what university course to take to become a doctor

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Articles

Life as a Medical Student: 12 Things You Really Have to Know



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180 comments


Being a medical student will involve working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life – but chances are, it’ll also involve having more fun than you’ve ever had before. There are plenty of off-putting myths about being a medical student, but in reality it’s enjoyable, interesting and highly rewarding, especially in light of what you’re working towards. In this article I will describe 12 things about being a medical student that I hope will reassure and excite you about the prospect of studying medicine.

 

1. You will be able to use what you learn for the rest of your life

This might seem like a fairly trivial point, but it should not be overlooked. The truth for many courses is that you are only really studying in order to pass your exams and once you have managed this the information which you have tried so hard to learn is largely useless to you. This is very much not the case in medicine, with areas of study including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and pathology all being directly applicable in diagnosing, understanding and treating a disease. Not only is this a great incentive to learn the core course material well, in order that you will be a competent doctor, it is also an incentive to go beyond the basic lecture material and satisfy your curiosity about what you have been taught. As a medic this extra detail could one day be put into practice in a clinical situation and could make a crucial difference to a patient. When you are studying medicine you are not just studying for the next exam but taking the first steps on a course of lifelong learning, building your basis of professional knowledge throughout your medical career.

 

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Difficult at university, and no easier when you actually start working- but with a huge positive impact on lives.

 

2. Sometimes it’s hard work

Studying medicine comes with a certain expectation to work harder on average than most other students. There are generally more contact hours than other subjects (this year I have a 9-5 day every Friday) with practicals and lectures taking up a great deal of time. Of course it’s not just the contact hours when you are working: lecture notes need to be read over, essays have to be written, practicals should be prepared for and keeping on top of it all can be a challenge. This is especially the case as your work load will vary from week to week, sometimes being set a great deal of work and sometimes having a whole week with very little to do. Therefore it’s important to be flexible with how you work and appreciate that sometimes you will have to put in a long stint of work in order to have the time off when you need it.

There’s also a reasonable amount of pressure on to pass exams. In most subjects other than medicine what you are really studying and aiming for is the best grade possible. Obviously this is true to an extent in medicine, but there is an additional challenge, which is the very high pass marks for the “2nd MB” exams, the ones you have to pass in order to become a doctor. By being passed in these you are essentially being certified as competent enough in a subject area to continue towards a professional medical career. Passing these exams can often require cramming a great deal of knowledge in a small space of time and this can be stressful, but the reward after exams is a long summer to enjoy. Medicine can be challenging, but…

 

3. It’s not all hard work!

Don’t panic, medicine can be challenging but you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy being an undergraduate, an experience that many people say is the best time of their life. The level of work in the course is such that you will have time to make the most out of other activities at university, such as sports, music and the huge range of other societies that are on offer at university. All that you need to do in order to manage these other activities is be efficient with the time you spend working; don’t spend a whole afternoon watching YouTube videos if you know you have a music rehearsal that evening. University is about a lot more than simply gaining a degree, you will learn a lot about yourself and other people and hopefully build yourself into someone who is capable of being a good doctor.

 

4. Being a medical student isn’t all about studying medicine

All these activities that you can do in your spare time aren’t just about having fun, however. While the main reason you do them is to enjoy yourself and take your mind off work they are actually very important in your “personal development”. This is, as mentioned above, working on skills that are outside the scope of academic study but are still vital to being an effective doctor. For example, by taking part in music or theatre you will become accustomed to performing in front of a large crowd of people and as a consequence if you ever have to present at a conference or even to a team of your colleagues, you will be able to stand up with confidence and say what you need to.

Equally, playing in a sports team will help you function with other people, some of whom you may have a personality clash with or strongly differ in opinions. You become used to a position of responsibility, with other people relying on you to perform your role, sometimes under pressure. Sports and societies also provide an opportunity to take a leadership and organisational role, which once again will become very important in a clinical context, whether it is organising ward staff or running a practice as a GP. Medicine is a career in which it is vital to emerge from university as a functional person who is capable of interacting well with others. This will not be achieved by sitting in your room every evening and studying the lecture notes: there is an important balance to be struck between working and having a life.

 

5. Studying anatomy involves more than looking at pictures

Anatomy can be rather full-on, especially at traditional institutions such as Cambridge, where throughout the course of your first year you dissect a “subject” who has decided to donate their body to training medical students. This means getting involved with a scalpel yourself and doing what can occasionally be a rather unpleasant task. Some people might be really excited by the idea of getting stuck in and having a really practical course in anatomy, but for those who don’t you shouldn’t panic. Most other universities use only pre-prepared dissections (prosections), which you will still have to learn the structures of and examine, but without necessarily getting your hands dirty.

 

6. You will make some of your closest friends studying medicine

Make sure you take the time to make the most of the people you’re at university with. They don’t necessarily have to be medics; many people become very close with people in their sports team or society, but medics do seem to end up hanging around together. Unfortunately this can sometimes lead to slightly geeky “medic chat” where before you know what’s happening you end up discussing what happened in the morning’s lectures, or how you found last week’s practical. This can be a good way to remind yourself what happened in the lecture earlier (no one can concentrate all the way through a full one hour lecture), but sometimes it’s just light-hearted discussion about which lecturer makes it very hard to stay awake!

 

7. Studying medicine brings you up to date with the latest medical research

For those of you who are really interested in the biological sciences, studying medicine is a great opportunity to be brought very close to the frontier of current scientific knowledge, beyond what you will find in textbooks. Your lecturers are all actively involved in their field of interest and as such it is part of their job to stay up to date with all the latest advances and studies that are going on in that area. Therefore they can teach things well before they are published in textbooks and make you aware of very up-to-date and relevant research papers. Be it the latest cell reproduction pathways associated with tumours or the most recently discovered ion channels in the heart, you will be brought up to the current level of understanding.

 

8. Medicine is a long course

Studying medicine is very much a marathon, not a sprint. It is a 5 or 6 year course, where in your final few years holidays become a lot shorter and you are studying almost all year round (instead of having three months off a year). The reason the course is so long is because of the volume of material that needs to be learned; both the basic scientific principles and the clinical skills needed to apply them must be taught.

While this may seem like a fairly monumental task the truth is that while at university time seems to pass incredibly rapidly, probably because the average student is so busy they don’t have time to notice each term flying past. While this is nice as it feels as if you’re making rapid progress through your studies it also means it’s very easy to get behind on work and not catch up until the holidays come around. Fortunately the holidays come around so quickly due to the short length of the terms you can usually get away with this and the holidays are often a valuable opportunity to make sure you understand the past term’s work before the chaos of term time starts again. Some academic staff even go as far as to say…

 

9. You have a vacation, not a holiday

What they mean by this is that the Christmas and Easter breaks are simply the times when you vacate your accommodation and not a complete holiday from work. Of course, this does not necessarily have to be true. If you’ve managed your work very well during term time and stayed on top of everything there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a well earned rest for a few weeks. If, however, you prefer to do as many activities as you can while in residence the vacations can be an important opportunity to pay back the time you borrowed during the term. Most importantly, it’s about finding a balance. You don’t want to start the term feeling fatigued from working too hard over the holidays, but equally you don’t want to start the term not having a clue what’s going on.

 

10. Organisation is key

Studying at university is a real contrast to being a student at school and one of the real challenges is organising your work and activities. You can no longer rely on your parents to keep a calendar of everything that’s going on and instead you must sort things for yourself. Add to this the fact that a significant proportion of time at university will be spent feeling tired, due to excessive studying or partying, and there is a recipe for potential disaster. Tutorials may clash with rehearsals, practicals may coincide with sports matches or a MedSoc event might be happening when you’re meant to be seeing your family. The most important thing is to have some kind of system, whether it is a paper diary you keep with you or a calendar on your phone. Make sure you’re not the one who is always nearly missing things or running round at the last minute trying to work out where you’re supposed to be.

 

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As a medical student, a stethoscope is a tool with which you become well-acquainted very soon.

11. If you pass your exams you’ll become a doctor

Bar any kind of disaster, if you pass all your exams while studying medicine you will go on to become a doctor. This may well seem like stating the obvious, but it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about this. By passing you in an exam a university is certifying that you are competent enough in that subject area to continue on the path to becoming a doctor. What does this mean for you? First of all it means that it can be quite difficult to pass your exams. In other subjects you are certified as competent by scoring a decent grade (usually a 2:1), however in medicine if you pass you will be guaranteed to continue down the path of clinical school and continue on to a professional medical career.

While there is the drawback of having an especially tough time passing exams this is also a very exciting prospect. If you manage to continue at a reasonable level, putting enough work in, you will qualify as a doctor. Compare this with a subject such as law, where if you pass your law degree with a 2:1 you are not guaranteed to become a lawyer; you are not even guaranteed a job. This is also the case with engineering, while you may become a certified engineer it does not mean you have any kind of reassurance that you will go on to have a job in engineering. If things get tough and you think you might struggle to pass just remember that by passing you are taking one step more towards being a doctor.

 

12. Most of your peers will be very intelligent

Medical students represent an extremely limited selection of people your age and they will tend to be both very capable and hard working. This can sometimes result in you feeling rather demoralised when comparing yourself to other medics, especially as you will tend to notice the ones working harder than you more than the rest. Remember, the people you are comparing yourself to represent the very top fraction of students in the country and as such you should not be disheartened if some of them are better than you. In fact there will be plenty of other medical students at the same level as you who are making the most out of university to develop themselves as a person, not just as a student.

 

Being a medical student puts you in a very privileged position, among the very top students across the country. It generally seems to be the case that medics follow the mantra “work hard, play hard”. Most importantly, remember that being a student is not only a means to an end, but an end in itself. Make sure you make the most of being an undergraduate!

 

Image credits: surgery ; stethoscope .

Comments (180)

  1. Carla

    January 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm


    Great post!

    Reply

    • Ochoga David Ogaba

      November 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm


      what an awsome article.In fact it inspired me alot

      Reply

    • ebhat

      January 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm


      > oh my God ,this is so complete..I felt really great and after reading this…I’m in my first year and the semester wasn’t great at all but this has made me do a rethink as to all the things i’ve been doing wrong….Thank you so much

      Reply

      • laine

        January 20, 2018 at 11:26 am


        is it so hard? cant wait to start, Im afraid that it might be so so so difficult

        Reply

    • mam

      September 1, 2017 at 5:45 am


      > yes

      Reply

  2. Aida

    March 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm


    Thank you !

    Reply

  3. Liz

    August 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm


    These last few points are a pathetic outlook on life. One should not be happy with scraping through, if your going to become a doctor you should try to become the best doctor you can be. There is no reason but laziness or selfishness that one who satisfied the stringent criteria to enter into medical school can not achieve a high standard of marks whilst there. This generation wuss dribble is ridiculous, anyone too lazy to aim higher than a pass can reassure themselves with the fact the medical schools are so strapped for cash these days that is it too costly for them to fail a student. So the school will baby you until you pass. Grow up, your no longer and insecure child now, you need to realise that the real world is tough, you don’t deserve any special treatment for being born into white privelidge, earn your privelidge or at least make it useful that the world has wasted several tonnes of fresh water, fossil fuels, rare animals and children’s backs and mental health to sustain your indulgent life thus far.

    Reply

    • Jane

      May 8, 2015 at 12:05 am


      > Bitter much?

      Reply

      • Pam

        September 30, 2015 at 11:14 am


        > Please learn how to spell and improve your grammar before you try to voice your simplistic opinions. But thanks for the attempt!

        Reply

        • sheza

          October 20, 2015 at 1:18 am


          > Pam, I think Liz is english, so her spelling would actually be correct in her culture.

          Reply

    • LC

      August 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm


      > An arguably reasonable point, sadly ruined by blatant bitterness and prejudice. The mentioning of race was the absolute low point- it was irrelevant and, more importantly, completely innaccurate. The numbers of non-white UK medical students are hugely disproportionate to the overall non-white UK population.
      I kindly suggest that you keep your uninformed vitriol to yourself.

      Reply

    • Naomi

      April 12, 2017 at 10:03 am


      > “you’re” going to become a doctor, “you’re” no longer “an” insecure child now, not “your”/”and” (not the only spelling/grammar mistakes in there).

      Reply

    • Amba

      September 18, 2017 at 10:41 pm


      > u better create ur own world with ur principles. ….saddist?

      Reply

    • UI

      February 5, 2018 at 9:33 pm


      Very well stated! Truth is hard to accept. Change is constant and we must find the strength of the most high to keep pressing for the high mark. Faith without works is dead! I know that God has to be at the beginning of all of my endeavors. Thanks:)

      Reply

      • TD

        February 5, 2018 at 9:35 pm


        Sorry, Comment intended for Liz

        Reply

    • kumar

      February 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm


      My daughter is considering medicine , we found the article very informative, I think you are taking things a little too seroius , this is not really the forum for the expressing such views.

      Reply

    • Carren

      April 13, 2018 at 12:30 am


      Great post. Very informative and inspiring.

      Reply

  4. Natasha

    September 4, 2014 at 8:55 am


    Great post! Extremely helpful and motivating. Thank you!

    Reply

    • ABDULRAHMAN IBRAHIM

      May 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm


      >Medicine,to me,It’s a simple course

      Reply

      • Anusha Munishvaran

        August 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm


        > Hi Abdul. U seem very cinfident . That’s good. I am currently a matric student I’m SA and my passion is to study medicine. I have very good academic marks. Unfortunately I did not do well in my nbt test. I applied for a rewrite and I need some help preparing for my next test. Is there any way u will be able to assist me. And please anyone that has recently written their nbt test. I would like to hear gr u as well. Thank you Soraya

        Reply

  5. nenye

    October 3, 2014 at 12:32 am


    Great post!

    Reply

  6. Paper

    November 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm


    To the third comment: You’re a moron.

    Reply

    • Faith Ng’uni

      December 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm


      This article is helpful and inspiring.Thanks

      Reply

  7. TeaBag

    January 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm


    Great! I’m in high school yet and this is a great incentive to become a doctor!!

    Reply

  8. omoola olamide

    January 19, 2015 at 9:01 am


    Thank u verymuch…xo helpful…more grease to ur elbow.

    Reply

  9. Dhaarshana

    February 11, 2015 at 11:09 pm


    Thank u so much for this post!! It really helped me to boost my confidence. 🙂

    Reply

  10. Rasan Gardi

    April 5, 2015 at 11:20 pm


    A very motivating post ! Unfortunately some doctors instead of supporting ,they tell us that you will not become good doctors when we dont know to answer one of their questions .It’s really disappointing , they should increase our self confidence

    Reply

    • franz

      August 17, 2015 at 6:56 am


      To tell you honestly it is not disheartening to be told as such but rather a challenge to do better. Life will be tough and doctors face a lot of hard choices each day. If one wants to become a doctor they should be well equipped and knowledgeable on what they do so that the public is reassured that medical schools are thus delivering sought for professionals that will be provide and care for the public’s health. Cheer up! It’s just a challenge.

      Reply

  11. BITUNGURAMYE ADAM

    April 6, 2015 at 10:10 am


    To the first,

    extremely true.. we do not study to pass exams only. rather to pass that exam and keep and use that knowledge for a lifetime

    Reply

  12. Sadeepani Karunathilaka

    May 8, 2015 at 8:23 pm


    Before I read this I had many problems as a medical student in Sri Lanka.But if I read this I gain a new path way to enter this subject.i had a very big stress .thank Thanks a lot for a giving guidelines in this way
    .

    Reply

  13. Shohini Maitra

    June 2, 2015 at 7:47 am


    Hi,
    I’m interested in doing medical research, but I’m a little (or REALLY) confused as to which path I should take for that. Is studying, say, microbiology/biomedical sciences a better idea, or medical school (and specialising in say, pathology/microbio after that?) I would be really thankful if you could help me out.

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      June 2, 2015 at 9:19 am


      Dear Shohini,

      You are better off pursuing a microbiology or biomedical sciences degree (or something similar, e.g. biochemistry) than going for medical school. Not only is a life sciences degree a more direct route into your chosen career, it’s also much less competitive than medical school.

      We hope this helps!

      The ORA Team.

      Reply

  14. flames

    June 13, 2015 at 6:38 am


    Thanks so much for your post.

    Reply

  15. linus Augustine

    June 25, 2015 at 10:27 pm


    Thanks a lot for sharing that insight, which gives me courage to study medicine.

    Reply

  16. asma

    June 27, 2015 at 10:40 am


    It helped a lot, i feel much better about medicine it really motivated me to study this major, Thanks for your cooperation

    Reply

  17. caleb

    June 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm


    indeed motivated. Being in high school and aspiring to take medicine. feel enthusiastic and bold to tackle it. thanks for the post

    Reply

  18. aishath nathuly

    July 3, 2015 at 8:02 am


    i wanted to ask if there is chance to study medicine even i am doing business in my o level

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      July 3, 2015 at 10:43 am


      Dear Aishath,

      It seems unlikely but you never know! We recommend emailing or phoning the medical school at a university you might like to attend, and asking their advice on what you would need to do in order to gain admission there.

      We hope this helps.

      The ORA Team

      Reply

  19. Sarah

    July 16, 2015 at 11:44 am


    Great post!! But I was wondering, How challenging are these exams ??

    Reply

  20. Kunal Nune

    July 19, 2015 at 11:35 am


    Thank you. It is a very helpful article and helps in lot of ways to us morally and it’s very true. But some of the things differ a lot in our country, India, where medical students face a number of problems.

    Reply

  21. Lerato Miggan Msiza

    July 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm


    Now I really know them,….thanks to you..

    Reply

  22. Abejide Temitope Elizabeth

    July 25, 2015 at 9:42 am


    Thank you very much. Now I know what I really need to do.Thanks for motivating us all.

    Reply

  23. Adaidearsley

    July 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm


    I was thinking of going for another course but now am fully convince that medicine is my area. Thank you for the post.

    Reply

  24. Victor

    July 30, 2015 at 2:57 am


    I really appreciate these post as it has me strong backups on my ambition to study medicine,it was really helpful.thank you.

    Reply

  25. samrach

    August 1, 2015 at 11:51 am


    I really thank you for your post … It is very helpful for me.

    Reply

  26. Devika

    August 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm


    well said.
    motivating words.
    🙂

    Reply

  27. Precious

    August 6, 2015 at 5:29 am


    Thanks so much for the post. I thought I could no longer make it due to the stress but now I have more reasons to be a good and happy medical doctor.

    Reply

  28. Henry Oghifo

    August 17, 2015 at 10:41 am


    Thanks for impacting more knowledge to us on medical students; may God bless you all.

    Reply

  29. Haruna Ya’u Haruna

    September 17, 2015 at 2:29 pm


    Thanks for energizing us on medicine…

    Reply

  30. Abdulrazaq

    September 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm


    Its a really nice post thanks but my question is , can one be allowed into a medical school if he has eye problem that requires him to use lenses for magnifying purpose?

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      September 21, 2015 at 9:03 am


      Dear Abdulrazaq,

      That should be no problem at all. Almost all universities will have a Disability Advisory Service (or something similar under a different name), who are there to make sure that students with disabilities are not disadvantaged in university study. You might be interested to read this article about how a student with visual impairments coped with the requirements of medical school.

      We hope this helps.

      The ORA Team

      Reply

      • Shwe Sin

        December 31, 2015 at 10:41 am


        This is a wonderful article and for the first time it made me feel like I actually have a chance at medical school and the feeling is overwhelming. I have had visual impairment from birth and have undergone cataract surgery and I need magnifying glasses to read and I always felt embarrassed about using the. So applied for a degree that I enjoy but am not passionate about. My father recently passed away and I had to put my studies on hold, so I started teaching science to 6th and 7th graders and my love for science was rekindled but deep down I was scared that I wasn’t good enough and wouldn’t be able to keep up because of my visual impairments, because I had struggled keeping up with my studies during my senior year because I couldn’t see the board during lessons and teacher was indifferent towards me and so I was terrified to ask questions. However this article has given me hope to pursue my dreams again and for that I am truly grateful (I mean it from the bottom of my heart).

        Reply

  31. camara

    September 23, 2015 at 1:33 am


    Thank you so much for this post.I am really motivated.Medicine is my dream course.

    Reply

  32. Parth verma

    September 25, 2015 at 7:29 am


    I want to do medicine in USA and I am from India is it possible can I pass USMLE . I’m in 12 th

    Reply

  33. Idawu abdulrahman babious

    September 28, 2015 at 7:13 am


    Hmmm, thanks so much for your post. I really appreciate it.

    Reply

  34. presh

    September 30, 2015 at 12:22 pm


    The post is really an intense one. Can some of the books used during medical study be bought before time? If yes, what are their names?

    Reply

  35. lysse

    October 3, 2015 at 4:34 am


    I’m so nervous because 2 years from now, I’ll be in college. and since when I was a kid, it’s been my dream to become a doctor. But I heard that taking BSc Biology is quite hard, maybe for me because I don’t like Math.. and BSc Biology is the best pre-med. Next year, I’m in grade 11 and I prefer to take Biology… 🙁

    Reply

  36. irene

    October 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm


    Wow, this is the first time I see someone being encouraging and positive about studying medicine. I’m thinking about studying this, but I’m still a little scared :/

    Reply

  37. Iwalokun Adebayo

    October 14, 2015 at 5:07 pm


    Thanks for your advice… My question is that,if someone is not good in chemistry in secondary school,can he/she still study medicine in other to become a medical doctor?

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      October 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm


      Dear Iwalokun,

      Usually, good Chemistry grades are essential to studying Medicine. You might find our articles on how to succeed in subjects you dislike and how to improve if you’re underperforming are useful in working out how to improve at Chemistry.

      Regards,

      The ORA Team

      Reply

  38. Awwal sabo

    October 15, 2015 at 11:51 pm


    Wow thanks for the advice, but if you are in Secondary School must you also be good in Physics to study Medicine?

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      October 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm


      Dear Awwal,

      Studying Medicine requires high grades across all sciences. For more information about studying Medicine, you might find the following article useful: ‘Are you thinking of studying Medicine?’ . Alternatively, you might be able to ask your school’s careers department for more information.

      Good luck!

      The ORA Team

      Reply

  39. Chia bill orseer

    October 16, 2015 at 2:26 pm


    Thanks for this article…. It’s like a guidebook…..

    Reply

  40. Iwalokun Adebayo

    October 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm


    Am not that good in chemistry but am good in biology and physic.can I stil study medicine?

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      October 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm


      Dear Iwalokun,

      Studying Medicine does generally require high grades across all sciences, but requirements can vary across Universities and courses and depending on what your grades are. If you are interested in studying Medicine you might want to look into specific courses for a better idea about the grades they require. For more information about studying Medicine, you might find the following article useful: ‘Are you thinking of studying Medicine?’ . Alternatively, you might be able to ask your teachers or school careers department for more information.

      Good luck!

      The ORA Team

      Reply

      • Abdillah

        December 18, 2017 at 10:59 am


        I’m not food in physics but I’m I have higher grade in biology and chemistry and now I’m second year of medicine

        Reply

  41. Iwalokun Adebayo

    October 23, 2015 at 1:14 pm


    Thanks u.
    If I want to study education in the university in other to be a biology teacher,which subject am I expect to do in jamb?

    Reply

  42. alaiya ayodele

    October 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm


    How to be a medical doctor is all my focus in life.

    Reply

  43. Anyaka Daniel

    October 27, 2015 at 11:32 am


    are you afraid @ sarah?….anyway, this post was really great…I can now feel and see my self on top

    Reply

  44. danielwhite

    November 4, 2015 at 11:24 am


    I am really grateful for that post thanks so much it boosted my confidence.

    Reply

    • Mellisa Chenge

      February 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm


      Thank you for this motivating post, I’m also interested in Medical studies…I’m in Grade 12 this year..

      Reply

  45. Adedipe pelumi. A

    November 4, 2015 at 9:38 pm


    Great post! A key to becoming a medical doctor. Thanks very much for the enlightenment.

    Reply

  46. Ridwan Rafid

    November 23, 2015 at 7:39 am


    I just got admitted in a medical college and my classes are going to start from January. Thanks for the post, this is going to help me my entire life. There is a rumour that studying medicine is the toughest work ever. But knowing from a medical student that it’s rather enjoying…. Feeling good.

    Reply

  47. alastor krey

    November 23, 2015 at 8:24 am


    9x post, keep it up.

    Reply

  48. clotilda unoakhe

    November 24, 2015 at 8:46 pm


    nice information,best i’ve read so far. Merci beaucou. Amazing!!!

    Reply

  49. David

    December 7, 2015 at 10:37 pm


    Helpful to me , it has improved my understanding and motivated me more. Thank you

    Reply

  50. naizar fathima ruhaiya

    December 21, 2015 at 6:57 pm


    It is very useful information because you make the medical students more interest. It is a nice discussion. Well done.

    Reply

  51. Idawu babious

    December 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm


    As a medical student, you don’t have to stay at home playing or working majestically in the street, thinking you are the best, you have to develop your time at least 5 hours to study per day which is 2 hours in the morning, 1 hour in the noon and 2 hours at night. I am sure by doing this you will achieve what you need by God grace. Secondly know who you mingle with, don’t risk your life to unknown person, everybody has his/her own achievement in life.

    Reply

    • ESTHER ENOYI ROBERT

      September 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm


      Thank You Very Much for the post, it Was Insightfull,Educating and Encouraging

      Reply

  52. Adeyemi Lydia

    January 2, 2016 at 7:17 pm


    Thanks for the post, it gives me more courage to become a doctor.

    Reply

  53. fredrick

    January 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm


    Thanks for the encouragement. I am from Kenya.

    Reply

  54. seyi

    January 8, 2016 at 10:34 am


    i’m a biochemistry student in a nigerian university and i would like to study medicine after my first degree…how would i go about this? and what advice have you got?

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      January 11, 2016 at 10:32 am


      Dear Seyi,

      Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately it is difficult for us to give you any specific advice about your studies after your degree, although we do have an article about studying medicine that may be able to help you out.
      Are you thinking of studying Medicine?
      Hopefully this will contain some information that will help you. Additionally, we recommend talking to a tutor or careers advisor at your university.

      Best of luck with your future studies!

      The ORA Team

      Reply

  55. i am nsama

    January 22, 2016 at 4:17 pm


    very helpful.thanks…

    Reply

  56. Lionel

    February 8, 2016 at 7:18 am


    Thanks… I’ll just go about it 🙂

    Reply

  57. Fat

    February 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm


    Thanks a lot. I’m sure that we are all aware of what’s awaiting us but some nice thoughts from time to time is really comforting.

    Reply

  58. Cletus Gabriel

    February 17, 2016 at 8:04 am


    Am really good in biology but when it comes to chemistry and physics I can’t stand it. Can I still go for medicine? I really need your help.

    Reply

    • OLUMOFE DEBORAH

      November 24, 2017 at 7:27 pm


      > I really have a challenge in Physics and chemistry will I still be able to study Medicine

      Reply

  59. Emmanuel Pius

    February 27, 2016 at 9:02 pm


    Great inspiring lesson hope with God and hard work medicine will be my life time career
    Amen!!!!!!!
    😊

    Reply

  60. minons123

    February 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm


    I love this inspiration

    Reply

  61. blessings phiri

    March 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm


    Yes it’s helpful but if for you it’s easy don’t think it is for us

    Reply

  62. FaraHinHunHan

    March 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm


    I was about to give up on a dream to be a medical student.
    thanks.
    I’m going to pursue this dream!

    Reply

  63. Jaspreet kaur singh

    March 20, 2016 at 10:29 pm


    Thxz a lot for giving information about it .
    I will try my best for it .. ☺?nd even its my dream nd i trust to fulfill my dream …

    ☺?☺☺??

    Reply

  64. Rosemary barko

    March 23, 2016 at 4:19 pm


    just a high school student but egger to study medicine. was scared at first but thanks a lot for your encouragement☺

    Reply

  65. Lorenzo

    March 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm


    I’m from south Africa and You just made me realise
    that I want to become a doctor thanks!!!

    Reply

  66. Sandipto Ghosh

    March 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm


    I am just a young student of class 10 and i have already started planning my future…
    This post have not only ignited a spark in my
    Eyes…but also it has boosted my confidence….towards my career.

    Reply

  67. Sammy

    March 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm


    I really love this post… it’s a challenge to do better…I’m already motivated and can never be deterred…

    Reply

  68. Htwe Ei Nge

    March 31, 2016 at 10:29 am


    Thank you. No.11 really gives me strength. I will try my best for exams.

    Reply

  69. Gadzo

    March 31, 2016 at 11:51 pm


    I’m 36 and a teacher. I got an E in Biology, D in Mathematics and Os in Chemistry and Physics under A level Cambridge, 1998. By then I was drinking and having fun. However, I qualified with BA degree majoring in Mathematics. I rewrote A level Chemistry and Mathematics and got As last year. I am busy with Physics which I am sure I will get an A. I have written several Maths textbooks for grade 12 which are currently being used in country. My dream career was always medicine, but now I am old. Do you think I will make it in medicine considering my age?

    Reply

  70. Olanrewaju Folakemi Roseline

    April 4, 2016 at 9:56 pm


    It was a nice post. Thanks

    Reply

  71. imrana abubakar kwaido

    April 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm


    I am Imrana Abubakar Kwaido. I am highly delighted and I appreciated this article. It is extremely true and add me a lot of interest to study medicine. Thank you a lot for your guidelines.

    Reply

  72. Shamsuddeen

    May 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm


    I am Shamsuddeen Alhassan Adam… am here to say that post is great, marvelous and encouraging i always have a dream of becoming a doctor i read b.sc chemistry (my first degree) because I was not opportuned to get medicine when I finished secondary school…. i finished my first degree (bsc. chemistry ) at the age of twenty and i applied for medicine again and now iam in 4th year of my studies (level 4) …I am happy i have no regret …I am about to become what i always dream of becoming….. am now 24

    Reply

  73. Mercy chisambi

    May 6, 2016 at 10:15 am


    Thanks

    Reply

  74. Mumbi Ellatone

    May 12, 2016 at 7:40 am


    Hi My name is Ellatone and am doing DP in “clinical officer” at one of the colleges here in Zambia.My question is; looking at this phase that am doing (study in general clinical officer), What personal advise can you give me on what can be the next best feild i should trigger when have completed the course?

    Reply

  75. Ice

    May 14, 2016 at 9:10 pm


    thanks

    Reply

  76. ABDULRAHMAN IBRAHIM

    May 23, 2016 at 5:31 pm


    OKAY

    Reply

  77. Sarah Samaha

    May 31, 2016 at 11:07 pm


    Great post ! Thank you ♡
    I have a question ,
    I have the chance to study medicine in Netherlands ,
    But medicine in the universities of Netherlands is studied in Dutch ,
    except in Groningen University , the first three years is studied English then the rest is studied in Dutch
    Is that good for me to study medicine in Dutch ?
    What is better ? Study in English or Dutch
    What is the difference between them ?

    Reply

  78. praveena

    June 3, 2016 at 11:43 am


    good post.tq .but i wanted to ask u some things i am lacking cofindence with ..i am a final year mbbs student in india .i find your post quite encouraging n boosting up my confidence .As u said in u’r post 12 things in med student’s life sports n music can be learned along with studying medicine ;it’s good but in indian medical colleges we can’t get assistance with sports or music. i am interested in them right from my school life but because of my parents i moved on with my studies and didn’t get a chance for these activities .But now i am having regrets about them .so as a 4th yr mbbs student can i learn those activities now along with my studies .Now i am not able to take any further step to learn them because i don’t want to hear from my parents that i can’t become a post graduate doctor because of these activities but i have confidence and i can work hard to manage my time for studies along with sports and music .so can i learn them now by taking one step further n become a good doctor .
    please suggest me …so that i can relieve my stress and can hav fun along with my studies .

    Reply

  79. yemi

    June 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm


    > remember praveena,you’re too blessed to be stressed, you can always participate in other extra curricular activities nw .and postpone your music and sport desires for some other times to make you av gud relationship wit ur parent. won’t you rather trust me

    Reply

  80. Kaytee

    June 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm


    I am extremely confused. I like biology, but am not the kind of person whp can study so much. i get great grades but i just cant. any suggestions? also, can i reach you personally somewhere to talk about this?

    Reply

    • ORA Admin

      June 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm


      Dear Kaytee,

      Thank you for getting in touch. If you are interested in studying Medicine, you may find the following article helpful:
      – Are you thinking of studying Medicine?
      Additionally, at ORA we offer an Introduction to Medicine course and a Medical School Preparation course, either of which (depending on your age) could be useful in preparing you to study medicine. I would suggest that you talk to a teacher or careers advisor at school about your study options, as they will know more about you as a student than we do.

      I hope this helps, we wish you the best of luck with your future studies.

      Best Regards,

      The ORA Team

      Reply

  81. nze kingsley chukwudi

    June 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm


    This was really helpful i saw a lot of comments from nigerians like me and am proud of us for choosing to study medicine and excel at it, but great articule. Am all fired up.

    Reply

  82. Heena kouser

    June 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm


    I’ve got 84.8% overall in 9th n now presently m in 10th. Do u think ths grade tells tht m capable t b a doctor? If no then how much % should I at least get in my 10th to choose medical field? ( plz ans my questions too cz m confused about choosing my goal… I’ve read all d comments n suggestions given by d ORA team. I thank u all for it… Plz suggest me about achieving my goal…)

    Reply

  83. Shibani

    June 16, 2016 at 2:57 am


    Really great post! I’m currently studying a degree unrelated to medicine which I know I’m not passionate for. I’m wondering whether I should pursue studying medicine?

    Reply

  84. Matiez

    June 23, 2016 at 11:26 pm


    I always thought that because i wasnt really academically talented naturally but anything and i mean anything is achievable with Jesus Christ and hard work. Amen

    Reply

  85. John

    June 30, 2016 at 5:19 pm


    I’m almost Good in all the courses I have to study as a medical student but I do have problem with Physiology.

    Reply

  86. Roderick

    July 12, 2016 at 1:48 am


    wow

    Reply

  87. Roderick

    July 12, 2016 at 1:49 am


    ? WOW

    Reply

  88. kendella

    July 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm


    How difficult and tough are these MB exams and How voluminous are the studies for medicine?

    Reply

  89. Lawrence

    July 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm


    Im a Pharmacist MPharm and a Doctor MD. Pharmacy was much harder them medical school. In Pharmacy i had to draw structures of over 100 medicinal drugs. and learn 2000 medications by heart.

    Medicine is more reading less drawing. Exams are MCQs. Pharmacy we had essays and long Calculus equations.

    Being a Doctor is simple hehehe. The real Horror starts after medical school, when you work 80-100hrs per week and trying to save people who are critical.

    Reply

  90. Matiya

    July 25, 2016 at 9:59 am


    Am now currently doing my third year of Medical school in Southern Africa (Zambia) it takes 7 years here, what are some tips you can share that can help me be the very be best I can become?

    Reply

  91. umar faruq

    July 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm


    That is a really encouraging article.

    Reply

  92. umar faruq

    July 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm


    Am in the senior high school .in my country we study mostly without practicals.we learn our books by heart but I have the confidence and hope in studying medicine in the united states.I happen to know nothing about the requirements of medicine. any help you can offer me?

    Reply

  93. Martin

    August 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm


    Thanks for this post. It is of immense help to me as a biginner

    Reply

  94. emmanuel appiah

    August 16, 2016 at 6:09 pm


    I’m emmanuel wanting to study medicine to be a doctor.. how to manage my time is my problem..

    Reply

  95. Ace

    August 18, 2016 at 8:48 am


    Thanks lots .now am prepared for this

    Reply

    • Dhruvi Jaiswal

      November 30, 2016 at 4:08 pm


      > can I have your any contact….I want to know more that are not writable, it will be appreciable. Thanks

      Reply

  96. Adnan

    August 27, 2016 at 11:41 pm


    i want to study mbbs seeing the career advantages of being a doctor. but i dont know if can take up too much stress and study everyday. my ques is whether mbbs is meant only for students who are 100% dedicated to being doctor? i am one of those who dont know what course to study. any type of help or suggested links will be appreciated. thankss.

    Reply

  97. juhar musa

    September 6, 2016 at 12:58 am


    Thanks you made me feel better and motivated.

    Reply

  98. Kofi awuah

    October 8, 2016 at 8:59 am


    Hello please am a high school graduate i did business in high school and i had B in intergrated science, B in mathematics and A in further mathematic(elective mathematics) and did well in other business subjects too but am asking if i can pursue medicine at college, please help me out i always wanted to do medicine but the school that i attended dont have a science school, it has only business and art.

    Reply

  99. Daniel

    October 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm


    this site is really helpful.But sir I need your guidance,because I want to go into medicine as a course

    Reply

  100. Theresah Amoako

    October 13, 2016 at 10:48 am


    Thanks a lot for this post.

    Reply

  101. Al’ameen abdulkadir

    October 14, 2016 at 5:58 pm


    Thank for d guidline i am new to medicine wish success to me and other colleages.what a hard journey with a sweet appreciable end junction

    Reply

  102. Al’ameen abdulkadir

    October 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm


    Thank for d guidline i am new to medicine wish success to me and other colleages.what a hard journey with a sweet appreciable end junction cute i am realy ready for it

    Reply

  103. Onuorah Francisca

    October 27, 2016 at 10:50 am


    Thanks a thousand time for this, i think u are giving an assurance for the future. Thanks once again.

    Reply

  104. BINYAM

    November 1, 2016 at 8:14 am


    Nice post

    Reply

  105. Leone Iram

    November 1, 2016 at 5:35 pm


    This post was extremely helpful. Medicine has always been the goal from the very beginning but I get discouraged about studying for too long. My question is, Does the fact that I am unable to study for long periods of time a good enough reason to not study medicine?

    Reply

  106. danish

    November 7, 2016 at 8:21 am


    Thanks a lot

    Reply

  107. hussein

    November 15, 2016 at 10:59 am


    thanks a lot for posting this important strategies and now I’m ready know to follow

    Reply

  108. Ekanem Victoria emmanuel

    December 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm


    Thank you for the post… I just got into the university and was scared about the course but your article has motivated me… thank you so much

    Reply

  109. Claire

    December 24, 2016 at 3:56 am


    I am only 12 years old but I have full intentions to become a doctor or a surgen. I have a hard time spelling, and the big words in medicine scare me; but I know that being a doctor is right for me. I belive in helping people and I think medicine is a great way to do that. Some people might think it tis crasi that a 12 year old who obviosly has the spelling abilaty of a 2nd grader will become a doctor; but I am a very diligent, smart, and hardworking child. I also am working on becoming fluent in spanish. Adios!

    Reply

    • Claire

      December 24, 2016 at 3:57 am


      > P.S. tomorrow is my b-day, so proud to share it with christ!

      Reply

    • Shruti

      February 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm


      > medicine is for the hard working… if u have that hunger in you u can overcome anything. Intelligence was never the key factor. Hard work always is…

      Reply

  110. gift nalavwe

    January 25, 2017 at 11:01 am


    iam 25 & a teacher, i did not manage to go into medical school due to some circumstances but still i have a passion for it & dream of becoming a medical doc one day.can i do it? pliz help.

    Reply

  111. Teddie Mar A. Molina

    January 30, 2017 at 6:54 am


    weel for me this article is very helpful and also inspiring. it helped me a lot for choosing a great coarse.

    Reply

  112. moses mambwe

    January 30, 2017 at 2:52 pm


    How possible is it for a person with one arm to become a medical doctor?

    Reply

  113. Shruti

    February 1, 2017 at 5:06 pm


    Really good! Potrayed our lives pretty well! I am in my 2nd year of MBBS… We have days like- party tonight n viva tomorrow- really incredible! All thats required is regularity and to be up to date with the day’s work so that you can be in the moment and do the right stuff at the right time.

    I have my bad hair days but all in all, medical college is a great experience and I’ve loved every bit of it- even the ones when you’re buried in ur books and think ur just gonna tear ur hair out.

    Learning does not feel useless anymore cz each word in the books is gonna make a difference some day in a clinical situations we’ll be put through later during internships and after.

    Tomorrow is my 3rd semester exams starting with Pathology. We’ve got a real huge syllabus for Pharmacology so at the moment I’m reading Pharma instead of Patho. My revision is not done yet. N I became really frustrated and came across ur article.

    Rejuvenated me totally!!! Thanks a ton!

    Reply

  114. Warda

    February 28, 2017 at 4:28 am


    What an ispiring article.
    Im now motivated to go do medicine knowing well the ups and downs

    Reply

  115. Jane Paragona

    March 7, 2017 at 8:36 am


    The medicine studies need to be very hard, this job is so importand and difficult. I know many medicine students, that’s sad they are the only one who can’t go out to often. 😀

    Reply

  116. Kingsley Chukwuemeka

    March 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm


    Am Emmyliouz,
    It’s an awesome nd great article to masses aspiring for medicine_including me..am motivated,more grease to ur elbow

    Reply

  117. Hlumelo

    March 10, 2017 at 5:00 am


    I’m so grateful to find this website so I can get an advice.
    I’m doing BSc complementary health science(natural medicine ), which is a 3 years degree. It’s not my passion, I love medicine and one day I’ll love to be an orthopedic surgeon. My family always disagree with me, as they wanted me to do engineering so I can I can get quick money.
    In my family I’m the last born of three children, and the first one to be at university.
    As my family says that it will take long years for medicine, but I don’t care as long as I fulfill my dream.

    I’ll like you to advise me on what you think I should do.

    Reply

    • V

      May 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm


      > Same here. Entering imperial master this sep and my dad wants me to get a job and earn money asap… because med courses are long and too expensive *sigh… But I am still gonna push it through! Despite may not be able to pay for med school in the future, I will continue to study my entrance exams as hard as possible and leave no regrets behind!!!

      Reply

  118. hasine

    March 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm


    Thanks for those hints

    Reply

  119. albarkaj

    April 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm


    nice I’m undergraduate wanting to be come a medical student and this guide me to put more effort on my studies

    Reply

  120. Otunte Christopher Jr

    April 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm


    Nice article, I was really inspired by this. I really wanna be a Medic not just for the high salary earn but for the passion I have for this career right from my Basic classes. Thanks for the article,it helps alot by rekindled my hope and passion for this great career

    Reply

  121. Abah Esther

    April 10, 2017 at 6:51 pm


    I was totally confused on what to study next at the university. I have my nce certificate and i wanted to go for medicine but all this time I taught medicine is going to be tough so i have decided to go for any related courses available. This article has made to focus on my dream again. Thanks for the counseling

    Reply

  122. mehru abbasi

    April 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm


    this was the very motivated post… its a really gud idea to become easily a doctor.if anyone read this post they will be so excited to study well in any university with a great interesting,and with no any worries…

    Reply

  123. Faith Splendour

    May 11, 2017 at 8:08 am


    Wow!Its Inspiring.I Know I Can Do It.U Boosted My Confidence.U Made Me Realized I Am Going To Be A Great Doctor Someday.Hardwork,dedication,willpower,tenacity,faith And Forbearance Is All One Need.

    Reply

  124. alaa yassin

    May 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm


    but what about studying medicine in developed country like egypt , I feel demoralizing … I cant compare myself to any other medical student in other countries …. I seek to present a good medical service to my patients in the future but what I have actually learned or what a bad way of teaching !?

    Reply

  125. femi

    June 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm


    the main route to become a successful doctor is through hard working,dedication managing your time and do not lag behind…….

    Reply

  126. Arya

    June 20, 2017 at 7:56 am


    Wow. I’m only just finishing up in high school and I am already so inspired by this article. Thank you so much. I feel so confident now going into medicine.

    Reply

  127. Vid

    July 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm


    So sweet advice any person can give

    Reply

  128. Edna

    July 18, 2017 at 10:10 am


    So nice and encouraging! This article really helped me understand how to tackle the challenges I will be encountering as I go into the university to study medicine to become a great and efficient doctor

    Reply

  129. NOBLE

    July 19, 2017 at 6:01 am


    VERY ENCOURAGING AND MOTIVATING THANKS A MILLION

    Reply

  130. fatuase Emmanuel

    August 1, 2017 at 8:44 am


    Tanks so much
    an encouraging article

    Reply

  131. Somto

    August 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm


    Thanks for this post. It’s really helpful

    Reply

  132. ayamhe steven

    September 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm


    i still need help about my spelling am still a kid ples anybook for that

    Reply

  133. Amaechi confidence

    September 12, 2017 at 9:43 am


    Am so grateful to have read this, thank you so much, so many people would only discourage you by asking u if u have brain to study medicine but what I know is that what they teach us while in the process of learning is what they will set for us in our exams but at the same time we should also broaden our perspective, our horizons, read with all our hearts, do not listen to the ill words people use on medicine, just believe in yourself that you can do it. Yes of course we should not base on lecturer’s note but we should also make research and study both the practical aspect and the theoretical aspect, and lastly leave God almighty to do the rest.
    Thank you so much.

    Reply

  134. Esther wausi kanyasya

    September 14, 2017 at 10:06 am


    please sent to me all categories based on medicine …
    mostly Im after the knowlge of all medicne programmes

    Reply

  135. katete James

    September 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm


    Thanks alot for the great post, it’s all about hardwork, determination, courage and being result oriented that can make you successful otherwise nothing is impossible, it’s a matter of giving it time.

    Reply

  136. Fidelis Arinze

    November 2, 2017 at 10:17 am


    Hi…am Fidelis Christian Arinze..
    Seriously i enjoyed this article alot because am a kind of person that love medical course. But my problem is that am that good in science subjects am confuse on to go about it i just finish my ssce and thankGod for the result all was credit. I so much gain alots this morning..
    Thank you somuch and remain. Please if i can get some advice on how to go.

    Reply

  137. Madelyn

    November 26, 2017 at 4:07 am


    Woah. I’m a graduating high school student and still thinking of what course will I take in college. This post help me a lot and now, studying medicine is one of my list. Can I be a doctor?

    Reply

  138. Salih

    December 26, 2017 at 11:15 pm


    I have no any connection with the medicine, but tonight I wrote in Google search ” important things in medicine” and it drove me to this text which I read, and it make me to respect the medicine even more.

    Reply

  139. Julia Wilhelm

    January 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm


    Thank you soo much! This really is helpful 😊

    Reply

  140. gadisjp.com

    January 11, 2018 at 7:31 am


    articles that are very good and for the future I hope your article more useful thanks again.

    Reply

  141. noora

    January 24, 2018 at 3:19 pm


    hi guys
    i want to be a doctor but i am scared i dont know that if i am choosing the right path pls help .
    i am confused

    Reply

  142. Sydney

    February 3, 2018 at 8:54 pm


    Add a comment…God bless..
    .
    THANKS.

    Reply

  143. amadi beauty chidinma

    February 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm


    WOW!
    it really a great post i love it
    thanks for your advice, i really do appreciate it

    Reply

  144. akash sharma

    March 12, 2018 at 8:47 am


    i like your post and it motivate me to do more hard work

    Reply

  145. Felicity

    April 11, 2018 at 6:58 pm


    I’m not that good in maths and science and I keep on doubting my self and ask if I can still qualify to study medicine and I’m in grade 11

    Reply


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By Andy Gardner
(Careers Adviser)
|01 February 2018|4 min read

A-level choices

What A-levels do you need to become a doctor?

By Andy Gardner
(Careers Adviser)
|01 February 2018|4 min read

An aspiring medic? If you’re planning to study medicine at university, make sure your A-level line-up keeps your options open when it comes to applying to medical schools…

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Skip ahead to:

  • What A-levels are essential to study medicine?
  • What A-levels are useful to study medicine?
  • Examples of university entry requirements for medicine
  • Admissions tests for medicine

If you want to study medicine, then it’s crucial that you pick the right A-levels. Entry requirements do vary, but to get a medical degree you must study chemistry at A-level. 

There are also certain other essential qualifications you should be looking at depending on the particular university you want to go to. For example, some unis require you to have a biology A-Level too.

Your grades in these subjects are usually going to have to be high as well  medicine is highly competitive. These will vary depending on the uni, but generally you need to be looking at AAA or AAB. 

Medicine not quite right? The above information will apply to other medicine-related subjects such as veterinary medicine , dentistry or nursing ; but it’s best to check out our subject guides for more detailed information.
 

A-level subjects to study medicine

What A-levels are essential to study medicine?

As mentioned, chemistry is a must-have. 

Other must-haves depend on the uni, but it makes sense to assume you’ll need to have studied another science. Here’s a good idea of what might work:

  • chemistry, biology and either maths or physics (or both) will keep all the medical schools open to you
  • if you don’t take maths or physics but do take chemistry and biology, it will keep open the vast majority
  • if you don’t take biology, but do take chemistry and one from maths or physics, fewer medical schools will accept you

Medicine entry requirements: five things you should know
 

What A-levels are useful to have to study medicine?

Critical thinking will help with section three of the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT), but it is better to take this as a fifth AS-level rather than as a replacement for biology, maths or physics. Read more about the BMAT and other admissions tests  further ahead .

Take a look at individual medicine courses here on Which? University to find out the most popular subjects students studied before taking their degree in medicine.

See where your A-levels will take you before it’s too late,  try our A-Level explorer tool
 

Alternative qualifications to study medicine

If you’re studying Scottish Highers or International Baccalaureate , entry requirements will be communicated slightly differently. Meanewhile, the Welsh Baccalaureate is slightly more divisive – it might be a good idea to speak to the university you want to apply to, to see what their stance is. 

  • What are university entry requirements

Examples of university entry requirements for medicine

Below are a range of Bachelor of Medicine courses offered by different universities and the A-level requirements they ask for, for September 2018 entrants (as of January 2018).

You should always check  the entry requirements of your chosen university course when you come to apply, but this gives you a good idea of what to expect. You’ll generally have to achieve the highest grades to study medicine.

University of Birmingham: ‘A*AA at A-level, including chemistry and biology. Predicted AAA at A-level. AAAAA in Scottish Highers and AAB in Advanced Highers including chemistry and biology.’

University of Cambridge: ‘A*A*A at A-level. Applicants must have A-level passes in chemistry and two of biology/human biology, physics, mathematics. The success rate for students offering three or more science/mathematics A-levels has often been higher than those without.’

Lancaster University: ‘Each applicant will be considered on their own merits. Offers will be made taking into consideration the mix of reformed and unreformed A levels taken and whether or not applicants have had the opportunity to take a fourth AS subject or an EPQ . The offers will be in the range AAAB to A*AA, including both biology and chemistry at A-level. All entry requirements have been taken from the Medical Schools Council website.’

Search for a course now to see what entry requirements you need to meet

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A doctor’s words of wisdom for applicants

Make sure you have some work experience in the medical field to show that you know what you’re getting yourself into. 

Don’t forget extracurricular activities to show that you’re a wonderful, well-rounded human being too.

Interviews were painful, so if you’re the type of person who gets nervous for these, prep well! Jodie Nguyen | Doctor

Read our full #CareerGoals interview with doctor Jodie

Watch now: How to choose your A-levels

 

Admissions tests for medicine

UKCAT, BMAT and GAMSAT are admissions tests you might be required to take to successfully apply to a medicine course at a university. As we’ve mentioned above, medicine is a highly competitive subject so admissions teams will use these results to help distinguish between the strongest candidates.

Different universities will ask for different tests, so make sure you know which one you’ll need to take.

  • Which admissions tests do I need to take for medicine?

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Where could your A-levels take you?

Enter your A-level choices below to find out

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