When I was rejected by four British medical schools at the age of 18, it felt like the end of the world…

By Richard Lewis at November 16th, 2010

Today, we hear from Charlotte Grant on her route into medicine.

When I was rejected by four British medical schools at the age of 18, it felt like the end of the world. In reality it has been a blessing in disguise. I thought I was ready to embark on a challenging academic course, in addition to moving away from my friends and family at home. I heard about a Medical Science honours degree offered by the University of Glamorgan, a biology-based degree with some clinical and medical aspects. It involved research, lectures and clinical placements. There was also an opportunity to join the year 1 medics in year 3 of my course in their dissection sessions.

During my three years at Glamorgan, I studied modules of high relevance to a career related to medicine; anatomy and physiology, genetics, immunology, pharmacology, health policies and even modules based solely on clinical practice. I obtained adequate results in my exams at the end of year two to join the dissection class at Cardiff university school of medicine in my third year. At the start of my third year, I also took time to apply once again for a place at medical school. This time I had a much wider array of choices as I could apply for both undergraduate and postgraduate medicine programs. I was also eligible to apply to join the 2nd year of medicine at Cardiff.

Hard work both academically and taking time to have a well-balanced work-life schedule paid off and I was offered interviews and furthermore places to study medicine after my medical science degree, under the condition that I obtained at least a 2(I) Classification.

Despite a challenging third year at the University of Glamorgan, and the support of brilliant tutors, I succeeded and accepted my place to study at Cardiff.

At 18 I would never have thought that I would be where I am now. In fact, had I been successful in my application at 18, I’m not sure I would still be studying medicine now.

Medicine is a notoriously difficult course, and I have a great deal of admiration for those who can leave school, move away from home and do so well. It takes the utmost maturity, determination and dedication. Now I feel I can offer these qualities to the course. I have learned the best methods to revise and how I work best to obtain the results I need. In addition I feel far more mature and ready to commit to this degree than I could have at 18.

I feel I have been prepared well for a medicine degree, something schools don’t offer. I must admit, moving from a class size of 12 at University of Glamorgan to more than 300 and the far less structured teaching methods at Medical school is a shock to anyone but I can deal with it now and keep afloat of the course. Overall, I feel when I graduate and am able to practice I will be a far better doctor due to my postgraduate status and the lessons I have learned prior to the medicine degree than had I gone to study medicine as an undergraduate.

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