Canadian student Jessica Gilchrist, 19, was holding offers from universities in two different countries – Canada and the UK – before she received her International Baccalaureate results last July. But, as results day drew closer, she saw that Clearing and Adjustment offered her the opportunity to pursue her long-term ambition of training to be a doctor and so began planning to apply for a place on the medicine degree course at St George’s.
“From a young age I aspired to pursue a career in medicine. By attending biomedical summer camps, pre-med taster courses, work experiences, suturing courses and even becoming a qualified phlebotomist, I was fairly sure medicine was for me! I really wanted to study in the UK because students can enrol in medicine directly, without first completing an undergraduate degree, as is required in some other countries.” said Jessica.
“I was attracted to St George’s because its campus is shared with St George’s Hospital, one of the largest specialist tertiary teaching hospitals in the UK. The inevitable exposure to the medical field this unique location provides, combined with the early clinical exposure the course structure offers, serves as a continuous source of inspiration for my studies. I also chose St George’s because of its smaller size and supportive atmosphere, another unique feature resulting from St. George’s specific dedication to healthcare subjects.
“I called the university in July with my predicted grades and was asked about my work experience and UKCAT score. I met those requirements and called back with my final results when they were released. Luckily, my results met the admissions requirements and those handling the call at St George’s explained the next steps clearly.”
As well as meeting the academic entry criteria, applicants to medicine must also complete a Multi Mini Interview. Typically, these must be completed in person however a limited number can be completed remotely via Skype in exceptional circumstances.
Jessica continues, “I had to complete a few forms and prepare for a remote Multi Mini Interview while on holiday in Asia. Thanks to the combined efforts of my travel companions, my school’s higher education advisor in the UK, a friendly teacher in South Korea, and the resourceful staff at St. Georges, we managed to arrange a Skype call despite the challenges posed by time zone differences. I was surprised at the friendliness and understanding nature of the team handling my call. I feared I wasn’t going to be able to study medicine this year, but St George’s provided me with the support and encouragement to give the application process a final try.”
After subsequently enrolling at St George’s, Jessica hasn’t looked back.
She says, “It has definitely been a positive experience! As well as engaging with the academic side of university, I have immersed myself in other aspects of student life such as being a member of the Athletics Club, a Student Ambassador, the Women in Surgery Representative for St George’s Surgical Society and taking part in the Musical Society. I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many inspiring and like-minded individuals and I am thoroughly enjoying my time at St George’s!”