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I didn’t get the Grades for Medical School. What next?

By Dr Emma Brierley
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Dr Emma Brierley looks at the ways in which you can respond if you don’t get your predicted grades, and what you can do to better your chances of getting into medical school.

I didn't get the Grades for Medical School. What do I do?

Results day is possibly the most important (and potentially stressful) day in a medical student’s academic life, and often the most anxiety-inducing in your whole future career. So, what happens if you don’t get the grades you were expecting or needed? This is a commonly asked question and unfortunately happens to many students every year.

The first thing to do is try and not panic, you still have many other options. It is perfectly normal to be disappointed and upset, but it is how you deal with this obstacle that will define your future. Medicine is different from other subjects because most universities will not consider an applicant who has not achieved the required grades, especially if the lower grade is in an essential subject.

So with that in mind, what options do you have?

Contact Your Chosen Universities

The first thing to do is call both your first and second choice universities and see if they are willing to accept you onto a medical course with the slightly lower grades. If you have had any extenuating circumstances which the university do not know about, explain these and how these may have affected your performance. The university may want written proof of these e.g. a doctor’s certificate. If you don’t ask, then you will never know!

Consider other courses

The university may decline your application to study Medicine, but offer you an alternative course such as Biomedical Sciences. Always try and consider this course, despite how disappointed you may be, as you can always complete a graduate medicine degree after this course. Some universities do allow transfers to a medical degree after the first year of studying, depending on availability and how you perform in the first year.

Clearing

There are often limited clearing places available for Medicine. However, St Georges have anticipated they will have clearing spaces for their Medicine MBBS course in 2017. In 2016, it was estimated 40 places on the medical course were left open by St Georges for students in clearing. Students fulfilling certain grades who contacted the university were offered an interview for a place. Ensure you check the UCAS clearing website and be proactive contacting the universities.

Reapply

Consider a year out. Use this time to re-sit your A Levels and strengthen your application to Medicine. Carry out more work experience, a research project, regular volunteering to help show universities your dedication to Medicine. However, it very important to know that not all universities accept candidates with A Level resits. It is essential to contact universities to see their position on this before applying.

A career as a doctor is challenging and requires dedication and perseverance. There will be hurdles along the way, but remember you have a very exciting career ahead of you and that is the ultimate goal to aim for. Good luck! If you want to talk to one of our consultants about your options, we will be happy to talk to you. Ring us on +44 (0) 207 399 1990.