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Medicine Clearing Advice from someone who has been there

Author: Alex Ruddy 

Hi I'm Alex, and I’ve just finished my medical degree at Swansea University Medical School. I can vividly remember ending up in Clearing when I missed out on my medicine place and I had no idea what to do next.  I wished there had been some advice for me when I was in that position.

First things First ... Don't Panic

If your dream is to study medicine, but you didn’t get a place this year – Don’t Panic!

Alex Ruddy

Alex Ruddy using an Opthalmoscope

It might not seem like it right now, but missing out on undergraduate medicine now is not the end of the world. There are plenty of options available to you.

I studied Medical Biochemistry at Swansea University Medical School – I chose Swansea as it has a Graduate Entry Medicine course with a good track record for undergraduate science students gaining places. After joining through clearing, I studied hard for my BSc degree and got accepted onto Graduate Entry Medicine at Swansea as I hoped. 

So whilst I didn’t get into undergraduate medicine, I did get into medicine in the end. I have achieved my goal of studying Medicine, and trust me it’s been worth the work and the wait.

Next things next ... What do you need for Clearing?

Clearing is a stressful time, with applicants from all sorts of courses looking for a new place on a course that will help them achieve their goals. You are not alone! Clearing is also an extremely busy time, so when results day comes there are a few key things to remember if you want to study Medicine:

1. Does Medicine have Clearing?

With competition for spaces at medical schools so fierce in the first place, it is rare for spaces to become available through Clearing so start thinking about other subject areas you might like to study.

Look at your Science A Levels and choose a subject area that interests you and will move you toward your goal of studying Medicine. At Swansea there are a number of degrees that will definitely feed your passion for science whether you have a strength in Biology or Chemistry or both.

2. Find and secure a place which has a route to Medicine

To get into Graduate Entry Medicine, you’ll need a good undergraduate degree.  Swansea University has dedicated Pathways to Medicine degrees and students from these Pathways are guaranteed an interview for Graduate Entry Medicine if they achieve the minimum entry requirements.

By studying a Pathway to Medicine at Swansea, you’ll be gaining a solid science degree from a leading UK Medical School and a guaranteed interview for medicine by the time you graduate so it’s win-win. 

3. Once you’ve made your choice VISIT

If you’re going to spend the next 3 years somewhere, you need to be sure you like it and can see yourself living there! Throughout the year we offer open-days so you can come and get a taste for Swansea. I love living here, and loved my undergraduate equally, a visit certainly will help you fall in love with the place too.

Finally – Don’t forget Medicine will take determination and passion

Remember – having already applied to study Medicine and experienced a knock-back, you will understand more than most how the journey to becoming a Doctor can be full of highs and lows.  Remember this when it comes to applying for your Graduate Entry Medicine place…your resilience and passion will not go unnoticed!

I have no doubt that you will be devastated right now, like I was, but don’t let it stop you. Looking back, I think studying Graduate Entry Medicine has made me a more rounded and experienced doctor. It’s taken a lot of drive and determination to get there but in the long run it has been all the sweeter for it!