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The College was relaxed, beautiful yet
not intimidating, extremely friendly and open

Emily, 2nd Year

Medicine

There are many good reasons for choosing to read Medicine at Cambridge. Not least is the quality of the scientific education that you can expect here, but you may also have in mind the wide variety of activities, the attractions of College life, and the benefits of living in a pleasant environment whilst pursuing your studies.

The most important thing that you can do to enhance your chances of coming to Cambridge is to make sure that you study the appropriate subjects which you most enjoy at school, and work hard at them to ensure that you obtain good grades. That is true for admission in all subjects, but in Medicine there are one or two more things you need to do to convince us in the Medical School that we really want you.

There are two main things that potential medical students need to know about. One of these is work experience and the other is help selecting reading material that might help them in preparation for both interviews and deciding on whether, or not, they really want to be a doctor.

Work Experience

One of the most important things you will have to do is to persuade us that you really do want to read Medicine. In order to do that you should show that you have done things to help you find out about the subject, for example going round with your own GP or a local Consultant, voluntary work in hospitals or care homes, or visiting medical schools on open days. There is no set formula, because different people have different opportunities open to them, but it is sensible to have made an effort to show us that you are sufficiently aware of what entering a vocational medical course can involve. Personality is important in the Medical professions, and the interviewers will be keen to see that you are wanting to care for people and have good communication skills.

We recognise that is not always possible to get as much clinical work experience as you would like. Part of your interviews will explore your motivation for the profession and address current clinical issues and concerns. It is advisable, therefore, to have made some attempt to familiarise yourself with the problems and challenges that you will face as a doctor. If you cannot get NHS clinical experience then work in a care home can be a valuable substitute and help to reassure both you, and us, that the non-academic skills you will need are being developed.

We are aware that it is sometimes difficult for those without direct contact, through family, friends, or school, with members of the medical profession, to obtain work experience. Emmanuel College, one of the larger medical Colleges at Cambridge, has several old members who have clubbed together to describe schemes for work experience locally where they work or to agree to offer directly work experience to potential medical students. It is not necessary for you to think of applying to Emmanuel, although we do hope that some of you might consider us as a choice, but you do have to be genuinely interested in studying medicine at an undergraduate level and to be currently in year 12 or about to enter year 12 at school.

If you are interested in asking for help in obtaining work experience you should, in the first instance, talk to your teacher, school careers adviser, or someone else who can support your application, and ask them to email our Admissions Office (please do not contact individual members of staff directly). They should include a letter from you, describing your difficulties in obtaining work experience and telling us very briefly about you, your interests and your academic career so far. Your teacher should also offer a brief letter of recommendation and give us information that we can use to put your teacher, and through them, yourself, in touch with our prospective old member facilitator. In the correspondence please describe the geographical area you are from so that we can direct your enquiry to someone near to you or put you in touch with any local schemes that we know to be already operating. We can then also let your link Cambridge College know that you have been in touch with us. If your teacher would prefer to send the required information by post, please ask them to address everything to: Admissions Office, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, CB2 3AP.

Reading Material

Everyone has a different set of books about medicine and about science that they enjoy and that they think are important. Nobody expects a potential medical student to read a long list of science and ethics books, but our reading list contains suggestions, and is divided into categories that you might like to dip into. We have tried to include science, ethics and lifestyle books in this list. We hope you will enjoy some of them.

Let me emphasise again that this is not a reading list for you to wade through, but there are some things in here which might excite you, challenge you, both scientifically and emotionally, and perhaps even surprise you. Do dip into them as and how you wish.

In addition to reading you might like to search for different medical procedures on You Tube. Percutaneous mitral valve replacement, stem cell transplant for macular degeneration, coronary angiography, electrocardiography and many other procedures are explained on You Tube videos.

Finally do not forget Journals, Magazines and the newspaper. Particularly in the present financial climate articles on the NHS and Government Health Policy are very frequently in the papers.

Further Information

Emmanuel College has quota of 15 places for Medicine. We make two sorts of conditional offer. One is a conditional offer for the current year (if you get your offer you will come in that year); the other is a deferred offer for the subsequent year.

Gap years are acceptable, especially if you have something that you fervently wish to do. The time between school and University is a good time to do it – especially as the nature of medical education makes it difficult to take a year out during or at the end of the course. If you have no particular plans then you may be well advised simply to carry on with your studies. As with school examinations, the choice is a personal one, though we do not discourage applications for deferred places, i.e., gap years.

If you wish to become a doctor by the swiftest route, with the earliest possible contact with patients and the immediate feel of involvement in clinical medicine, then Cambridge is probably not right for you. The first three years of the course focus on basic medical science with little patient contact. That said, Emmanuel is working to ensure you can have more clinical patient contact during those first three years: one of our Directors of Clinical Studies arranges optional sessions for students to join him when he sees patients in General Practice and the hospice and we are planning other sessions involving patients and relevant clinical cases. These are designed to help you keep your future clinical work as a doctor in mind while you are laying solid scientific foundations.

In the first two years in particular lectures and practical classes are backed up by small group teaching in supervision. At Emmanuel we also encourage group working and, in the first year, there are seminar type sessions to discuss essay writing and talk over some of the more difficult aspects of the transition to a University style of working. Teamwork is very important in modern medicine and what we do here at Emma does attempt to encourage that teamwork ethos.

Finally, remember that it is more important that you become a doctor than that you go to a particular college, medical school or university. Be guided by your teachers, read the Alternative as well as the Official Prospectus, talk to the students at a particular place, and choose the right course and college for you.


Admissions Information

Standard Offer: A-level - A*A*A; IB - 776 at Higher Level, 41 or 42 points overall; Advanced Highers: AAA; other exam systems.
Course Requirements: The University lays downs minimum requirements for those wishing to study Medical Sciences, which are detailed online at: Medicine.
Course Outline: Further details are available at: the Faculty of Biology and the School of Clinical Medicine.
Applying: For information on how to apply: University application process and Emmanuel application timeline.
Interviews: Candidates should normally expect two interviews. The interviews will take place during the period Monday 3 - Wednesday 12 December 2018. Specific subject dates will be emailed to applicants in November.
Admissions Assessment:

All applicants will take a pre-interview written assessment (BioMedical Admissions Test - BMAT). You must register - separately from your UCAS application - in advance to take the relevant pre-interview assessment. There are a wide range of free resources to help prepare you for the BMAT.

Course Enquiries: Emmanuel Admissions Office

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