At my medical school they have started interviewing for 2015 and there are lots of anxious looking sixth formers all waiting for their turn to go in. It is really weird to think that this time last year it was me nervously waiting for my interview and now I am almost at the end of my first term. I can remember feeling really scared as it was my first interview and it was an MMI which is really hard to prepare for. I thought it went really badly as I messed up a couple of the stations, but I still managed to get an offer so I can’t have done too badly.
If you’ve got an MMI coming up then read this article in The Guardianwhich has some tips from admissions tutors to help prepare for this type of interview and you can also find lots of advice for the day itselfin this book. Just click on the orange words to go to the links. Good luck!
According to David Willetts, the Universities’ Minister, the level of competition among sixth formers for places to study medicine was so high that he was encouraging more people, particularly girls, to apply for other courses like engineering. This is because last year around 4,800 students with straight As at A-level failed to get in to British universities and of those the largest number, around 1,800, were those applying for medicine.
It is thought that there is an increasing interest for medicine because of the high tuition fees and the increasing pressure on students to secure well-paid jobs in the future.
His comments were attacked by head teachers of private schools who warned that ‘the NHS was failing to fund enough places on medical courses despite repeated complaints over a shortage of highly-trained doctors.’
I was one of the lucky ones and am now studying medicine at university, but it was not easy and if you want advice on how to improve your chances of getting a place, click on the link below and have a look at this great new book, Get Into UK Medical School 2015, for sale on Amazon now.
At last all my exams are over and I just have my driving test in a few weeks. Yesterday I went back to the Pearson Vue test centre where I’d taken my UKCAT last summer, for my driving theory test. The driving theory test was easy in comparison, and I quite enjoyed it, but it was weird going back, as I could remember how nervous I was before my UKCAT. Luckily I got into it and it was a great feeling coming out afterwards with my test score, which was better than I’d thought I’d do. I hope everyone that is doing their UKCAT this summer gets the results they want too, and if anyone wants some advice about taking the UKCAT or writing their personal statement, take a look at this book available on Amazon kindle by clicking on the title in bold below.
The other day I firmed my first choice university and this Saturday I’ve been invited to attend an Open Day there to look round accommodation and the medical school. I’m really excited as I will be meeting other people who are likely to be studying there with me soon (if I get the grades!)
This is the time of year to start thinking about university Open Days which usually start in June and go on until September or October. Most universities have already started to take bookings for Open days in June, so it is worth going to their websites and registering now for particular sessions, so you don’t miss out. You not only get to look round the university, accommodation and campus, but you can go to talks about the admissions process which are really useful and give you the facts about which GCSEs and A levels are required, and cut-off points for the UKCAT and BMAT tests.
I found it really useful last year and looked around 5 or 6 universities, so it was easier to narrow down my choice to my top 4 when I filled in my application in September.Below are links to some of the Open Days. If you want to find out more, click on the name of the university to link to their Open Day page.
This is a really helpful book if you are thinking of applying to medical school next year. It has lots of helpful hints for finding work experience, writing your personal statement, preparing for the UKCAT and interviews.
It’s available to download from Amazon kindle books, so if you’re interested just click here. Good luck with your application!
On Sunday I travelled to London for the day for a course in how to succeed at a medical interview. The Success in Medical School Interview course was held in a hotel in Paddington and I arrived at 9.30am, in time for a coffee before we started. There were several other people on the course, some graduates and undergraduates, as well as a friend of mine.
We covered key interview techniques including selling ourselves, our motivation for medicine, and the duties and qualities of a doctor. After lunch we practised communication skills and challenging interview questions, before going over some MMI style questions, such as medical ethics, law, data interpretation and hot topics. We finished around 4.30pm, after discussing the finishing touches, such as body language, dress code and confidence techniques, and were given a certificate for attending.
I was really impressed with all the course materials we were given, and that the organisers had tailored it to specific things we’d requested before it started; eg I asked for practice with data interpretation and role play for my MMI interview. Overall I found the course very useful, and I’d recommend it especially if you live close to London, and feel you need some advice and feedback before your medical interview. Dr Ting and Mr Qiu, who organised the course, were both very professional and experienced, and I’d like to thank them both.
When I was looking up MMIs on the internet, I found this video on youtube, which is a spoof about the medical admissions process, made for the McGill Med/Dent Talent Show in 2011. I thought it was really funny, and it helped me to put the interview in perspective and not to worry too much about it…..
The General Medical Council have recently published a news article about the failure to prosecute 4 doctors who held management positions at Stafford Hospital, because of a lack of evidence against them.
They are currently working with the Department of Health: ‘…to see what more can be done to increase appropriate accountability when things go wrong. In particular we have been exploring a number of changes to our powers to make our fitness to practise procedures more effective. We want to be able to hold doctors to account where they have harmed patients or put them at risk, even if they have subsequently shown insight and can claim they are no longer a risk to patients. We also want to have a right of appeal against panel decisions by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service – this would allow us to act when we believe the panel has been too lenient. We hope these changes will form part of the Law Commission’s current wide ranging review of the law governing the regulation of health care professionals.‘
The GMC also sets standards for teaching, learning and assessment and they have issued a document called Tomorrow’s Doctors for medical students which sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that medical students must learn at UK medical schools and be able to demonstrate.
‘Megan demonstrates a good understanding of the concentration and extermination camps as the outcome of Nazi racist policies. She stresses the need to emphasise the experiences of individuals to audiences rather than dwell exclusively on the statistics of death, horrifying as they are. Megan makes reference to contemporary examples of discrimination against homosexuals and how such prejudices should be challenged. In association with her colleague she has organised a number of methods of teaching audiences through a newspaper article, blogs on the internet, an album for the school library and planned talks within school.’
You can read about my project and see my photo album here.
I’ve started to plan mypersonal statement, and have been searching the internet for advice. The Medlink team have posted some good personal statement samples for different universities here, andThe Student Room websitealso has some examples of personal statements, as well as some good advice on writing personal statements here.