Advice for an Arts graduate beginner, if you'd be so kind :)
I've been scouring these forums for about 6 months now, and I can't deal with the denial any more! I was hoping the desire to do medicine would fade, as the road seems so long and arduous. However, I really do think it's what I want to do, and it's time to make a plan - and your advice would be amazing :)
I have an English degree (starred First, top 10 uni) and am going to do my Master's (with a full scholarship) at Oxford next year. I applied for this last September, whilst still in the denial stage! However, I do enjoy English still, it is fascinating and I'm not going to turn down the opportunity to go to Oxford - it shouldn't, alas, but it might help in some way?! I'm lucky to have always been a natural academic; I got 10 x A*s and 3 x As in my GCSEs (inc triple sciences - last time I did science!) and AAAAa in my A Levels (all arts, and AS Maths), but wanted to be a writer when I was 16...
After several stints of volunteering and travelling abroad since graduating, I've realised my desire to help other people is overwhelming. I volunteered in a school in Africa and at a day care centre for HIV positive children - this is where the flame of medical desire ignited! Then I went to India and did some community development projects there, and was so inspired by a group of doctors who'd set up a charity hospital for tribal people in Karnataka. Unbelievable people. I felt a little useless, and there were doctors (who'd just finished F2) who were volunteering in my team. They could do so much... After 6 months of travel and such, I came home and got a job in publishing, in an office...and hate it. The meaningless of it all; being stuck in an office all day; processes, flowcharts, corporate jargon....argh! Cue existential crisis, and here I am!
So that's a snapshot of me! Thanks for reading thus far
From what I've gathered, the best plan would be to do the GAMSAT and apply to SGUL, Notts and Swansea, where, depending on me being able to revise my arse off and do well, you're nearly guaranteed an interview with a good score? I did used to be really good at science - at GCSE.
I am still finding it very hard to believe that my arts degree could ever be considered equal to someone with a first in, say, Biomedical Science or Biochemistry?! Just seems crazy. Is it really that much of a leveller?
So my plan would be:
- Do Master's next year as planned. Volunteer as much as possible, in a care setting :)
- Master's finishes in June. Move home, and study for the GAMSAT -> September
[alternative - take a year out after Master's, and travel/volunteer abroad some more to make sure for SURE this is what I want/grab some more life experience]
- Live at home and work part-time in a care home, whilst volunteering in a hospice/shadowing/whatever I can, and study for the GAMSAT
- Take GAMSAT
-Also take A Levels to broaden options? Not sure whether this should be done after having a crack at the GAMSAT, as a last option? I live in the north, so it'd be hard to find somewhere to do it... The 5 year is all but out for me - my family is not rich at all. On the bright side, my mum is a full time HCA and works at a GP surgery, so should be able to help with work exp.
Am I completely mad? I know some people just never get in, despite being insanely clever and motivated and ticking all the right boxes...
Any words of advice are greatly appreciated!
Thank you for reading all that if you've got this far, I realise it's a mammoth post but there's months of angst gone into this 'coming out' as a potential medic applicant!