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  1. #1
    Junior Member Finn The Human's Avatar
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    Do I Have A Fighting Chance?

    Hello,

    I am Finn and I am hoping to apply to Medicine for 2014 entry, the following rant is probably inappropriately long (I will include a TLDR section at the bottom). I am looking for people who would be able to tell me whether I have a fighting chance for applying to Medicine this year. I will not go into details about why I want to because I would like to keep this nice and objective and opinionated, cold hearted S.O.B.s will be appreciated because applying this year will put a lot of strain on me (Financially, work load, social life, etc...) and I need to know if I am wasting my time (and if not, what Scottish Med Schools do you recommend I apply for?).

    First off, my Intermediate 2 results went okay, I got 8 A's and a B in P.E. (I am not v. athletic). I have just sat my Higher exams and feel 5A's is possible if the examiners are kind enough, because some I have gone over and could have gone either way, I was thinking that if I got 4 A's and a B in English I could get away with it, but 4 A's and a B in Maths would be looked upon too harshly (My Higher's are English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and History). For S6 I have chosen Adv. Higher Biology and Chemistry, Higher Psychology and Higher Drama (Which I think I will drop and take as an extracurricular activity, to free up some time to build the rest of my application) On a side note, does anyone know of any good Adv. Higher Investigations? I was thinking of some kind of experiment with different tissue types of organs for Bio but it is a fairly undeveloped idea.

    Secondly, Volunteering. I have completed 50+ hours of volunteering through Saltire and hope to boost that to 100 by application time. I volunteered for 5 Months in a Cancer Research Charity Shop and am currently volunteering as a Information Support Volunteer. This is useful because it involves me looking up local support groups for a variety of things that are or are not related to cancer in Glasgow's South-side, and cataloguing them as part of the holistic approach toward cancer care. I was a route steward at the Glasgow Cycle event last year to raise money for the Paul O'gorman Leukaemia Research Centre and intend to take part again this year. I intend to Volunteer or find a job in a hospice in Glasgow or in a care home. I am also currently looking for employment to fund an expedition to Sri Lanka (I will get to that) in 2014. However, I am having some trouble in both finding care focused volunteering and employment and I am currently trying to juggle the two in terms of time.

    I recently had work experience in Gynaecology/Obstetrics, it was four days and really useful but I feel I am in need of some more. I have an Orthopaedic Surgeon who is willing to provide me with work experience but sorting this out officially is proving to be difficult. I also know of a GP who said he would let me shadow him at his practice if the manager agreed to it. I feel that if I can sort it out, this could actually be a strong point of my application. Any advice?

    As far as extracurricular achievements go, they are not substantial enough for Medicine. Although, I have been playing the Guitar for 7 years now and while I only have ever passed a grade four for sure I did not find it particularly challenging and feel that I can play to a good standard despite never having sat exams for it when I was taught (I can also play bass to grade four). I also run and swim but not competitively, however I am rather good at the latter. I plan to join a Drama group outside of school or is this too late to include it? (I will probably join anyway as I enjoy it). I am a prefect for my school and will be applying to be Head boy/ Senior prefect this year, however I am unsure of my chances. The big extracurricular thing I am doing is an expedition to Sri Lanka in 2014, for this I have to raise 3,000 (I have about 900 now) by April 2014, sadly this isn't until after the application is made but I know that our project phase will involve work in a rural school where I hope to help build some irrigation system and teach the children there about hygiene and health. This already has involved a lot of fundraising and working in teams that is great for my application. I am also going to a understanding mental health training session with Macmillan that will be helpful. I have been to a Careers evening at the Beatson Cancer Research Institute which was useful.

    TLDR Version:

    - My Highers could go either way, I am thinking the minimum that would make me apply is 4 A's and a B in English
    -My voluntary work needs some experience of a caring environment.
    -My extracurricular activities are my main concern but I am finding them hard to build on.
    - My work experience was really good and I learnt a lot but I feel it needs more developing

    Can I say thank you pre-emptively to anyone who can help me out hear and put a stressed, anxious and worried mind at ease (Either by telling me that the graduate route would be best or that I should go for it) and any general advice regarding strengthening my application would be much appreciated. Sorry to anyone who has just read all of this, it is never pleasant to read a rant but I need to get it off my chest and to work out where I should go from here. If you have any questions please ask and thank you for your time.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Zedd's Avatar
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    Graduate route in Scotland is a no go imo if you have the grades to apply in the first place. Why not just apply and see what happens?
    2014 MB.ChB Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow
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    Usus libri, non lectio prudentes facit

  3. #3
    Junior Member Finn The Human's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information on Graduate Scottish Courses. I was just wondering what people could tell me about the quality of my application as a whole?

  4. #4
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    Hi Finn

    All depends on where you want to apply and checking/asking them what their requirements are in terms of Scottish Highers. e.g. Glasgow state 5A's at higher or 6 highers, 4A's and 2B's at the first sitting in the same year.

    There are no Graduate programmes in Scotland - just 5/6 year courses and you can apply as a graduate but join year 1 regardless.

    All your voluntary work and ECA's seem great so that shouldn't be an issue.

    Obviously, you need a great PS and to apply to your strengths.

    Should you go down the GEP route then this is far more competitive (England & Wales only) or apply in Scotland to the 5/6 year courses with a 2:1 or above.

    Dundee do a pre-clinical foundation year and you may want to look into that.

    Best of luck

    E

    University of Glasgow
    3rd year Medicine MBChB 2011-2016

  5. #5
    Junior Member Finn The Human's Avatar
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    Hi Kaodeve,

    Thanks for responding. Since posting this I have received my Higher results and have sat my UKCAT test. The breakdown for each is as follows:

    Highers-

    Biology: A
    Chemistry: A
    English: B
    History: A
    Maths: A

    UKCAT-

    VR: 510
    QR: 690
    AR: 650
    DA: 790
    Average: 660

    I know my academic results, unfortunately, put me out of the running for Edinburgh and Glasgow. I am considering applications to St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Dundee and possibly somewhere in England.

    Over the past few months, I have been taking part in more ECA's and Voluntary Work too! I have some voluntary work with a soup kitchen and take part in Park Run Scotland (both of which I am really enjoying).

    My work experience has also gone well as I managed to get some more work experience in a GP practice and a hospital that was really valuable.

    So, now that you have quite a perspective on my application, my apologies for the rantiness. Honestly, do you think I have a chance this year? I know this is an awkward question, but I really would appreciate some honest evaluation. I will apply this year anyway, too how many I am not sure, and will definitely take a graduate entry if unsuccessful. Thank you for taking the time as I know these types of forums are numerous!

  6. #6
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    Well done on your higher results.

    You got the same average as me in the UKCAT.

    Definitely apply - you have nothing to lose except the fee for UCAS! great work experience and voluntary work and if you are adding to it then as long as you write about what you have learned rather than just listing what you have done then you definitely have a chance!

    I would definitely do your research and use your 4 choices for med if you can plu put something else in for your 5th choice e.g.(Biomed/pharmacy) and see what happens. You could even choose to put your 5th choice as Glasgow or Edinburgh if they had been your original choices for med. There usually is a very small chance of transferring into med from science degree if you get high grades in 1st year of your degree - a long shot but worth a try i you don't get into med and go for your back-up).

    I do think you have a chance especially if you meet the academics for the unis you have mentioned. With St. Andrews, you will be moving to one of 6 other unis for clinicals anyway.

    Best of luck and keep me posted (pm me if you like).

    University of Glasgow
    3rd year Medicine MBChB 2011-2016

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