The Student Room Group

Advice for a lost soul

Dear mature students. I assumed by posting in here there maybe a person that may have been or is in the same situation as me. I will try be as direct and as honest as possible.

I am 23 years old, currently lost asf. My dream course has always been medicine, to become a doctor and just help people, I would genuinely do it free that’s how passionate I am. Let’s go back a bit to 16. At 16 my year (2017) was the first year to do the number grade gcse, although attending an poor performing, unsupportive secondary school, I studied extremely hard, hopeful to achieve 7/8 grades but unfortunately I suffered from a severe head injury that cost me my GCSE. I was left with nothing, the exam board and school just practically said tough luck. I swallowed my sorrow and decided that life is unfair and it’s a big trial so I would do a business BTEC till things were better and re attempt the GCSE, I passed the course but they would not allow me onto the 2nd year as I didn’t have enough GCSE? And they didn’t enter me into the exams… okay tough. So I worked for the next year saving up to do the exams at a private exam centre, I tried my hardest but due to my severe head injury and long recovery time I practically failed with flying colours I think I got a 7 in physics but the rest were not good. Okay no problem.. I begged the same centre to let me do the A levels with them as no one would take me on.. I tried extremely hard, everyone was either dying or going to jail around me, I was feeling super depressed suffering feeling like a failure .. working so hard to save and study, I did okay at the end getting A A C, in Chem, psychology and Bio. But eventually overwhelmed with everything going on at 21 decided I needed to focus on recovery and getting mentally well.. I’m now 23 determined to get back onto the path of Medicine. The issue I face now is I was also supporting a household during these 2 years with the rising cost of living it was hard to save, also I know I need to redo the A level Bio and get an A, but most do not accept re sit. And with the GCSE I need to resit, but rising competition means I won’t even stand out, so what can I physically do to stand out. I even considered doing optom and then doing an Access to HE Medicine. But even then because of my A Levels I am not eligible. I know life isn’t fair so I don’t expect pity and I’m not feeling sorry for myself I just need advice on how to get where I need to be. I apologise for the life story I just want to be as honest and open as possible to get the right advice.
Hey! This is coming from another mature student, but I know Liverpool doing a foundation year programme specially for mature student! Other than that, I do believe there is a few Unis that accept retakes! Send them an email or call them up to confirm, but don’t give up your dreams!
Following up - it’s possible to get into medicine thru graduate entry - but have a look at the funding as I don’t think they cover all years!
Reply 4
I really appreciate the response. Are you currently doing medicine?
This sounds like your environment has been a really tough place to live in, let alone get good grades.

A few universities accept resits so you should definitely look into that, remember you are only applying to 4 so you don't care about the rest. And I would definitely look into foundation years (I know UEA does ABC so you should be fine)
All hope is not lost, your A level grades are really good if you ask me (apart from bio) and it's even more impressive considering your background. Kings College does Foundation year with CCD ( if I remember well), Just look into foundation years requirements and shortlist the ones you are more likely to get into ( especially the ones with an emphasis on first generation into uni, or state schools etc) I think you should focus on getting a good UCAT score because that's probably what is going to make you a competitive applicant now. How many GCSE pass do you have? If you have minimum 8 including maths and english you should be fine. ( if not you might need to sit these or as many as unis you have chosen want)

here is a list to help you:

Where Can I Study a Medicine Foundation Course?

University of Aberdeen (Gateway to Medicine)

University of Bristol (Gateway to Medicine)

University of Dundee (Gateway to Medicine)

Edge Hill University (Medicine with Foundation Year)

Hull York Medical School (Gateway to Medicine)

Keele University (Foundation Year)

Lancaster University (Gateway to Medicine)

University of Leeds (Gateway to Medicine)

University of Leicester (Medicine with Foundation Year)

University of Manchester (Medicine with Foundation Year)

University of Nottingham (Medicine with Foundation Year)

University of St Andrews (Gateway to Medicine)

University of Central Lancashire (Medicine with Foundation Year)

Wishing you all the best, lmk how it goes 🙂
Reply 6
Thank you so much for your response, I’ve got

GRADE 6 - Physics

Grade 5 - Bio

Grade 4- Maths

Grade 3 - English
Original post by bimbibap

Hi there,

First off, I want to commend you for your determination and resilience! You've faced a lot of obstacles, but your passion for medicine is clear.

It might be worthwhile to explore alternative pathways into medicine. One option could be foundation year. Here is some info about UEA's foundation programme; Generally, these programs are designed for students who show potential but might not meet the standard entry requirements. They often consider personal circumstances and non-traditional qualifications, which could work in your favour given your background. Another route could be to explore physician associate: The day to day is pretty much similar to a doctor.

Although you mentioned eligibility concerns, I would contact admissions to check these first: In the meantime, you could also consider gaining relevant experience in healthcare roles, such as becoming a healthcare assistant or working in a related field like optometry, as you mentioned.

Regarding your A-levels, you might find that some universities are more flexible about resits than others. Please do ask our admission services and they'd be able to advice you further. Financially, there are scholarships, grants, and bursaries specifically for mature students or those with challenging backgrounds. It might be worth looking into these options to support your studies. Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Join forums, attend university open days, and connect with current medical students or professionals who can offer advice and possibly mentorship.

Remember, your journey might not be traditional, but that doesn't diminish your potential to become an excellent doctor!

Best of luck, and keep pushing forward.

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