Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My journey so far...

Okay so I feel I should explain a bit more about how I got to where I am... Grab some popcorn because this could get long!

I've wanted to be a Dr since I can remember (cliche I know) and so all my work experience etc throughout school was always geared towards this. Then I got into sixth form and didn't get the predicted grades. After much  panicking over what I could do, my mum and I discovered the medical sciences BSc at the University of South Wales. So I got the grades to go there and the rest is history. In my final year the top 12 of us (this included me!) on our course were able to participate in cadaveric dissection with the first year medics at Cardiff. This was hands down one of the best experiences if my life. Despite it being very difficult at times, I learnt so much more than I could have from a textbook and couldn't be more grateful to the donor and her family. All in all, third year was pretty tough, but with a lot of faith and hard work I coped pretty well and have come out with a first class honours! :D

So by the way, I also did TONS of voluntary work such as cubs/beavers, in a care home, a peer mentor, at my church youth group...and my favourite of all (which I still do) a club for adults and the elderly with learning disabilities. My voluntary work helped me soo much at my interviews and just generally as a person. I feel everyone should try and do some voluntary work, just to realise how fulfilling it is to help someone with no guarantee of anything in return. Just seeing some of the people at my volunteering smile or hug me in greeting instantly lifts my mood and makes me grateful to be a positive influence in other peoples lives!
I have also worked as a HCA for the last four years which I can't credit enough for showing me exactly what hospital work will be like! Sometimes its a hard slog, especially if doing a 1-1 (exactly what it says on the tin...you look after one patient for the whole shift) and they have dementia. You can imagine how that ends up :/  But all in all it's so rewarding to know that you may have done something that makes one patient a bit happier or less anxious about their situation! :) I'm sure I will post about work in the future...

Back to the med journey... I sat the UKCAT and GAMSAT exams last summer which was not fun at all but thankfully worked out really well! The GAMSAT exam lived up to my expectations of the worst exam I would ever sit,  with the five hours of hard thinking, but using the Gold standard GAMSAT book had prepared me well and so I left feeling shell shocked but not devastated. In contrast, the UKCAT exam seemed to fly by and I left wondering whether I had just dreamt the whole thing! Excluding the maths section, I quite like the UKCAT exam- especially the codes at the end. I got an average of 730 on the UKCAT and (somehow) got 61 on the GAMSAT! With these scores I applied to Warwick, Cardiff, Nottingham and Swansea medical schools all for the four year Graduate Entry programmes.

After what seemed like forever, I received three interviews (Warwick rejected me) and was over the moon! So I got my suit dry cleaned etc etc and went for my interviews, feeling as nervous as anyone else there! Some of the questions were very straight forward, whereas others I was so unprepared for it was almost funny. In my Cardiff interview they actually had to tell me to stop talking because I was answering questions before they even asked them haha! And after a sickeningly long few months....I managed to get three offers! I couldn't believe it when my UCAS track updated!

After a fair bit of deliberation, I decided to choose Nottingham (based at Derby) as my firm choice and am so super excited to start! I recently went on a meet and greet day and everyone seems amazing! I met four lovely girls who I'm planning on living with this year coming (note the house hunting!) and am confident we will get on brilliantly :D So basically I am at the stage where all of a sudden my dream has come true and I am just trying to enjoy the summer before I get stuck into Med school and all the chaos that will ensue!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Isabelle,

    Congratulations! I'm applying this year and really getting excited about actually submitting my UCAS form because I've been talking about doing it for ages. I really loved Nottingham and I'm looking forward to reading your blog as it develops.