7 Feb 2013

so... important announcement time!

I have a bit of exciting news that I don't usually broadcast on my blog. I know I usually stick to the usuals of stationery and stuff but I am going to give an update on where I am at right now as it is a big change and will affect this blog in time.

Basically, I applied to graduate Medicine courses back in October 2012 and I have an offer of a place at my first choice Medschool! As a result, I will be going to Medschool this September. However, there is a bit of a story with regards to all this, hence this somewhat out of place blog post.

Credit: My PA Training


Back in autumn 2011, some of you may remember that I may have mentioned that I was applying to medschool. I did, and I got an offer for a place - but for a 5-year course. For those of you who don't know, the 5-year course offers no tuition fee loan for graduates like myself and so, I would have had to stunp up £9,000 for the first four years of the course before I was eligible for any grants or tuition fee loans. Let's not even mention the pitiful maintenance loan I would have got either…

Anyway, I really wanted to take up this opportunity but I missed the offer by 0.5% in my degree so I didn't make it to that Medschool. I hit an all-time low in August because of this and really didn't think I would ever be studying Medicine - something that I have always wanted to do! To have to re-take entrance tests or do further study (and waste more £££) just to chase this dream seemed a nightmare.

Then, I remembered. In September 2011, I had taken the GAMSAT entrance test - arguably, the hardest entrance test there is. If you don't know about it, I will explain a little. It has three sections to it - Section 1 is 'Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences', Section 2 is Written Communication (in the form of two essays written within an hour) and Section 3 is 'Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences'. Test results are eligible for two years after sitting so this meant, I could apply with this instead! I then I had to find universities that would take it and applied, undergoing the UCAS train once again.

Ideally, I wanted a place on a 4-year course as these courses are aimed at graduates wanting to study medicine and so, would be eligible for funding (I don't know why the government only allows funding for the 4-year courses). I also knew that my GAMSAT score was good enough for my first choice, but wasn't sure about the other four - I originally thought I would get one interview and three instant rejections.

That wasn't the case - I got offered three interviews! I did get a rejection from the fourth (by one mark on the GAMSAT, it has to be said!) so I was quite happy with this. And I had interviews at my top three choices (although one was a 5-year course).

Anyway, the ending of this story is that I got an interview at my first choice, did the interview in early January and I received my offer recently for a place on the 4-year course at one of the colleges of the University of London. I am chuffed to bits as this was my first choice by a country mile as it is within a bus journey from my new house and also means I can save on rent by living at home! Obviously, this means I will have to contribute somehow, through chores or something but that is fine.


Finally, I get funding for this course. All I have to pay is around £3,500 in the first year (I have this in savings already) and I am eligible for a tuition fee loan (£9,000 minus the around £3,500) and maintenance loan (which is designed to help with living costs).

All in all, things are looking peachy. Because it is a 4-year course, things will undoubtedly become more intense for me. It is five years of medicine crammed into four but I am confident I will be able to blog at the same time. There will, I'm sure, be more blog posts about studying and time management too.

Finally, I have one interview left to attend at my second choice. It is in March but the cost of the train fare and overnight stay is deterring me from going. I hold an offer from my first choice and I don't think anything could sway me. However, it is nice to keep my options open so I may end up going to that (it is for another 4-year graduate stream course). And what happened to my other interview? It was in Exeter for the 5-year course and well, I was put on a 'deferred decisions list' after interview (better than I expected as I thought I had bombed the interview) so I should know within the next week or two. Either way, it will be irrelevant as I have an offer and that's all that matters to me :-)

34 comments

  1. I've been reading your blog for a while and lurking and have come out of the woodwork to say congratulations! :)

    My best friend does medicine and I now how hard it is to get on a course so you should be really proud of yourself :) Well done.

    Sareena x

    www.bakewritelivelife.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I saw the stats for applicants:place at the university I got an offer from and I was overwhelmed! I never knew something could be this competitive x

      Delete
  2. Congratulations and continued success on this career journey. .....a reader from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/USA

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooh congrats! That's really awesome! I think it may be worth going to the interview... It would be nice to have seen the other place just so you know what it's like! (Unless you've already seen them in person I suppose... :3)
    I moved 2 hours from home for my University course because it was the only University that offered it... The maintenance loan that I get is terrible xD Ah well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm still undecided as I don't want to close off all options but at the same time, I know this was the offer I wanted the most so it may well be a waste of my time? Ahh, so many pros and cons. I've already seen the university and I know I would be equally happy there but financially, it makes more sense to accept this offer as I can live at home and save on rent.

      I know what you mean about the maintenance loan - it is a bit ridiculous sometimes! I remember one year, I blew it all on accommodation alone :/ needless to say, I had to dip into savings just to eat x

      Delete
  4. Congratulations !
    I'm glad to read you plans to posts more about studying and time management, my favorite blog posts, but of course, medicine first ! ;)
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you! Hehe, I am sure there will be many more posts about time management in the pipeline as a result of this! x

      Delete
  5. Congratulations! I've been to St Georges (a few years ago, now) and it's great university and training hospital :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've been once before a few years ago and then again for my interview a month ago and loved it! I love that the hospital is also where the teaching takes place x

      Delete
  6. Comgratulations! That's fabulous news :) good luck!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are amazing! what an achievement! I hope you are really really proud of yourself!
    Oh, and I actually managed to take snaps of my filofax for tomorrows post, first time in ages!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you! You're too kind. I still don't really know how I did it but that's irrelevant now hehe :-)

      Oh, I'm excited to see your pages! :D x

      Delete
  8. Congrats, Angela! What a wonderful new chapter to start in your life. My friends husband is currently in med school as well so I hear all the time how intense it is. Hopefully, we still get a few posts here and there. Again, congrats and much success to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yeah, Medschool sounds super intense so I'm a little scared, but also excited at the same time. I think the main thing is time management so I will definitely still be posting on here hopefully x

      Delete
  9. Fantastic news Angela - congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. congratulations, angela! so proud and happy for you :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. Excellent news Angela, well done.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my gosh! Well done! That is amazing, you deserve it. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe thank you! You're too kind :-) x

      Delete
  13. Congratulations! Studying is a big choice to make especially if you have been out in the 'real' working world.

    I would say go to the second interview, you ever know if you don't go, if it doesn't work out you will have peace of mind and a trip somewhere you wouldn't normally go out of it, don't look at the cost, this is your future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm not sure I count as having been out in the real world as I've only ever done volunteering and unpaid work experience...!

      I might end up going to the second interview. I know the area but I've not been to the actual campus and I guess I'll always be thinking what if. However, I'm pretty sure this offer I currently have is the one I will take due to my location now and other factors :-) x

      Delete
    2. Trust me, even volunteering makes a difference, you have life experience, studying, full time is a whole different dimension I've recently learnt.

      Good on you! The Uni I am currently at was my first choice, however I happened to pick one of the furthest ones away from my house with over a 1.5hr drive away. Good luck with what ever decision you make. How exciting for you! I love hearing about peoples experience when the return back to study, as I discovered the joy it brings knowing this will set you up for life :)

      Delete
  14. Hey - congratulations!

    I've been following your blog since the summer where i read that you were applying for medicine and i messaged you asking how it was going. You might not remember me - i'm a 4th year med student at the Hull York Medical School.
    Just wanted to say I'm really glad you got in - you will love it! I'm looking forward to your take on organising your time! Your new diary will definitely be needed! Anything I can help with feel free to message me. I might photograph all my stationery someday soon and come out as an addict! Nina xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nina :-)

      Thank you! Hehe, now you've got the whole story with regards to my application :-) It has definitely been a bit of a rollercoaster. This offer is conditional on a Occu Health clearance and a CRB check and that's it, so it looks like I will, indeed, be attending medschool (no academic conditions to fulfil as I have my grades already, yay!).

      I will try and post as often as I do now as I am sure I will come up with some organisation quirks when the course starts. It is a PBL-based course and so a lot of independent study will come into play. Thank you so much for the offer :-) I may end up emailing you more often than you bargain for though hehe.

      Definitely come out as an addict - after all, admitting you have an addiction is the first step to recovery, right ;)

      Hope fourth year is going ok. I have a few friends in their fourth year at Imperial but that is the year they intercalate (it is compulsory) so they're all kind of chilled out at the moment! x

      Delete
    2. No problem.

      The thing about stationery is that I don't want to recover!!!
      All the best
      Nina xx

      Delete
  15. First of all, WELL DONE! :) Secondly, why's your offer conditional? Have you got other requirements to fulfil? Also, do you have to pay £3,500 every year, or just the first? I'm nosy, sorry. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's conditional on a CRB check and Occupational Health clearance :-) I only have to pay around £3,500 myself in the first year; in years 2, 3 and 4, the Department of Health pays that for me, and the rest, I can get a loan for. This isn't possible for the five year Medicine course so this offer is brilliant in that sense!

      Don't apologise! Graduate Medicine is really funny when it comes to funding, especially when you compare it to graduates on a 5-year course. I don't think I could have been able to afford the offer I had last year anyway, so in a way, it's a blessing in disguise that I didn't meet last year's offer (academically though, I satisfied the CRB and OccuHealth stuff) :)

      Are you who I think you are on Twitter? ;) If so, I'm sending you good luck vibes for your internship! If not, ignore that hehe x

      Delete