Friday, 29 August 2008

August update - GSS and HCA job success ^.^

I finally received some good news in the form of an offer for the HCA job, and success with my GSS application - which guarantees an interview at KCL for 2009 entry, so long as i get my ucas form sent before 15th October (now only 3 more medical schools to decide on!).

In terms of the HCA job, i won't get to find out what sort of ward i'll be working in yet until september 1st; though to be honest, i don't really mind, as im sure the experience will be invaluable regardless to the ward speciality.

- my main concern at the moment however, is how i will go about declining my MRes offer at IC. I stupidly accepted the offer back in june, thinking i wanted to do the MRes in my gap year whilst i apply for medicine again, but now i feel that my year will be better spent gaining more work experience, and getting to learn more about working for the NHS. I shall call them tomorrow and hope for the best.


UCAS 2009 cycle is just about to start, though i think i won't be sending my application form off anytime soon. I do hope to send it in slightly earlier, but im having a lot of trouble choosing between the medical schools i want to apply to, and also i'm not too keen on my personal statement.. i think i should spend a few more days/weeks fixing it up.

I will definately be applying to KCL now, and i'm pretty sure i'll be applying to BL too, so theres 2 unis left to decide on between BSMS/Leicester/Leeds/UCL/Warwick.

UCL would be a nice option, i like the location, and enjoyed their open day; BUT applying to 3 london unis could be stretching my luck, and the BMAT is also quite a hurdle! - Its a hard choice between unis i want to go to, and unis i think i will get into.

Ɓlthough i think i'll enjoy my gap year, having already done a 3 year degree, i don't really want to delay starting a medical degree any more, and just hope i'll have a bit more luck this year round.


Anonymous said...


I just started reading your blog its really good. And congrats so far with medicine and your exams. I wanted to ask you some questions which I believe you would probably be the best person to ask.

I'm a Bio-med grad and hoping to apply to graduate medicine for 2015. Currently I'm applying for jobs as a Health Care assistant, might end up working in KCL. I wanted to know if there are other roles ideal for graduate entry medicine applicants. Don't get me wrong I'm sure I would enjoy the role of HCA, it's just that I would really rather get paid a bit more so I can save for Graduate entry medicine and do a little traveling.

I have also applied for roles as Clinical research assistant, it would pay a lot better but the caring side for the role is not as strong. I think if I did this role after a couple of months as HCA it would look very quite good on my application as well.

I really need some advice on how to best spend my year before applying so I can make the strongest application as possible.

Thanks for any help you are able to offer, and enjoy your summer.

Tofu said...

Hi there,

I have to admit, the HCA job really didn't pay well, i remember it being around 12K a year for a full time job, with rather unsociable hours and a lot of work. However the experience was really humbling, and really did open my eyes to what it's like to be a patient in hospital with a chronic condition.

Even now having done 4 years of medical school, i don't think any of my ward experiences at medical school can be compared with the experience i had as a HCA. Not to say it was better than my experience at medical school, but that it was very different. I got to see how important nurses are, and had the chance to really get a good idea of their role.

Having said that, this is all about personal reference. Working as a HCA is just one option of gaining hospital experience, you could easily find a better paid job, and volunteer in a hospital once a week, and write about that in the personal statement. I don't think the job itself is such an important matter, but moreover what you learn and gain from it, and perhaps how you can apply this to medicine.

The HCA during the gap year role is a very popular route, but i don't think its really THAT important. i know a lot of GEPs on the course who have had full time careers or have been full time parents before embarking on the medical course, and haven't had any hospital paid work. I don't think it really matters, as long as you have some experience in a caring role.

Hope that helps!

Tofu said...

*all about personal preference

Anonymous said...

Hi Tofu

Thanks for prompt reply, honestly I was soo surprised that you responded so quickly. Not to say that I think your lazy it's just that in general people take their time in relation to this.

Any how, Thanks for that advice I think I'm going to try and push on as a HCA for about six months then try a better paying job within health care like rehabilitative assistant or something along those lines.

Once again all the best with medicine and keep working hard.