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Medic Mortal

(19 Posts)
finnto Thu 07-Dec-17 15:50:14

This is a thread for those still waiting to hear if DCs have an interview for med school.
Commiseration and comfort for the rejected right here!wine
If you get an offer you're welcome to join the backslappers on the other threadgrin

finnto Fri 08-Dec-17 14:40:32

Mortal as in a human being. An ordinary mortal.
DC received first rejection this week, Manchester. Has good UKCAT, volunteering etc., but mean predictions.

sad

Needmoresleep Fri 08-Dec-17 15:14:45

Its a two year process. Really. Involving a fair element of luck.

DD was one of three without an offer at the start of March. In a school where 20 or more go to medschool.

The first was great on paper, and lovely, but presumably unlucky. She got a place at her first choice the next year. DD ended up getting two offers and one rejections in March. (Her cousin, a couple of years previously was sitting on three rejections in March, but then got a place. I know of three, including two from MN, who picked up places in August last summer.) DD's other friend was the first to congratulate her when she got her first offer, even though he received his final rejection that day. He took a gap year and did so well in an internship in something completely different, that he got a promotion, and was then offered a further impressive promotion if he skipped University . He didn't but almost certainly has no regrets about not being accepted for med-school.

A few will strike it lucky an get early offers. very few will get four offers. For most it is a long drawn out and difficult process. These are early days. The support thread is there to support. Yes at the moment it is news of interviews. But rejections will start happening, and there will be some panic in March. Hang on in there!

finnto Fri 08-Dec-17 16:54:44

That's very encouraging, Needmoresleep. The process is not for the faint hearted. I think realistically we were looking at a two year bid as grades just short of AAA with As in the mix. From looking at the university websites it seems as though a few will take AAB if these grades are in hand. The discrepancies between sixth forms in awarding predictions, really rankles though. And there's really nothing parents can do because of the fear any complaint will be addressed by some sort of retaliation against the pupil.

Needmoresleep Fri 08-Dec-17 19:52:24

Presumably what he really needs to do is ace those A levels and not allow himself to be distracted by this year’s application process. With good grades and previous experience of things like UKCAT and applying strategically, he should have a much better chance next. And if he does land the grades he needs (or better) there he can try clearing, or one of his original choices may get back to him.

Getting an interview, or even a place this year, then becomes a bonus.

finnto Sat 09-Dec-17 15:28:40

Thank you, Needmoresleep. He's definitely going all guns blazing on the academic front. I hope he can keep it up and get great grades. Then he'll just have to try and ace the UKCAT again. I'm trying not to dwell, but it does seem unjust that while he achieved the highest UKCAT out of his cohort of friends, he has the poorest predicted grades. Some have AAA after really dire Yr12 stats and mocks and are getting interviews. It beggars belief that sheer guesswork on the part of teachers can destroy his chances without any hope of redress. He, of course, will congratulate those who get an offer. He's a nationally ranked sportsman so has had to learn how to lose graciously. He would make a great doctor as loved the stamina aspect of the job during work experience. Running marathons in the freezing cold makes standing on your feet for a few hours a piece of cake.

LoniceraJaponica Sun 10-Dec-17 21:32:52

I'm so glad you started this thread. I have hidden the other medic thread because it was full of parents with DC who are getting interviews/have stellar UKCAT results/A*, A*, A* predictions etc, and I was getting a little disheartened.

DD achieved a reasonable UKCAT score (7th decile), has decent GCSE grades and AAA A level predictions, BUT she doesn't have enough work experience. Being one of the youngest in her year she has found it very difficult to get work experience. She keeps being told to come back when she is 18 (which is after she leaves school). She has managed to get a place volunteering at a local care home, but as she is under 18 she can't handle the residents.

I have told her that she needs to look at applying to medical school as a 2 year process. She has had a rejection from her 5th choice, but isn't bothered because it isn't really what she wants to do. She has had acknowledgements from the medical schools but not heard anything else yet.

Needmoresleep I thought medical school places in clearing were as rare as hen's teeth. Which medical schools had spare places in August?

LoniceraJaponica Sun 10-Dec-17 21:33:16

I'm so glad you started this thread. I have hidden the other medic thread because it was full of parents with DC who are getting interviews/have stellar UKCAT results/A*, A*, A* predictions etc, and I was getting a little disheartened.

DD achieved a reasonable UKCAT score (7th decile), has decent GCSE grades and AAA A level predictions, BUT she doesn't have enough work experience. Being one of the youngest in her year she has found it very difficult to get work experience. She keeps being told to come back when she is 18 (which is after she leaves school). She has managed to get a place volunteering at a local care home, but as she is under 18 she can't handle the residents.

I have told her that she needs to look at applying to medical school as a 2 year process. She has had a rejection from her 5th choice, but isn't bothered because it isn't really what she wants to do. She has had acknowledgements from the medical schools but not heard anything else yet.

Needmoresleep I thought medical school places in clearing were as rare as hen's teeth. Which medical schools had spare places in August?

LoniceraJaponica Sun 10-Dec-17 21:33:38

Sorry for the double post. Mumsnet was having a moment

ProfessorLayton1 Sun 10-Dec-17 23:27:21

StGeorge’s had clearing for medicine last year

Needmoresleep Mon 11-Dec-17 08:02:38

I cant remember which medical schools other than SGUL were in clearing last year, but I think Liverpool and Peninsular have been in the past. What happens more frequently is that Medical Schools will contact near misses in August or do it more formally by asking people if they want to be kept on a wait list. The latter happened to a couple of people on last year's thread, though only one posted, whilst another MN DC was offered a SGUL place.

The reality is that so many apply that a good proportion will not get places first time round, and applicants are sifted on a range of criteria. Very few will be good at everything. DD ended up getting quite bolshie, effectively declaring that she was who she was, she thought she would make a good doctor, if others disagreed, so be it. Her strengths ironically were strong A level predictions - the same went for her two friends who received no offers - and lots of EC, volunteering and shadowing. But a poor UKCAT, less than perfect GCSEs and no BMAT as she had been very ill during the summer and recovery took precedence.

The focus became planning the gap year with that year's applications being a trial run, to the extent that when she received an offer, she asked to defer as she wanted the gap year anyway. Starting a year later did her no harm. There are plenty of grad students who are quite a lot older, and life experience away from school/university will do her no harm. (Though working for a family ski company may have put her off Paeds for ever.)

So come back to the main thread. There will almost certainly be some panic around March, plus some useful information like Prof Layton's recent post. And certainly some of those who are jubilant about interviews, are doing so out of relief rather than bragging. The toughest thing for DD, was not just the other medic applicants at her school having places, but that by March all her friends had firmed their offers, and were focused on mocks and coursework, whilst she was in limbo.

I would recommend reading the tail end of The Students Room medic threads for the Universities your DC have applied to, for last year and the year before to give yourself reassurance that strange things do happen in August (sometimes the other way round, where applicants are paid to defer to help the University get their numbers right). When your DC ace their grades it might help them decide whether it is worth an opportunistic email.

LoniceraJaponica Mon 11-Dec-17 08:24:55

Thank you for your helpful insights Needmoresleep

Decorhate Mon 11-Dec-17 08:44:54

In my small bubble, the two people I know with stellar GCSEs & high predicted grades only had one offer. So academics are definitely not everything. Though of course, one offer is all you need!

Re work experience, I also wouldn't get too worried about the quality of this. It's all about how you can spin it. We met one girl on an open day who had just worked in a supermarket but used it to demonstrate her people skills in her personal statement.

In my area, the local NHS trust does run a work experience programme for young people applying for medicine & nursing. Can't remember how we found out about it. It was a bit last minute - dd had just started when she was writing her PS so had to be creative!

She also volunteered with a group of teenagers with learning disabilities. In our town there is an organisation called CVS that matches volunteers with charities.

Leeds definitely had an informal waiting list in past years & made offers from that after results day. But that is only of use if you have applied there I suppose.

Decorhate Mon 11-Dec-17 08:49:29

I also found out about this recently. Had no idea there were routes like this into medicine. Might be worth looking into if grades are still a problem after results day. Other unis may do similar
www.bradford.ac.uk/study/courses/info/foundation-in-clinical-sciences-medicine

missminimum Mon 11-Dec-17 08:52:29

Despite having to get applications in early, offers for medicine can drag on into February/March. It is a long and I remember tense time. My son finally was offered an interview in the February after being rejected by his other 3 university choices. He was young and not 18 until he was doing A levels, so work experience was difficult to find. He did get a week at our local hospital shadowing doctors, there was someone at the hospital who had a role organising work experience. His A level predictions were AAB which made it challenging and now I question why we didn't challenge his teachers about this. He did do very well in UKAT, could demonstrate various interests and achievements outside school, as well as volunteering with local cub pack. He was successful at interview, as the others rejected him, it was his only chance but it was his favourite uni. He got an offer and ended up achieving A*AA at A level. He is now a qualified Doctor and loving it. It is hard work and you really have to be prepared to be obsessed with the subject and job. Medical schools really want candidates who understand the realities of life as a doctor and know that it is a lot of hard work. He was the only one in his year to get an offer. Others had to apply the following year when they had their results and were more successful then. Good luck to you all, I remember this time well

LoniceraJaponica Mon 11-Dec-17 11:24:04

DD has been a young leader with Brownies for over a year and really enjoys it. I hope that counts for something.

Woodenhillmum Mon 11-Dec-17 11:44:26

My d used similar successfully and it also helped her with own leadership qualities .Her part time job was also used as relevant experience for team work , working with the public and showed she could manage her time , study and work etc .Medical work experience was short and limited but she needed to show lots of reflection on what she had seen and be ready to refer to this in interviews.

swingofthings Mon 11-Dec-17 15:09:02

This thread is very helpful and reassuring for those mums whose children don't get all the interviews right away, so thank you for starting it. In the end, some will get 4 interviews and not get one place, which must be devastating. Some will get only one interview right at the end of the process and get an offer -as missminimum testified. Then you will have those who got an offer and somehow won't get the required grades. This happen to a schoolmate of DD and the poor guy was totally heartbroken.

It's a very tough process and I think one thing we all have in common is that we take it one step at a time. I've been unwell recently, and my GP has put it all down to stress. I wanted to laugh as I've been through must more stressful times in my life, but thinking more about it, I did underestimate the stress that this process is putting on us dedicated mum because let's face it, we've all applied with our DCs haven't we?

Whichever thread, some of our children will be in medical school next year and few won't, but this means that either they will apply again the following year of after graduating, or they will find another path that will take them where they want to be. It's just hard to see it like that when we feel we've invested so much into the process.

finnto Tue 12-Dec-17 14:38:37

For anyone wanting shadowing exp, it's always a good idea to let a wider circle of friends know that you are looking. DS tried everything. The big teaching hospital depts near us were so inundated, the Human Resources dept said they had restricted to relatives of staff. He eventually struck gold through the parent of a friend he goes running with. After asking around he had three or four kind offers of help. I was pleased that he'd made the effort to get the help himself as it had been an eye opener to him as to just how tough it is out there.

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