My Journey to Medicine
Hey friends! I want to share the story of how I got into medical school because I think it’s very interesting, to say the least. It was a very stressful period in my life but it paid off in the end. So how it began… I wanted to be a doctor quite early on, but there wasn’t a specific date or pivotal moment that I can remember. Nonetheless, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. Of course, as a child you want to do many things, I remember actress and lawyer being in the mix.
Approaching year 12, my parents were urging me to come up with my back up to medicine in case I didn’t get in. This was soooo difficult for me, I just couldn’t think of something that I’d be happy doing other than medicine. When I was asked what can you picture yourself being, I always replied with “a doctor”, nothing else seemed right for me. I concluded that if I couldn’t be a doctor I wouldn’t want to work in anything science-related. This was because it would remind me that I wasn’t quite good enough to get into medical school. Taking a gap year or retaking was also never really an option for me. I think that stemmed from cultural reasons and just wanting to go to uni as soon as possible.
My university choices
I finally put down Maths and management at Queen Mary University of London as my 5th choice/ “back up plan”. How I got an offer with not a single mention of maths in my personal statement still baffles me to this day but I was grateful regardless. My medicine choices were: the University of Nottingham (UoN), University of Liverpool (UoL), University of East Anglia (UEA) and Hull York Medical School (HYMS). Of those four I got interviews at UoL, UEA and HYMS and offers from UEA and HYMS. I decided to firm Hull York and put UEA as my insurance instead of maths because I figured I could always go back to it through clearing.
Now I’m going to skip to results day, I will talk about the in-betweens in another blog post. So the dreaded day came after many days of waiting. Anddddd cue the tears… when I open my results I saw that I had missed the grades for my offers. I went home so disappointed, but my parents and I hopped on the internet and phone to see what we could do. I got another offer from Queen Mary for Maths and Actuarial Science, which was even better than the original one. As well as securing a few other offers elsewhere. However, I found out that many people had missed their grades that year for medicine. Personally, I blame the new A levels as we were the first cohort to sit lol.
So I started calling all of the medical schools including the ones I originally had an offer from. Hull York Medical School said that if I repeat and reach my offer then I could come the next year without having to resit my UCAT or interview. I had never heard of a medical school doing this and I thought hard about this offer.
I also found out that the University of Nottingham had a few places on their Lincoln pathway. After speaking to one of the clearing staff, she said someone will call me back. Still feeling a bit defeated I decided to go back to my sixth form to find out how close I was to getting AAA. The answer: Three marks. THREE measly marks were what was stopping me from getting into medical school. But, this gave me a bit of hope as my parents and I requested a remark on my papers.
At 9 pm that day I received a call from the UoN. A few questions later they told me that they will get back to me the next day with if I had gotten an interview or not. Around noon the next day, I was told I got an interview for the following day. My mum decided that we would go down to Lincoln that day and stay the night so I wouldn’t be late or flustered at the interview. I looked around the university and was starting to see myself there. My mum even forced me to take a few pictures outside the university.
The interview results came back a few days later, in the days between everything was kind of up in the air about what I was doing for the academic year. Unfortunately, the verdict was ‘Sorry you were really close and are being put on the waiting list’. Confusion crept it’s way back into the equation, should I take a gap year or just go to Queen Mary? Crushed and defeated by medicine, I decided to go for something fresh and new which was the Maths and Actuarial science offer.
Where things changed…
September rolled around and I was happy about starting uni and going to all the fresher events. On my way to the freshers fair on Thursday afternoon, I remember seeing a call from a Nottingham number. However, I just assumed it was a telecommunicator call. You know those annoying calls from all over the country that ring you at such inconvenient times. Lo and behold it was actually the University of Nottingham! They ended up calling my mum as they had her number from around results day because while I was at work I didn’t want to miss any calls from them. 13 missed calls later from my parents and a text message saying CALL BACK NOTTINGHAM! Remember that waiting list from before? I was first and space had opened up. They wanted me to come down to Lincoln and start on Monday.
The race to pack up all my things from Queen Mary and secure new accommodation at Lincoln was on. I managed to do it and make a smooth transition between the two universities with the help of my family. I have now almost completed my first year of medicine and I’m just so thankful for the opportunity. As you can see this was a very eventful journey for me but I think everything happens for a reason so I wouldn’t change a thing. If you’ve got this far you are a real one, it was a long one but I hoped you enjoyed it!