Failed 1st year medicine

(119 Posts)
chickengoujon Sat 10-Sep-11 18:04:07

I am so upset and just looking for a bit of support really. My dd worked desperately hard to get into uni to do medicine. She volunteered at a local old people's home, worked at the gps, worked at the hospital, etc. She got fantastic A levels: A*, A, A, B in general studies. She is a lovely girl, really home loving and plesant.

When she went off to uni she was sad and then started to really live it up, not working very hard. She failed an exam after christmas but apparently that 'didn't matter'. She then failed 5 exams in the summer and spent all summer revising for her resits, only to fail again. After the uni asked her to leave last week she told me that she hadn't been eating properly for about 6 months. She is 5ft 8 and 7st 10. She is like a stick insect and I have been very concerned about her extreme thinness, but she reassured me that she was fine. She said how she had difficulty concentrating when revising and couldn't remember things - does anorexia do this? We didn't submit mitigations before her exams because I wasn't aware that she wasn't eating and she thought she was fine. Could we appeal? Is it too late? The uni seem totally disinterested and couldn't care less.

I feel so upset. Getting her in was so difficult and now it seems she has lost everything. She is totally devastated. Thanks for reading.

skylark2 Mon 24-Nov-14 20:25:10

"One should choose it only if they have real passion and dedication for it."


Also I think people forget just how many medical careers there are which aren't "doctor". DH works in medical research. He's a physicist. Your DD may find that she can combine her engineering interests with her earlier interest in medicine, if she wants to.

indigo1234 Sat 22-Nov-14 22:28:00

My DD had a conditional offer to read medicine at Oxford. She is very gifted academically. However after a work experience; she realised that hospital medicine is not for her and she will never be brilliant in that profession. Her passion and strength were always Maths and Physics and she blamed us for not giving her right guidance .She wanted to withdraw from her offer of Oxford and wanted to do Physics or Engineering degree. We were blinded by the prestige of an Oxford degree and did not agree to it (which makes us bad parents!)
The argument continued throughout her A level exams and she missed her A* required for Oxford and thus missing her offer. She felt bad that we were disappointed, but took it as an opportunity to pursue her real passion. She took a gap year and she got an unconditional offer to study Engineering at a top university (not Oxbridge).

I wish I had read this thread before. Now I feel that my daughter was extremely lucky to have dodged the bullet by not joining a course she would not have enjoyed or excelled. Medicine is not just about academics or intelligence or grades. One should choose it only if they have real passion and dedication for it.

Decorhate Wed 15-Oct-14 17:10:43

I think he has decided on the most realistic option. As several people have already said it is virtually impossible to get accepted by another medical school if you have failed in one. Why are you frustrated? There are lots of other careers apart from medicine. Perhaps he realised it wasn't for him or he wasn't the one who wanted him to do it in the first place?

iceshaow Tue 14-Oct-14 20:09:13

Thank you very much for all your apply. We have got our son back and he really needs to take a year off as the doctor said he got the depression. The uni said they would like to help him to apply another medicine school or re-interview him in next Auguster to see if he is able to learn nature science in the same uni. However both of the opportunities are not guaranteed. My son insists to stay and change the course to study nature science from the first year, I just couldn't pursuit him to go to the other ways. so,so frustrated.

Ehhn Mon 13-Oct-14 23:07:17

There are loads of options for the future - bio medicine, research, radiography, going to Australia to study where it is only possible to do postgrad medicine, they don't offer undergrad. OR Convert from another degree. My friend did natural sciences, 2 years in business then decided to become a doctor. She has qualified age 29.

There are many, many options - but first she needs to get well.

Mumof3teens Mon 13-Oct-14 22:58:52

Can he resist the year? DS1 and DS2 both had fellow students who failed resist and were allowed to resist the year (medicine and dentistry).

alreadytaken Mon 13-Oct-14 15:32:24

he needs to talk to the student union at his old university about appeals but unfortunately I wouldn't hold out any hope for a place at a uk medical school, unless it was one of the private ones. Obviously they did try to help him and if he had sought help for depression/ dropped out before exams maybe he'd have had a chance. No idea about foreign medical schools.

Really you need to get him to think about alternative careers. Try to get him to see it as an opportunity to find a better career with most money and less anti-social hours. Don't let him feel he has to do bio-science, rethink what he wants to do then apply for next year.

Decorhate Sun 12-Oct-14 10:17:02

But what does he want to do now? I can't imagine any unis have spaces left for this year & the courses will have already started. This may sound harsh but aside from medical problems, IME students generally fail because they haven't done the work. I know medicine has a higher workload than many other courses but he would have known that. I can't see that he has any other option at this late stage other than taking a year out.

iceshaow Fri 10-Oct-14 19:55:28

Thank you again. I think he failed the exam because he didn't realize how hard he should study in the top uni in the first year as he didn't put all his effort on when he did his A level. Then, when he found he was behind the others he didn't know what to do but to escape or hid himself and felt shamed to face people who tried to help him.

Decorhate Fri 10-Oct-14 18:40:51

If he is unwell then perhaps it would be best for him to take a year out until he is better & is better placed to make a decision? Of course you would want to ensure that he is occupied while doing that, eg do some paid or voluntary work.
But I think you do need to get to the bottom of what happened. Did his social life take precedence, did he find the work overwhelming, did he feel homesick and so on.

iceshaow Fri 10-Oct-14 09:14:22

Thank you very much for your reply. My son's uni said that all the other courses are full, he can't be transferred to and have to wait to see if the uni got a place for him for next year then start to learn bio-science from the first year. but his name has been moved from his medicine school and not allowed to attend the lectures.
He just saw a doctor and the doctor thinks he is depressed, will the doctor's result help him to apple?

Decorhate Thu 09-Oct-14 07:47:08

I'm not an expert but I think it would be very hard to find another university that would accept him to study medicine. Is staying at his current uni on a different course an option? What does your son want to do? Does he still want to be a doctor? Do you know why he failed his exams? Hard to advise without knowing the background.

iceshaow Wed 08-Oct-14 20:50:40

My son just failed his resit for his first year in a top medical school and lost confidence and motivation whistle he got 4 A*s and 2As at his A level.The uni give us 3 ways to do next: withdraw from the uni transfer to another university to apply the other course; take a year off and wait for another year's bio-science course; wait for the GP's result. We will appeal but We don't know if it's useful and what kind of help I can get from where? could anyone help me?

mindgone Fri 20-Sep-13 00:51:37

Alreadytaken and Tootsfroots, thank you so much for your considered advice, it is so much appreciated! I could never see DS as a surgeon! He's thinking more of general practice, or maybe psychiatry. Will suggest TSR to start, then specifics on uni websites. Thanks so much again, so useful and insightful from someone who's been there. thanks

TootsFroots Thu 19-Sep-13 20:47:52

Just a reminder that this thread is a bit of a ZOMBIE thread but one that has turned into a general chat about medicine and Unis.

Candlefire Thu 19-Sep-13 17:51:47

Sorry to hear that jenmum. Do you know any specifics of why he's depressed?

Jenmumof3 Thu 19-Sep-13 17:45:27

So sorry to hear about your dd. My ds just finished his first year of medicine. Left for uni happy, strong, confident. Returned seriously depressed. There was no support form him whatsoever. The uni's 'mentoring' scheme consisted of one 20 min meeting a year to discuss all social, emotional and academic problems ... tutors and gp similarly overworked and useless. Spent summer trying to get him in somewhere else and despite medical notes saying he needed to be nearer home they all said they didn't take anyone who'd already been enrolled in another school. Medicine seems to be a law unto itself and lack all compassion. I'm really scared about my son going back .... Hope your dd feeling better, her uni sound so rubbish - maybe threaten them with breach of duty of care ... any lawyers who can advise ....

alreadytaken Thu 19-Sep-13 11:52:25

totally agree with checking as we had different advice from different staff of one medical school. The great thing about the student room is that advice often comes from other current applicants and at least some will have been at the open days and therefore had the most up-to-date picture from the admission tutors. A Cambridge admission tutor was answering questions on TSR for a short time, other universities could usefully copy that.

Even the applicants with good academics can get 4 rejections, there are some each year. The students I know who have researched the schools most are also the ones I suspect will make the best doctors. They are determined, prepared to work hard, aren't arrogant and like to make their decisions on the best evidence they can get.

TootsFroots Thu 19-Sep-13 09:39:56

That's a good post AlreadyTaken. I totaly agree that finding out about medical school admissions has to be a multi pronged approach.
It depends on the applicants skill sets too. If you are a 14 A* GCSE / 4 A* at A'level student with a stunning UKCAT score you probably don't need to analyse everything quite so much.
The main point I was trying to get across is that everything should be double checked as there is incorrect advice around.

I took a look at the student room wiki for medicine a level requirements for 2014 and it looked very comprehensive. It is certainly a great place to start.

alreadytaken Thu 19-Sep-13 08:00:32

mindgone the Student Room website is pretty good most of the time but a friend of my child's who posts there a lot got something wrong this year because they didn't realise the university had changed its UKCAT policy. Same misinformation was given on mumsnet, but corrected. It is wise to be wary but if you rely on universities published policies you often wont get the full picture. They generally don't give clear advice on UKCAT or BMAT standards, for example, and when they do it's easier to find via the Student room. People are more honest at open days about what they really look for so screen with TSR and then visit. The UKCAT is changing this year and that may change how med schools use it.

Student satisfaction rates are often a good guide. After looking at Kings we wouldn't consider it although it has had problems with its exams and hopefully will improve. Birmingham gets a bad press on mumsnet but they start their course by telling students 60% will become gps. Rates arent dramatically different at most med schools and medical students do need to be sure they will be content to be a gp. Medical schools like evidence that students know that it isn't all surgery so some sort of community experience is helpful. They also need to appreciate that surgery can mean very long and tiring days in theatre. They need stamina. If they are very keen on surgery they need to consider that eventually health may not allow them to operate safely, their career may take them into administration.

At one medical school parents were asked "what sort of doctor do you want your child to be ". My answer would have been "I don't want them to be a doctor". Anyone bright enough to get into med school can have a career with better working conditions and possibly better hours and pay elsewhere. If they are determined to go ahead the drop out rate is actually quite low and students tend to support each other.

I wouldn't have said medical schools aren't keen on gap years. Lots of students don't get into medicine first time, 60% of applicants get no offers. My impression is that those who reapply after a gap year spent doing something relevant (going abroad may impress less than being a nursing assistant) have their choice of med school. They have shown commitment and gained a better appreciation of what is involved. Taking a year to gain experience and confirm it's what you want would probably go down rather well. The more academic schools would probably want to see some continued study, even if it's just reading about what you have experienced at work.

Many careers don't require a specific degree, employers just need to see that the problem that caused them to drop out of medicine is resolved. History is a good alternative degree choice as it requires quite an analytic mind.

mathanxiety Thu 19-Sep-13 04:26:03

Well done Chicken's DD.
One cousin of mine failed his premed course in Dublin and never looked back.

TootsFroots Thu 19-Sep-13 01:03:59

Hi, I am tooties but I have namechanged smile

My DS got into his first choice Uni but he would have been happy with anywhere. He got a very high UKCAT score so there were a few places where he was almost guaranteed an interview. Obviously, he had done all the normal things such as work experience and written a reasonable personal statement etc.
Due to my sons unusual educational history (we had lived abroad so he had no GCSE's ) we had to really examine each of the Unis admissions procedures. Every one of them is different and they _change year on year_ confused We got everything confirmed in writing,

The best places to start looking are to look on The StudentRoom website and to read a few books on getting into medicine.

You can also start reading the Uni prospectuses and start thinking about booking open days. (Find out when the booking starts for places your son may be interested in as they are usually overbooked)

You could also search old threads on Mumsnet. You may recognise my posts under other names smile

The only information that can be trusted is that contained in each Uni's medicine admissions policy. There is an awful lot of misinformation about with regards to getting into medicine. We were given conflicting information ALL the time shock. I would be wary about trusting anyone without double checking the actual official policies.

Some schools are more helpful than others. My sons huge comprehensive school doesn't usually have kids go into medicine so were not that helpful. (they were lovely but not so helpful grin )

As you know the competition is stiff and being passionate and brainy is only half the game. I think the other half is choosing where to apply.
I helped my son do the initial research but he went to all the open days on his own. He thinks he got more out of it as it made him think for himself.

I hope everything works out for your son.

holidaysarenice Thu 19-Sep-13 00:38:28

Oh just realised this is an old thread!!

holidaysarenice Thu 19-Sep-13 00:32:22

As a medic I would tell you that if she leaves medicine she won't ever do it again. No other uni will take her/let her apply.

Speak to the uni - they may let her have a restart or year out.

The head of pastoral care/welfare of medics is who you want.

We are a prestigous med school and yet they are shit hot at this stuff. I'm so sorry she has had a bad experience. Some medics are indeed up themselves about this, the majority not.

My love to your dd

BigPawsBrown Thu 19-Sep-13 00:19:52

Gosh, loads of my (doctor)sister's friends failed a year and repeated it. Seems really harsh for them not to allow that. The mitigation should work surely as it's a psychological problem and so realising it has taken a while? She could also study biochemistry and get onto a medicine programme after that. Failing a year does not mean she isn't good enough, I did English and got a third in my first year!! It's so easy to take your eye off the ball when you have all that going on.

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