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Studying medicine with average grades

(27 Posts)
Orangeoasis1 Wed 26-Feb-20 17:34:16

Hi all,

Does anyone have any experience with university acceptance based on my grades? I will give a brief outline below of my situation.

GCSE Maths - C
GCSE English- B
No science ( but can take if needed)
Access to higher education diploma Midwifery

I wanted to study midwifery however now I am leaning toward obstetrics and gynaecology. I don’t actually know if deep down I could keep up with the medical degree, I am not very “clever”.

I am age 28, living in London and I am wondering if I would possibly be accepted to medical school based on my access course as it covers the biology aspect and human body. I am also wondering if starting at age 28-29 would leave any room in the next 6 years to have children...

If for example I finish school in 6 years, I would still not be able to take time out as I would still be in hospital training for years.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks

OP’s posts: |
SirTobyBelch Wed 26-Feb-20 21:36:43

Sorry. You won't be able to get directly on to a medicine degree course with an Access to Midwifery diploma. Medical schools that accept Access for direct entry - of which there is a limited number - will usually only accept Access to Medicine. Your Access diploma would be acceptable for some foundation years but then your lack of science GCSEs is likely to be a problem.

See www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2357/msc-entry-requirements-for-uk-medical-schools.pdf.

Your most realistic option in terms of getting onto a foundation year would be Clinical Sciences at the University of Bradford, from which you can apply to transfer to medicine at Sheffield if you meet particular criteria (www.bradford.ac.uk/courses/ug/clinical-sciences-medicine-foundation/). However, the number of students who actually get those places at Sheffield will be limited. The pathway used to be to medicine at Leeds and a large proportion of the students who applied were unsuccessful.

I don’t actually know if deep down I could keep up with the medical degree, I am not very “clever”.

Of course people's definition of "clever" will vary, but medicine degree courses are very demanding. Not just intellectually - in which they're comparable to other science courses - but in terms of the range of things you have to learn and how rigorously you're assessed. A fair number of students with A* and A grades in science A-levels (and even with previous degrees) struggle.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be brutal but I think you need to look at it realistically.

Why did you change your mind about midwifery? This is also a tough course but it is perhaps less academic in the first couple of years than medicine is.

SarahAndQuack Wed 26-Feb-20 21:40:26

This might be useful: www.bma.org.uk/advice/career/studying-medicine/becoming-a-doctor/graduate-and-foundation-students

It looks as if some schools will accept an access to medicine course, but says you could contact each one directly as they'll have different requirements.

People can and do have children during residency; I know someone who had two within three years. But I think it is very hard work.

zelbazinnamon Wed 26-Feb-20 21:45:12

Well, leaving aside the entry requirements, DH did graduate medicine and we knew several women who had babies at medical school & during their foundation training - we did too, (DC1 first year medical school, DC2 FY1, DC3 ST1) but obviously it’s a different experience being the father. Lots and lots of doctors have babies during their specialist training - it’s a well trodden route - during FY years is less common.

alexdgr8 Wed 26-Feb-20 21:50:06

a medical degree is a very highly academic and challenging course for even the high-flyers. it is the most competitive course to get into.
it is also very stressful, both in physically and psychologically.
then the life of junior doctors involves very long hours on duty, with not much back-up, esp overnight, and alarming level of responsibility, with frequent moves all over the country to find placements.
why do you think you want to do it.
could you not qualify in midwifery and then take extra in service courses to up your qualifications and specialise.
frankly, i think you are being unrealistic re medical school.
there are more career options opening up for nursing graduates; last week it was announced that there will be a two year course for nurses to do surgical procedures. there are also advanced nurse practitioners, and i guess similar roles in midwifery. good luck.
i think you would be better suited to pursue the nursing route.

SirTobyBelch Wed 26-Feb-20 21:52:21

It looks as if some schools will accept an access to medicine course

They will. But @Orangeoasis1 hasn't done an Access to Medicine course. Access to Midwifery isn't the same thing.

Bartlet Wed 26-Feb-20 21:57:57

Realistically with grades like bs and cs in your GCSEs then you’re not working at the level expected of medical students. Unless there was a specific reason you don’t achieve top grades then i doubt you’d be academically strong enough to be able to follow the syllabus.

What made you change your mind from midwifery? That seems much more achievable for you.

milkjetmum Wed 26-Feb-20 22:01:30

There are several widening participation routes into medicine which usually include a foundation year before joining the rest of the cohort. Each has their own entry requirements but for example in Southampton they will accept BBC. There are additional criteria you must meet eg first in family to go to uni, from disadvantaged neighborhood or receiving certain benefits.

BobbyBlueCat Wed 26-Feb-20 22:03:39

Not a chance.

notanurse2017 Wed 26-Feb-20 22:07:16

Medicine isn't for you, Op. Have you considered other health care professional training?

SirTobyBelch Wed 26-Feb-20 22:15:09

There are several widening participation routes into medicine which usually include a foundation year before joining the rest of the cohort. Each has their own entry requirements but for example in Southampton they will accept BBC.

The OP hasn't taken A-levels.

milkjetmum Wed 26-Feb-20 22:48:34

I think you've had some harsh replies here op, how did you get on with your access course?

Each uni will have a policy on equivalence they give for various qualifications and for example BBB at a level is equivalent through access to HE to "60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at Level 3 of which 24 credits must be at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit."

BackforGood Wed 26-Feb-20 22:54:47

@milkjetmum people aren't being nasty. The OP has asked a question, presumably because she wants to know the answer hmm

It's not doing her any favours to say "Go for it hun", to then find she can't cope with the course.

Of course people's definition of "clever" will vary, but medicine degree courses are very demanding. Not just intellectually - in which they're comparable to other science courses - but in terms of the range of things you have to learn and how rigorously you're assessed. A fair number of students with A and A grades in science A-levels (and even with previous degrees) struggle.*

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be brutal but I think you need to look at it realistically.

This ^

Medicine is extremely stressful and medics are examined continually on a MASSIVE range of knowledge.

SarahAndQuack Wed 26-Feb-20 23:04:55

@SirTobyBelch, I know. I was pointing her in the direction of some information and specifying which access course she would need, since she suggests she'd be willing to do further qualifications if necessary.

milkjetmum Wed 26-Feb-20 23:10:22

Don't insult me by attributing "hun" to my vocabulary this is not netmums wink. Anyway it's Dr @milkjetmum thank you very much grin.

Don't want to derail thread but widening participation is a topic close to my heart, and traditional route of 3 AAA levels in biol, chem and maths is not the only road in these days (and further broadening of a levels subjects accepted is on the horizon with eg increasing awareness of role of sociology/society in understanding/determining health).

Anyway go for it hun @Orangeoasis1 grin

Sunflower20 Wed 26-Feb-20 23:13:50

Not sure with your grades OP.
Medical school is just the first hurdle, the postgraduate exams are the real challenging ones. For example my specialty has 4 big royal college exams that you need to pass to progress through training and become a consultant. Pass rate can be around 50%. When you're juggling kids and night shifts with revision, you really need to know how to study smart.

balletpanda Wed 26-Feb-20 23:29:16

I think you'd need to do a levels (in any subjects) to get onto the access to medicine year to then get onto medicine or just sit the a levels in science and then try to get into med school directly.

Honestly, a C in maths is going to make things like the UCAT tough. You have to have a fairly decent baseline and most med schools request a B for this reason. I don't know anyone who even had a B in maths but Tbf I don't routinely ask colleagues their gcse results.

Also if you're 28 now and you need to do a levels that's at best two years plus a year to apply and then 5/6 years at uni and then 2 years for foundation year and then 7(might be 8 actually) for o+g .... so you wouldn't be a consultant obstetrician/gynae until you're 46. And that's with no time out for mat leave/part time after having kids. The working conditions for o+g trainees are shit. It's gruelling. I wouldn't do it for this reason alone. Hands down I'd do a million other less stressful specialties before this one, despite loving it as a subject academically. It's HELL.

My advice as someone who's gone through the system is that it's highly highly competitive. We had an access to medicine course at my med school and the access students came from alternative but highly highly academic backgrounds; think language oxford grads, LSE political sciences background and even engineers/accountants.

That said, it's not impossible. If you wanted to see if you had a shot you could sit UCAT at some point this year just to see how you score on the admissions altitude test...might give you an idea of whether it's attainable or not smile good luck whatever you choose

WallyDancre Wed 26-Feb-20 23:45:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

computergeek Wed 26-Feb-20 23:51:04

I toyed with the idea of medicine (ultimately the lifestyle wasn't for me), we were told GCSEs grade C or above but myself and others who did go into medicine were straight A students. Pp raises a good point about the UCAT as this seemed more important than the GCSEs so it might be worth looking into doing that. That said entering at 28 is very different to 18 and I'm not sure the focus is so much on academic ability (happy to be corrected, just my impression from speaking to a friend who tried again after not getting the grades at 18).

CherryPavlova Wed 26-Feb-20 23:55:18

If you are serious about medicine then take three A levels which include chemistry and another science. Get straight A’s. Then apply.
Alternatively do a midwifery degree then use that to apply to medicine.

If you want a quick assessment of whether your brain is good enough perhaps sit a UKCAT and see what score you get. Then look at the scores the medical schools are looking at. There are practice books to help prepare. The GCSE grades aren’t encouraging but maybe you were a bit lazy then.

Be prepared for a minimum of ten years of exams. It’s tough academically. It’s tough to have work life balance. It’s tough shift working at Foundation stage and core training stage.

Ginfordinner Thu 27-Feb-20 00:09:38

DD has 10 GCSEs, 8 of which are A/A* and three A levels all grade A. She is in her first year of a biomedical sciences degree and is covering the same topics that medical students are, and is finding it hard.

I think you would find a medical degree extremely hard going. I agree that having a look at the UCAT test will give you an idea of what will be expected of you.

Kwkwjwkek Thu 27-Feb-20 00:53:42

Don’t think you have the qualifications. It’s highly competitive. Everyone will have better grades.

Charlieiscool Thu 27-Feb-20 06:29:09

Forget it. Move on and good luck with your midwifery diploma. That will be hard enough for you but hopefully you will make it.

HostessTrolley Thu 27-Feb-20 21:49:56

Midwifery is a degree course to become a registered midwife.

Flatwhite101 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:56:24

If still interested in Medicine-related, have you considered something like a Physician's associate? They are becoming increasingly popular in the NHS, and done through a Masters degree. Would hopefully be able to get onto a human sciences type BSc with the Midwifery access, and then potentially move onto that after.

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