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Early preparation for medicine application
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897654321abcvrufhfgg · 08/08/2018 17:05

Hi. My child is going in to year 11 and is currently hoping to pursue medicine at university. She is very bright and has exasperating attention to detail. but extremely shy ( bordering on anxious) and as a result struggles with extra curricular activities. What can we do over the next 2+ years to help her preparation. She is exceptionally well read and already reads medical journals and all the latest books by medics (?) so I am not concerned about her knowledge and passion for the subject not coming across in her application. Simply put what can we do to help her.

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keepingbees · 08/08/2018 17:52

What about some volunteer work in a local hospital to help build her confidence and get her some hands on experience in a medical setting?

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titchy · 08/08/2018 17:56

Forget extra curricular - she needs to do do something that gets her over her anxiety. Medics need to communicate and communicate well. Any sort of voluntary work to start with, then if she can look to help in a hospital or care home - making tea, chatting to patients/residents. Something that actively gets her interacting with people.

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897654321abcvrufhfgg · 08/08/2018 18:10

She communicates very well in environments that she is comfortable in. Put her in to a new setting and you can’t get her to say 2 words and she actively refuses extra curricular activities. She has recently volunteered in our local library for 6m for her DoE and really enjoyed that and had no problems communicating with everyone. I think I am after some ideas that will give her confidence and winning edge in her application as her nervousness will disadvantage her at interview.

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mumsneedwine · 08/08/2018 18:40

She does need to be more confident as the application process requires being put in many difficult situations. Interviews are mini stations so for example there would be 8 different stations of 8 minutes each with 2 minutes in between. Mostly - some still use panel and/or group interviews.
How about a part time job ? Customer contact is great for confidence boosting. Stacking shelves is good for the soup !
And definitely volunteering as she'll need that anyway - anything caring counts so doesn't need to be in a hospital. But she does need to be able to show confidence at interview - they'll interview 1000 for 400 offers.
She needs to start now as in 2 years she has to write her personal statement - it will go v quickly ! Good luck and PM me if want any more info (but tell me as it doesn't show up on app).

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mumsneedwine · 08/08/2018 18:42

Soul not soup 😂. Pop over to the medicine 2018 thread - we are all a bit quiet at moment as waiting for next week to be over. But it's been such a helpful place to give ideas and support

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Au79 · 08/08/2018 21:14

She sounds very serious- if she can’t be bothered with extracurriculars then she needs to get a job, paid or voluntary. She’ll get over her nerves after a few shifts and it will build her confidence for the next challenges. She needs more to put on her application than reading books about medicine!

Maybe send her on NCS after GCSEs, I would make it obligatory in her case. (Doing the same for my shy one, she will hate it, or she will organise something herself- I’m not having her moping about again all summer!)

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Oxfordmedic · 08/08/2018 22:48

OP what does she do to relax?
She sounds rather intense by how you portray her which would worry me about her ability to cope with work life balance in medicine.
Tell her the best thing to help would be to find an activity during which she can unwind and if at all possible combine with improving her social confidence. Perhaps something to do with animals like dog walking for elderly people or helping with riding for the disabled?

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MedSchoolRat · 09/08/2018 09:16

Keep working on pushing her comfort zones. That kind of thing comes up a lot in interviews; we look for & expect resilience. Take the positive view that she CAN develop these skills, and fair enough it's a gradual process. Start from where she is now & keep nudging.

Many of the candidates put on a "Water off a duck's back" attitude during interview. If not sincere, she needs to learn to fake that until it's real.

Risk taking is good: teaches confidence. Look for risks to take.

If all that fills her with horror, consider another path is my best advice.

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Skiiltan · 09/08/2018 10:11

If she is really uncomfortable talking to and working with other people she will find medical school utter torture, even assuming she can get in. If she can't talk to patients (and doctors, nurses, etc.) who she hasn't met before she won't be able to complete the course

It would seem to be a good idea to build on the library experience. Who did she have to communicate with in that role, and why was she more comfortable with this? Is she more uncomfortable talking to people she knows slightly (e.g. kids from other classes/years at school) than to people she doesn't know at all?

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Decorhate · 09/08/2018 10:14

OP I was painfully shy as a teen & that's what probably made me discount medicine - with hindsight I regret that.

What helped me was getting a waitressing job. You have to approach strangers all the time, but you more or less have a script so you don't have to worry about what to say. Any sort of job/volunteering where you interact with the public would help.

In terms of extra-curriculars for the PS, there is still plenty of time. My dd (just finished 3rd year medicine) did once a fortnight volunteering with a local organisation. Our local health authority did placements for prospective medical & nursing students but she had just started this when she was writing her PS. She had to be creative & say what she had got from this as if she had already done it!

I always feel it's how you can spin it rather than what you have actually done. One med student at an Open Day said she had just worked in Sainsbury's but had been able to spin that...

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goodbyestranger · 09/08/2018 19:27

I would suggest that she might like to look at Biomedical Sciences as an alternative option, unless she becomes far more at ease with new people and situations over the course of the next couple of years. If she's very bright indeed as you say and very interested in the science, she could do a lot of good pursuing that. But as things stand it sounds - as Skiiltan has said - as though she'd find life at medical school a sustained nightmare and that would do her no good at all.

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Skiiltan · 09/08/2018 22:29

I'm dubious about biomedical sciences as an alternative, to be honest, unless someone actually wants to be a biomedical scientist (i.e. a poorly paid employee in a hospital laboratory with very limited career prospects). If someone wants a future career in research or the pharma/food/agrichemical/cosmetics industry, or even graduate-entry medicine, I think there are better options: medicinal chemistry, cell & molecular biology, bioinformatics, biotechnology, biomaterials sciences/engineering, etc.

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goodbyestranger · 09/08/2018 22:41

Makes sense Skiiltan, you'll know better than me. It just sounds from the pen sketch as though the OP's DD is not currently cut out to go into medicine as an undergrad, unless things change quite markedly in the next couple of years. There are plenty of other good options for a very bright DC who's seriously interested in the science.

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Skiiltan · 09/08/2018 22:53

True enough, @goodbyestranger. It can be quite heartbreaking to see the torment some young people put themselves through.

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