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GEM vs 5-yr course

Discussion in 'Mature Students' started by dr_med, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. dr_med

    dr_med New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm hoping some of the "older" grads and mature students in the GEM and 5-yr course might be able to shed some light on their experiences here:

    When I decided to study medicine earlier this year, I planned to apply to the GEM courses. But now I'm researching the course contents, etc and I'm wondering whether a 4-yr course for someone like me (out of education for a decade and non-science background) might be a bit of a steep slope.

    Part of me thinks I should have no problem. I don't have any dependents so I could pretty much study all weekend if necessary (although I'd like to still have a minimal social life :)). From what I've read so far, the first year of the GEM is equivalent to the first 2 years of the 5-yr course.

    So question is how intense was the GEM course (especially the first year)? Did any science knowledge from your previous degree(s), job(s), school(s) help? Do you feel it was fast paced/wish things were a little slower?

    For the grads on a 5-yr course, would you have done the GEM course if you had a chance (ignore finances for now)? If so, why?

    Thanks!
     
  2. dr_med

    dr_med New Member

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    Hmm..maybe I should have posted this under 'current students'...If anyone knows how to move a thread to another forum, pls let me know. thanks :)
     
  3. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    I can move it if you want, but to me it's in the right place.

    Personally, as some one who started medschool in the later part on my 30's, I didn't find the learning curve too sharp. It felt like it was much like any professional job in terms of workload. It's just a matter of being able to organise yourself.

    To me, that's where the 5-year course differs. They spoon feed you a little more at first and build you up. Some of my class mates found the first year a bit intense. But this seemed to be more common with the younger ones.

    I did feel a bit lost, initially, because my science wasn't the same level as some of the other grads, but it soon evened out. A few Khan Academy pod casts sorted that out.

    Good luck, and believe in yourself!
     
  4. dr_med

    dr_med New Member

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    Oh that's good to know. I've always wondered how it compared to the workload in the "real world".
    Thanks Martigan!
     
  5. persianmd

    persianmd Member

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    I started a GEM course at 28 with no background in science and found it fine. The first few months (where we learnt the fundamentals of biology and genetics) were a bit of an initial shock to the system, but it was just a case getting stuck in and doing the necessary work. I should also note that I also worked part time (20 hours per week) during for the whole of medical school, and never had any problems with grades. Was it intense? Yes, more than other degrees, and the clinical years at some points are especially intense, but manageable nonetheless.
     
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  6. dr_med

    dr_med New Member

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    Thank you! *fingers crossed*
     
  7. ganjamozart

    ganjamozart Member

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    I was thinking of writing a thread with the same title, albeit for slightly different reasons and I hope I'm not hijacking the thread!

    I was pretty fixated on doing the 4 year GEM, but after having an interview at Exeter which is 'graduate entry' but into a wholly undergraduate program (5 years), I found the program and place endearing and the option to intercalate very welcoming.

    Moreover, out of several GEM graduates I spoke to, they felt that the 4 year course was needlessly dense and intense, and that if they had the option to do again, they would consider doing a 5 year course at a more reasonable pace. I was hoping if current GEM students could shed some light on this dilemma!

    Thank you in advance!
     
  8. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    I didn't find it too intense. But it's a personal thing.
     
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  9. ganjamozart

    ganjamozart Member

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    Hi Martigan, hope you are well!

    Rather than the intensity, I am more concerned about the learning experience. Did you find that your 5 year colleagues had a more solid and in depth experience compared to yourself as a 4 year GEM? I am just curious if there are any sacrifices that are made in the 4 year course, such as not having the opportunity to do research as much as 5 year courses for example, or is the 4 year fully comprehensive?

    Thanks for the response!
     

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