The Student Room Group

This discussion is no longer active so you won't be able to reply.Check out other Related discussions

Nurse to doctor

So my plan in future is to study GEM. I always wanted to do medicine but didn’t get to take A levels. I worked in care all my life and decided I wanted to go into nursing so after completing an access course I got into university. However I am still feeling the urge to want to do medicine and I’m hoping to get into GEM once I finish my nursing. Has anyone else gone down this route and if so how did you find it?
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
Thought of the same at the beginning of my nursing but dropped the Idea later on. Good luck.
Original post by AnwenJay
So my plan in future is to study GEM. I always wanted to do medicine but didn’t get to take A levels. I worked in care all my life and decided I wanted to go into nursing so after completing an access course I got into university. However I am still feeling the urge to want to do medicine and I’m hoping to get into GEM once I finish my nursing. Has anyone else gone down this route and if so how did you find it?

I don't personally have any experience with doing this but GEM is extremely competitive (Much more competitive than undergraduate medicine) and some universities still require you to have certain A Level grades for GEM (the University of Sheffield is one of them), so you'd need to look into that. You would also need to sit the GAMSAT or UCAT depending on which universities you want to apply to. The University of Warwick might be good to look at as they have the most amount of spaces for GEM I think and your previous work and nursing degree placements should help you to meet the work experience requirements.

I'd recommend having a look at r/premeduk on Reddit as they are very supportive and can give you a lot of helpful information. Best of luck!
If you know medicine is your aim, you might be better off taking time out now to do A-levels, an Access to Medicine course (check it's accepted by the medical schools you want to apply to) or similar, rather than doing another degree first. Nursing requires a lot of commitment as it's a challenging profession and course in terms of the physical and emotional demands involved, and if you go into it with the idea that you're going to do something else after, it might be a real struggle to get through.
Original post by Iosifina05
I don't personally have any experience with doing this but GEM is extremely competitive (Much more competitive than undergraduate medicine) and some universities still require you to have certain A Level grades for GEM (the University of Sheffield is one of them), so you'd need to look into that. You would also need to sit the GAMSAT or UCAT depending on which universities you want to apply to. The University of Warwick might be good to look at as they have the most amount of spaces for GEM I think and your previous work and nursing degree placements should help you to meet the work experience requirements.

I'd recommend having a look at r/premeduk on Reddit as they are very supportive and can give you a lot of helpful information. Best of luck!

That’s very helpful thank you! I know it’s very competitive but I am feeling positive about trying to get in. I have always had the urge to study medicine but felt I would never be able to because of my lack of A levels. Starting a nursing degree has only fuelled my urge to study medicine more. I have had encouragement from the doctors during my placement too who offered me references which was very kind of them.
I know the GAMSAT is very difficult so I have begun studying at home in my spare time.
I will join that reddit page and ask others for advice. I think I will contact Warwick admissions too and ask them for some advice also.
Once again thanks for your response :smile:
Original post by artful_lounger
If you know medicine is your aim, you might be better off taking time out now to do A-levels, an Access to Medicine course (check it's accepted by the medical schools you want to apply to) or similar, rather than doing another degree first. Nursing requires a lot of commitment as it's a challenging profession and course in terms of the physical and emotional demands involved, and if you go into it with the idea that you're going to do something else after, it might be a real struggle to get through.

I considered this but there is nowhere close to me that offers science A levels for mature students. The local college only offers access courses to higher education which isn’t accepted by medical schools sadly.
I am not finding nursing challenging so far. I have previously worked in a nursing home and as a healthcare in a hospital so I have already had a lot of training such as diabetes training, taking bloods and doing urine dips etc.
But if my local college could offer A levels I would of most definitely done that rather than the nursing degree to get into medicine. I think with the nursing degree at least at the end of it I will have a qualification that can get me a job whereas with medicine I could be trying for years to get in.
Original post by AnwenJay
I considered this but there is nowhere close to me that offers science A levels for mature students. The local college only offers access courses to higher education which isn’t accepted by medical schools sadly.
I am not finding nursing challenging so far. I have previously worked in a nursing home and as a healthcare in a hospital so I have already had a lot of training such as diabetes training, taking bloods and doing urine dips etc.
But if my local college could offer A levels I would of most definitely done that rather than the nursing degree to get into medicine. I think with the nursing degree at least at the end of it I will have a qualification that can get me a job whereas with medicine I could be trying for years to get in.

Medical schools do accept specific Access to Medicine courses - you need to check with each medical school which ones they accept. But there are a number that are accepted by a number of medical schools.

My point about nursing being challenging isn't the specific tasks you have to do, but the very long shifts you have to work in a challenging environment with challenging patients. If you don't even want to be a nurse then it's going to be that much harder to make it through those placements. Nursing also isn't "medicine -1" or anything - it's a wholly separate field, with separate approaches and models of patient care. There is relatively little overlap there. They are complementary areas.

If you really wanted to do a healthcare course that is more related to medicine you would probably be better off aiming for PA studies, since there is some overlap in the kinds of things medics and PAs do at the lower level, and more of a similar background of the basic sciences underpinning medicine.
Original post by artful_lounger
Medical schools do accept specific Access to Medicine courses - you need to check with each medical school which ones they accept. But there are a number that are accepted by a number of medical schools.

My point about nursing being challenging isn't the specific tasks you have to do, but the very long shifts you have to work in a challenging environment with challenging patients. If you don't even want to be a nurse then it's going to be that much harder to make it through those placements. Nursing also isn't "medicine -1" or anything - it's a wholly separate field, with separate approaches and models of patient care. There is relatively little overlap there. They are complementary areas.

If you really wanted to do a healthcare course that is more related to medicine you would probably be better off aiming for PA studies, since there is some overlap in the kinds of things medics and PAs do at the lower level, and more of a similar background of the basic sciences underpinning medicine.

I know they accept access courses but there are none local to me that I could do for medicine. I get what you’re saying but I’ve worked with my fair share of EMI and psychiatric patients who have attacked me in the past. I’m pretty used to it and I understand patients can be aggressive and challenging. Which is fine as it’s what I would expect.
If I cannot get into medicine then I at least want to be able to work as a nurse and help people but I totally understand what you’re saying. Medicine is very different from nursing.
I have looked into being a PA and it is another area that interests me if I cannot get into medicine.
Original post by AnwenJay
That’s very helpful thank you! I know it’s very competitive but I am feeling positive about trying to get in. I have always had the urge to study medicine but felt I would never be able to because of my lack of A levels. Starting a nursing degree has only fuelled my urge to study medicine more. I have had encouragement from the doctors during my placement too who offered me references which was very kind of them.
I know the GAMSAT is very difficult so I have begun studying at home in my spare time.
I will join that reddit page and ask others for advice. I think I will contact Warwick admissions too and ask them for some advice also.
Once again thanks for your response :smile:

No problem! Hope your nursing degree goes well and best of luck with medicine applications and medical school :smile:
There’s an awful lot more to being a registered nurse than individual tasks or managing challenging patients, but that’s beside the point here and I’d rather not get bogged down in debate around that as it takes us away from what you’re asking.

You’ve mentioned in other posts where you are currently studying, there’s a widening access to medicine society in the SU there which may be of use to you. Many other universities also have these schemes under the banner of widening access/participation, might be worth having a search around these terms.

The medicine forum on here is also really useful in looking at how to optimise your profile to apply for GEM.
Original post by moonkatt
There’s an awful lot more to being a registered nurse than individual tasks or managing challenging patients, but that’s beside the point here and I’d rather not get bogged down in debate around that as it takes us away from what you’re asking.

You’ve mentioned in other posts where you are currently studying, there’s a widening access to medicine society in the SU there which may be of use to you. Many other universities also have these schemes under the banner of widening access/participation, might be worth having a search around these terms.

The medicine forum on here is also really useful in looking at how to optimise your profile to apply for GEM.


I think you’re right to be honest. A doctor I work with said I should drop out of nursing before it’s too late and pursue medicine. I think perhaps I should. I do enjoy nursing a great deal but even during my classes and placements I’m always thinking how I wished I was doing medicine instead.
Original post by Joedyn
Thought of the same at the beginning of my nursing but dropped the Idea later on. Good luck.


Why did you decide to drop the idea?

Latest