Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

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Hereitis
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:51 pm

Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

Post by Hereitis »

My DD has nearly made a choice of not choosing Cambridge as one of her choice. This is mainly because she is not in great favour of doing 3-5 essays every week, plus having no link to clinical fields until fourth year when she can manage with just MCQs in other universities specially London ones to be the same NHS doctor. Saying so, my DD's essay skills are really good, she got some accolades too.

Being a non-medic parents, we have no clue. So, all we do is listen to her. But from school, some of her teachers hinted that DD is not thinking right. There are girls in my DD's class who are achieving far below but still applying for Oxbridge. This has awaken me and my DH a little bit! All we want her to take the right decision. Is it right that every college in Cambridge expects students to do so many essays every week? How hard are these essays? Is Cambridge Medicine really hard compared to other unis?

Any insight or experience or guidance on this will be much appreciated. Thank you.
PerpetualStudent
Posts: 516
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:52 am

Re: Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

Post by PerpetualStudent »

Hi hereitis,

The quote below is from a December 2019 post by Kenyancowgirl in a thread in 6th form forum on A Levels, discussing pretty much what you’re asking. Loobylou, a doctor, also made some points you might find helpful.

«  The general feedback we got from medical students/consultants/GPs is that you go to Oxbridge to read Medicine if you want to be a research Medic or someone who basically makes the rules etc for other Medics but doesn’t really understand what life is like at the sharp end.

DS1 considered Oxford (Cambridge is a pig of a journey from us) and just didn’t like it - coupled with the feedback above, and the fact that he wants to be a “sharp face” doctor, he decided against it - his school would have loved him to apply but it was entirely his decision. Some of the Unis he looked at he loved (and ended up in the one he loved most of all) - others he really didn’t like...but we only visited ones that he had already looked at the different delivery styles/content/tests to get in and matched his preferences. We told him not to get hung up on any and to make a decision when he had offers. »

https://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum ... 50#p734747" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

HTH
PS

Edited to try and add a link to the very long thread
hermanmunster
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:51 am
Location: The Seaside

Re: Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

Post by hermanmunster »

The general consensus in this household is that Oxbridge medicine isn't what it was and these days it seems to make little odds where you actually go to med school (it was a big deal in the past)
Hereitis
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:51 pm

Re: Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

Post by Hereitis »

Thank you all for your helpful insights. Ok, I see there is a consensus of moving away from Oxbridge pride to a more practical day to day world. I wonder whether this 'Z' generation children are more practical than us? Is this the reason for the move, who knows!
ToadMum
Posts: 11831
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:41 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

Post by ToadMum »

I can recommend that f she hasn't already, your DD should herself onto TSR (The Student Room website / forum) - lots of very useful information and advice about how to decide where to apply for medicine, based on the way that the individual school ranks applicants vs the applicant's individual strengths / the way in which courses are structured / which test - BMAT or UCAT - must be taken as part of the process, etc.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx
loobylou
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:04 pm

Re: Pros and cons of Cambridge for Medicine

Post by loobylou »

It is genuinely true that where you go to medical school is completely irrelevant. I appreciate this is not true for all degrees but it honestly is for medicine nowadays (anyone who tells you different is simply out of date). You will never even write a CV in medicine till you apply for consultant/GP jobs by which time no one will care at all where you went to medical school 15 years earlier.
Where you graduate in your year group matters far more in terms of subsequent jobs - pretty much all students will have a clean sweep of A and A* but there is an argument that being in the 3rd decile of graduates from an-almost-guaranteed cohort of A* candidates at Oxford or Imperial (for example) is far worse from a future career perspective than being 7th decile at any other university.
Your daughter is absolutely right - if she doesn't love essays and a very traditional medical education (albeit remembering that some other medical schools offer a relatively academic first couple of years as well) then she is better off looking elsewhere.
Also she should look at the minutiae of application details for different unis. For example if she aces the VR section of UCAT one medical school double-counts that section - lots of medical schools have very complex but useful scoring systems which should really help you assess your chance of an interview. (And they change every year. If you remember Exeter's debacle last year, that might put a lot of people off applying this year but actually they've completely rewritten their application requirements and, if she's predicted A*s, she should really look at the table of their scoring system).
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