Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine are highly competitive courses which require a range of excellent GCSEs. There are only 32 medical schools in the UK and only 8,000 places. Nationally, 67% receive one offer but only 1% receive four offers, so students wanting to apply to study Medicine in the future will require guidance and preparation to ensure the best possible chance of success.
At Raine’s Sixth Form, we identify and support those students who wish to apply for these courses at the beginning of and through Year 12, helping them develop into strong potential candidates. We get to know students quickly so we can help shape experiences that will contribute to personal statements, such as volunteering, medical trips, medical EPQ and reading. References will be written towards the end of Year 12 as Medical UCAS applications will need to be submitted in September of Year 13 to meet the 15th October deadline.
Potential medical applicants attend a conference about medicine and Oxford and Cambridge in October of Year 12. In addition, we send students on the BMAT and UKCAT training as early as Year 12 rather than waiting for Year 13. This is far earlier than most centres, but we feel it gives students a head start.
Regular meetings enable students to discuss topical issues and to improve their understanding and communication skills. Students are encouraged to subscribe to ‘The Student BMJ’ to improve their understanding of current affairs around medicine and healthcare in general.
The Sixth Form also arranges presentations delivered by working professionals and Alumni discussing their current jobs or university life, giving students an opportunity to ask relevant questions.
BMAT & UKCAT
We support students through the aptitude test courses in Year 12 as well as Year 13, so students are doubly prepared for the entrance tests. This year, in October, potential applicants attended the medical aptitude test called BMAT following the earlier UKCAT training.
ADVICE ABOUT CHOOSING A LEVELS
We advise students think carefully about their A level choices in the Sixth Form. The Russell Group (most of the leading universities) advice on A level choices for medicine is as follows:
- ESSENTIAL: If you do Chemistry, Biology and one from Mathematics or Physics you will keep all the medical schools open to you. If you do Chemistry and Biology you will keep open the vast majority. If you do Chemistry and one from Mathematics and Physics you will limit your range of choices much more.
- USEFUL: Further Mathematics or a contrasting (non-science) subject, Computing/Computer Science
SAMDA is a volunteer group which was set up fifteen years ago by a former medical student at Barts and The London, Queen Mary University of London. It is run entirely by medical and dental students. Our aim is to encourage and assist students from non-traditional backgrounds in East London who are applying or are considering medicine or dentistry as a career option.
They provide support to students in the following ways:
- School visits – these will take place throughout the year and are run by medical and dental students studying at Barts and The London, Queen Mary University of London. These include mentoring and talks regarding the general application process for medical and dental school.
- Mock interviews – this is an annual event which provides an opportunity for the students to be interviewed by clinicians, medical and dental students. Our clinician-led interviews are run by the staff who perform actual medical and dental school interviews.
- Medical skills day – this is when we invite your students to Queen Mary’s Whitechapel campus. We provide workshops on the UKCAT/BMAT, personal statement advice, interview topics as well as providing students with a taste of what it is like to be a doctor.
- An evening talk from Professor Parveen Kumar CBE – former president of the British Medical Association and the Royal Society of Medicine, Professor Parveen Kumar is an important figure at Barts and The London and she is also our staff president. She would like to visit as many schools as possible to encourage school students to apply for medicine and dentistry from non-traditional backgrounds.
- Clinicians evening – this is a great opportunity for your students to come over and listen to members of staff talk about medical and dental school. This includes a talk from the Queen Mary finance department about student finance. In addition, the dean of Barts and The London, Professor Anthony Warrens, talks about a career in medicine.