Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine are highly competitive courses which require a range of excellent GCSEs. There are only 32 medical schools in the UK and only 8,000 places. Nationally, 67% receive one offer but only 1% receive four offers, so students wanting to apply to study Medicine in the future will require guidance and preparation to ensure the best possible chance of success.
Head of Chemistry, Ms Siew Lee, is in charge of the potential medical applicants and we have had a lot of success with entry to medical schools, including at Oxford and Cambridge. Although we have fewer students opting for Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, students will also be supported through this process.
At Kingsbury High School, we identify and support those students who wish to apply for these courses at the beginning of and through Year 12, helping them develop into strong potential candidates. We get to know students quickly so we can help shape experiences that will contribute to personal statements, such as volunteering, medical trips, medical EPQ and reading. References will be written towards the end of Year 12 as Medical UCAS applications will need to be submitted in September of Year 13 to meet the 15 October deadline.
Potential medical applicants attend a conference about medicine and Oxford and Cambridge in October of Year 12. In addition, we send students on the BMAT and UCAT training as early as Year 12 rather than waiting for Year 13. This is far earlier than most centres, but we feel it gives students a head start.
Regular meetings enable students to discuss topical issues and to improve their understanding and communication skills. Students are encouraged to subscribe to ‘The Student BMJ’ to improve their understanding of current affairs around medicine and healthcare in general.
The Sixth Form also arranges presentations delivered by working professionals and Alumni discussing their current jobs or university life, giving students an opportunity to ask relevant questions.
BMAT & UCAT
We support students through the aptitude test courses in Year 12 as well as Year 13, so students are doubly prepared for the entrance tests. This year, in October, potential applicants attended the medical aptitude test called BMAT following the earlier UCAT training.
There are several conferences and workshops which students attend throughout the year, hosted by London universities. Every year we participate in a Clinical Taster Day at St George’s University of London, giving students an opportunity to be part of a teaching hospital and attend workshops, offering them a flavour of life as a medical student. During the summer students apply for many STEM funded courses, which further strengthens their application for Medicine and Dentistry.
We use our contacts with universities to support students with special links that we have with King’s College Foundation Medicine course for those who occasionally slip a grade.
We advise students think carefully about their A level choices in the Sixth Form. The Russell Group (most of the leading universities) advice on A level choices for medicine is as follows:
ESSENTIAL: If you do Chemistry, Biology and one from Mathematics or Physics you will keep all the medical schools open to you. If you do Chemistry and Biology you will keep open the vast majority. If you do Chemistry and one from Mathematics and Physics you will limit your range of choices much more.
USEFUL: Further Mathematics or a contrasting (non-science) subject, Computing/Computer Science