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A New Kind of Course

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

I myself did not want to study medicine when I finished my A-levels all the way back in 2012. Coming from a WP background I still had the perception that medicine was a “posh person’s” course. Consequentially I commenced an undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences at UCL. I became enamoured with science and continued on to a master’s in Immunology at the University of Oxford. It was only at this point did I have to consider what I really wanted to do with my life. I initially went down the route of seeking out PhDs and also worked as a research assistant before finally realising what I wanted to do – Medicine. At the ripe old age of 25 I began medical school as a graduate entry student.

So why am I telling you all this? I am hoping to show that the route to medicine isn’t always linear and just because you didn’t want to be a doctor when you were as young and maybe not as mature doesn’t mean you can’t still become one. I thoroughly enjoyed my path meeting countless friends for life from various walks of life and disciplines. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Plus 18-year-old me was not the most mature person so I probably was not suited for medical school back then!

Now comes to medical school itself. Applying to graduate entry medicine (GEM) courses are extremely competitive, with a lot of the course having a lower than 10% acceptance rate. None the less, it is an extremely rewarding pathway.

I ultimately chose the University of Sheffield GEM course and couldn’t be happier. A unique aspect I wanted to talk about is that the GEM course is entirely for WP students and you need to be a WP student to apply. The course is open to science graduates only and they have a list of acceptable degrees on the website (link below). The course uses the UCAT and one must fulfil two of the following criteria at the time of their A-levels (or equivalent):

  • Lived in an area with a low progression to higher education.

  • Lived in a deprived area.

  • Received free school meals in years 10-13.

  • Received a 16-19 Bursary or similar grant.

  • Was a young carer.

  • Lived in local authority care during secondary education.

  • Was estranged from both of their parents or legal guardians during their secondary/further education.

  • Have parents who do not hold higher education qualifications.

  • Have parents who were unemployed or working in unskilled jobs.

  • Have a disability.

I can attest to how lovely the city, friendly the people, and great the medical school is here. I hope this article has been informative about this unique GEM course and has helped anyone reading it make an informed decision about their future. Feel free to contact me for any further information!

Jonathan Sheridan

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