I missed out on a place in Medicine this year. What are my options?
8 months ago by Chris
Medicine is one of the most sought-after and competitive courses to enter in most countries. This inevitably leads to some students missing out on entry into medicine each year. If you are in this position, don’t despair! If you are intent on studying medicine, there are many other options to get you there.
This blog offers a guide to your suggested next steps.
If you missed out on obtaining a place in medicine in the first or second round of offers, it does not mean you will not get into medicine! Medical schools offer places in third and later rounds, with places being offered even up to early March. This is because students tend to apply to multiple universities and reject offers from other medical schools when they obtain entry into their first preference - university.
You may even receive a second round interview offer at an interstate medical school place, and if you excel in your medical interview, you may gain entry into medicine. MedEntry offers quality medical interview training.
2. Consider applying to Bond University
Bond University is the only private university in Australia offering undergraduate medicine. If you are able to afford the fees, you should consider applying to Bond University. You can find out more about applying to the Bond university medical program in our blog.
While you may think the cost of the Bond medical course is very high, you will be able to pay the fees back relatively quickly, once you start practising as a doctor. Bond University is not as expensive as full fee medical school places such as those offered at Melbourne or Macquarie universities, particularly when you consider the opportunity cost involved.
3. Consider taking a gap year
If your ATAR is high (say 98+) but your UCAT score was low or you were invited for an interview and missed out on a place, you should seriously consider taking a gap year. During this year, you can re-sit UCAT, engage in some work experience / volunteer work (which will help you in your interview next year) and reapply to medicine. You can also take the opportunity to travel and have some fun!
There are many advantages to taking a gap year rather than starting a university degree when applying for medicine. These include:
- If you start a university degree, the number of medical schools you are eligible to apply to shrinks drastically. The number of places available also reduces significantly. For more information, please read our blog about applying to medicine as a non-standard applicant.
- If you start a university degree, you lose your ATAR when applying for medicine at most universities (and why not bank your ATAR if it is good?)
If you miss out on medicine again the following year, there are a few options. Although we know of students who have been lucky the third time around (by taking two gap years), we suggest that you put your Plan B into action – starting a university degree and applying to transfer into medicine.
4. Start a university degree and transfer into medicine
This is not an ideal option for the reasons outlined above (particularly that the number of places / universities to which you can apply reduces significantly once you become a ‘non-school leaver’). However, it is a better option than pursuing graduate entry medicine, for a number of reasons.
This option involves starting a university degree with the intention of transferring into medicine after one or two years of study. Remember that you do not need to complete your degree to transfer into medicine.
Our blog outlines which universities will accept transfers into medicine from another university or degree.
It is suggested that you choose a degree that you are genuinely interested in, and can see yourself working in, in future. For example, it is not recommended to choose Biomedical Science or Science (despite universities encouraging you to do so) unless you see yourself working as a scientist in future. If you are not interested in this, a better option may be a health-related vocational course such as dentistry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, midwifery or nursing.
5. Complete your degree and apply for graduate entry medicine
Graduate entry medicine is not an ideal option, for various reasons. For more information, please read our blog about graduate entry medicine. However, it can be an option if you are unable to enter medicine as a school leaver or non-standard applicant.
To apply for medicine as a graduate, it is recommended that you sit both GAMSAT and UCAT, as some universities use UCAT even for graduates. Our blog compares UCAT and GAMSAT.
6. Consider full fee places at Macquarie or Melbourne universities
If your UCAT/GAMSAT score and interview performance are not competitive enough to gain a Commonwealth Supported Place in medicine even after several attempts, you can consider full fee places at Macquarie or Melbourne universities, which are far less competitive (but unfortunately far more expensive!).
7. Apply for medicine overseas
If you very keen on medicine as a career, you can consider studying medicine overseas. Each country differs in its admissions tests and entry criteria for medicine. Note that studying medicine overseas can involve huge costs and uncertainties, and hence should be a last resort option. You can read more about studying medicine overseas in our blog.
Please note that the above advice is general in nature and you should take into account your own specific circumstances before making a decision.