the extra mile for the patients , as well as showing tact and emotional intelligence to relatives who are often almost ( or maybe more) stressed than the patients.

Book learning that you acquire will not prepare you for that.
Original post by Tremelim
Ok claims were:

"Oxford grads do a bit better in doctor's exams I guess? Both are far ahead of anywhere else though".

Best source for this has unfortunately been removed. Another user had a screenshot of it here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7102578&page=244#post97612098, with Oxbridge unfortunate cut off the top but you can just see the dot of where Cambridge is, Oxford is above that.
Its the source referred to in this article again: https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/news/gmc-report-highlights-oxford-medical-school2019s-graduate-success
But that's very unsatisfactory so here are some peer reviewed articles, as requested: https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-6-5
https://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2621
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22331918/

"They ... pass the first year as a doctor marginally more [often]".

Again main source is now removed, but mentioned in the same article, source being a report from the GMC https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/news/gmc-report-highlights-oxford-medical-school2019s-graduate-success

"[Oxford students] do somewhat better in the exam you do to get your first job":

Called the SJT. See table 1.18. There is a report like this every year. https://healtheducationengland.sharepoint.com/sites/UKFPOT/WebDocs/Forms/AllItems.aspx?id=%2Fsites%2FUKFPOT%2FWebDocs%2F6%2E%20Resources%2FReports%2FRecruitment%20Stats%20and%20Facts%2F2019%20Recruitment%20Stats%20and%20Facts%20Report%2Epdf&parent=%2Fsites%2FUKFPOT%2FWebDocs%2F6%2E%20Resources%2FReports%2FRecruitment%20Stats%20and%20Facts&p=true&ga=1


When I first heard this, and how huge the difference was, I found it really shocking so can definitely empathise with you not believing it at first!

I have heard this too, but my sources are only hearsay. I guess Oxbridge students are good at passing exams because they are used to it ( and believe me, exams are very frequent at Oxford medical school)

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