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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:54 am 
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My DD has to decide on her A level choices by January and currently has her heart set on medicine- paediatrician or geriatrician.
she is definitely going to choose Biology and Chemistry, but doesn't want to include Maths or Physics. She is looking at RE (philosophy and ethics) and French. DD is very much a people person and also quite arty rather than a pure scientist.
We have both looked at the entry requirements on the University websites and although it seems these choices would be OK in theory I don't know whether this would disadvantage her in practice.
Many of the Med school websites also say they only need 7A*-C GCSEs with Bs in science, as a minimum, but in practice I'm pretty sure you wouldn't get an offer with the minimum requirements, which makes me wary of taking what is on their websites at face value.

Does anyone have any experience of taking an unusual combination without Maths/ Physics for medicine?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:21 am 
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Re GCSEs - yes that is technically the minimum but many people will have a lot more. Re the A levels - the best place to get "coal face" info is on the forum "thestudentroom" - very handy. there are whole annual cohorts of kids reporting their GCSE / A level / UKCAT / BMAT scores - and results of interviews and offers etc.

re subjects - don't worry about physics - if they want to to the FRCR or FRCA later then they can learn all the physics they need (helps to have maths .....). (oops just noticed she wants to be a paediatrician or geriatrician )

Most Unis like Chem and Biol and I suspect like maths too - upshot is that although they SAY 2 science (inc maths) they prefer 3 ... leaving one subject for something more interesting.

Much of medicine is an art done by people who are good at science (some are vv good :shock: ) - an ececletic bunch from pathologists to psychiatrists ... most don't decide what they want to do for some time and many are not doing what they thought they would when they started out.

Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:31 am 
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DD read somewhere, I think it was a document produced by the Russell Group, that if you do Chemistry and Biology you would be eligible to apply for 'many' Medicine courses; if you add in Maths you are eligible to apply for all. If your DD really doesn't like Maths maybe she could just do the AS and drop it in Year 13- she will almost certainly need to drop one of the 4 anyway as there are no advantages to doing 4 A2s, and some might say it is a positive disadvantage.

DD was only saying last night how much she misses her languages: what a pity they have to narrow themselves down so young.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:35 am 
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Agreed Amber I think it is a huge shame having to specialise too soon - wish they made at least one humanities / language compulsory!

god point re range of med schools - that was my feeling - that the maths / Chem / biol gave you the full range to apply to and tha can be crucial when the UKCAT scores come in. re the 4 A levels - a lot of the medics do continue with four though suppose it is OK to drop one?? - not sure on this would have to go and hang out on TSR again.... :lol: :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:07 am 
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Herman, anecdotal evidence of my own has shown 5 out of 5 who did 4 A2s ended up struggling to pull off a top grade in the 'anomalous' one...offers are always based on 3 A2s but unis seem to enjoy picking the odd one and smacking an A or an A* on it. There is so much pressure unfortunately on kids anyway I think it is better to reduce it in any way you can. They can always study for fun later (as this old lady is showing).

I agree about the mix - feel a more rounded education would be based on at least one humanity and one science for all. Like it is in most of the world.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:17 am 
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Agree about studying for fun!!! where can I sign up????? :lol: Wish I had done some other subjects but were limited to 3 in the dark ages ... and no giving anything up!

the top whatever percentage at DS's GS all managed to got top grades in the 4 + Gen - + EPQs - many saw it as a point of honour not to give anything up!
Also I wonder those who did a broad sweep of subjects (science and humanties) may have more chance to change track in the future - reckon these are the ones who can't tell you which the anomalous subject is :lol: (not medics I hasten to add - phew) doing the four is fine if you like the subjects but if it is a "well I have to do a fourth subject but really don't like it" subject then best abandoned at AS!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:23 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
An interesting fact I heard the other day is that over 50% of Russel Group applicants have maths A level.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:32 am 
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hermanmunster wrote:
Agree about studying for fun!!! where can I sign up????? :lol: Wish I had done some other subjects but were limited to 3 in the dark ages ... and no giving anything up!

Also I wonder those who did a broad sweep of subjects (science and humanties) may have more chance to change track in the future - !
I am all for that. I have changed track 3 times now...from linguist to teacher, teacher to something else, and now becoming a social scientist. It is intoxicating to have the opportunity to learn again when you are older; I am starting to think education is wasted on the young. I did a mix of arts and sciences at A level, but it was all so much less pressured in those days I think.

If you are serious about learning something new Herman, go for it. I can thoroughly recommend it: you bring a different perspective with age and experience, and once you get over the idea that all the bright young things must know so much more because they are so confident, it is actually great fun to become the wise old lady they confide in because they trust you and think you can help them.

Sorry, OT, but broadly there, I think. :?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:20 am 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I have always liked the idea of having breadth in A level study. I'm not so sure that it should come at the price of having to take too many subjects though.

DS was considering medicine, not sure now. His favourite subject is physics, followed by maths, chemistry and French. He likes biology, but less than the others, which implies to me that medicine wouldn't be suitable.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:52 am 
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Amber wrote:
If you are serious about learning something new Herman, go for it. I can thoroughly recommend it: you bring a different perspective with age and experience, and once you get over the idea that all the bright young things must know so much more because they are so confident, it is actually great fun to become the wise old lady they confide in because they trust you and think you can help them.



Bit OT from me too but I did change specialty in medicine in my 40s and had to back and retrain for a year, ended up in some role playing lark with a bunch of other docs (all vvvv young) - none of them would say much ..... reckon they all thought I was mummy and would sort it all out for them!


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