Introducing a Plan B

Last updated: 8/8/2020

Why Plan B?

A brief Google search will tell you that the average ratio of medical school applications to places in the UK is around 1:10. In other words, there is a very good chance that you may not be offered a place at a medical school on your first attempt. Therefore, we advise all students to have a solid back up plan.

This series aims to give you all the information you might need to formulate a Plan B - with a specific focus on remaining in the field of healthcare.

What Options are Available?

The diagram below summarises the common routes that can be taken following rejection from medical school:

Common routes that can be taken following rejection from medical school including taking a gap year, enrolling in another degree, applying outside the UK, considering other careers in healthcare and applying later in life for postgraduate medicine.

Making a Decision

You should not rush in making this decision. Take the time to consider each option carefully, asking yourself questions like, ‘How committed am I to pursuing a career in medicine?’, ‘Am I prepared to study overseas?’, ‘Am I open to other career options?’ and ‘Would studying a different course now, and applying for medicine again later as a postgraduate, work better for me?’.

Any one of these options will have a huge impact on the next few years of your life so you should not hesitate in seeking advice and support from your family members and mentors before making your decision.

After you’ve decided on your next step, it can be tempting to place all focus on the task at hand; falling into a mental state of ‘auto-pilot’, trusting that the plan you’ve set for yourself will get you where you need to go. 

However, merely having a Plan B will not guarantee you won’t find yourself in the exact same position, a year from now. Thus, while it’s important to know what you need to do to improve your application for next time, it’s just as important to reflect on why you were not successful in the first place. Regardless of what you’ve decided, you have at least a year and your future self will thank you for working on it.

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