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Things to do after GCSE as an aspiring medic

I am in year 11 and recently decided I wanted to pursue medicine at uni. But, I am not sure about my extracurriculars and supercurriculars as I see other aspiring medics do so many activities from a young age.

These are the extracurriculars I have done so far:
1) volunteering at the local library and hosting a craft session for kids (in Years 10 + 11)
2) Currently on the prom committee (in Year 11)
3) volunteering at my local gurdwara (since I was a kid )
4) teaching myself the guitar (from year 9)
5) Currently attending medsoc at my school (year 11)
6) Doing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award up to Silver (I am planning to do the Gold in year 12 with my school)
7) Purple belt in kickboxing (I was a purple belt in year 7 but stopped because of an injury but then COVID happened. I am planning on starting again after GCSE to get my black belt.)
8) Bronze award in biology challenge (year 9 )
9) Gold award and best in the school award for UK Intermediate Maths challenge (year 11)
10) I have also currently entered 3 STEM-related competitions.

I feel like these are not enough and not that attractive to medical schools.

Things I am planning to do from after my GCSEs to the point where I must complete my application:
1) applied for Imperial College London Year 11 Summer STEM challenge
2) Volunteering at a charity shop
3) Join Medic Mentors virtual society and get a place in the community
4) Securing a place at Sutton Trust summer school and Nuffield research placement
5) Completing the Gold Award for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award
6) Join St John's ambulance cadet programme
7) Ace my A Levels (Biology, chemistry + maths )
8) Get my black belt in kickboxing
9) volunteering at a hospital or local care home
10) entering many STEM-related competition
11) Medical Experience at at least 3 Hospitals
12) starting a website where I fundraise for different charities (this is more of a personal project on my bucket list )
13) and finally, reading about medicine and different topics in medicine.

If you are a medical student, I would like to know if these activities are okay and what did you as a pre-medical student. Also, if you know of any summer opportunities for year 11, please let me know. Thank you. :smile:
(edited 1 month ago)
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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Megathreads
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The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
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Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

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Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

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UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread

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Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry
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Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
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MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application

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Reply 2
hey i am a year 11 who wanted to be fully prepared and make use of my summer too! your activities are absolutely impressive I would say, you did so much more that me haha. Just want to ask if you would like start the web to fundraise for different charities together after our GCSEs? cus that is such an interesting idea lol (btw i am interested in both dent and med atm, can't decide)
Original post by theofficialkaur
I am in year 11 and recently decided I wanted to pursue medicine at uni. But, I am not sure about my extracurriculars and supercurriculars as I see other aspiring medics do so many activities from a young age.
These are the extracurriculars I have done so far:
1) volunteering at the local library and hosting a craft session for kids (in Years 10 + 11)
2) Currently on the prom committee (in Year 11)
3) volunteering at my local gurdwara (since I was a kid )
4) teaching myself the guitar (from year 9)
5) Currently attending medsoc at my school (year 11)
6) Doing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award up to Silver (I am planning to do the Gold in year 12 with my school)
7) Purple belt in kickboxing (I was a purple belt in year 7 but stopped because of an injury but then COVID happened. I am planning on starting again after GCSE to get my black belt.)
8) Bronze award in biology challenge (year 9 )
9) Gold award and best in the school award for UK Intermediate Maths challenge (year 11)
10) I have also currently entered 3 STEM-related competitions.
I feel like these are not enough and not that attractive to medical schools.
Things I am planning to do from after my GCSEs to the point where I must complete my application:
1) applied for Imperial College London Year 11 Summer STEM challenge
2) Volunteering at a charity shop
3) Join Medic Mentors virtual society and get a place in the community
4) Securing a place at Sutton Trust summer school and Nuffield research placement
5) Completing the Gold Award for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award
6) Join St John's ambulance cadet programme
7) Ace my A Levels (Biology, chemistry + maths )
8) Get my black belt in kickboxing
9) volunteering at a hospital or local care home
10) entering many STEM-related competition
11) Medical Experience at at least 3 Hospitals
12) starting a website where I fundraise for different charities (this is more of a personal project on my bucket list )
13) and finally, reading about medicine and different topics in medicine.
If you are a medical student, I would like to know if these activities are okay and what did you as a pre-medical student. Also, if you know of any summer opportunities for year 11, please let me know. Thank you. :smile:

Hi there,

These sound brilliant! I know that at sunderland they tend to prefer that you have organised the experience yourself rather than doing it through school. So anything that you can organise yourself is good as it shows you have the organisation skills etc to do that.
Personally before medical school I had some caring experience, I also worked in JD sports which was really good experience of the general public and how to communicate with them. I would recommend as many public facing opportunities as you can, these are often the most desirable for universities.

I hope this helps, and it sounds you are well on your way to a fantastic application!

Ellen
Y4 Medical Student
Uni of Sunderland
Digital Ambassador
Original post by mika626
hey i am a year 11 who wanted to be fully prepared and make use of my summer too! your activities are absolutely impressive I would say, you did so much more that me haha. Just want to ask if you would like start the web to fundraise for different charities together after our GCSEs? cus that is such an interesting idea lol (btw i am interested in both dent and med atm, can't decide)

heyy me too!! I also have barely any extracurriculars the most important one I probs have is work experience at a pharmacy and that's about it lol, but if you're still up for it I don't mind fundraising for different charities after GCSEs just lmk!
Original post by theofficialkaur
I am in year 11 and recently decided I wanted to pursue medicine at uni. But, I am not sure about my extracurriculars and supercurriculars as I see other aspiring medics do so many activities from a young age.
These are the extracurriculars I have done so far:
1) volunteering at the local library and hosting a craft session for kids (in Years 10 + 11)
2) Currently on the prom committee (in Year 11)
3) volunteering at my local gurdwara (since I was a kid )
4) teaching myself the guitar (from year 9)
5) Currently attending medsoc at my school (year 11)
6) Doing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award up to Silver (I am planning to do the Gold in year 12 with my school)
7) Purple belt in kickboxing (I was a purple belt in year 7 but stopped because of an injury but then COVID happened. I am planning on starting again after GCSE to get my black belt.)
8) Bronze award in biology challenge (year 9 )
9) Gold award and best in the school award for UK Intermediate Maths challenge (year 11)
10) I have also currently entered 3 STEM-related competitions.
I feel like these are not enough and not that attractive to medical schools.
Things I am planning to do from after my GCSEs to the point where I must complete my application:
1) applied for Imperial College London Year 11 Summer STEM challenge
2) Volunteering at a charity shop
3) Join Medic Mentors virtual society and get a place in the community
4) Securing a place at Sutton Trust summer school and Nuffield research placement
5) Completing the Gold Award for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award
6) Join St John's ambulance cadet programme
7) Ace my A Levels (Biology, chemistry + maths )
8) Get my black belt in kickboxing
9) volunteering at a hospital or local care home
10) entering many STEM-related competition
11) Medical Experience at at least 3 Hospitals
12) starting a website where I fundraise for different charities (this is more of a personal project on my bucket list )
13) and finally, reading about medicine and different topics in medicine.
If you are a medical student, I would like to know if these activities are okay and what did you as a pre-medical student. Also, if you know of any summer opportunities for year 11, please let me know. Thank you. :smile:

Hi there, I’m a year 12 hoping to apply to medicine, and these are already very good!

I would recommend definitely getting some in person work experience. Even if just for a day (mine was for a day in cardiology) and maybe some lab work experience (I’m doing some in a diabetes research lab).

I would definitely recommend Medic Mentor virtual medical society! Also check out the medic mentor wider reading society! I did a few debates with them and that is definitely something good to put on CV! You can also write and contribute to their magazine.

Also, make sure you’re not doing too many stuff. Doing only a few stem competitions will be enough. Even if you didn’t win you can say you took part. You don’t want too many stuff to make you too busy and mean you can no longer ace a levels.
It sounds like a lot.
It sounds very impressive.

Again, it sounds like a lot. Do not let all of this interfere with the important bit which is doing well in your exams.

Applying for medicine is also a very very time consuming process. Leave some time for it !

What med schools are most interested in is not what have you done, all your supercurriculars, and supracurriculars, but what have you learned about medicine, what have you learned about being a doctor? What have you learned about yourself and why do you think you would be a good doctor?

It's not about how much you do, it's about what have you learned about those questions? What have you leaned about working with people, caring for people, displaying empathy, etc. Not about what you do, but about what have you learned and what are your reflections on that in relation to medicine.

Have a look at BSMS online, Observe GP, and look at the GP reflective diary. Learn how to reflect on what you have done.

Once you have looked at that and perhaps think about how you can dial some of the stuff you have planned back a bit to give your self space and experience in the bits that count.

Doing well in exams and maintaining track on that is the most important thing.

Getting an interview is normally dependant on a combo of GCSE grades and UCAT. That's it. And critically, applying strategically. You cannot determine where to apply until you have sat your UCAT so dont get too attavhed to any one med school at this stage.

Very few places look at anything else other than UCAT and GCSEs in dertermining who to invite to interview. That said, some do look at other elements and things like your volunteering and working with the public will stand you in good stead there. But these are limited and often not the PS but a separate form. But most are just some GCSEs and UCAT in varying combos.

At an interview it will likely be drawing again on your experiences and critically your reflections on why medicine, what have you learned about being a doctor and how have you displayed the characteristics and values needed. A lot of those values are the important softer people skills.

This is all based on my understanding of application processes for non Oxford and Cambridge med schools. Those may put a lot on emphasis on the more academic component. If that is what you are aiming for I would say, don't limit yourself to just that because theoretically the best med school is one that gives you an offer. There isn't a hierarchy in exactly the same way as other degrees.

And if you definitely really want to focus on O&C prepare yourself by enquiring about those specifically in that forum. And they are not looking for the same things nor are they interchangeable. They may well be interested in the multiple research bits, most others would be happy with one.

You can only apply to one oxbridge your other 3 won't be Oxbridge, so don't target them so much that you let three other extremely good options pass you by.

Good luck, and keep on TSR. Look at the sticky threads, seek medicine related work experience. You sound extremely capable. You will be fine. Just focus in a bit
(edited 4 weeks ago)
Original post by doughnutsareslay
heyy me too!! I also have barely any extracurriculars the most important one I probs have is work experience at a pharmacy and that's about it lol, but if you're still up for it I don't mind fundraising for different charities after GCSEs just lmk!

A public facing role such as working at a pharmacy is ideal.
Lots of people get lots of important reflection points on helping people, perhaps dealing with conflict or aggression etc and working as a team from this sort of experience. Reflect on it. Keep a journal. The RCGP reflective diary is a useful read. Look at the characteristics and values expected in a doctor and a med student look to explore and reflect on them.when you do them / witness them being displayed.

Not just for you, but working at a cafe, working at Maccies, working anywhere where you meet and deal with a range of people. All of these are fantastic opportunities.

Age is a problem. Lots of people won't allow young teens to work in clinical settings. Have a look at approaching local residential homes and see if they will allow you to volunteer there. It may be as an entertainment coordinator or similar, rather than care support, but you will learn a lot from watching others.

Nursing homes are sometimes better than care homes because they have doctors rounds and nurses which (once you have been there a while) you may be able to capitalise on by having chats to the doctors if they have free time.

It takes a long time to organise a placement and to get DBS checked, so start now. Some may prefer those who are able to commit to regular hours, some may want somebody to help for a few weeks over the summer. But perseverance will pay off in the end.

Good luck.
You have had quite a lot going on.
do you know how to apply for a in-person work experience? cos i seem to have looked all over the NHS website and i can't find anything at all! any help would be appreciated
Original post by donna_m01
do you know how to apply for a in-person work experience? cos i seem to have looked all over the NHS website and i can't find anything at all! any help would be appreciated

Look at your health boards website, they may have something there. They should at least have some sort of outreach email for volunteering or work experience that you can try.
Original post by donna_m01
do you know how to apply for a in-person work experience? cos i seem to have looked all over the NHS website and i can't find anything at all! any help would be appreciated

Email local GP practices or NHS hospitals or just give them a call, for my hospital work experience how I got it was when I attended a hospital appt with my
Younger brother I just asked one of the consultants there if I could do some work experience with you and he said yeah sure, and I did a full week of work experience in a hospital shadowing various surgeons on ward rounds and In theatre
Original post by Anonymous_7871
Email local GP practices or NHS hospitals or just give them a call, for my hospital work experience how I got it was when I attended a hospital appt with my
Younger brother I just asked one of the consultants there if I could do some work experience with you and he said yeah sure, and I did a full week of work experience in a hospital shadowing various surgeons on ward rounds and In theatre

ooo thanks sm, ill check it out after GCSEs are done :smile:)

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