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Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - December 31st 2009, 12:22 PM

Or thinking about it?

Well I'm hoping to become a pathologist and to do that I need to study to be a doctor first before specialising. I was wondering if anyone had some information on how you go about becoming a doctor. I've searched online but there's lots of conflicting information about it so I don't know which is right.

Also, if I wanted to become a doctor could I get a BSc in Biological Sciences before entering medical school because I really want to study Biological Sciences at University.
   
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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - December 31st 2009, 12:26 PM

what you need depends on the univercity you're applying to.

in the states you need a bachlor's degree and to take this exam called MCAT.

however you're in the UK, so try calling the uni u want to join, or looking up their website.

i know there is a foundation year, where you polish up on all your high school subjects and then seven years of medicane with four years of specilization.

as for the rest, im sorry im not much help


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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - December 31st 2009, 01:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Cara View Post

Also, if I wanted to become a doctor could I get a BSc in Biological Sciences before entering medical school because I really want to study Biological Sciences at University.
My brother is currently studying Medicine. He did not get the grades needed at A level so he chose a different degree and got a BSc in Life Sciences Applicable to Medicine. He then applied to do Postgraduate Degree in Medicine and because it was Postgraduate he just needed a 2:1 in his first degree, they didn't even look at his A levels.
Also the postgraduate course is only 4 years instead of 5

The best way to find out what you will need is to look at Uni websites, UCAS is also a big help. On the websites it gives the options for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses so you can look at what you need for each of them.

If you have any more questions I will be happy to help. I have jut sent off my UCAS application a few weeks ago, I have applied for Radiography not medicine but I have been through the medicine process with my brother.

Last edited by Melody Pond; December 31st 2009 at 08:00 PM.
   
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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - December 31st 2009, 04:29 PM

Hello

I've applied this year. There is little I don't know about medical applications.

Yes you have to do a medical degree. This is normally 5 years undergraduate, or if you have another degree you can try for the 4 year graduate entry route.

There are many reasons why you should go for undergraduate rather than graduate entry
1) Undergraduate (going straight from school) is insanely competitive. About 35% of people get in. Graduate entry (going after a degree) is unimaginable. Think 45-50 applicants per place.
2) Money. You will not get funding or loans for your second degree, only your first. So unless your parents or you are really very well off, you will struggle to pay for a graduate entry degree. There are schemes to help you but very few people get any kind of government help. From your third year or so you get grants from the government, but these are unlikely to cover the whole cost.
3) Time is an issue for some people. To do another degree first will take you a minimum of 7 years.
4) With competition rising the Universities are increasing their entrance requirements. By the time you graduate from a Biological sciences degree you may find them only taking 1st and having increasing demands of how well you score in the entrance exams.

Really I would advice trying to get in straight from school, in terms of money, time and success of getting a place it's the more sensible option.

Why do you want to study biological sciences? That's a very broad topic and will cover far more than just human and health. If you are not wanting to study sciences related to humans why are you wanting to do medicine? That sounds a bit harsh, but with the demands that are placed on you in medical school and the competition you have to face to get a place (it's very fearce) you have to make sure that you defintley want to do medicine and would not be happy doing anything else before you apply. If you just want to study it, why not intercalate for a year? To me it seems like such a better option than doing another degree. Intercalating is when you opt to study for another year in University, usually between your second and third year. It's hard to explain but I'll give it a go. Essentially you need three years worth of 'credits' to graduate, but in medicine you need to study for five years, so you are throwing away two years worth of 'credits'. So if you study for another year - a subject of your choice - you graduate with a degree in that subject as well as your medical degree. The benefits are you still get your loan and are funded through this year, and of course you already have the University place.

As for how to become a doctor, as mentioned, you study at medical school, normally for 5 years. 4 years if you go for the graduate entry route, 6 years if opt to study for another year and leave university with two degrees. You then have to spend two years working as a foundation doctor in four month placements in lots of different areas, eg paediatrics, A&E, GP, pathology. You then apply for your specialist training as a pathologist.

So! Onto how to get yourself a place.
I wrote this leaflet for my college so I'm just going to go ahead and copy bits into here.

Quote:
So you want to be a doctor?
Getting into medical school is not an easy feat, and every year thousands of applicants with straight A grades receive no offers. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to be successful, so before you start putting together your application, ask yourself whether this is what you really want.
This leaflet should inform you of all the things you could, and should, be doing to bring your application up to the standards required to get yourself to the interview stage.

Subjects and grades
There are high academic requirements for GCSEs and A Level results. If you don’t have the grades, you won’t get in.

GCSEs: Universities vary on GCSE requirements, ranging from two B’s to 8 A*s. Most applicants have A and A* grades at GCSE – the more A*s the better! If you don’t, be careful about where you apply and research your choices. It is very important that you check and double check the GCSE requirements of the Universities you hope to apply to before you do so.

A Level: AAB at A level is the lowest grade requirement, though the most applicants have AAA predictions. You need four AS levels, and you will struggle without having Chemistry and Biology to A2. An A in these subjects is normally needed. For the other two subjects, Universities range on whether they prefer all sciences or a mixture of arts and sciences. My personal suggestion would always to be to take Chemistry, Biology and Physics/Maths and then a contrasting arts subject such as History or English Literature. It is up to you whether you continue all four to A2 – this is not necessary but may give you an advantage if you are confident of achieving high grades.


Work experience
Following getting the required grades, work experience is the second most important aspect of your application. With no work experience, you won’t get an offer. Great work experience can make up for poor GCSE grades or a low score on the entrance exam.


What kind of work experience are they looking for?
Getting work experience in a GP surgery or hospital is great, but hard to get and Universities understand this.
Regular volunteering will significantly strengthen your application, especially as if you start now, you will have been volunteering for over a year when it comes to applying.


Work experience that you can find easily
• Volunteering at a care home
• Volunteering in a charity shop
• Volunteering at the League of Friends in your local hospital
• Volunteering at your local hospital
• Visit CVS centre in your town for help finding a voluntary position and full list of what is available.
• Volunteering on a Vitalise holiday.


Work experience in a more clinical setting
It is harder to get this, but not impossible. Write a formal letter and send it out to as many people as possible.
This means work experience shadowing doctors. Have a look on the websites of your local hospital or call them up to enquire about work experience schemes they run.
*I've removed addresses of some places that Ithought students at my college might be successful at*

Extra-Curriculum activities
In other words, what do you do outside of college? Do you play an instrument or a sport, do you speak another language, do you dance or go scuba diving? What are your hobbies?
If you don’t really have any hobbies, don’t worry, you’ve plenty of time to acquire some. I would say as long as you have two extra-curriculum activities, this is sufficient.


Entrance Exams
Most Medical Schools require that you sit an entrance exam; the only exceptions are Bristol, Liverpool and Southampton – which as a consequence have many more applicants per place. There are two different entrance exams, the UKCAT and the BMAT.
Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College London ask for the BMAT
You take the BMAT on the 4th November after you have submitted your UCAS application. The cost of the BMAT varies depending on where you sit the exam, but is normally around 30. You get your results on 1st December.
You can register to take the BMAT and find out more information at www.bmat.org.uk
All other Universities ask for the UKCAT
You take the UKCAT the summer before you apply. EG, if you are applying for entry in 2011, you will take the UKCAT in summer 2010. The UKCAT exam costs 60 before 1st September or 75 afterwards. The last date to register for the UKCAT is 9th October. You take the UKCAT exam on a computer at a test centre.
The UKCAT gives you a score between 300 and 900, with the average score being 600 and most applicants scoring between 500 and 700. Different Universities use the UKCAT in different ways, with some having high cut off scores, but it is generally agreed that you should aim for a minimum of 600. You get your results on the day.
There are a lot of practice books and courses aimed to help you do well in the UKCAT, I would recommend “Get into Medical School - 600 UKCAT Practice Questions”
You register to do the UKCAT at www.ukcat.ac.uk – you can also find a lot more information here.


Other things you should know:
• Look into attending the Medlink conference – it’s a great experience and is very motivational.
• For Medical school an application, your personal statement is often the thing that decides who does and does not get an interview. All the things I have suggested here will give you a stronger personal statement, but always be on the look out for things you can do that you could add to your personal statement. Are there any science trips going on?


Resources

www.thestudentroom.co.uk
This site often gives excellent support, advice and information on everything you could possibly need to know about applying to study Medicine.

www.ukcat.ac.uk
For more information on the UKCAT

www.bmat.org.uk
For more information on the BMAT

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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - December 31st 2009, 05:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by her_beautiful_mistake View Post
2) Money. You will not get funding or loans for your second degree, only your first. So unless your parents or you are really very well off, you will struggle to pay for a graduate entry degree. There are schemes to help you but very few people get any kind of government help. From your third year or so you get grants from the government, but these are unlikely to cover the whole cost.
My brother has the NHS paying his fees and gets his student loan and NHS bursary.
Out of the 4 years of his postgraduate degree he gets the NHS funding for the last 3 years (even if you have to resit a year). The first year he had to pay for his own fees. He has got his student loan for the whole 4 years, it is lower than his first student loan because it is just for maintenance, food and rent basically.

He has actually been given more money on his graduate entry degree. In his first degree he only got his student loan with no help from the NHS.

Try not to worry about money too much, you will always get financial help from the uni and the NHS when doing medicine.

Also I definitely agree with looking at GCSE results needed. My friend applied this year and he has been rejected for 3 of his choices already because he didn't have a B in English. He didn't realise he needed it until it is was too late to resit it. One of his teachers is writing to all of the Uni's because English is his 3rd language and he got a high C.

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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 11:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razzmatazz Rach View Post

My brother has the NHS paying his fees and gets his student loan and NHS bursary.
Out of the 4 years of his postgraduate degree he gets the NHS funding for the last 3 years (even if you have to resit a year). The first year he had to pay for his own fees. He has got his student loan for the whole 4 years, it is lower than his first student loan because it is just for maintenance, food and rent basically.

He has actually been given more money on his graduate entry degree. In his first degree he only got his student loan with no help from the NHS.

Try not to worry about money too much, you will always get financial help from the uni and the NHS when doing medicine.

Also I definitely agree with looking at GCSE results needed. My friend applied this year and he has been rejected for 3 of his choices already because he didn't have a B in English. He didn't realise he needed it until it is was too late to resit it. One of his teachers is writing to all of the Uni's because English is his 3rd language and he got a high C.
I think this is very misleading for the poster, few people get this much funding and she should be worrying about money. Yes the graduate entry schemes are great but to opt into doing graduate-entry rather than undergraduate entry really has too many negatives. Not only that but your brother is going to come out of University with a debt from his first degree and then another 4 years added on top of that. I can't even imagine how much that is. When I leave I will be 28 y.o or something similar, about the age I want to start a family, but with so much debt I'd struggle I think. Everyone writes it off as "it's fine, it just comes out of your pay check every month you don't have to think about it" which is all well and good but you're still paying out a regular monthly amount for years - I'm not the kind of person that likes being in so much debt. Clearly graduate-entry schemes are great but as I said, choosing to do graduate-entry over normal undergraduate entry is really rather foolish.

Also saying that you will get help from the University and NHS doing medicine is untrue - I've been saving for two years because I will struggle to pay myself through University. There are exceptions to this rule but saying not to worry about money generally is a bad idea because it's a major concern for most people.

To be honest your friend wouldn't have been much better off resitting it because they don't tend to accept resit results. GCSEs are a big hurdle for a lot of people so the more A*s you have the better, with lesser grades you're limiting the number of Universities you can apply to and your chances. Sucks but that's how competitive it is

I also forgot to mention that for a lot of gradute-entry schemes they are now starting to look at your A' Level results and still want high grades. As well as significant work experience.

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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 12:27 PM

Quote:
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Clearly graduate-entry schemes are great but as I said, choosing to do graduate-entry over normal undergraduate entry is really rather foolish.
Oh god, I totally agree with you on that.
If he could have done the undergraduate entry then he would have. He didn't choose to go the long expensive way around he had to because he didn't get the grades needed for his conditional offer.

I wouldn't recommend choosing to do a graduate entry, I was just pointing out that it is always an option. This is what my friend is planing to do now because his GCSE grades have let him down.

My brother will have quite a lot of debt and he will be 25 when he graduates but he has said it was 100% worth it because being a doctor is all he has ever wanted to be.

You could always apply for both courses and have biological sciences as a back up in case you don't get accepted for medicine and then you can do the graduate entry medicine. I wouldn't choose to do a graduate entry degree but it is a good back up option.
   
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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 06:49 PM

Quote:
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You could always apply for both courses and have biological sciences as a back up in case you don't get accepted for medicine and then you can do the graduate entry medicine. I wouldn't choose to do a graduate entry degree but it is a good back up option.
This is a good idea and what a lot of people do. In fact when you apply to study medicine they only let you apply to four Universities, rather than five, to encourage you to do just this. Apply to four for medicine and one for a different course just incase you don't get accepted to study medicine.


And I loled at your brother being 25 when he graduates - that will still be the same age/younger than I will be
   
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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 06:50 PM

this is a totally random question.. but how much do newly qualified doctors get paid, roughly?


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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 07:00 PM

From what I've seen it's around 30k a year. Then it goes up to 40k with experience.


I've been reading up on other jobs in the area and to become a toxicologist I can do the Biosciences degree then once I have a master's I can study toxicology at PhD level. I think I'll do this rather than go the long route because toxicology's a branch of pathology so I assumed you'd have to train to be a pathologist first.

Thanks for all the information though, if I do change my mind before sending off my UCAS form then this'll come in helpful.
   
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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 08:27 PM

30K you're joking aren't you! And 40K by the second year!? Eh!


Not quite. It starts at just over 20,000 when you first graduate. This is working 9-5 weekdays with no overtime, on-call, etc. It's banded so it goes up with how much you work.

It does go up every year, second year ~24,000 unbanded.

Then you go into speciality training which is anywhere betwee 36,000 - 50,000
speciality can last up to 10 years so clearly it's going to change depending on what stage you're at

Consultant earn anywhere between 70,000 and 170,000
depending on area of speciality (EG paedatrics takes a lot less time to become specialised in than neurosurgery, which takes 15 years, so clearly the latter will pay much more), amount worked, experience and length of service

GP anywhere between 50,000 and 90,000
depending on experience and lenght of service

most GPs are self-employed though and run their own practice with contracts with the PCT.. these can get paid whatever they make in profit basically, so it's more of a gamble than a fixed rate of pay but pays off if you run your GP surgery well.


So defintley not a bad rate of pay, but I hate it when people assume that you're going to be loaded if you're a doctor, and people who go into medicine for the money really need their head looking at.
If you're clever enough to get into medicine, have the motivation/determination/committement, and you only want to do it for money, for gods sake use your brains to become an investment banker/lawyer/similar. You'll get much more money a lot faster.

20-something K is not a lot for a 5/6 year degree, the commitment and dedication that medicine takes and the stress.
but it does go up quickly, and you do have the job security. I know that if I get into medicine I'm set for life.

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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 08:32 PM

Quote:
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30K you're joking aren't you! And 40K by the second year!? Eh! Do some googling because you're in for a shock.
how much then?.. i thought they would get paid more than 30k..?

edit: i googled it.. looks like they're not very well paid at all.


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Re: Anyone Studying To Be A Doctor? - January 1st 2010, 08:35 PM

^^ see above

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