Shadowing a DoctorNovember 16, 2013
In the United Kingdom, all medical students will have to first take an undergraduate course that leads to a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery. Depending upon which university you attend, this could lead to any one of the following qualifications – MBBS, MBChB, MBBS/BSc or MBBCh /BMBS. All these degrees are called the “First MB”.
Every university medical school sets its own qualifying requirements. This could vary not just between medical schools but also between courses that you apply for. With that in mind, it is very important that you should consult the undergraduate prospectus for each of the medical schools you wish to apply to. Another option is to contact each medical school directly and get the necessary information.
Most medical schools require ‘A’ levels in chemistry, while others will also accept an AS level in chemistry. This depends on the various other qualifications that are being offered. Some may require biology at an A’ level.
Candidates who do not have science subjects to offer at the A level equivalent can take an extra pre-medical year at certain universities. The pre-medical year is the preliminary course in physics, chemistry and biology and usually lasts for 30 weeks.
Some access courses are also offered. These can lead to a medical degree. The acceptability of these access courses differs from one medical school to another and it is important to check on this before you start on any access course.
Candidates who do not have A’ levels but have a considerable amount of life experience may still be required to hold some academic qualifications. They will have to produce evidence that they are able to cope with demands and rigors of the course for which they have applied.
Candidates Who Have A Degree
A large number of medical schools welcome graduate applications. Typically, graduate candidates need a 1st or upper-second class honours degree. Some medical schools also require the degree to be in any science-related subject, while others do not specify any discipline. You will have to check individually with every medical school to confirm what their requirements are.
Most medical schools also require that the applications are made through the UCAS or the Universities And College Admission Services. The UCAS will provide you with all the details about how and when you can apply for medical school and other university courses.
There is no formal set age limit for entry into medical school and the selection and admission policies are decided by individual institutions. However, medical schools take into account the duration of training with reference to the actual length of service that the candidate can provide.
What Medical Schools Look For
The admission standards to medical schools are pretty challenging. Applicants are called for an interview, will be asked searching questions about what motivates them, their hobbies and work at school and personal interests. You are also required to produce evidence of all your academic achievements. You will be asked questions about why you want to be a doctor. Many medical schools also use clinical aptitude-tests like the UKCAT to determine if the applicant is worthy of joining their institution.