Shadowing a Doctor

August 29, 2013

Graduate entry medicine provides an alternative route into medicine for those who failed to get the grades for undergraduate entry and also those who realise later in life that they wish to become doctors.

A graduate entry programme or GEP is a 4 year course especially designed for individuals who have already obtained an undergraduate degree. Upon successful completion of this program, you get the same qualification as the standard medical course. The only difference is that the classes progress differently. In a GEP, you get more interactive learning, more patient contact from an early stage and an NHS bursary, which includes tuition fees from years 2 to 4.

GEM is quite different from ‘postgraduate medicine’, which refers to what a qualified doctor does. GEM on the other hand is an undergraduate degree for graduates.


Applications and Entrance Exams

You can only apply for 4 schools. All applications have to be made via UCAS and should be accompanied by a personal statement and a reference.

UKCAT and GAMSAT are the two principal entrance exams for GEM. Both of these tests are very different from each other and require different types of preparation. Make sure look carefully at which tests are required by the medical school before you pay the fees at the exam centre.

The UKCAT is a 2-hour, computer-based aptitude test, usually held at several centres around the UK between June and September. It comprises of 5 main scoring sections and your score is based on the average score for all 5 sections. Taking the test will cost you about £65 to £80 and the scores are valid only for one application cycle. If you do not apply for med school the same year, you are required to re-take the test before you can apply the next year.

DSC_0005.jpeg The GAMSAT is a 6-hour, paper based test held on a set day at only 5 places in the UK. It comprises of 3 sections and you have to score a minimum of 50, 55 and 55 in each of the sections to pass. The results of this test are declared only after 7 to 8 weeks, which is later than the UCAS application deadline but the scores are valid for 3 years so you can use them in the next application cycle. Taking this test will cost you £192.


Medical Schools That Offer The GEM Course

Not all medical schools offer the 4-year Graduate Entry Program but here is a list of schools that do.

  • Barts and the London/Queen Mary, University of London
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Cambridge
  • Imperial
  • King’s College, London
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • Southampton
  • St George’s, University of London
  • Swansea
  • Warwick

Each university uses a different terminology when describing their course so when searching for the course at the different schools, look for the terms A104, A101 and A102, which are the common course codes of the UCAS.