Hi all, I know this has probably been asked here a million times, but please indulge me. Many years ago, I graduated as a journalist from Moscow State University. I went to school in Ukraine. I, therefore, have no GSCEs or A-Levels, or anything remotely recognizable in the British academic world. I moved to London in 1999 and - to my utter surprise at the time - landed a job with the BBC. Which is where I have been since. As you have probably gathered from the title of this thread, I'm now 40. And a fairly senior editor. With a salary which is comfortable but not obscene (don't believe what you read in the Daily Mail). The BBC, as I'm sure you know, has been shrinking. So I've been offered the option of taking redundancy. I don't have to do it. But if I said yes, I would get a very generous payout - I've worked for the BBC since I was 23, so 17 years, and payouts are calculated on the basis of.... oh, nevermind. Suffice to say, it's a lot. I come from a medical family, and I always wanted to be a doctor. But the 1990s were an interesting time in Russia/Ukraine. You had to pay a massive bribe to get into medical school. Our family never had this sort of money. So I kind of settled for my second best option of being a journalist. I've done plenty in my career - but one of the most enjoyable elements has always been attending the compulsory Hostile Environment and First Aid Training. Everybody who works in News has to do it every two years for insurance purposes. I have had to put my skills as a first-aider to use twice, for a road traffic accident in Haiti and for a shrapnel wound in Georgia (the country, not the US state). I also volunteer with St. John's Ambulance, and I do blood runs with SERV (a group of volunteers who use their own cars/bikes to deliver blood to NHS hospitals overnight, saving the NHS money on taxis). The more I think about the redundancy offer the BBC has made, the more I think I would really like to use the time and the money to go back to school. To medical school. Hence - some questions to you. 1) Am I mad? 2) For somebody with zero UK qualifications like me, what's the route? Sit GSCEs and then do Access to Medicine? 3) How realistic is it to do freelance work while in med school? I'm very aware of the fact that even though the redundancy should be enough cover university fees, I'd still have to maintain my family. 4) Of all areas of medicine, the one which attracts me most is acute/A&E. Would I be better off looking at paramedic training, then? On the basis of how long it takes to complete training and to start generating at least some income (see (3) above)? Does being a paramedic make it easier to then study at a "proper" med school? 5) Am I mad? Thank you!