08-07-2011, 08:44 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
I want to be an A & E doctor - what can I do with average GCSEs to make this happen?
I hope to work as a doctor in A & E. I have taken my GCSE exams & will be getting the results in a few weeks - because I'm neurotic I have worked out the best grades that I can achieve, these would be:
R.E - A*
English Language - A
Product Design - A
Business Studies - A
Maths - A
ICT - Distinction (equivalent to an A and an A*)
Core Science - B
Additional Science - B
Media - B (I don't know what I was thinking at the time...)
English Literature - B
Geology - C
German - C
When I had started my GCSEs I had always liked the idea of being a doctor in A & E - I don't care at all about pay or status symbols, I want this purely for job satisfaction as I want a job where no two days are ever the same, and (of course, the big cliche - I love to help people) - but didn't work nearly as well as I could have done. I am arranging a lot of volunteer work & am going to put my social life on hold for A-level. Is it still possible to apply directly after my A-levels (if I were to ace them & had a great personal statement) or will my GCSEs prevent me from doing so? I have looked at all of the minimum requirements for GCSEs at unis but still suspect that although I've met these, it won't be enough - this is the most scared I've been in a long time - which unis would be more likely to accept me & is there any hope at all for me (please be brutal)? I'm new to this & couldn't find any other categories to put this under, sorry!
16-08-2011, 09:18 PM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
Like you this was always my dream from school too. I'm now 30 and just about to submit my application. I too didn't get very good GCSE (but yours aren't half bad by the way!). I messed around at school and college, wasn't really interested in intellectual pursuits (think sport and booze more like) and just drifted into an English degree because I was good at it. From there I became a secondary school teacher, travelled the world and generally had an awesome time. My dad died a couple of years ago and this made me reassess my situation. I'd gone off teaching and decided to rekindle my dream of medicine. I took a (huge) pay cut to work in a GP's surgery and volunteer. The courses I'm applying to don't look at my gcse's or a levels because I have a degree. My application, I feel, is very strong as I have heaps of transferable skills and professional experience. What I'm saying is don't let this put you off. Those might not be good enough grades to get in against competition of 12 A*s but there is a lot more to being a good doctor than book smarts - and universities know this. Apply this time and see what feedback you get. Chuck another 2 degree choices in the extra slots and go to uni whatever. I'm sooo glad I'm *doing it this way. I got to go to uni, let my hair down, have a career, travel through my 20's and now as I settle down I get (or hopefully get!) to do the career of my dreams.*
Good luck whatever you decide!
18-08-2011, 05:21 PM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
I wouldn’t worry too much about your GCSEs. If you are applying in your last year of sixth form then good grades would really help but I think if you take a gap year and apply with you’re A levels (assuming they are good) then you’d be well placed to compete – especially if you get a good UKCAT.
My best friend at university got As at A level, the highest first in the year at university, the highest distinction in the year in his masters and now the highest marks in his first year PhD exams on record at the university. This is off the back of very average (contextually) GCSEs – good few Bs and hardly any A*s.
Whilst not quite emulating their academic glories my path was fairly similar. All As at A level and a first at university with 2 A*s at GCSE (fine but hardly spellbinding compared to the droves we all hear about with all A*s).
Personally I think it comes down to the relative pushiness of the school or parents or whoever. I never felt that pushed or spoon fed (though I’m sure I was at stages) and so I was very independent and self-motivated when it came to academic work. As you get older this factor becomes much more important and I saw loads of people with floods of A*s at GCSE cruise to a low 2:1 or worse at university because nobody was there to make them study.
I share Big_Hitter_Andy’s views on doing medicine a little later – despite the financial consequences. Medicine is a lot of hard work and responsibility. Having a brilliant relatively care-free time at university, living abroad and then several years living in London is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. So, even if you don’t get in at 18, make the most of your 20s (I’m 26 now) and apply later. Again, personally, I think it will make a more well-rounded doctor and a mid-life crisis less probable (although most friends liken what I’m pursuing now to be a mid-life crisis).
Anyway – good luck and hope today went well if you’re getting results.
18-08-2011, 06:58 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
There are others here who are much more up-to-date with knowing your chances of getting into med school. What I can tell you about is getting into A&E when you qualify as a doctor. In general it is very easy to get into. It is not very competitive and the post-grad exams are the easiest of any speciality. If you want the stress, crap hours and drunks go for it, but just remember what is exciting when you are 24 is not necessarily exciting when you are 45 with 3 kids!
30-08-2011, 07:33 PM #5
I don't know what others wiser than me will say, but I would advise you to think carefully about which universities to apply to - some (say, Oxbridge, or most London universities) do admit they look at GCSEs and don't consider those who don't have all As or A*s. However, it there are universities with a bigger focus on the UKCAT or BMAT exams and who don't look at GCSEs. The usual advice applies: get as much work experience at GP surgeries and hospitals as you can, do volunteer in a hospital for an extended period of time if you can. Work hard on your BMAT or UKCAT: a really high score on these and some universities may look past weaker grades.
Good luck with your application~Biomed Grad studying Med 5 Year~
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