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Medicine: keeping your options open

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Are you having trouble deciding what to do about your university preferences? Choosing what course to study can be a major decision, and plenty of year 12 students struggle to decide what to choose. Hopefully this article can put some of your worries at ease, and aid you in your decision making. 

Not sure if Medicine is the course you want?

Deciding you want to study medicine at university is a big commitment. It involves extra study for the UCAT, which can be difficult to balance with your schoolwork. However, deciding to pursue medicine and the UCAT doesn't have to come as a detriment to your school studies. All it takes is:

  • Planning out when to do your MedEntry practice exams
  • Doing 20 minutes a couple of times per week on other LMS resources (drills and guides)

With this in mind, you can give yourself plenty of time to devote to your school studies. In doing so, you keep your options open for Medicine, whilst also allowing yourself the possibility to gain entry into many other courses. Also, the skills you develop in studying for UCAT (including critical thinking, empathy and abstract reasoning) are useful for many other professions.

What if you decide at the end of the year that you don't want to do medicine?

There are plenty of options available. Physiotherapy, pharmacy or optometry are great alternatives for those who still enjoy the health sciences. However, if you are unsure, and looking for a more general course, Biomedicine or Science may be options for you.

If you enter a course and begin to regret your decision to not study medicine, it is not the end of the world! Post-graduate medicine is always a viable option. It is never too late to change your mind.

Don't stress: you can change your preferences even after the ATARs are released 

People sometimes spend the whole of year 12 changing their minds about what they want to study at university. So don't think you have to make your mind up right now! You can always wait until after your ATAR is released to finalize your preferences.

Worried about the limited amount of spots in medicine at UNSW/Monash University?

A great way to increase your chances of entering a medical course is to apply to interstate universities that also offer medicine. Many students will do this, and it is very common to have an abundance of students in a medical course from other states and territories. Universities can have slightly different criteria for entry into medicine (e.g. having different structured interviews), and so whilst you may not get into one university, you may be accepted by another. Don’t be reluctant to apply to other universities that you may not have initially considered!

 

Adapted from a blog post made by Jack, who got 99%ile in UCAT and is currently studying medicine at Monash University

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