What to do if you have four medicine rejections

Do You Still Want to do Medicine?

The first thing you need to decide is if you still want to do medicine at all. If not, then you need to think about what you'd like to do instead. If you're not sure – think about why.

Look at other careers or courses connected to medicine - think about what else you could do instead of simply 'medicine' - NHS career areas. Arrange some some more work experience in one of these connected areas.

If you still feel that medicine is the only thing you want to do, read on......

Obtain Feedback from the Universities and Improve Your Application

Make sure you get some feedback from the universities. Were you rejected before or after interview? If you were rejected without interview, then the important thing to start with is to look at how you are on paper – did you apply to universities where you met all the academic requirements? (This is a common reason for rejection and is an easy place to start when choosing where to apply.) If your rejections were after interview, then consider working on your interview technique.

Other things to look at are your UKCAT/BMAT scores and your personal statement. If you didn't before, consider getting the PS Help team to have a look through your personal statement before applying again. UKCAT is harder to improve your score on but there are lots of questions you can practise here.

Don't forget to work hard on getting the grades - even if you didn't get into Med School, whatever you decide to do next you will still need good A level, IB, Highers etc grades!

Your Options

There are a few options for you:

  • Gap year and reapply – this is a popular option and there are a lot of people who get into medical school as a reapplicant. One of the advantages to this is that you have your A level exam results already as you're applying where a lot of the applicants only have predicted grades. For ideas of what to do during a gap year, have a look at this article.
  • Do a different degree and apply as a graduate – while this is a good option for some, it does have its disadvantages. You'd need to get at least a 2:i in order to apply as a graduate and that isn't as easy as some people make out, especially if it's not in a subject you're interested in or passionate about. Financially it's difficult as well – while you can get loans easily for a first degree, you wouldn't be eligible for the medicine degree afterwards and by the time you graduate from the first degree, fees may have risen a long way. Grad-entry courses are also very competitive.
  • Think very seriously about doing Medical Sciences instead. Many people get obsessed about 'being a Doctor' and don't realise that cutting edge research into disease, immunology and other areas like neuroscience, cancer biology, genetics, parasitology, immunology and even forensics, is often FAR more interesting and exciting than being a medic. It's where the future of medicine is being developed and discovered. Do you want to look at antibiotic resistance, research vaccines against SARS and Ebola, develop ground-breaking cancer treatments? Remember, doctors don't win Nobel Prizes - Medical Scientists do.
  • Did you get an Offer for your Fifth choice? Presumably you applied for this because it was an acceptable alternative to A100. (And if it wasn't, why on earth did you apply for it?). Go for it. Not everyone can become a doctor. As with the suggestion above about Medical Sciences, there are plenty of other areas of 'medicine' beyond actually being a doctor. The world also needs ambitious biochemists, pharmacologists and neuroscientists. You shouldn't regard this option as 'failure' - its simply working in a parallel area.

If you don't get the grades in August

What to do if you do not get into medical school - This article gives some good information about your options.