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Plan to take it easy until uni, then work hard to become a Dr - is it flawed? (1 Viewer)

Beyblader

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is my thinking flawed or is it fundamentally correct, assuming you want to eventually do medicine?

It seems to me that it takes an inordinate amount of studying and outside school coaching/tuition to get a high enough ATAR to get into undergrad medicine and the only real benefit of doing all that work is if you want to get nto undergrad med/law.

The cost of getting such a high ATAR for most people that do so (unless you are a rare genius) is a marked restriction in extra curricular hobbies, socialisation and missing out on many of the potential joys of youth.

Assuming you are quite intelligent (eg IQ of 130) but not extremely so, and are willing to take a slightly longer path, would it not be better to enjoy childhood, work hard when at school but not undertake any external coaching/tuition and instead pursue whatever extra-curricular activities interest you, enjoy life as much as possible and get a good but not stunning atar eg 90 to get onto a suitable pre-med degree then really start worrying hard at uni and gamsats to get into postgrad medicine

With this plan you get to have a normal childhood experience and still get into medicine a few years later

What do you think about this?
 

pistachioman

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  • More Money
  • More Time
  • Plus its extremely difficult to get very high marks in Uni consistently throughout your whole degree.
  • Gamsat is extremely difficult.
You are comparing 1 year of HSC vs 4 really difficult years of University.


If you get 95+ Atar then you may have a real good chance at getting into medicine at certain universities.
 

Trebla

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If I'm not mistaken, undergrad med is a faster pathway to becoming a doctor than post-grad med.

There are also plenty of instances where people took a separate undergraduate degree with the aim to getting into postgraduate medicine (usually because they couldn't get into undergraduate medicine) but changed their mind along the way and ended up going in a very different career pathway to what they originally planned.
 

jazz519

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I think that aside from the joys of child hood you need to really consider what that means down the road. If you wanted to do medicine but didn't get in through under grad you will have to go do it through post grad. Which means you spend already 4 years in uni doing a degree which probably is 40k HECs debt minimum.

Then later on you have to do another degree in medicine so more time in uni, and costs money as well

Personally, I would rather sacrifice like 1 or 2 years in high school, because in my opinion you don't really 'enjoy life' as much in school as you can when you are in uni and out of school, where you don't have to follow strict rules and have more flexibility and freedom and have the money/finances to go on holidays etc. that you can't really do as much as a school kid

It's a very big misconception that to get a 99 ATAR you have to kill yourself and study 24/7. Sure if you don't have the natural aptitude to do it that easily then it will be more difficult, but myself and many of my friends who got 99 ATAR, maintained a relatively good level of socialisation, hobbies such as sports and down time. It's all about using your time effectively and efficiently rather than studying all day long because that is not sustainable

So in terms of doing the med later then you if you decided to change your mind mid way through your under grad degree you will have lost an opportunity from before. Also, as mentioned above getting high marks in university which you will probably need to have any hope to transfer into a medicine degree, is very difficult because for one the subjects are harder and there isn't always a transparency in teaching in subjects (in terms of they don't provide you loads of past papers like in HSC). Additionally, you have to balance things like a job and study which means you can't just devote 70-80% of your time to study like you could in year 12, which is why even friends I know that got 97+ in the ATAR, only end up getting marks like 75-80% in uni

Best thing to do is just work hard in year 11 and year 12, and it will honestly make your life so much easier. Getting good marks then can get you things like:
- scholarships
- direct entry into your desired uni degree without having to do things you don't have interest in to transfer into a different degree
- faster graduation from uni
 
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blyatman

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Students typically pursue a Science degree for undergrad for premed, so it can be as few as 3yrs for your undergrad.

Also, more universities in Australia are beginning to only offer medicine as a Postgrad degree, which follows the US model - in the US, undergraduate medicine is not offered at any university (and neither is law, pharmacy, and many other degrees). The reason being is that becoming a doctor is a huge life commitment, and it's simply too big an ask for an 18yo fresh out of high school to make such a commitment. There are plenty of articles that discuss how Postgrad medicine makes better doctors - here's a quote from the link below: "Students who have been through the graduate course are more confident in themselves and their career choice". This supports the point mentioned above by Trebla, where many students decide along the way that it's not for them. The problem with undergrad med is that 90% of the cohort is filled with students who are only there because they got the marks and it's "prestigious", not because they genuinely want to be doctors (and many of them won't even realise it and believe that they're doing it for the right reason).

From both a career and life standpoint, I would say delaying the choice for medicine is wiser, as it gives you some time and experience in undergrad uni as well as in life itself, which will definitely shape the way you see things and make choices. The fact that so many people switch degrees in their first few years show just easily things can change. For postgrad, the total study duration only turns out to be only 1-2y longer than the undergraduate pathway, which is just chump change in the grand scheme of things. If you have the marks and are willing to bet your life's destiny is to study med, then by all means pick undergrad. Otherwise, I would definitely advocate for doing postgrad med.

 

iStudent

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is my thinking flawed or is it fundamentally correct, assuming you want to eventually do medicine?

It seems to me that it takes an inordinate amount of studying and outside school coaching/tuition to get a high enough ATAR to get into undergrad medicine and the only real benefit of doing all that work is if you want to get nto undergrad med/law.

The cost of getting such a high ATAR for most people that do so (unless you are a rare genius) is a marked restriction in extra curricular hobbies, socialisation and missing out on many of the potential joys of youth.

Assuming you are quite intelligent (eg IQ of 130) but not extremely so, and are willing to take a slightly longer path, would it not be better to enjoy childhood, work hard when at school but not undertake any external coaching/tuition and instead pursue whatever extra-curricular activities interest you, enjoy life as much as possible and get a good but not stunning atar eg 90 to get onto a suitable pre-med degree then really start worrying hard at uni and gamsats to get into postgrad medicine

With this plan you get to have a normal childhood experience and still get into medicine a few years later

What do you think about this?
Think your life is yours to live - but just keep in mind that around half the spots are are reserved for high school students (who take the UCAT).- including UNSW. Doing the GAMSAT route does mean you give up these spots and hence lowers your overall chances of even having a shot.

HSC defs not the be all and end all, but it is prob the easiest and most straightforward route to a career u want.

And tbh, I'd say give it your all when you're in high school and actually get into medicine - once you're in you can take gap years enjoy the good years of your life you sacrificed.

Perhaps should also question whether medicine is something you really want to do given lifestyle seems to be an important factor. A career in medicine is prob not the best career to enjoy your youth (essentially donating good proportion of your 20s to the hospital lol).
 

Beyblader

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  • Plus its extremely difficult to get very high marks in Uni consistently throughout your whole degree.
  • Gamsat is extremely difficult.
You are comparing 1 year of HSC vs 4 really difficult years of University.

If you get 95+ Atar then you may have a real good chance at getting into medicine at certain universities.
My impression is that to get a really good ATAR (99+) to get into a good undergrad med course would take a lot more than 1 year of HSC. I thought those kids that get 99+ generally have been working very hard and having regaulr external tutoring from age 12 (and often earlier from age 8 onwards), with the tutoring hours progressively increasing until HSC
- i see the HSC years as just the tip of the iceberg as many years of ground work led up to the HSC

so I think of the equation not as
"1 year of HSC vs 4 really difficult years of University." but more like
6 years of prime youth/constant tutoring/hard work at school/social opportunity costs vs 1 or 2 extra years of universitiy (perhaps a little more difficult intensity but not a lot more than you would be doing anyway)

or do you think I'm overestimating the work involved to get ATAR 99+ ?
 

Beyblader

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If you wanted to do medicine but didn't get in through under grad you will have to go do it through post grad. Which means you spend already 4 years in uni doing a degree which probably is 40k HECs debt minimum.

Then later on you have to do another degree in medicine so more time in uni, and costs money as well

Personally, I would rather sacrifice like 1 or 2 years in high school, because in my opinion you don't really 'enjoy life' as much in school

It's a very big misconception that to get a 99 ATAR you have to kill yourself and study 24/7. Sure if you don't have the natural aptitude to do it that easily then it will be more difficult, but myself and many of my friends who got 99 ATAR, maintained a relatively good level of socialisation, hobbies such as sports and down time. It's all about using your time effectively and efficiently rather than studying all day long because that is not sustainable

So in terms of doing the med later then you if you decided to change your mind mid way through your under grad degree you will have lost an opportunity from before. Also, as mentioned above getting high marks in university which you will probably need to have any hope to transfer into a medicine degree, is very difficult because for one the subjects are harder Additionally, you have to balance things like a job and study which means you can't just devote 70-80% of your time to study like you could in year 12, which is why even friends I know that got 97+ in the ATAR, only end up getting marks like 75-80% in uni

Best thing to do is just work hard in year 11 and year 12, and it will honestly make your life so much easier. Getting good marks then can get you things like:
- scholarships
- direct entry into your desired uni degree without having to do things you don't have interest in to transfer into a different degree
- faster graduation from uni
If it really was just a matter of working crazy hard in year 11 and 12 to get a 99+ ATAR then I would definitely say thats the way to go but my impression was that only the super intelligent kids could do that without having had to go through many years of coaching in the 3-4 years prior to year 11. I agree that using time effectively and efficiently is the best way but i also think that the only people that can be super effective and efficient are the super intelligent ones or those that have done huge amounts of work in to know how to be so effective/efficient

what ATAR would you say someone with an IQ of 120-130 who is moderately hard working during school but without tutoring and who is involved in lots of extracurricular sports/hobbies would get if they really started trying very hard only in year 11-12 and dropped all extra-curriculars in year 11-12?

What ATAR do you need to have a reasonably good (>75%) chance of getting into medicine assuming you interview well and can present as a well rounded person - would 97 o r 99.00 be enough?
 

Beyblader

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And tbh, I'd say give it your all when you're in high school and actually get into medicine - once you're in you can take gap years enjoy the good years of your life you sacrificed.

Perhaps should also question whether medicine is something you really want to do given lifestyle seems to be an important factor. A career in medicine is prob not the best career to enjoy your youth (essentially donating good proportion of your 20s to the hospital lol).
one reason I'm thinking the slower easier postgrad route may be better is because I know many Drs and the career path is long so theres no reason to rush into it, as you say, you will be essentially dedicating all your time/energy into medicine once you get in so it makes sense to maximise life experiences (i.e. enjoy youth and have a gap year) before you get in
 

Drdusk

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If it really was just a matter of working crazy hard in year 11 and 12 to get a 99+ ATAR then I would definitely say thats the way to go but my impression was that only the super intelligent kids could do that without having had to go through many years of coaching in the 3-4 years prior to year 11. I agree that using time effectively and efficiently is the best way but i also think that the only people that can be super effective and efficient are the super intelligent ones or those that have done huge amounts of work in to know how to be so effective/efficient

what ATAR would you say someone with an IQ of 120-130 who is moderately hard working during school but without tutoring and who is involved in lots of extracurricular sports/hobbies would get if they really started trying very hard only in year 11-12 and dropped all extra-curriculars in year 11-12?

What ATAR do you need to have a reasonably good (>75%) chance of getting into medicine assuming you interview well and can present as a well rounded person - would 97 o r 99.00 be enough?
HSC is rewarding to those who work really hard. ALL HSC subjects except one are a memorization with little focus on gaining an understanding. The only subject where a persons actually intelligence/iq(for that subject) is heavily tested is Maths Extension 2.

Other than that, even if your not highly intelligent/gifted, you can get a high ATAR. Not saying people who get high ATAR's are all unintelligent, but you too could get one despite IQ or any of that crap. Its the wrong mindset to have, just work hard and you'll get there.
 

jazz519

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My impression is that to get a really good ATAR (99+) to get into a good undergrad med course would take a lot more than 1 year of HSC. I thought those kids that get 99+ generally have been working very hard and having regaulr external tutoring from age 12 (and often earlier from age 8 onwards), with the tutoring hours progressively increasing until HSC
- i see the HSC years as just the tip of the iceberg as many years of ground work led up to the HSC

so I think of the equation not as
"1 year of HSC vs 4 really difficult years of University." but more like
6 years of prime youth/constant tutoring/hard work at school/social opportunity costs vs 1 or 2 extra years of universitiy (perhaps a little more difficult intensity but not a lot more than you would be doing anyway)

or do you think I'm overestimating the work involved to get ATAR 99+ ?
Yeah I would say you are overestimating it. Of course it is hard work but like you don't have to sacrifice your life completely for that long. Just for some context I was always fairly smart but from year 7 - 9ish barely getting into top 20 in most of my subjects, but gradually started gaining ranks. Even in year 11 before I started I thought maybe 93 would be my goal. Then end of year 11 thought maybe I would get like 97ish. Year 12 I worked very hard and pulled off the 99 but even in year 11 didn't take it so serious really until maybe last term and a half, where I realised how much easier my uni thing could become if I got a scholarship or something

In terms of tutoring, honestly you don't need tutoring for anything for year 7-10. All the subjects you do and exams you do up until then literally mean nothing. The best tutoring you can get in those years is just associating yourself with people who do their work and participate and class, because you learn a lot by just asking each other questions when you get stuck on the homework. Like look at this like this way half the assessed things you do in those years are random projects in groups where you film videos, do power point presentations, make models and debates

For some perspective year 10 math I was getting maybe 70-80% and probably 20-30th ranked roughly and then later in year 12 ended up coming first with like 98-99s in all exams. Another example was English that was probably my worst subject (probably in rank 30-50), and even when I got to year 11 I still screwed up the first term and got like 8/15, improved gradually and was outright first in my school in year 12 by 5% or so overall in the school assessments. Science probably was my only one consistent thing in terms of did well in that since year 7, because I was very interested and watching random things on YouTube and documentaries on tv.

Maybe year 11 you can start tutoring but even then I did only math at that time (but that was the case because I was doing the accelerated course at the time so was sitting math HSC that year). Only really started going to tutoring for things like chemistry, physics and english in last term of year 11 (but mainly to just see if the tutoring place was good and a good fit for me so I didn't have to like test stuff out in the middle of year 12 and realise it wasn't as good as I thought It would be)

But I guess one main factor in my success was although I didn't probably do as well in year 7-10 because I didnt really like half the subjects I was doing but was still intelligent but just didn't have a work ethic and was very distracted by video games and stuff

But in terms of your other thing in terms of intelligence and link to ATAR, I won't lie there is probably some link in terms of getting a certain ATAR, but that is only really when you get to 97+, where to get that type of ATAR you need to get band 6s in everything and 99 usually need at least 2 high band 6 results. Up until then you can achieve the ATAR with just working hard and having efficient and good study techniques/habits

In terms of the ATAR to get into medicine I couldn't tell you anything about that because I never considered wanting to do it or sat any of the UMAT etc exams. But I do know that some of my friends had to get like 95+ or something and do interviews to get in to it. I do know one person who got in with probably 94-95ish ATAR, who had a lot of extracurriculars like he was on the swimming team (went to many of those inter school and interstate carnival things). The universities they applied at was like uws and Newcastle I think, cause getting into usyd or UNSW med I think the median ATARs are like 99.70 or something in that region
 

jazz519

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Honestly, though in the end if your goal is to get into medicine then it's fine to try do it the post grad route as you still achieve what you wanted to do in the beginning, but you might as well work hard in year 11 and 12 and see what happens because you might just do a lot better than what you think you could do, but for that you will never know unless you are willing to put that effort in
 

Beyblader

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Yeah I would say you are overestimating it. Of course it is hard work but like you don't have to sacrifice your life completely for that long. Just for some context I was always fairly smart but from year 7 - 9ish barely getting into top 20 in most of my subjects, but gradually started gaining ranks. Even in year 11 before I started I thought maybe 93 would be my goal. Then end of year 11 thought maybe I would get like 97ish. Year 12 I worked very hard and pulled off the 99 but even in year 11 didn't take it so serious really until maybe last term and a half, where I realised how much easier my uni thing could become if I got a scholarship or something

In terms of tutoring, honestly you don't need tutoring for anything for year 7-10. All the subjects you do and exams you do up until then literally mean nothing. The best tutoring you can get in those years is just associating yourself with people who do their work and participate and class, because you learn a lot by just asking each other questions when you get stuck on the homework. Like look at this like this way half the assessed things you do in those years are random projects in groups where you film videos, do power point presentations, make models and debates

For some perspective year 10 math I was getting maybe 70-80% and probably 20-30th ranked roughly and then later in year 12 ended up coming first with like 98-99s in all exams. Another example was English that was probably my worst subject (probably in rank 30-50), and even when I got to year 11 I still screwed up the first term and got like 8/15, improved gradually and was outright first in my school in year 12 by 5% or so overall in the school assessments. Science probably was my only one consistent thing in terms of did well in that since year 7, because I was very interested and watching random things on YouTube and documentaries on tv.

Maybe year 11 you can start tutoring but even then I did only math at that time (but that was the case because I was doing the accelerated course at the time so was sitting math HSC that year). Only really started going to tutoring for things like chemistry, physics and english in last term of year 11 (but mainly to just see if the tutoring place was good and a good fit for me so I didn't have to like test stuff out in the middle of year 12 and realise it wasn't as good as I thought It would be)

But I guess one main factor in my success was although I didn't probably do as well in year 7-10 because I didnt really like half the subjects I was doing but was still intelligent but just didn't have a work ethic and was very distracted by video games and stuff

But in terms of your other thing in terms of intelligence and link to ATAR, I won't lie there is probably some link in terms of getting a certain ATAR, but that is only really when you get to 97+, where to get that type of ATAR you need to get band 6s in everything and 99 usually need at least 2 high band 6 results. Up until then you can achieve the ATAR with just working hard and having efficient and good study techniques/habits
This is a fantastic answer and gives me a lot of hope that its possible to get a good mark without having to give up childhood and by going for the kill in year 11-12
- i kind of always have thought that an intelligent person could do what you outlined but its hard to be certain especially when i see so many kids being heavily tutored in years 5-6 in an attempt to get into selective school so the fear is that if all these smart kids are starting tutoring and going hell for leather with almost full time studying from year 6-7 then how is it possible for anyone to catch up with them by the time you start in year 11

- but i guess as the mind and study habits improve you can catch up in the same way that a 2-4 year old kid could spend many hours a week in swimming lessons to learn to barely swim but a 7 year old who has never swum before could probably learn to swim with 3 or 4 lessons as well as a 4 year old thats been having weekly lessons for a year can?

- but aiming for a normal childhood with a plan to go hard from year 11-12 takes a leap of faith
 

Trebla

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Honestly, though in the end if your goal is to get into medicine then it's fine to try do it the post grad route as you still achieve what you wanted to do in the beginning, but you might as well work hard in year 11 and 12 and see what happens because you might just do a lot better than what you think you could do, but for that you will never know unless you are willing to put that effort in
Pretty much this. For most people the whole “youth experience” thing happens in uni, not high school.
 

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