Application

 Oxford

 St Anne’s

 Medicine

 2002

 rejected

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 Independent – non-selective

Not known if selective

 yes (7 A*,4 A)

A-levels

(A at AS)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Other universities

yes

yes

Offers from Imperial, GKT and UCL

Decisions about the application

Had good grades. Thought it would look good on CV. Not sure about the style of course (i.e. no patient contact for 3 years – very research orientated). It didn;t deter me though.

Oxford more of a city with a university as opposed to Cambridge – a University town

Least traditional of all the colleges. Traditions are banned. Liked it on open day.

Preparation

yes

One mock interview for Oxbridge, one for medicine.

Know your whole AS Biology, Chemistry and if you do physics. Know any extra beyond the syllabus.

They are not interested in “academic potential” as they say. It is knowledge they are after.

Interview

no

no

yes

One 1hr 15mins test. Extremely hard. Cannot prepare. 50% or more is good. Don’t think I got more than 20%.

2 interviews – one very sciency and asked to solve problems. The second was with a GP (and director of Clinical studies at Oxford). His was supposedly more clinical.

Interview 1 – Asked to continue a genetic diagram about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Then asked what I knew about it. Then given a graph to interpret. Talk about diabetes and describe how insulin is secreted from a cell. (refer here to potential differences, ATP, glucose phosphorylation, and Calcium and potassium effects). Interview 2 – Asked about CHD, its effects, and whether it is better to spend money researching CHD or Lung Cancer. Advice to smokers? Asked about scenario involving a Bangladeshi patient who cannot speak English. Work experience and what did you learn.

Trousers, shirt, with pullover on top. More for comfort than anything else. Most others wore suits.

Impressions

“Sad” on the whole. Many Oxbridge stereotypes exist (including students), especially a certain Dr. Judge. Much less architecturally inspiring than others. But less intimidating.

Small room, but clean and very warm. One washbasin, cupboard, desk, chair and another comfy chair.

Good

Dr. Judge (appropriate name) very scary Dr. Christian – very nice (Interview 1) Dr. Hood – very nice also Dr. Lancaster – weird American (interview 2)

Too many were WORK WORK WORK. Didn’t seem very talkative in general.

Final stage

Not bothered. It was expected after my test. Plus already had the remaining 3 offers before my interviews. It sounds odd but I am glad. I would have taken it had I got an offer but I know I wouldn’t have been happy there.

Looking back

Yeah. Wouldn’t want ever to regret not applying 20 years down the line, thnking “would I have got in….?”

Make sure that you have read widely and are prepared to hold your own on contraversial issues. Prepare to be intellectually challenged. Oh yeah if you like to have a good social life – don’t apply. London, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle etc….. are far better.

Also you must be VERY bright to get in. They are not bothered whether you will become a good doctor. Only if you can pass exams to a very high level – that is the TRUTH. If you want to be a good clinician and like patients – forget applying.