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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:28 pm
Posts: 197
Location: PENSBY
My son is in year 11 and is looking at A level options ,he has recently decided to study medicine at university.He already has an AS in Business Studies grade B taken in year 10 , he is on a gifted and talented programme and is predicted 11 A *'s at gcse . He is keen to carry on studying the 3 sciences and maths to AS and then 3 on to A level .I have heard that most med schools like students to have a non science subject at least at AS ,would his Business Studies AS be sufficient for this or would he better only doing 2 sciences ,maths and another subject such as geography or psychology .If he was to drop a science the sensible option with medicne in mind is probably physics but since this is ds favourite subject thie would seem a shame .
Any advice ,gratefully receive
thanks Pensby :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 pm
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Location: Warwickshire
There's a recent thread about choices for medicine which you might want to have a look at if you haven't already seen it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Pensby, I think it would be wise to say that he is hoping to study medicine. It is really really hard to get in. I know lots of students who tried and failed including my own cousin who had a father , uncle and grandfather all doctors. He tried two years in a row. I would do all the sciences and maths. Has he done Latin? Two students we know trying were advised to do GCSE Latin for the names of the medicines and to show breadth. You also need to start trying to line up work experience. Those in the know will have already done work experience in a hospital or GP surgery, my cousin had done all this by Year 10. I would have a backup prepared or be prepared to take a year out and try again. It is the hardest degree to get into and some of the normal ones are already hard to get into. Good luck, when did he decide and why? If he is really keen you need to start getting on board. I just saw a brochure for a course for Year 9's to go on to choose the right GCSE's and start preparing work placement to give themselves the best possible chance. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:28 pm
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Location: PENSBY
Thanks , a recent decision tbh ,had wanted to do Physics but worried about job prospects ! we are trying to sort out work experince for the summer .He hasn't got latin gcse unfortunately . He is doing 11 gcse's and already has an A* in maths now doing an additional maths gcse .
I like a challenge ! my daughter has just started a law degree at Nottingham so I've been through it before !! :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
How is his English? It is very popular with med schools and a good grade at gcse is essential. MFL is also a popular alternative. Few of my medic friends put any store in Latin for medicine, same with law!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:21 am
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Regarding Latin, I agree that it could be useful but have found that my "O"-level knowledge was always sufficient to enable me to guess at the meaning of a new and unknown word (including ones thrown at me recently by DD studying veterinary medicine!) Maths is always very useful for any science-based degree, even if not specified in the requirements. Agree with moved about English and MFL. It might be an idea to ask the medical schools your son is interested in about choice of A-levels in addition to sciences, or look on The Student Room, as they do seem to vary in their preferences.

Daogroupie is right about the fierce competition for places. I know someone who didn't get a place in medicine first time around, went on to get a first in biomedical sciences from a good university, and is now on his third :shock: application having failed again to secure a place when he applied for graduate medicine courses during his final year. His excellent degree classification is already making admissions tutors sit up and take notice though, as he finally has a couple of interviews lined up, so fingers crossed.

It's a good idea to start making arrangements for work experience, given that much of it needs to have been completed by the time of application at the beginning of year 13. Also be prepared for advice to "have a Plan B" which often involves a medicine-related degree as in the example above, but I wouldn't recommend going down that route these days because of the enormous costs involved due to the recent fee increase and the fact that loans are not available for second degrees (though the NHS does sponsor part of the postgraduate medicine course, I believe). If your son does not secure a place on the first application then, if he really does want to be a doctor, I think the best course of action is to take a gap year, improve the work experience portfolio, get a paid job and save some money, and try again. This worked for my DD, who knew how difficult it was to get into veterinary medicine and regarded the first application more or less as a "dummy run" - if she had got a place it would have been a bonus, but she always expected that it would be a longer game. There are a lot of reapplicants on her course and, I suspect, a lot of the first year medics are also reapplicants. If he really wants to do it and has the academic capability, he should follow his dream and ignore any prophets of doom!

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Marylou


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Why not look at medical physics as well? (X-rays. MRI, etc etc) A fascinating and expanding area - one of my best friends from school went into that. A shame to drop physics if it's his favourite subject - there is also a lot of chemistry & biology (learning lists of bones/veins/hormones etc) in medicine - and it is (as others have said) very competitive - A* all round is by no means a guarantee (or even a pre-requisite) - every admissions dept seems to be looking for some indefinable extra quality and many very keen "I've wanted to be a doctor since I was 5" candidates don't make it - or drop out on the way. Some experience is vital either way (although it is often difficult to organise without personal contacts in the health field) - does he really want to be in a busy hospital ward with lots of sick people or is there an intellectual behind-the scenes challenge that appeals more? I would stick to the maths & sciences unless he has a burning desire to study some other subject - there are other opportunities to demonstrate wider interests (which are not always as useful as some like to say - every other pupil it seems has 3 grade 8's and a gold D of E, better to have something personal - volunteering in a hospice/charity shop/food bank for example, long term, not just in the week before UCAS!)


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