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St Andrews/Edinburgh Medical Program

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Medstart108

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    If interested in learning more about this program, PM me.
     
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    dnainc

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    Hello, I live in Canada and have been accepted into this program. Any advise would be appreciated.


    Hey guys, I'm a 1st year student at the University of St Andrews studying medicine. I would like to introduce a program that I feel is very similar to the Irish programs that many people may not have heard of.

    St Andrews recently started a program with the University of Edinburgh Medical School and the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine for Canadians

    The program had its first class in 2011 and I am part of the 2nd class.

    Essentially the pathway is:

    3 years of pre-clinical medicine at the University of St Andrews.
    3 years of clinical medicine at the University of Edinburgh
    4 months of electives at the University of Alberta

    You graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Medical Sciences from St Andrews and a MB ChB (MD) from Edinburgh Medical School.

    The cost of this program is comparable to the UCD/NUIG 6 year medical program assuming the CAD/EUR and CAD/Pound rates stay similar.

    I won't recommend this program to anyone because this program is new, i'm still in my 1st year and no one has graduated yet so we don't have match statistics. Keep this in mind.

    Pros/Cons

    Pros:
    4 month clinical elective at the University of Alberta hospitals (as it stands, it will consist of a 2 months elective after 3rd year and a 2 month elective during 6th year)
    - The clinical elective will help you when you are applying to Canadian residency programs.
    - The 2 months elective after 3rd year will probably involve teaching and some sort of guidance and teaching related to the MCCEE And NAC OSCE (probably some Canadian medicine related things, you learn the NHS in the UK which is irrelevant in Canada)
    - The 2 month elective during 6th year is a clinical elective (you act as a 1st year resident and essentially show off your skills in the hopes of a recommendation letter, helps greatly in apps if you do well)

    A special program coordinator (prof at Alberta, alum of St Andrews and Edinburgh) who is supposed to help us apply back to Canada
    - We are supposed to receive guidance throughout our 6 years on the MCCEE, NAC OSCE and get help preparing for these exams

    Good Course:
    - You will do dissections throughout your first 2.5 years (On average about 1.5 hours a week throughout the semester)
    - You learn a regional anatomy approach rather than systemic,
    - Less PBL (not good for everyone), you get CBL once every 3 weeks
    - You do 1 year of research with dissertation and possible poster/publication (half a year during your 3rd year at St Andrews and half a year during your 5th year at Edinburgh)

    Prestigious university
    -St Andrews is ranked 4th in the UK, and in the top 100 in the world, Prince William helps us with name recognition :p
    -Edinburgh's medical school is ranked 1st in Scotland, 1st in the UK for research (UK RAE) and 3rd in the UK overall (after Oxbridge), the university is ranked 21st in the world, lots of famous alumni (Darwin, Lister etc)
    -It can't hurt to have a degree from a prestigious school if you can lol

    Facilities are good:
    -St Andrews built a new medical school in 2010 so facilities are brand new, the school is not huge however.
    -The main teaching hospitals are Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
    -The RIE was rebuilt at a new location in 2002 so it is also quite new and big (haven't been inside so can't really comment on anything except the outside)

    Cons:

    Not eligible for practice in the UK!!!
    You will not be able to do your FY1 and postgraduate years in the UK meaning you are not licensed as a physician in the UK. I.E., your only option is essentially Canada or the US and possibly other countries. The A100 program at St Andrews offers you a shot at practicing in the UK however, it is a backup plan because preference will always be given to UK and EU residents.

    Not proven
    -We don't have match statistics. There really isn't much to doubt that people will match in similar rates back to Canada like Irish schools (RCSI,UCD). UK and Irish medical educations are very similar, both are english speaking and are standardized. However, without any proof, its more of a risk

    No help for the US
    -The medical education here does not teach toward any exam like the USMLE. We spend a lot of time on things that the USMLE covers briefly (like anatomy of leg, arm) but we spend no time on other things the USMLE covers in detail (quite a bit).
    - Our coordinator doesn't seem to be very keen on helping us for the US. If asked, he will conceed that yes USA is a viable option but won't help us on the process. You are on your own if you want to apply to the US.
    - If you want to apply to the US, you will need to take a year off just because of the US interview process, the added exams you need to take, ECFMG certification delay time and the fact that US residency starts before UK graduation. If you want an H1B immigration visa (meaning you want to become a US citizen eventually), you need to finish Step 3 which will mean you have to do it after you graduate medical school. If you want a J1 immigration visa (you are forced to leave the US for 2 years after graduation from residency) you don't need Step 3 to be finished.

    Bad Course:
    In my own personal opinion, i don't like how our pre-clinical medicine is taught. Apart from anatomy (which is just about the only thing structured), we get random lectures at random times of the week (we don't have a fixed schedule i.e. you might have class from Thursday 3-4pm one week but not the next however most classes due tend to find some sort of pattern (there is a tendency in 1st year for 4 lectures on monday and no practicals for example). All the other subjects other than anatomy like physiology, pathology, pharmacology are just taught randomly. There is no explanation why we learn local anesthetics in 1st semester and NSAIDS in 2nd. They will teach things to you so that they make sense (i.e., you will have learnt blood clotting and the meninges and liver function sometime before you learn NSAIDS), but I find i would probably prefer everything to be taught in blocks like: 8 weeks for anatomy, 8 weeks for path sort of thing.

    To Apply:
    To apply you need to go through the UCAS system which is the UK's system for applying for UK courses. You can also go directly through to St Andrews, if St Andrews is the only school you are applying to. I went through UCAS since i also applied to other UK schools.
    You will need to take the UKCAT. St Andrews accepts IB and standard high school as well as AP. They will also look at SAT and SAT II scores if you offer them. You will also have to do an interview (in person or over Skype). In person means you have to go to St Andrews (really practical if you have other interviews, you can make a trip and go visit the schools before you accept).

    UCAS code for this course is A990. There is another course called A100. This course allows you to practice in the UK assuming laws don't change. A100 is where you will compete with international students for a spot and you are sent to Manchester for your clinical years.

    Overall, i don't think this program is any better or any worse than the Irish programs. It is just an alternative to consider.

    In the 1st year they accepted 12 Canadians, 2nd year they accepted 15. I believe they are planning on a class of 20 eventually.

    Most people in my year are coming straight from high school (all except 1). The majority of students at St Andrews are coming straight from high school or after a gap year mostly because of the 6 year program vs 5 and the 4 year programs offered to graduates. and the fact that St Andrews is really a university town.

    If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.
     

    Medstart108

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    Hey, congrats on the acceptance! Do you have any specific questions in mind like the course, the curriculum, the university, housing? Its difficult for me to help with such a broad question.
     
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    bambi

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    Er...You graduate from a UK med school and you are eligible to register with the GMC/get a licence just like any other UK graduate or graduate from any recognised medical school.

    You wouldn't need to take a year off to apply for the US, plenty of UK graduates apply to the US in their final year, I don't know of any that have been unsuccessful.

    Pretty sure any St Andrews student can apply to go to places other than Manchester for clinicals these days, the link is not the same as it used to be.
     

    Medstart108

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    Er...You graduate from a UK med school and you are eligible to register with the GMC/get a licence just like any other UK graduate or graduate from any recognised medical school.

    You wouldn't need to take a year off to apply for the US, plenty of UK graduates apply to the US in their final year, I don't know of any that have been unsuccessful.

    Pretty sure any St Andrews student can apply to go to places other than Manchester for clinicals these days, the link is not the same as it used to be.

    St Andrews has recently included Barts and the London as a new partner.

    There are two routes for A100:

    Scottish route (only available to UK/EU students)

    Options: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen

    England route (UK/EU + Internationals)

    Options: Manchester, Barts and the London

    You can also apply independently (reality is most successful applicants are top students): most apply to Cambridge, Oxford, or London schools
     

    bambi

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    St Andrews has recently included Barts and the London as a new partner.

    There are two routes for A100:

    Scottish route (only available to UK/EU students)

    Options: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen

    England route (UK/EU + Internationals)

    Options: Manchester, Barts and the London

    You can also apply independently (reality is most successful applicants are top students): most apply to Cambridge, Oxford, or London schools

    It's good that you get more options these days, shame internationals can't stay in Scotland though. Where are you planning on going?
     

    Medstart108

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    I'm planning on going to the US or Canada. I'm split between them to be honest. I'm probably going to spend my summers mostly there.

    The backup would probably be Singapore/Australia/China? Idk yet haven't done much research into that. Although its likely i won't have to use my backup unless the laws change dramatically.
     

    Dr Turkelton

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    Are people who have Bachelors degrees eligible for this?
     

    syma

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    I'm planning on going to the US or Canada. I'm split between them to be honest. I'm probably going to spend my summers mostly there.

    The backup would probably be Singapore/Australia/China? Idk yet haven't done much research into that. Although its likely i won't have to use my backup unless the laws change dramatically.

    How will you be planning your electives?

    I start at a university in England in September. Thinking of Canada or US as well
     

    Medstart108

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    Are people who have Bachelors degrees eligible for this?

    Yes they are. The majority of students are from high school but we do have one person who did her bachelors.

    To syma: I haven't thought far enough about my electives yet since you can only do electives in your final year or occasionally your penultimate year. Since i'm guaranteed an elective at UofA i probably will take that but i honestly don't know at this point. Generally just plan your elective where you want to end up.
     

    EverOnward

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    Does anyone know if this school is an option for non-traditional students?
     

    syma

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    Yes they are. The majority of students are from high school but we do have one person who did her bachelors.

    To syma: I haven't thought far enough about my electives yet since you can only do electives in your final year or occasionally your penultimate year. Since i'm guaranteed an elective at UofA i probably will take that but i honestly don't know at this point. Generally just plan your elective where you want to end up.

    Definitely.

    I didn't want to head back to Canada, but the not needing a visa makes things easier. *sigh*
     

    Medstart108

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    Does anyone know if this school is an option for non-traditional students?

    There are a few non-trads in the class, but they are British. I don't know if they are accepting of non-trads i guess it doesn't hurt to apply but keep in mind the others in your program are likely to be mostly from high school or uni.
     

    pinkwink

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    Hey,

    I have a couple of questions; can you apply to both the A990 and A100 program, or only one?

    I was also wondering if you knew how many people apply to the program? St Andrews is my top preference; I really, really want to go there! But I'm worried about the competitiveness... I meet the entry requirements for grade 11 (hope to keep that going next year!), but since there are 20 students for 2014, I presume they expect much higher standards? Do you know what grades they expect, or what grades you applied with?

    Thanks!
     

    Medstart108

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    Hey,

    I have a couple of questions; can you apply to both the A990 and A100 program, or only one?

    I was also wondering if you knew how many people apply to the program? St Andrews is my top preference; I really, really want to go there! But I'm worried about the competitiveness... I meet the entry requirements for grade 11 (hope to keep that going next year!), but since there are 20 students for 2014, I presume they expect much higher standards? Do you know what grades they expect, or what grades you applied with?

    Thanks!

    Unfortunately i don't really know how tough the competition is. I think that they will be looking at your application as a whole and since the students are from all over the country with very different applications (AP, IB, SAT, Provincial high school grades) they are probably just going to look at it on a case by case basis.

    I think you really just want to aim for your best, because that way, it gives you the maximum chance of succeeding and even if you don't succeed you know you did your best. Just be sure to have volunteering experience and extra-curriculars. Aim to have some healthcare extracurriculars, like volunteering at a hospital or care-home and school clubs or sports.
     

    Jason2180

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    Hi Star108,
    Do you mind let me know when did you have the interview at St. Andrews and when did you receive the offer?
    How much time you have to response once you receive the offer?
    I would like to know if there is time frame conflict if I also apply for Irish medical schools.
    Thank you.
     

    sparkage

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    hey i want to know if i will be able to get in to the course if i have finished my degree in bachelor of science
     

    Medstart108

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    hey i want to know if i will be able to get in to the course if i have finished my degree in bachelor of science
    Yes you can still get in after a Bachelor of Science. There are people not too many but there are people who have done a Bachelor before coming into the program.
     

    CanadianHopefull

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    Do you know if any of the requirements change if you have a Bachelors degree already? Like do you think they would wave courses when you're in the program? or if you did not end up doing AP chemistry, do you think they would wave that requirement if you have a degree?
     

    Medstart108

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    Do you know if any of the requirements change if you have a Bachelors degree already? Like do you think they would wave courses when you're in the program? or if you did not end up doing AP chemistry, do you think they would wave that requirement if you have a degree?
    I'm pretty sure they would, they would probably end up looking at your GPA and university courses favorably because you will have more knowledge than those entering from high school.

    However, i don't know for sure since they don't say it on the official website
     

    rexdog

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    Hi, I realize this thread may be dead now, but I have been accepted to the A990 program, and now that you have been in it for a while, what are your thoughts. Do you find the semester at the U of A to be valuable at all? Do you feel that it will help/helped you residency odds? In retrospect would you have rather stayed in Canada or gone to Ireland instead? Thanks
     

    Medstart108

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    Hi, I realize this thread may be dead now, but I have been accepted to the A990 program, and now that you have been in it for a while, what are your thoughts. Do you find the semester at the U of A to be valuable at all? Do you feel that it will help/helped you residency odds? In retrospect would you have rather stayed in Canada or gone to Ireland instead? Thanks

    PM me.
     

    Texas rebel

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    Hi, I realize this thread may be dead now, but I have been accepted to the A990 program, and now that you have been in it for a while, what are your thoughts. Do you find the semester at the U of A to be valuable at all? Do you feel that it will help/helped you residency odds? In retrospect would you have rather stayed in Canada or gone to Ireland instead? Thanks
    What is the A990 program?
     
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