A Level Choices for a Would-be Medic

(27 Posts)
alteredimage Thu 21-Nov-13 13:37:52

DD, Yr 11, is determined to be a medic, and probably well suited. She is very sporty (national level) and has picked up quite a lot of physiology and diet knowledge. Her initial interest was sparked by medical documentaries and she has progressed to reading popular medical books, Scientific American etc. She is lucky in that she is a natural Mathematician/Scientist and quite organised, so ought to get the grades. She has responded with enthusiasm to the offer of spending the summer working in an entry level job in a care home. She has always done well at intermediate Maths/Biology type challenges which I assume suggests she might be OK at BMAT type tests. We live in London and so London medical schools are an affordable option.

Her problem is that she is dyslexic and really struggles with essay subjects. Her school's general advice that prospective medics take 4 A levels including a "complementary" subject, probably an essay subject. We also hear that some medical schools expect a minimum of a Grade A in English.

Advice please on the following:

1. What is the likely minimum requirement in GCSE English? Which medical schools need to be avoided?

2. Which Medical Schools are most likely to accept a more patchy set of GCSE results. The hope is she can get 8A*s (3xscience, 2xlanguage, art and one other) but it might be 6.

3. Her school offer the chance to do an extended project. Is this likely to satisfy any desire on the part of medical schools to see a complementary subject? An alternative might be to take a language to AS, or if really needed to A2, but she does not want to and though she should be able to get an A she would have to work quite hard.

4. She intends to take biology, chemistry (her favourite subject), and two of maths, further maths and physics at A2. Double maths would be a lighter workload but she wonders whether Universities might prefer a wider range? Having said that if medicine does not work out and she is looking to do something in the bio-chemistry field I assume she might be better off with double maths to support two sciences.

5. She also has the option of sports science AS instead of an EP or a language/further maths/ AS. She would really enjoy this as it would build on existing knowledge and she would have no problem meeting the sports participation requirements. However one of her favourite teachers has suggested that it wont give her anything extra breadth and she is better off with an EP.

Also does anyone have any suggestions for further reading. So far she has read and enjoyed books around the lack of evidence supporting complementary medicine, and about possible causes for autism.

Many thanks in advance.

wearymum200 Tue 26-Nov-13 20:27:29

Or go left field and think about graduate entry medicine courses; if she really likes science/ maths ,the career options are wide and a science degree might allow her to spend a bit longer thinking these through, as well as allowing a choice of a levels more suited to her strengths and interests.
Graduate entry is v highly competitive of course.
I think there is a good argument for saying all medicine should be grad entry, so students can be more sure it is for them before spending years of their life on it. medicine is nothing like Grey's anatomy really. And there is a lot of writing.
Conflict of interest: am an academic medic, but entry requirements were different in my day.

MrsBright Wed 27-Nov-13 18:40:31

REALLY good pages of info on entry requirements for Medicine and other useful stuff at Student Room. HIGHLY recommended.


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