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All In or All Out?

It seems a lifetime ago since I withdrew my GEM application in October and the offers are already rolling out for September 2022. 

I haven’t been active and I’ve barely looked at my Instagram feed. At first it was resentment and shame; I was being left behind for another application cycle and on the outside looking in at the happy offer holders… Then life got busy. Like, super BUSY. Before I knew, I had not registered for the March GAMSAT, the sitting is over and did I miss it? No, I didn’t miss the torturous all-day testing, sat alongside peers, the competition, the months of waiting for results. I do miss being part of the community, everyone being in the same boat, sharing the weight, the comradery. 

So, do I want to sit on the bench and watch or do I want to be in the game too? Pretty sure I want to be in the game… My first application cycle was 2019/2020. I’ve missed the 2021/2022 cycle and the next cycle is 2022/2023. 3 years in-between! I’ve never really seen everything as being time sensitive but as I approach 30, still needing to get admission, then the intense 4-year course, 3 years of being a junior doctor, 3 years of training to become a GP – I could be pushing 40! Which is both a terrifying and heart-breaking realisation. 

Next steps:

UCAT, GAMSAT or both? Well, realistically, it’s going to have to be both. I would love to never, ever sit any aptitude/ medicine entry exams again and the lesser of two evils would be the UCAT. But of course! GAMSAT, my nemesis, we’re going to meet again. 

Timeframe: 
UCAT booking opens in June which gives a 3-month (+/-) testing window. Revision from today would give almost 6 months (if a September test date).

GAMSAT registration opens in mid-May. Revision from today, gives a 6month period.

Work Experience:
I’m extremely fortunate that my work experience – paid and voluntary, will mostly still be valid for 22/23 cycle, due to COVID. A little bit extra, wouldn’t hurt but my extensive employment as a HCA for the NHS and an agency HCA in the community are two solid, hands on care experiences that I’m forever thankful for. 

I know the hoops; I know I have to jump through them to meet interview selection. I’ve done it before… It just seems like SO much work to get back to that stage of an interview, just one! Feeling a bit like a one hit wonder. I need to be all in. 

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