This years UCAS cycle for medical applicants has recently concluded. With fierce competition every year for medicine, I will highlight some top tips for applicants seriously considering medicine.
If you’re reading this then you’ll probably already be considering medicine seriously as a course to study. You have passed one of the most important stages of choosing medicine, which is making sure medicine is the right course for you! You can be successful with any degree you wish to study as long as you have true desire and interest in studying it.
I have submitted my UCAS application recently, and I am now focusing on preparing for my A level exams at the end of the year. I have been confident with my decision to study medicine since my GCSE’s and my interest strengthened last year after completing several placements at hospitals. If you are still not 100% sure what you would like to do, don’t worry! You will realise your potential and passion a few months into your first year of A levels when the intensity and challenging work really starts to build up.
In order to strengthen and prove your passion for studying medicine, doing some work experience at a hospital is highly recommended. I understand that some applicants may not be lucky enough in getting a placement, however I have found that sometimes the process of getting one may take a while but if you start looking early and applying to several hospitals, then you are very likely to get one. I can not stress enough how valuable the experience is. I have gained valuable insight of what type of work I would be facing as a medical student, and later on, as a doctor. For most people, the experience will allow the applicant to become more confident in his choice of studying medicine, and for some it will show them that maybe medicine isn’t really the ideal course for them. Either way, this will be highly useful, so you can really start thinking about the right fit course for you. Hopefully, once your accepted for a work experience placement, another top tip would be to write down your experience at the hospital everyday. This is useful as it will allow you to recall what work you did, and the experiences you went through later on, especially when you start to write up your personal statement.
Another top tip is volunteering. All of you should know by now that most medical schools highly recommend this, wether it’s at an old peoples care home, or any other place that shows your commitment to caring for the vulnerable. Again, I would recommend looking for volunteering placements early on, and applying to as many as possible. This is because many of them may not require volunteers at the present time, so make sure to widen your search. I’ve been volunteering weekly and still am at a old peoples care home, helping to improve their quality of life. I have realised from my work, that even the smallest things you do to help them is very rewarding as they appreciate all the help you provide them. It is important that you volunteer on a long-term basis to really show your commitment in providing care, preparing yourself to become a successful medical applicant. The work will also give you an insight of how vulnerable some people can be, and will show you how rewarding caring for people is.
Other tips would be to always keep up to date with issues concerning medicine. You can do this in many different ways such as reading news concerning medicine on a regular. I have chosen to set up this blog in order to do this while keeping other like-minded people updates as well.
I have not covered tips concerning revision for A levels, as you should probably already know now how challenging the work can get sometimes, and therefore a logical thing to do is to start revising early for any exams, including mocks. This will show you how well (or bad) your progressing through the year, and can help you place realistic targets.
If you would like to share your own tips, please don’t hesitate to do so by commenting below.