Are you in Year 11 and want to study Medicine?
Here, you can read our top tips on what you can do to prepare – from choosing your A-Levels to gaining medical work experience.
Year 11 is a stressful year. You’re probably thinking about the daunting idea of a long summer of exams ahead. It goes without saying that having good results are crucial in making a successful application to Medicine, and having impressive GCSEs are one way of showing that you have the academic ability to cope with such a rigorous course. Aiming high in the summer should be a priority for pupils in year 11.
What can you do now? Apply yourself, work hard and make sure you raise any issues you have with your teachers well before your exams if you’re stuck on anything.
This is a tricky one. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to study all science subjects at A-Level, although having at least A-Level Chemistry is essential for most courses. Biology is a popular second subject however, deciding on your third A-Level is another decision that needs to be made. Whether it is maths, history or music, universities want to see that you can cope with a range of rigorous academic subjects. Arguably, your third A Level choice should be a subject that you enjoy.
What can you do now? Have an idea of which A-Level subjects most medical schools require – and pick yours accordingly. You can find out more on our What A-Levels do you Need to be a Doctor? page.
An application to study Medicine wouldn’t be complete without a bucket full of work experience, so start organising placements now. Whether you volunteer at a GP practice or a hospital, there’s no such thing as too much work experience. The admissions tutors of medical schools don’t want you to just be an academically strong candidate, they want successful medical students to have an appreciation of what a career in medicine involves.
To gain the work experience, try asking your careers advisor in school if they have any contacts who would be willing to help organise a placement. Don’t be disappointed if organisations don’t get back to you- the likes of hospitals and GP practices have lots of budding medics just like yourself who want a placement. They key thing to remember is to note about what you learn from a placement. Even if you manage to just spend a few days at a GP practice, these can often be more beneficial than spending weeks on end in a hospital or vice versa.
What can you do now? Start considering work experience and research your options. Are there hospitals or GPs in your local area? Many have minimum age requirements, so make sure you take this into consideration.
Medical schools are looking for people who keep up to date with current affairs. Try reading the latest health articles in a variety of newspapers to keep up to date with the latest medical news. You can also keep up to date with The Medic Portal’s weekly news summaries and read our NHS Hot Topics 2017 page.
What can you do now? Make a habit of keeping up to date with medical news!
Words: Matthew Heneghan
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