Is it worth applying to Oxford for medicine?

Discussion in 'Oxford Medical School' started by AmberB, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. AmberB

    AmberB New Member

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    Hello... I know that these are the most awful posts which every one does, but it's really distressing me. I want to go to Oxford more than anything else, but after work experience at a hospital and Medlink I found that I loved it so much I now have an ambition to do medicine. However, I do not know whether it would be worth applying for medicine AT Oxford, because I'm not exactly top of my year. I could do biomedical sciences. but then regret not doing medicine, or I could do medicine, but regret not having a chance at Oxbridge!!

    Here's a little about me...

    Qualifications
    GCSEs:
    10 A*, 1 A :)( I was supposedly "gifted and talented" at this subject so really disappointing- business studies. Would I be at a disadvantage for not getting straight A*s?)
    CREST awards:
    1 Bronze, 1 Silver
    AS Predicted:
    Biology- A
    Chemistry- A
    Physics- A
    Maths- A
    Further maths- A
    A2
    Most of my teachers think I should be able to get A*s

    Interests & Extra-curriculars
    Animation (currently working on one on embryonic development and another on mitosis)
    Selected to be on school leadership team
    Academic mentoring
    Writing letters for Amnesty International
    Judo (but only a beginner!)

    Work experience
    I have some idea of what the job entails from Medlink and a Medical Careers day. I've had work experience at a vet when I was too young to do medical, and at a Hospital which was one of the best weeks of my life! I'll be spending a week at a different hospital in October, starting volunteer work in a care home next week and a biomedical engineering company invited me to see what they do for a day. I also want to apply for a Nuffield Science bursary.


    ALSO after Medlink I'm writing a research paper on applications of Nanotechnology in medicine. I saw a lecture on nanotechnology at a g&t day last year and it blew me away! I'm also quite interested in embryology.

    Ok, so tell me, is it worth applying? I only know one other girl who wants to apply for medicine at Oxford, and she got 12 A*s and 2 As at GCSE!! I go to a grammar school too, so I don't know how that might affect things. My other concern is that because I'm so busy, I only have a small amount of time a day to do extra reading.

    Also, everyone I hear of who went to do medicine at Oxford for medicine did 6 A levels and got straight A's, whereas I'm doing 5 and dropping to 4! What's also put me off is all the other aspiring medics in my year are really popular pretty girls who I find a bit... yeah, whereas I'm a more introverted sort of person. Do you think there's a way I could edit my personal statement so I can apply for something less competitive at Oxford?
     
  2. House Jr.

    House Jr. New Member

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    This may have been unintentional but your post does sound quite vain indeed. I don't see how you could think that 10 A*s at GCSE isn't good enough for Oxford. Also, if your teachers are already predicting you A*s for A2 before your January AS modules, I would be very worried about who is teaching you.

    Ok, so your GCSEs are more than good enough for Oxford, and in terms of getting an interview, everything that you wrote after your predicted AS levels should be deleted because they mean almost nothing. Get a good BMAT and you'll get an interview, get a bad BMAT and you'll get a rejection, simple as, if you want to take this risk then apply to Oxford, if not then you should apply to medicine elsewhere. Choosing your course based on the uni is ludicrous, it should be the other way around.
     
  3. gravymister

    gravymister New Member

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    I don't see why you have your heart so set on Oxbridge... as far as medicine goes when you've graduated it makes literally no difference whether you went to a prestigious university or not. Also the course style is very traditional which may not be that well suited to you.

    You should to go to some medicine open days at other Uni's to see which you prefer and perhaps think about putting less emphasis on Oxford.
     
  4. House Jr.

    House Jr. New Member

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    Because Oxbridge is the "best" and if you don't study there then obviously you can't become a doctor :rolleyes:
     
  5. AmberB

    AmberB New Member

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    Okay, I'm sorry about coming off as vain. It's nice to know that it might be worth applying though! Thank you! I'd like to go because I love the city and see myself enjoying living there, the grounds are beautiful, and I prefer the idea of learning all the theory and then doing clinical work; I don't want to cause any accidents in a hospital before I know all I need to!
     
  6. lia

    lia New Member

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    WOW! you have amazing GCSEs! You definatley should apply!
     
  7. tatowen

    tatowen New Member

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    Hi, I am thinking of applying to Oxford for medicine next year - bbut I was wondering if there is much benefit.
    My friend who got in got extra training from oxbridge medicine interview preparation, but if I have to go through all of that extra work, I want to know if there is actually added benefit of going there?
     
  8. House Jr.

    House Jr. New Member

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    Nope, no benefit. The sorts of questions they ask are very difficult to prepare for, so I doubt this course will be of much use to be honest.
     
  9. hodiurnal

    hodiurnal Member

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    Hear hear, like ALL rip off courses that promise to get you in!

    Apply to oxford and 3 other med schools. Simple! And yes your application's good enough (as I suspect you know), but try and get some more work experience and a job in another hospital based service at weekends like housekeeping etc etc.
     
  10. poisonivy

    poisonivy New Member

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    Hi, I'm a current med student at Oxford. I'll try and go through and answer your questions. 1) yes its definitely worth applying but remember a lot is based on interview - the grades simply get you there. 2) DON'T go on those courses - they are a waste of money and I know some people think they actually did worse in their UKCAT/ BMAT / interviews as a result. Most people here did 4 A levels (everyone gets straight A's) - all the stuff about 6 A-levels is.. well not true! Your school won't affect whether you get in or not - don't even think about it. the BIGGEST thing is that you have to go somewhere where you are going to be happy - go a medical school in the top 10 and your laughing. You need to decide what kind of course you want (trad. PBL etc), where in the country you want to go, what kind of work load you want (Oxford work load is a lot, definitely copable but much higher than most other medical schools) and also come visit, decide whether you like the place, the feel, the students, the clubs and societies, the college organisation. Its not like any other medical school.

    By the way, I got 7 A*, 4 A at GCSE and 4A at A level. They're good results but not everything is based on them.
     
  11. Profanius

    Profanius New Member

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    Hello Amber

    Don't worry, you didn't sound vain, but it does sound like you already know the answer to your own question; you're just looking for some reassurance.

    Yes, you should definitely apply to Oxford if that’s what you want. Don’t let anyone stop you following your dream. However, don’t get too caught up in that dream. A medical degree is a medical degree… it doesn’t matter where it’s from. All medical degrees have to reach the same standard and it’s the GMC the sets the bar. Oxford has a superb academic reputation but for medicine they’re not that great. Better facilities can be found at other Unis: e.g. Barts has the largest A&E department in the country and a world famous tropical disease department. Your career certainly won’t suffer for going to another Uni. But choosing another degree for the sake of going to Oxford sounds a bit daft.

    There’s very little difference between getting 10 A*s or 12 at GCSE. A superb PS and better work experience will make much more impact than a 5th or 6th A-level. As for competing against the “popular pretty girls”, it sounds like you just need a bit more self confidence. Such people can often come across as vacuous and arrogant, while quiet and introspective people can appear more mature and focused. And besides, you’re hardly a swamp-donkey ;)
     
  12. ejb17

    ejb17 New Member

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    I'm in the same sort of situation-- same GCSE grades, a levels blah blah blah. When it comes to it, Oxford is all about academic ability, but it’s not only your grades that count, they may also look at how you did in the context of your cohort. Oxford only interview people who have a very good chance of getting in, so it is normally 2 or 3 people for every place kind of competition once you have been shortlisted for interview. Primarily, the most important factors they look for are good BMAT score and excellent grades when short listing.
    After this, a lot of emphasis will be placed on interview….if you get that Nuffield bursary then you’ll have a lot to talk about.
    Also, have you applied for the UNIQ summer school Oxford runs? It is very competitive (esp. for medicine) but I am sure it will eradicate any concerns you may have on whether to apply there or not.
     
  13. ejb17

    ejb17 New Member

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    Oh and by the way, don't worry about the girl who got 12 A* and 2As at GCSE as she has a lower proportion of A *s than you do and its %A* Oxford look at!
     
  14. JulseyP

    JulseyP New Member

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    In terms of doing the 4 year course - no it isn't if you are a graduate unless you went to oxford or cambridge for your first degree. They have 30 places. 10 go to graduates, 10 go to people returning to medicine and 10 go to people with PHDs. I got rejected without interview and when I asked for feedback they said they didn't know why I was rejected I ticked every box they were looking for and it seems form talking to others that the only reason i didn't get an interview is because I went to the Univerity of Liverpool.
     
  15. klg

    klg New Member

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    You should always go for the course you want, not just pick somewhere because you like the location and do a course you are not so interested in!
     
  16. Small_cog

    Small_cog New Member

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    JulseyP, where did you get your information from about how they divide up the places? I can't remember seeing that on any of the Oxford admissions info.
     
  17. Profanius

    Profanius New Member

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    I agree with smallcog, that admissions info certainly doesn't match up with any info I have from Oxford. Also, "talking to others" is not a reliable source of information. I've found that 90% of the rumours about Oxford are invariably horse***t.

    Of all the admissions departments I've spoken to Oxford have been the friendliest, the most helpful and the most open-minded.

    As a GEP applicant Liverpool won't consider me because I don't meet their GCSE requirements, exams I took 20 years ago, and they don't accept resits. Barts won't acknowledge my degrees (double first in biology and chemistry) because I took a BA degree 15 years ago, and they only acknowledge your first degree. Birmingham doesn't recognise Open University degrees etc. There seems to be far more snobbery outside Oxford than there is in it.

    Just because you ticked all the boxes it's no guarantee that you'll get an interview. I know just as many people who ticked all the boxes for Southampton, Bristol, Warwick etc. and didn't get interviews either. To imply it's because there's a prejudice against Liverpool (a Russell Group university) is unfounded innuendo and just sounds like sour grapes.

    From a graduate perspective getting into Oxford is no more extra work than most GEP's. You either meet the grade or you don't. They're also a lot more holistic and far less dogmatic than most other GEP universities.
     
  18. AmberB

    AmberB New Member

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    In my January modules I got 5 As, so hopefully they still think that!!

    I applied for the biomedical sciences one and got rejected... probably not a good sign!
     
  19. tatowen

    tatowen New Member

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    Hey, definitely worth you applying. Ultimately it comes down to the interview ( as long as you have the grades!)

    And in the interview the most important thing is whether the tutors like you and think you are eager to learn. Obviously you have to do some reading beforehand and go past a-level stuff, but it is always worth a go. Even just for the experience.

    I got in, and had help from www.oxbridgemedicicine.com, but honestly, the most important thing was to let my personality show and if they think you fit the bill, they will find a college for you...
     
  20. RamuV

    RamuV New Member

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    Those grades are great! You should definitely apply if you have your heart set on it. When I applied three years ago, they basically looked at your BMAT and GCSE scores (percentage A*s), and I think it works roughly the same. So the better your gcses, the lower the bmat score you need to get shortlisted (interviewed). I got in with 7 A*s and 4As. Your GCSEs are really good so with a good BMAT you'll get shortlisted! Even if not, they then look through personal statements to choose a few more people for interview.

    As someone said earlier, once you get an interview your gcses and bmat don't count for a great deal. Selection then goes mainly on the interview and personal statement. I think they want at least an A* now at A level, but not entirely sure. I got 4As, but that was before A*s came in. You have plenty of extra-curricular things too so that will help!

    What you get asked at interview depends on which college you go to, but a lot of the questions are science based, so you should go over your a level stuff (particularly chemistry and biology if you did it), and some standard things like ethics thrown in too. There's not a whole lot of preparation you can do, but you don't have to get all the questions right. They mainly look at how you go through a problem, and will help you if you get stuck!

    The other thing to look at is whether you enjoy this sort of course. I'm in second year now, and there is very little patient contact in the first couple of years. All the science is really interesting though, and will provide a useful base for when we go into hospitals later! It's quite traditional with lectures, but we also have tutorials with the college which are really helpful, especially if you're not quite clear on something. The work load can be heavy at times, although it's hard to know exactly how it compares to other medical schools. There are plenty of other great med schools around though!

    You may want to look at the biomedical science open day, and ask how they handle personal statements from medics. Some universities are quite used to it, but I don't know how they handle it here.

    Good luck!
     

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