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Course for medical school application

(24 Posts)
user1486251205 Sat 04-Feb-17 23:45:46

My daughter has received an email about a 'getting into medical school course', called operation medical school. Apparently its held by medical student from imperial, and it is in the next few weeks, and she has a friend going. I was wondering if it would be worth her time and money going to that course?
She's in year 12 right now, and the course is called 'operation medical school'.

Mistletoekids Sat 04-Feb-17 23:52:46

I wouldn't go into medicine now. There are many other fantastic careers for bright young people. It's borrible in the nhs for doctors and not going to get any better

user1486251205 Sun 05-Feb-17 00:22:16

But she is dead set on studying medicine, and I do really support her on this. Do you think a course like that would help her?

Decorhate Sun 05-Feb-17 08:06:21

I have no idea what these sort of courses offer but they are certainly not essential for a successful application. I would say it is far more useful to do the research yourself & help your dd tailor her applications to her strengths.

Unless the course was going to do this for each attendee I can't see that they are going to be giving out anything other than general advice.

I would be wary especially if it costs £££

sendsummer Sun 05-Feb-17 08:22:25

These sort of courses are n't essential but a day of general advice can be time saving especially if the school and family don't have the familiarity or resources to provide some guidance. I would presume that a course run by Imperial students will be as good as any of others.

titchy Sun 05-Feb-17 10:30:16

I would presume that a course run by Imperial students will be as good as any of others.

I wouldn't. A course run by students? Ffs what experience do they actually have of admissions? None. Avoid.

Do the research yourself, better still encourage your dd to do it. Pick BMAT or UKCAT, and get practice papers, study entry requirements to pick the most likely to suit her, get work experience and lots of it. And decent GCSEs and Top A level predictions.

swingofthings Sun 05-Feb-17 10:46:53

What does it offer and for how much? DD and I have looked into these and there seem to be many, a few offered for free or minimum fees, whilst others are asking for £100s.

Looking at the content of these, some seem to offer very basic information whilst others appear to offer information above what can be found on the web. DD is going to one arranged by the Royal Society of Medicine in a week's time that seemed the most constructive one. It cost only £25 so very reasonable.

I've googled the one you are referring too, it is a bit dearer at £59, but seems to go over all important aspect of the application/interview, similar to the one DD will be attending.

My only reservation is that the Imperial one seem to be ONLY led by students, which I expect would be those who got in Imperial. Of course, they are well informed of the process, however, reading many posts on TSR, it would seem that students are not always fully clear as to why they got a place at one school and not another. The RSM session seem to be led by 'experts' (whoever they are!), with 'also' some current students to provide feedback and so maybe offering a wider views on all schools.

swingofthings Sun 05-Feb-17 10:52:36

haha, was posting at the same time than you titchy. Not as categorical as you in terms of what can be learnt from students, but indeed, same point!

I think the main benefit of these sessions is that it makes it all more real. DD knows that she got to get As for her predicted grades, that she will need to ace the UKCAT and therefore practice it, and that her Personal Statement will need to be personalised and reflect what she's learnt from her experience rather than what she did. However, I think in a way it all seems a bit academic at the moment. I would hope that hearing it from the 'experts', made real by the current students, and being amongst others who share the same dream and commitment will make it all vert real and give her that extra motivation boost. She is going with someone from her school who also intends to apply to medical school who she doesn't know very well, so I think that will also be a good thing rather than going alone, or with a very good friend (potentially distracted going to London on her own for the first time!), let alone with mum!

sendsummer Sun 05-Feb-17 12:10:33

A course run by students? Ffs what experience do they actually have of admissions? None. Avoid.
titchy I think you are being extreme. Swimgofthings has a better balanced view and in fact if OP could afford it and they lived in London then attending both courses would be reasonable. The advantage of a course with student speakers is that they provide very recent experiences of successfully going through the process which for prospective applicants does make it more relatable to them.
I also think it is unlikely that the Imperial student course is run without consulting official admissions advice.

EduCated Sun 05-Feb-17 12:14:28

Is it a money making type thing, or is it an outreach type activity that is free/minimal costs?

Also is it actually delivered by the University, or just students who attend the university?

If it's a genuine university outreach activity I'd bite their hand off.

titchy Sun 05-Feb-17 12:22:52

I also think it is unlikely that the Imperial student course is run without consulting official admissions advice.

Why would you assume that? The details don't mention anything about that at all which they surely would if they could?

What do these Imperial students know about what St George's are looking for, or Bristol, or Brighton and Sussex, or UEA? They are all very different and have very different things they look for in applicants. If I was forking out £60 I'd want the speakers to be experienced med school admissions tutors, or be sixth form coordinators with contacts and experience in med admissions in all U.K. Universities, not just one.

RedHelenB Sun 05-Feb-17 13:20:17

I think another thing to consider is whether they really & truly know WHY they did well at interview.

sendsummer Sun 05-Feb-17 15:31:39

Edu it would seem (from a quick google) that this organisation started as outreach in Canada.
User you can ask the organisers questions according to their events page. It would be worth clearing up whether they are covering official admissions advice or just their perspectives. Both are valid. Your DD may already be well informed about the whole admissions process all in which case this will be more about meeting lots of like minded people.

I notice that the RSM conference is also quite IC heavy from the medics talking.

peteneras Sun 05-Feb-17 15:41:47

Eton College in association with The Royal Society of Medicine organise an annual conference entitled, 'So you want to be a doctor?' every year in June specially designed for Yr-11 and Yr-12 aspiring medics from all schools. Experts in medical school applications don't come any closer than in this annual one-day conference held at Eton College. Here you have actual medicine admissions tutors together with other experts in the medicine application process coming to talk to you about how to make a strong application, etc.

Every year sees different speakers coming from far and wide to talk about their expertise. Young budding medics should benefit enormously from attending this conference which should give their medicine application a head start. It doesn't cost a bomb to apply - just £15 which includes a fantastic lunch - and if that is still an issue, Eton will be more than glad to waive this charge.

This year's programme should be released fairly soon but here's an example of last year' programme which should give you a good idea what to expect. Just watch the space!

mumsneedwine Sun 05-Feb-17 15:51:32

My daughter went to the Eton day last year and said it was really useful - was £10. She's still in touch with some of the students she met that day. And in a few weeks she's off to Oxford for a medics day about ethics and the NHS. That's free. There are lots of things that don't cost much and I'm always a little wary about expensive courses (mine wouldn't be able to go). Her college are helping with UKCAT and BMAT preparation after AS levels. Think most organised places do these days ?

swingofthings Sun 05-Feb-17 18:13:21

Eton College in association with The Royal Society of Medicine organise an annual conference entitled, 'So you want to be a doctor?'
It is exactly the same agenda and speakers that the session DD is going to on the 13th. Ironically, one of the speaker at both sessions is the Deputy Admission Tutor from...Imperial!

Pipsqueak11 Sun 05-Feb-17 18:19:38

My Dd is at med -she d uhh dent do any of these courses but did do a Kaplan ukcat course which she found v useful .good luck .I remember what a rollercoaster that year was!

user1486251205 Mon 06-Feb-17 00:49:18

Dd asked her chemistry teacher about this event and he said this is the first he is hearing of it, but he said it sounds good and is worth going to. Although he did say it was not essential, and dd could manage without it. He also said that it was worth emailing the organiser to clarify whether this course was for entry into imperial or just generally into medicine. But all in all, he said it sounds like a good idea to go to it because its run by actual students from a good medical school, who probably have a better idea than anyone on how best to apply for medicine.

YodasEars Wed 08-Feb-17 18:49:59

because its run by actual students from a good medical school, who probably have a better idea than anyone on how best to apply for medicine.

Would just like to point out that all medical schools are good medical schools.

I also wouldn't necessarily say they're in the best position to give advice, either. I'm a fourth year and though I got multiple offers back when I applied, the admissions process for most of those universities has changed in that time - whether it be the UKCAT weighting, points allocated for GCSE grades, the format of the interview etc.

I always steered clear of courses such as this when applying. Call me cynical, but feeding off the anxieties of prospective applicants must be quite a lucrative business, particularly at the prices they tend to charge.

MedSchoolRat Wed 08-Feb-17 20:58:42

I was interviewing med-school applicants today.
I feel wary about the idea of an expensive course. There has to be equal quality advice for free online, student room, youtube videos, cheap books you can buy. Role play they can practice with friends.

And one thing that makes all the interviewers groan is the impression that some kids are so perfectly "prepared" that we don't know who we are talking to, is that the real person presented to us?

My advice to OP's DD is to look at the actual course to find what suits her. The difference courses are structured quite differently & the admissions process, beyond excellent academics, is oriented towards choosing applicants that are a good fit for that specific style of course. I wonder if a generalised coaching session will be too general.

MedSchoolRat Wed 08-Feb-17 21:06:12

Imperial runs a rather different course from many others, just saying! 6 yrs long for fresh undergrads. I think it might mean More technical specialism before finishing MBBS, and no contact with patients before yr3.

I heard my institution described as a "GP factory". Lots of patient contact early on, emphasis on consultation skills. Very different approach to "what is medicine". We might be looking for different initial skillsets than what Imperial requires.

ElectronicDischarge Wed 08-Feb-17 21:20:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swingofthings Fri 10-Feb-17 21:18:49

Let's not forget that for many 16-17yo, the whole application process is very new to them and it does take an opportunity for a real eye opener to appreciate what it really involves.

DD went to a very average comprehensive school and now only to a slightly above average 6th forms. Most students are happy to get Cs, and teachers are happy when they get Bs. As such, DD has evolved being told from primary school (average too) that she was extremely clever and would achieved all she ever set her mind too.

It hasn't be easy to install in her the fact that the competition she will face during the application process is very different to what she's experienced so far and that getting a place in Medicine is going to be a much more strenuous task than just wanting it badly.

I therefore think that even if she will be able to read in various online sites all the things she will be told on Monday, being there in the atmosphere, with others pupils very similar to her, being faced with the demands of the process will hopefully reinforce the reality of the whole process. She has matured a lot from that perspective in the last few months but any opportunities to familiarise herself to the expectations of the process can only be of benefit.

At £25, I think it is money very well spent if only for this experience.

kdasani Wed 26-Apr-17 17:09:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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