Common pitfalls to avoid for year 12 school leavers and other medicine applicants

chinaski

Regular Member
I don't know if most people in this forum are like me but I don't see myself doing anything else but med. But I understand the advice, and I'll probably do physio while still trying to get into med if I'm unsuccessful at first.
It's exceedingly inadvisable to not have a feasible Plan B. By "feasible" I mean a pathway you could be happy investing in and doing indefinitely (or at least for a prolonged period of time), rather than an activity you could see yourself tolerating for a few years while you try to get into medicine.
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
I don't know if most people in this forum are like me but I don't see myself doing anything else but med. /quote

Literally 99% of this forum is exactly like you, but that doesn’t change the advice we give them (and have given you). If Med is your only option and you maintain that mindset and then, like the absolute vast majority of applicants, you never receive a Med offer, this sets you up to be incredibly bitter and possibly a little blind to the myriad other options and fulfilling career paths open to you. Considering alternatives doesn’t mean you want Med any less or are somehow not dedicated enough, it means you’re being sensible and practical and developing some really important psychological qualities that will allow you to (eventually) adjust positively to disappointment should that scenario (or, inevitably, another one just like it) arise.

If you can see yourself working as a Physio, at least in the short term (remember, careers don’t have to be forever, I am definitely not one to suggest otherwise having started Med in my 30s after many years in a different career), then it’s a great option and good grounding for Med if you do end up amongst those fortunate to land an offer. The patient communication, medical system, and human anatomy content will be hugely transferable.

ETA: that said, there are people in my class from, for example, music teaching and English lit backgrounds who are also doing really well and loving Med, so really, my key message is to choose something you want to do, regardless of how ‘left field’ it might seem here.
 
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sburni

Member
Hey all, just looking for some external opinions on my situation.

Finished high school in 2019 with 98.6 ATAR, had gap year, did UCAT mid year & got 88th percentile. No interviews. Decided to start a Nursing degree in Wollongong (which I am actually really enjoying) and figured I'd do the UCAT mid-year again and see how I go/possibly start undergrad med in 2022 or otherwise consider starting post-grad med in 2024.

I am feeling a lot more confident in the UCAT this year and am starting to feel like I will have a real chance at doing med next year. The question is, should I ditch the one year of this nursing degree? My options for non-standard entry are UWS, JMP, UNSW (although with my atar don't really view it as an option), and then Bond/JCU which are off the cards for personal reasons.

p.s. if there are any others someone give me the heads up!

But this means unless I get into UWS, the 6 year undergrad + this year of study would take it to 7 years of study, same as if I finish my nursing degree then pursue postgrad med, PLUS i'd have the benefit of being an RN as a fallback.

So i guess my questions are,
A) Is it worth ditching my 1/3 completed undergrad degree (that i was cautious about at first but have found to quite enjoy )to start undergrad med if I could get in a postgraduate avenue?
and B) Are there any other unis I can go for non-standard undergrad med entry?

Oh and also as a point of interest, I called up UWS and they said that they take your ATAR OR your GPA equivalent for non-standard entry depending on which was higher. Which I thought was interesting as I have heard conflicting information.

Cheers and would love to hear your thoughts!
sburni
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
But this means unless I get into UWS, the 6 year undergrad + this year of study would take it to 7 years of study, same as if I finish my nursing degree then pursue postgrad med, PLUS i'd have the benefit of being an RN as a fallback.
WSU and JMP are 5 year degrees, so you will finish a year earlier than post grad. Also what is being an RN a fall back to? not getting into med? Theres no need for a fall back if you take a non standard offer.

Theres no guarantee that if you get in this year, that you will get in post grad. The UCAT and GAMSAT are very different, and many graduate entry schools are much more focused on GPA as compared to the non standard schools. I wouldn't give up a med offer if thats what you truly want just because you've studied 1 year of something else. It's only a year.

Imo a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
Hey all, just looking for some external opinions on my situation.

Finished high school in 2019 with 98.6 ATAR, had gap year, did UCAT mid year & got 88th percentile. No interviews. Decided to start a Nursing degree in Wollongong (which I am actually really enjoying) and figured I'd do the UCAT mid-year again and see how I go/possibly start undergrad med in 2022 or otherwise consider starting post-grad med in 2024.

I am feeling a lot more confident in the UCAT this year and am starting to feel like I will have a real chance at doing med next year. The question is, should I ditch the one year of this nursing degree? My options for non-standard entry are UWS, JMP, UNSW (although with my atar don't really view it as an option), and then Bond/JCU which are off the cards for personal reasons.

p.s. if there are any others someone give me the heads up!

But this means unless I get into UWS, the 6 year undergrad + this year of study would take it to 7 years of study, same as if I finish my nursing degree then pursue postgrad med, PLUS i'd have the benefit of being an RN as a fallback.

So i guess my questions are,
A) Is it worth ditching my 1/3 completed undergrad degree (that i was cautious about at first but have found to quite enjoy )to start undergrad med if I could get in a postgraduate avenue?
and B) Are there any other unis I can go for non-standard undergrad med entry?

Oh and also as a point of interest, I called up UWS and they said that they take your ATAR OR your GPA equivalent for non-standard entry depending on which was higher. Which I thought was interesting as I have heard conflicting information.

Cheers and would love to hear your thoughts!
sburni

I completely agree with the response from Dotwingz re. should you complete the nursing degree and give up on non-standard entry. Definitely not unless your priorities change to preferencing nursing over medicine for a career.

The WSU/CSU(JPM) situation of GPA or ATAR until the point you graduate with a degree is well established knowledge. I’m not sure where you heard conflicting info, hopefully not here.

UNSW have also moved to a ‘best of’ model.

You will also be able to apply as non-standard next year (not this year) for UTAS when they re-start this pathway for 2023 entry (assuming it goes ahead as planned).
 

walaili

Member
since med sci isn't the most conducive pre-med undergraduate degree, what would you recommend?
(asking as a year 12 student who really wants to do dentistry and is looking for a 'backup' degree)
 

Crow

Medical Student
Emeritus Staff
since med sci isn't the most conducive pre-med undergraduate degree, what would you recommend?
(asking as a year 12 student who really wants to do dentistry and is looking for a 'backup' degree)
Have you read the posts in this thread aside from the first few? There is loads of discussion about this in this very thread.
 

Crow

Medical Student
Emeritus Staff
hi! most of them are regarding med so idk about dentistry? not sure if the avenues are the same
The sentiments are exactly the same - what career would you like to do if you never got into dentistry? You should pursue that as your back up.
 

cherry19

Lurker
Hi, I'm currently a year 12 student and I'm worried my UCAT score may render me uncompetitive for med entry this year so I've been working on some backup plans which I wanted to get a second opinion for:)

If my ATAR isn't high enough, I'm thinking of starting either a bachelor of economics or bachelor of economic/law (double degree) and then resiting UCAT next year to try and transfer. Although these aren't med related at all, these degrees are areas which I am also interested in and if med didn't exist then I would definitely like to pursue a career in these. I was wondering if it is advisable to not start a double degree in eco/law if I want to maintain a high enough GPA for undergrad med entry as non-standard? Would it be better to start just start bachelor of economics- as in would this increase my chances of getting a higher GPA? It would also be great to hear from anyone who has done either eco/law or just eco and has transferred into med (or is hoping to). Also, what kind of GPA should I be aiming for? (for unis that don't just use it as a hurdle but actually base interview offers off it e.g. UNSW)

However, if my ATAR is high enough should I instead take a gap year, focus on UCAT, do volunteer/work experience etc and then I'll be classified as a school-leaver which leaves a few more doors open in terms of different unis?

Btw I'm willing to go to any uni in Australia, however since I am from NSW my top few preferences would be UNSW, UoN, WSU
 

A1

Admissions Speculator
Moderator
However, if my ATAR is high enough should I instead take a gap year, focus on UCAT, do volunteer/work experience etc and then I'll be classified as a school-leaver which leaves a few more doors open in terms of different unis?
My earlier post on this matter > Pre-UCAT Discussion 2021

You need to consider a few factors together:
- If you are mainly interested in the NSW med schools UNSW WSU JMP, regardless how good your ATAR is there's no real advantage in taking a gap year (other than gap year giving you more spare time to focus on the UCAT resit). Start uni apply non-standard to these schools you're on same status as taking gap year.
- If your ATAR is sub-99 no point to gap year to "preserve" it (not realistically competitive enough for the interstate schools).
- If ATAR is mid-99s or better *and* you want to apply to the med schools that exclude uni-student applicants (Monash, Adelaide, UTas, UWA, Curtin etc) then yes it's reasonable cause to gap year.

If your ATAR is 95.5+ and you start uni, you'll be eligible for WSU regardless of GPA, eligible for JMP with a fairly easy GPA 4.8+. But will need 6.5+ to be competitive for UNSW & JCU.

If you decide to take a gap year, I suggest you redo 1-2 HSC subjects (the ones with lowest marks) via TAFE Online to improve your ATAR. Even a small increase will help.
 
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