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How likely am I to get into Cambridge as an American?

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Replies to: How likely am I to get into Cambridge as an American?

  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3381 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @PurpleTitan most med schools reuire

    Most medical schools require the following courses:
    One year of Biology with lab.
    One year of General Chemistry with lab.
    One year of Organic Chemistry with lab.
    One semester of Biochemistry.
    One year of Physics with lab.
    One year of English.

    I think the right NatSci combo could get those in except the English, but you could take that over the summer back home.
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for the list VickiSoCal, just to clarify, this is for UK med schools right? And I also noticed that you put down Organic Chemistry and Physics as a requirement. I am actually planning on taking organic chemistry and physics 3 senior year (both are college courses offered at my school), will this affect anything? Does this allow me to skip these classes if I do pursue higher education in Britain?
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3381 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No. That is for US med schools.

    UK Med school is direct entry after A levels.

    I am very confused as to what your goals/plan are.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    American med schools would want to see your transcripts from all colleges (but classes taught at a HS won't count). You won't be able to get out of any required classes at Cambridge. They often let you choose from a list of classes to fill some slots, however.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6706 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    1. Most US medical schools will *only* accept the pre-reqs if they are taken at a US or Canadian university.

    2. Biology (or Biochemistry) at Oxford does not have an admissions test. There is no need to be studying the TSA.

    3. Medical school in the UK is direct admissions from secondary school and is exceptionally difficult for US students. With the exception of 1 private program (which is brand new), every UK uni has a cap on the number of international students they can take. Oxford is allowed 12-13 international students for medicine; they typically take about 6.

    4. In the UK, your Master's is typically done by staying on for 1-2 years at the same university, and you pay for it. You apply for PhDs, where the fit between your research and the interests of the place you apply is crucial. Funding exists, but is not as certain (and not always as complete/generous) as in the US.

    5. For Oxbridge, nobody can tell you more than that your stats (+ a decent PS & rec) should get you an interview. After that, all bets are off.

    6. Why aren't you looking at Imperial?
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1128 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Given OP’s stated ultimate aim of doing medical research, I’m not convinced a medical degree is necesssary. A PhD in the right subject would be fine.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2236 replies30 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Given OP’s stated ultimate aim of doing medical research, I’m not convinced a medical degree is necesssary. A PhD in the right subject would be fine

    Yes OP could do research as only a PhD, but many pharma/biotech/med device companies will only allow MDs to be PIs (Principal Investigator, OPs stated goal). Although PIs do not technically have to be MDs, the very large majority are, as an MD is needed to make all trial related medical decisions---so if PI is not, an MD has to still be involved. Lastly, most PIs are MDs because they also have patients to fill up the clinical studies, which a PhD would also not have.

    Of course with a PhD only, OP could do research in any number of companies or government entities.

    OP should also pay close attention to the many helpful points in post #25.
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for everything guys, the list was particularly helpful. I understand that studying medicine is, unlike America, a choice that is made right at the beginning, however I also heard it was possible to receive an undergrad degree in another subject and still apply to graduate entry medicine as long as I have honors in a medical science. From there, if the UK offers dual PHD and MD programs, I would like to take that path. Also to clarify, while I will be learning organic chem and physics 3 at my high school, they are COLLEGE courses. Taking these would allow me to skip these classes in any college in the US and can be though of as higher level AP's in my school. I was just wondering if this rule applied to the UK as well, as I would be able to skip these classes in US colleges given that I took them ahead of time in HS.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    1. You won't be able to skip them in the UK.
    2. You may not be able to skip them in the US. Some colleges accept dual-enrollment courses as college courses. Many do not. I doubt med schools see them as "real" college courses.
    3. I still don't get the fixation in the UK. Sure, apply away, but you're bound to get in to a UC somewhere and it seems that the American route (even at ones much less prestigious than Cambridge) provide a better path to PI.
    4. Why not actually check online to see if UK MD-PhD programs even exist?
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  • KingDwardKingDward 11 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks PurpleTitan for all your feedback, Oxbridge does have an MD-PhD program with the NIH, the part I'm mostly concerned about is how I would apply as a potential international student. As for why I am focusing on the UK, I believe that I will be able to qualify for more intensive and honored schools there.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why does an "honored" school matter to you?

    Others may correct me if I'm wrong, but for your chosen path (as opposed to, say, banking), research opportunities and resources seem to matter more. And those can be found (arguably more readily) even in good honors programs at regular publics even if you strike out at Ivies/equivalents.

    The Oxcam MD-PhD program seems aimed at American undergrads (from American colleges).
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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1128 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The Medical part of the NIH program is apparently at a US med school. So you would still need to be able to meet US med school requirements. If the M.D./PHd possibility is your ideal, then the Us system would be better for you.
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  • sattutsattut 980 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you want to go to US medical school, you could take 2 years of classes, including all the med school requirements, at a US university after Cambridge.You should be able to do really well in them with the Cambridge degree.However, this means even more time before becoming a physician.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ And money.

    And I don't see why an American would do that when he/she has a ton of good pre-med options already.
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  • sattutsattut 980 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are going to do that, then maybe better Oxford, which I think has 3-year biology programs, whereas Cambridge's are 4-years. That way it is only one extra year after doing another 2 years when you get back. There might be some advantages in that you can get a good undergraduate education without a crazy premed environment, and then go somewhere relatively easy when you get back to get high GPA. The extra year might prepare you better for the MCAT. It isn't that terrible an option.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3381 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I used to teach MCAT classes. MCAT would be a cake walk after 2 years of Nat Sci if you take o chem, physics and bio.
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 516 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    Can a student at a UK uni take bio, chem and physics classes? My understanding is that you are accepted to study a specific course/major and all of your classes are in that subject.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @vpa2019, Nat Sci courses allow you to study multiple sciences though every uni's Nat Sci curriculum looks different with different rules.
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  • vpa2019vpa2019 516 replies10 threadsRegistered User Member
    @PurpleTitan thank you! I’m continually amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge you and other posters have on so many subjects.
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  • sattutsattut 980 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The thing is if you go to a top 30 US school for premed, med schools only adjust GPA by a few points for the level of the school, so you aren't at all sure of getting into med school. The competition is usually cut-throat with all sort of angles. So saying there are good premed alternatives in the US is true only in a way.
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