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OK don't know how to help him. Advice pls

(24 Posts)
Theas18 Tue 12-Aug-14 11:38:51

DS doing ostrich impression at the moment but needs an action plan. I think getting no offers has really really kicked his self confidence.

DS applied to medicine. 2 interviews. Kept dangling till end of march. 2 rejections at almost the last possible minute.

Has reserve place. AAB offer. Assuming meets these grades, takes place and has a relaxed time at uni!

Exceeds this.... I guess he rings the places he was interviewed first to see if they have a space ( yeah I know not likely but the only " box he didn't tick" as far as we could see was that he got a B in AS chemistry, so maybe they didn't think he'd get the grades?).

Are there any other med schools that are worth ringing? He thinks not. I can't see why not as the worse case is a no!

Doesn't get into reserve place... awful situation- tempted to say unless he has a clear idea of what courses to look at via clearing in advance then just take a gap year rather than grabbing a subject he doesn't want or a uni he doesn't want.

How long do we have to think before he firms reserve offer assuming he gets the grades? I think he'll need a bit of head space to think does he go and do reserve course if has exceeded grades, as it is still a realistic thought to re apply next year with grades in hand and some work experience etc BUT that's a huge thing to choose at 18 when " everyone" is off away to uni and you arent...

Argh! what to do to help?

juliascurr Tue 12-Aug-14 11:45:05

My dr friend has a dd applying for medicine - has talked a lot about importance of work experience
try that then try again? ask reasons for rejections?

Theas18 Tue 12-Aug-14 11:52:29

Has had relevant work experience. We did try to get reasons but nil forthcoming.

THe fact that he was kept dangling when friends had rejections suggests maybe he was " close but not close enough" maybe?

juliascurr Tue 12-Aug-14 11:57:38

possibly so
how bloody annoying
fingers crossed for Thursday

Theas18 Tue 12-Aug-14 12:07:19

Thanks. Feel guilty really especially when I read MN.

Supported him but made him do all " the work" - get his own experience, write own personal statement ( I now read on here that medical applicants usually use a " statement writing service ! WTF!). Also didn't micro manage his study etc .

If I'd have been a " tiger mother" we probably wouldn't be in this hole sad

BUT it's a bloody hard career choice and doesn't get easier when at uni and away from parental control...

BeckAndCall Tue 12-Aug-14 12:54:40

Oh theas I'm sorry he didn't get any offers but it's not down to anything you did or didn't do! Lots of kids, unfortunately, get no offers for medicine - it does seem quite random sometimes.

The chances of any spaces opening up for medicine after Thursday are really very slim - but he won't know if he doesn't ask. If he gets the grades, can he lose anything by ringing those where he was close and saying 'what are my chances?'

If he is eligible to trade up - and I don't know what the criteria are - he will presumably be notified by UCAS? I'm not sure, but he shouldn't accept his other offer until he's certain that's where he wants to go - that offer doesn't disappear if he takes a couple of days to confirm it.

Needmoresleep Tue 12-Aug-14 13:08:36

Thea. I don't think you were the only one thinking WTF. DC will get support and mentoring if they need it but they have to start living their own lives.

On your DCs decision the advice to my children would be:
1. Look at the results. If better than predictions seriously consider a reapplication and a year working in a hospital. He was not that far off and a year is nothing in the scheme of things.

2. If he gets the grades for his reserve choice take it if this is something he is happy doing.

3. If not or if he does not get the grades think seriously about what he really wants to do and what he needs. Treat it like an investment decision. It is a lot of money. Better to invest another year working/resitting and be on a course you are committed to.

Another poster on a medicine thread has suggested Medical Schools bin applications if you don't get at least 6 A*s at GCSEs. Our poor DC.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 12-Aug-14 13:25:14

DS is halfway through medical school, we are a medical family, and know lots of medical families where one or more DC have applied to medicine.
It is VERY very hard to get in to medical school atm, numbers of places have been cut at a time when applications have increased.

We know plenty of DC with absolutely top grades, work experience etc who got only one offer, or no offer at all on first application. It's becoming more common to apply 2 or 3 times to get a place. It is also becoming more common to go and study for a "British" medical degree abroad (I think there are several unis in Europe who do this).

Wrt his 5th choice on another course... Is he closing the door on the idea of medicine as a career? If yes, then that's fine, but schools career advisers don't seem to realise that once you start a degree, you cant apply to study medicine until you finish it. And graduate entry to medicine is if anything, even more competitive. Taking a year or two out and working in any capacity in a hospital or care home while reapplying would be better for most people than trying for graduate entry.

What was his Ukcat score like? It is actually a lot more important than you'd think. As UKcat is resat every year, this can be improved on in future (practice makes a big difference).

Theas18 Tue 12-Aug-14 14:01:00

Ukcat was ok - just over 700. Not stellar I know ( but again no course etc just did it himself so could be increased )

He's aware that graduate entry isn't a viable choice really.

I'll have to try to talk to him again I guess. My feeling is he should reapply but that means taking the plunge of ditching a fab neuroscience course at his favourite uni / town.

Needmoresleep Tue 12-Aug-14 14:18:56

One approach might be to support his through the decision making process. This very much needs to be his decision, but he needs to weigh up the alternatives carefully.

Neuroscience sounds fascinating.

Theas18 Tue 12-Aug-14 15:25:12

needmore, absolutely supporting him through the choices is what we are trying but we get a " don't want to talk" response"! hope it'll change ...

zizza Tue 12-Aug-14 15:36:29

You're doing all the right things and I know what it's like to have one who doesn't really want to talk about it. Just have all the options up your sleeve and wait until Thursday. Then if results are good he can ring round, and only then can he make his decision about whether to try again for medicine. If he really wants to be a doctor, then reapplying is the way to go (I know too many people who "gave up" too early on a degree choice and regretted it later - in the days when gap years weren't so much the thing to do). It sounds like he was close so that should give him hope to try again. But if he's now thinking that maybe medicine's not for him after all, then the neuroscience course would be good - but really only if he has decided he doesn't want to be a doctor for definite (and he probably won't even know that until Thursday when he's pushed into making a decision). Good luck!

FantaSea Tue 12-Aug-14 16:46:43

Theas I am sorry to hear about your DS. My DD is also waiting for A level results on Thursday and is taking a gap year, so I fully understand the problem of all his friends going off to uni and him being left behind.

I have found with a lot of issues with education that if you don't ask you will never know, and I personally would be keen to get him to ring around other med schools, as you say the worst case is a refusal. I know though how hard it is to get them to do something they don't see any point in, and of course UCAS doesn't want to deal with parents on the phone. What might make him feel better is on Thursday itself when other people have missed courses by a grade or so, and are subsequently accepted, or other people have some luck doing what you would like your DS to do. He may then feel empowered to try with the rationale that he has nothing to lose.

Good luck, you have my sympathy, it is such a stressful and tense time for them and for us brew

Theas18 Thu 14-Aug-14 09:18:45

Argh! In a good way !

He has got A* A* A

So the big dilemma is on..... He's just called from school and wants to come home to phone as I think he's a bit shocked.

UptheChimney Thu 14-Aug-14 09:27:45

Congratulations to him!

Wonderful news. This time of year is so lovely to see all the hard work coming good for young people. I really love the start of the academic year.

And might this be a "don't borrow trouble from the future" lesson for all concerned?

peanutbear Thu 14-Aug-14 09:33:00

Wow that's fantastic you must be really proud
fingers crossed for clearing

ProfessionalProcrastinator Thu 14-Aug-14 09:39:34

Congratulations to him and you too! Fingers crossed for the phone calls!

zizza Thu 14-Aug-14 10:17:11

Fantastic results - congratulations to him. Keep us informed about what happens next!

Theas18 Thu 14-Aug-14 11:17:57

I think we ha a decision ...

No joy with ringing round. Flat no.

He's going to do neurosciences - probably the 4yr MA but he doesn't have to decide that now.

But he's doing that as a positive choice knowing he could have re applied and would have been academically good enough which I think is a great outcome.

RawCoconutMacaroon Thu 14-Aug-14 12:47:12

Great news!

alreadytaken Thu 14-Aug-14 13:06:35

I'd assume anyone claiming all medical students use a writing service to work for the service since my experience is that they don't generally do so. Nor do I know of any evidence that the courses help, although the books do. Every year good students miss out on places at medical school, he's far from the only one, and those who decide to reapply often have a place the next year.

Too many young science students think they have to apply for medicine. He will do a degree he enjoys, get a great job and you'll (hopefully) still get to see him at Christmas when his doctor friends are in hospital. And you wont have to fund him for 5 or 6 years wine.

zizza Thu 14-Aug-14 23:13:45

Glad he's made a decision. He had great results and I love alreadytaken's spin on the positives smile

Eastpoint Thu 14-Aug-14 23:18:30

Congratulations to him, what great results. I only know one graduate who has done neuroscience but she has really enjoyed it throughout, just graduated this summer. Well done him.

Stripeeepyjamas Fri 15-Aug-14 00:01:37

Excellent results well done.

Just a note, if he does really want to become a doctor and neuroscience is his 2nd choice then he could reapply for next year. Med schools highly regard mature students and with those results and even more experience under his belt he is likely to get in. I know it's difficult at that age to really be sure, but if medicine is what he really wants then it's worth the wait, especially if he's worked so hard for it.

I'm sure he will succeed in whatever he does.

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