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Alternative ('Other') Category Chat/Enquiries

Fili

Dentistry Student
Valued Member
Wow thanks so much that would be really fantastic! Yes please - what's the best way for me to get in touch with them? Is their a chat function on this forum site? I'm quite new here and just learning the ropes.....thanks so much that's a huge help really!
I recommend reading this to get used to the site.

 

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Hi everybody,

I've just spent the last 2 hours browsing this thread and soaking it all up- I feel quite under qualified in the presence of some of the people who have posted on here!

Now for the token 'here's my situation' post:

Throughout high school I played sports competitively and was able to represent NZ overseas which I'm really proud to have done. Academically, in high school I wasn't great (mainly due to a complete lack of direction) and only just gained UE by doing a first aid course which ironically steered me to where I am today.

I've just left the New Zealand Defence Force after serving as a medic for the last 5 years. In addition to this I have been volunteering/working for St John for just under 5 years as an ambulance officer.
Additionally, I graduated with a BHSc in Paramedicine through Auckland University of Technology at the end of last year which I completed while I was working fulltime in the NZDF. My GPA for this degree was 7.38 and I completed it part time ruling out my chances of Graduate entry.

I also know of a few ex military medics who have gain entry through the Other/Alternative category and have had brief discussions with them regarding their experiences.

Medicine originally wasn't something I knew I was passionate about until I began my medic training, and my experience in the provision of emergency/prehospital healthcare over my short career to date has solidified that medicine is something I am passionate about, and am willing to work towards.

My primary worry for alternative/other entry isn't not getting an offer- it's getting an offer and failing to make the B average for HSFY. All ex- medics I have spoken to have had to complete all 7 HSFY papers to gain entry into Med, and reading the posts about it on here it has scared the bajeezus out of me, almost deterring me from wanting to apply in the first place! ... ridiculous I know...

I was wondering whether there are any papers I could potentially do while in the application process that would minimise my workload should I be successful? And if so, what papers would people recommend I try to 'tick off the list' first?

Thanks in advance!
 

drum99

Member
Hi everybody,

I've just spent the last 2 hours browsing this thread and soaking it all up- I feel quite under qualified in the presence of some of the people who have posted on here!

Now for the token 'here's my situation' post:

Throughout high school I played sports competitively and was able to represent NZ overseas which I'm really proud to have done. Academically, in high school I wasn't great (mainly due to a complete lack of direction) and only just gained UE by doing a first aid course which ironically steered me to where I am today.

I've just left the New Zealand Defence Force after serving as a medic for the last 5 years. In addition to this I have been volunteering/working for St John for just under 5 years as an ambulance officer.
Additionally, I graduated with a BHSc in Paramedicine through Auckland University of Technology at the end of last year which I completed while I was working fulltime in the NZDF. My GPA for this degree was 7.38 and I completed it part time ruling out my chances of Graduate entry.

I also know of a few ex military medics who have gain entry through the Other/Alternative category and have had brief discussions with them regarding their experiences.

Medicine originally wasn't something I knew I was passionate about until I began my medic training, and my experience in the provision of emergency/prehospital healthcare over my short career to date has solidified that medicine is something I am passionate about, and am willing to work towards.

My primary worry for alternative/other entry isn't not getting an offer- it's getting an offer and failing to make the B average for HSFY. All ex- medics I have spoken to have had to complete all 7 HSFY papers to gain entry into Med, and reading the posts about it on here it has scared the bajeezus out of me, almost deterring me from wanting to apply in the first place! ... ridiculous I know...

I was wondering whether there are any papers I could potentially do while in the application process that would minimise my workload should I be successful? And if so, what papers would people recommend I try to 'tick off the list' first?

Thanks in advance!
No one has posted in this forum for ages so it's pretty sweet to get some new traffic. Do you think you'll apply this cycle? I'm still weighing it up myself - the hardest part I'm getting my head around is I have a young family and I'm scared studying for so many years would be too difficult. That's very cool man hearing about your background. I'd say definitely go for it. I actually rang the Health Sci admissions office at Otago and they strongly suggested doing two prelim papers to help out before doing HSFY - one was called Jump Start Physics and one was called Intro to Chemistry. I did both Physics and Chemistry at NCEA Level 3 but soooooo many years ago I've forgotten alot I'm sure. I've talked to a medical student who did both these courses and she said they helped her feel really prepared for the HSFY. But she also said it was a super intense year and you have to just be prepared to work your ass off. And she also said there's always alternative entry students who fail unfortunately.....

 

Clav

Otago MB ChB IV
No one has posted in this forum for ages so it's pretty sweet to get some new traffic. Do you think you'll apply this cycle? I'm still weighing it up myself - the hardest part I'm getting my head around is I have a young family and I'm scared studying for so many years would be too difficult. That's very cool man hearing about your background. I'd say definitely go for it. I actually rang the Health Sci admissions office at Otago and they strongly suggested doing two prelim papers to help out before doing HSFY - one was called Jump Start Physics and one was called Intro to Chemistry. I did both Physics and Chemistry at NCEA Level 3 but soooooo many years ago I've forgotten alot I'm sure. I've talked to a medical student who did both these courses and she said they helped her feel really prepared for the HSFY. But she also said it was a super intense year and you have to just be prepared to work your ass off. And she also said there's always alternative entry students who fail unfortunately.....

heya,

You'll be fine - if there's any issues myself and my colleagues will find the time to get you through. PM me your email address and we can figure it all out. When I got my conditional entry to med it involved having to do chem and physics and I basically thought "great, I got into medicine but I'll never be able to do it" but that's not the case. Someones always there to help out.
 

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drum99

Member
heya,

You'll be fine - if there's any issues myself and my colleagues will find the time to get you through. PM me your email address and we can figure it all out. When I got my conditional entry to med it involved having to do chem and physics and I basically thought "great, I got into medicine but I'll never be able to do it" but that's not the case. Someones always there to help out.
Hey Clav what year are you at Otago med school? How have you found it so far? Also just out of interest do you have a family down there with you? I've heard some of the alternative entry students tend to be a bit older and some with kids.....cheers
 

Clav

Otago MB ChB IV
Hey Clav what year are you at Otago med school? How have you found it so far? Also just out of interest do you have a family down there with you? I've heard some of the alternative entry students tend to be a bit older and some with kids.....cheers
Heya I'm year 4/6... don't have family no but plenty of friends who do and while there are some unique challenges for them they're no worse off than the rest of us :)
 

drum99

Member
Heya I'm year 4/6... don't have family no but plenty of friends who do and while there are some unique challenges for them they're no worse off than the rest of us :)
Oh wow that's actually encouraging to hear it can be done.........overall how stress inducing is med school? Like do you just feel so stressed out all the time with the workload? Or I guess you learn how to manage it? I feel like as an outsider looking in it seems like med school must be soooooo difficult....
 

Clav

Otago MB ChB IV
Oh wow that's actually encouraging to hear it can be done.........overall how stress inducing is med school? Like do you just feel so stressed out all the time with the workload? Or I guess you learn how to manage it? I feel like as an outsider looking in it seems like med school must be soooooo difficult....
I think it depends.... with the exception of neuro I found ELM fairly easy because I had done a lot of it before during my previous degrees.... but if you hadn't you might find it harder... then again if you're really motivated and enthralled by every word it'll be easy.. essentially there's no simple answer for that question I don't think... but it's no joke, let's put it that way :)
 

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Hi Fili and everyone in the alternative category, belated congratulations to your entrant to med or den. must be tough now due to Covid19.
I have been following MSO for some time and thank you Fili and everyone for all your contributions. I have some serious quesitons and desperately wants to get some answers, if there is any thread that anyone can point to me relevant to me would be so much appreciated.

long question/story in short:

my health science papers 2017 score as follows, I will be applying under alternative category again, (applied 2 times, 2017, 2018, all declined to due UMAT threshold, I wasnt far off only one section i was 4 points off for threshold)

CELS 84
CHEM 83
HUBS1 89
PHSI 81
BIOC 88
HUBS2 91a
PUBS 86

Average 86% exactly.

1 - please can some one take a look and let me know if this is even good enough?
2 - I am also uncertain to whether they assess grades the same across all category, or just within the category applying for?
3 - if it is within the category, will mine be good enough?
4 - applied once (2019) for med alternative category - declined - so im taking this is declined for the entire of mh life as only can apply once under this category? and I dont qualify to apply under any other category.
 

Fili

Dentistry Student
Valued Member
Hi Fili and everyone in the alternative category, belated congratulations to your entrant to med or den. must be tough now due to Covid19.
I have been following MSO for some time and thank you Fili and everyone for all your contributions. I have some serious quesitons and desperately wants to get some answers, if there is any thread that anyone can point to me relevant to me would be so much appreciated.

long question/story in short:

my health science papers 2017 score as follows, I will be applying under alternative category again, (applied 2 times, 2017, 2018, all declined to due UMAT threshold, I wasnt far off only one section i was 4 points off for threshold)

CELS 84
CHEM 83
HUBS1 89
PHSI 81
BIOC 88
HUBS2 91a
PUBS 86

Average 86% exactly.

1 - please can some one take a look and let me know if this is even good enough?
2 - I am also uncertain to whether they assess grades the same across all category, or just within the category applying for?
3 - if it is within the category, will mine be good enough?
4 - applied once (2019) for med alternative category - declined - so im taking this is declined for the entire of mh life as only can apply once under this category? and I dont qualify to apply under any other category.
Sorry man, I have no clue how the alternative category works. I only really know the health sci category and graduate category systems.
 

drum99

Member
Hi Fili and everyone in the alternative category, belated congratulations to your entrant to med or den. must be tough now due to Covid19.
I have been following MSO for some time and thank you Fili and everyone for all your contributions. I have some serious quesitons and desperately wants to get some answers, if there is any thread that anyone can point to me relevant to me would be so much appreciated.

long question/story in short:

my health science papers 2017 score as follows, I will be applying under alternative category again, (applied 2 times, 2017, 2018, all declined to due UMAT threshold, I wasnt far off only one section i was 4 points off for threshold)

CELS 84
CHEM 83
HUBS1 89
PHSI 81
BIOC 88
HUBS2 91a
PUBS 86

Average 86% exactly.

1 - please can some one take a look and let me know if this is even good enough?
2 - I am also uncertain to whether they assess grades the same across all category, or just within the category applying for?
3 - if it is within the category, will mine be good enough?
4 - applied once (2019) for med alternative category - declined - so im taking this is declined for the entire of mh life as only can apply once under this category? and I dont qualify to apply under any other category.
Hi there.

So what are you actually wanting to know? Yes you can only apply once through alternative. Your grades seem good though, did you try through graduate entry at both Auckland Uni and Otago? Oh on second thought - have you already got a degree or?
 
Hi there.

So what are you actually wanting to know? Yes you can only apply once through alternative. Your grades seem good though, did you try through graduate entry at both Auckland Uni and Otago? Oh on second thought - have you already got a degree or?
Yes I am working as an Oral health Therapist, Bch Health scienc in Oral health from AUT. My understanding is Otago only allows application through alternative category into medicine. Auckland university med based on my circumstance is even more difficult and takes a very long pathway. However med is was my second interest, so im not too concerned, but just knowing that these people wont be able to apply again kind really sucks...
So im wanting to know more about dentistry through alternative category, what are people's grades for those that applies under alternative? can we please share? just like other threads been sharing grade of HSFY.
Im 32 this year and like others that wants to advance their career, and the usual about family, looking after older parents etc, time is precious, im on the edge of giving up almost, and this is heart breaking to even think, so if anyone has any idea of more information, please share, it really means alot, im sure to alot of people like me also.

Otago alternative entry once *
My degree was completed in 2012.
 
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Pri777

Member
Hi everyone, I am applying for the alternative category for 2021.
I am stuck on whether I choose:
1) Allied Health
2) Other graduate

Does anyone have any insight into how to best make this decision and if there are different criteria for the 2 categories?

My instinct is to select allied health as I am a health professional with currently 4 years experience but will be 5 as of Jan next year.
 

drum99

Member
Hi everyone, I am applying for the alternative category for 2021.
I am stuck on whether I choose:
1) Allied Health
2) Other graduate

Does anyone have any insight into how to best make this decision and if there are different criteria for the 2 categories?

My instinct is to select allied health as I am a health professional with currently 4 years experience but will be 5 as of Jan next year.
Hi there. I am applying through alternative this cycle as well. I am applying under the other graduate - the reason being I have a Masters degree and come from an arts background, so I'm definitely not in the allied health category. I would say it would probably make the most sense for you to apply under allied health - but there's no harm in contacting the admissions office? They're really helpful and they email back pretty quickly too.
 

Pri777

Member
Hi there. I am applying through alternative this cycle as well. I am applying under the other graduate - the reason being I have a Masters degree and come from an arts background, so I'm definitely not in the allied health category. I would say it would probably make the most sense for you to apply under allied health - but there's no harm in contacting the admissions office? They're really helpful and they email back pretty quickly too.
Thanks, good luck to you, hopefully, it works out for both of us :)
 

Pobears

Lurker
If you're confident that you can turn everything around and get a really high GPA in 2nd and 3rd (aka near perfect) then maybe you can try via the BSc or Biomed graduate pathway Pobears .

Personally, I had roughly a GPA of 5.8 in first year (B/B+) and I wasn't confident that I would make it into dentistry. However, my mates convinced me to try again and do a Biomed degree instead of settling at an Oral Health degree. With their help, I managed to get an 8.0 average in 2nd year and ~8.5 gpa average in 3rd year which was enough for dentistry due to the different year weightings.

I'm not sure how your first year was like, but I definitely improved year after year. It just depends if you believe that you can improve as well realistically.
Whats the requirements for alternative entry
 
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hello321

Lurker
Hey guys, I was pretty confident that I was going to apply for Alternate Entry to Otago Med this year... and then I read this forum in its entirety and quickly realised I probably shouldn't... haha.
I feel severely under qualified + inexperienced compared to the majority of posters on here and was just wondering if I could get some help from others who have gone through the process of applying to the Alternate Category in the past please? I am looking to apply in 2021 or even 2022/23 and would like some advice as to what I can do moving forward :) thanks so much in advance.

Again like Sideshowconnor , here is my obligatory life spiel:
I started study at the University of Waikato in 2015 and last year in July 2019 I graduated with a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance majoring in Community Health and Exercise Science. I got pretty good grades, I'm unsure of my GPA however I got mostly A-s, As and A+s (which wasn't very hard at all considering my degree lol) however it took me 4.5 years to do a 3 year degree (for a few good reasons). During my time at uni I competed as an international athlete and went to a few international tournaments; I also spent one semester playing NCAA sport in the USA on a fully-funded scholarship to a decent school and one semester in the UK on trial at a professional sport club whilst studying at the University of Liverpool on a student exchange program through Waikato. My intention has always been to apply for medicine/study medicine after my sport career ended, however it has happened a little sooner than planned as I have been forced to retire due to injury. I moved back home and got a job last year in aviation; I tried to get a job in the health field after I graduated as I am super interested in Community and Public Health, however there is not much at all you can do with my degree, especially with just an undergrad degree, and I was getting desperate for money so needed a job ASAP, hence the random aviation job.
Anyway, where I am going with this is that I thought I had a lot of good life experience, as I had lived overseas in both the USA and the UK during my undergrad studies and my time as an athlete is a bit of a point of difference in comparison most undergrad students. However reading over the hundreds of forum posts I have now realised that it looks like I don't have the type of experience the board may be looking for.

To sum this up, I would like to please ask a question to anyone on here who is able to help:
- I am definitely interested in applying to Otago Med through the Alternate Category in the future, however I don't have any experience in my degree: public health/community health. I understand that you defintiley don't have to be from a health background at all, however if I were to go out into the workforce with my quals it would be health related. I am also super interested in more study and would definitely be up for further study, e.g. a Masters in Public Health or even a PhD.
If I could get a job in the primary care sector in a public health role, would this experience be favoured more than higher education in terms of my chances of getting into med via the alternate category? E.g. if i was to keep on studying, as someone eluded to further up in the thread, I would be just studying and not gaining the necessary experience in the health sector the admissions seem to favour (if I have gotten this wrong please correct me! :) )
I understand that I shouldn't do things just to put on my CV to get into medicine , however I was just wondering if you guys thought that experience in the health sector/primary care sector would be more valuable in the eyes of admissions, or whether a PGDip or MPH or even a PhD would be a wiser move? I would not be pursuing further study in Public Health ‘just to put on my CV’ as I am truly passionate about it, however I am just stuck as to whether I find myself a job in the field or keep going with study and try to apply after I’ve finished a Masters or even PhD.

Sorry about the long post, until today I was 100% set on applying this year and had my CV and personal statement all typed up, and had a quick google and found this thread. I'm really glad that I didn't apply as I now realise I don't have the experience/ qualifications of many of the other applicants and glad I didn't waste my 'once in a life-time application'. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance and good luck to everyone applying this year!
 

drum99

Member
Hey guys, I was pretty confident that I was going to apply for Alternate Entry to Otago Med this year... and then I read this forum in its entirety and quickly realised I probably shouldn't... haha.
I feel severely under qualified + inexperienced compared to the majority of posters on here and was just wondering if I could get some help from others who have gone through the process of applying to the Alternate Category in the past please? I am looking to apply in 2021 or even 2022/23 and would like some advice as to what I can do moving forward :) thanks so much in advance.

Again like Sideshowconnor , here is my obligatory life spiel:
I started study at the University of Waikato in 2015 and last year in July 2019 I graduated with a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance majoring in Community Health and Exercise Science. I got pretty good grades, I'm unsure of my GPA however I got mostly A-s, As and A+s (which wasn't very hard at all considering my degree lol) however it took me 4.5 years to do a 3 year degree (for a few good reasons). During my time at uni I competed as an international athlete and went to a few international tournaments; I also spent one semester playing NCAA sport in the USA on a fully-funded scholarship to a decent school and one semester in the UK on trial at a professional sport club whilst studying at the University of Liverpool on a student exchange program through Waikato. My intention has always been to apply for medicine/study medicine after my sport career ended, however it has happened a little sooner than planned as I have been forced to retire due to injury. I moved back home and got a job last year in aviation; I tried to get a job in the health field after I graduated as I am super interested in Community and Public Health, however there is not much at all you can do with my degree, especially with just an undergrad degree, and I was getting desperate for money so needed a job ASAP, hence the random aviation job.
Anyway, where I am going with this is that I thought I had a lot of good life experience, as I had lived overseas in both the USA and the UK during my undergrad studies and my time as an athlete is a bit of a point of difference in comparison most undergrad students. However reading over the hundreds of forum posts I have now realised that it looks like I don't have the type of experience the board may be looking for.

To sum this up, I would like to please ask a question to anyone on here who is able to help:
- I am definitely interested in applying to Otago Med through the Alternate Category in the future, however I don't have any experience in my degree: public health/community health. I understand that you defintiley don't have to be from a health background at all, however if I were to go out into the workforce with my quals it would be health related. I am also super interested in more study and would definitely be up for further study, e.g. a Masters in Public Health or even a PhD.
If I could get a job in the primary care sector in a public health role, would this experience be favoured more than higher education in terms of my chances of getting into med via the alternate category? E.g. if i was to keep on studying, as someone eluded to further up in the thread, I would be just studying and not gaining the necessary experience in the health sector the admissions seem to favour (if I have gotten this wrong please correct me! :) )
I understand that I shouldn't do things just to put on my CV to get into medicine , however I was just wondering if you guys thought that experience in the health sector/primary care sector would be more valuable in the eyes of admissions, or whether a PGDip or MPH or even a PhD would be a wiser move? I would not be pursuing further study in Public Health ‘just to put on my CV’ as I am truly passionate about it, however I am just stuck as to whether I find myself a job in the field or keep going with study and try to apply after I’ve finished a Masters or even PhD.

Sorry about the long post, until today I was 100% set on applying this year and had my CV and personal statement all typed up, and had a quick google and found this thread. I'm really glad that I didn't apply as I now realise I don't have the experience/ qualifications of many of the other applicants and glad I didn't waste my 'once in a life-time application'. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance and good luck to everyone applying this year!
For what it's worth, I'm going to apply this cycle and feel completely under qualified too. I would say you sound more than qualified with a broad range of experiences which I'm pretty sure is what their focus is. However - if you just finished your degree why don't you apply both to Otago Uni and Auckland Uni under the graduate entrance pathway? You can just write an explanation letter with your application justifying why you didn't finish your degree in minimum academic time, it sounds like you have good reasons. I'm sure something like injury or serious personal circumstances would qualify especially if you've got good GPA which sounds like you have. You'd just have to sit UCAT which is this July. Then you could always see how that goes and leave Alternative entry as a 'last resort' at a later stage. My 2cents anyways.
 
Hey guys, I was pretty confident that I was going to apply for Alternate Entry to Otago Med this year... and then I read this forum in its entirety and quickly realised I probably shouldn't... haha.
I feel severely under qualified + inexperienced compared to the majority of posters on here and was just wondering if I could get some help from others who have gone through the process of applying to the Alternate Category in the past please? I am looking to apply in 2021 or even 2022/23 and would like some advice as to what I can do moving forward :) thanks so much in advance.

Again like Sideshowconnor , here is my obligatory life spiel:
I started study at the University of Waikato in 2015 and last year in July 2019 I graduated with a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance majoring in Community Health and Exercise Science. I got pretty good grades, I'm unsure of my GPA however I got mostly A-s, As and A+s (which wasn't very hard at all considering my degree lol) however it took me 4.5 years to do a 3 year degree (for a few good reasons). During my time at uni I competed as an international athlete and went to a few international tournaments; I also spent one semester playing NCAA sport in the USA on a fully-funded scholarship to a decent school and one semester in the UK on trial at a professional sport club whilst studying at the University of Liverpool on a student exchange program through Waikato. My intention has always been to apply for medicine/study medicine after my sport career ended, however it has happened a little sooner than planned as I have been forced to retire due to injury. I moved back home and got a job last year in aviation; I tried to get a job in the health field after I graduated as I am super interested in Community and Public Health, however there is not much at all you can do with my degree, especially with just an undergrad degree, and I was getting desperate for money so needed a job ASAP, hence the random aviation job.
Anyway, where I am going with this is that I thought I had a lot of good life experience, as I had lived overseas in both the USA and the UK during my undergrad studies and my time as an athlete is a bit of a point of difference in comparison most undergrad students. However reading over the hundreds of forum posts I have now realised that it looks like I don't have the type of experience the board may be looking for.

To sum this up, I would like to please ask a question to anyone on here who is able to help:
- I am definitely interested in applying to Otago Med through the Alternate Category in the future, however I don't have any experience in my degree: public health/community health. I understand that you defintiley don't have to be from a health background at all, however if I were to go out into the workforce with my quals it would be health related. I am also super interested in more study and would definitely be up for further study, e.g. a Masters in Public Health or even a PhD.
If I could get a job in the primary care sector in a public health role, would this experience be favoured more than higher education in terms of my chances of getting into med via the alternate category? E.g. if i was to keep on studying, as someone eluded to further up in the thread, I would be just studying and not gaining the necessary experience in the health sector the admissions seem to favour (if I have gotten this wrong please correct me! :) )
I understand that I shouldn't do things just to put on my CV to get into medicine , however I was just wondering if you guys thought that experience in the health sector/primary care sector would be more valuable in the eyes of admissions, or whether a PGDip or MPH or even a PhD would be a wiser move? I would not be pursuing further study in Public Health ‘just to put on my CV’ as I am truly passionate about it, however I am just stuck as to whether I find myself a job in the field or keep going with study and try to apply after I’ve finished a Masters or even PhD.

Sorry about the long post, until today I was 100% set on applying this year and had my CV and personal statement all typed up, and had a quick google and found this thread. I'm really glad that I didn't apply as I now realise I don't have the experience/ qualifications of many of the other applicants and glad I didn't waste my 'once in a life-time application'. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance and good luck to everyone applying this year!
Has enough time passed between finishing you degree and when you apply for alternative? I think it needs to be more than 3 years but cant fully remember as I was 10 years so it didn't really matter for me.

There is such a wide range of different careers that alternative students have had that I don't think further study or working in the health care sector would influence their decision too much, unless you wanted to apply under the allied health way which I believe you need years of experience. Nor does it seem to matter if you work in the field of your degree as a lot of us didn't.

Your sporting background sounds very interesting. It is definitely worth thinking about how this and your overseas travel has shaped you as a person, and what experiences you have gained from it. Potentially what it shows about your personality and ability to deal with situations. I know a few successful students chose to write about how their sporting background reflected their personality and what it could mean to do a career in medicine with these skills.

Really what it comes down to is writing a really amazing A4 about why you want to do medicine. And because they leave this very open to interpretation I am sure they get a whole lot of different takes on it. Try being very honest, but also writing about what makes you "you" which hopefully sets you apart from the others. They don't seem to care about your past grades, or specific sporting achievements but more about what you have learnt from the journey etc.
 

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