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Gamsat 2013

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Comments



  • WoolahUrma wrote: »
    do we get anymore correspondance between now and then or is the first email that we get from them the results?

    Nope... It's just a surprise email letting you know the results are out and you check them on your GAMSAT account. Nothing in between :)




  • Hypnos wrote: »
    Nope... It's just a surprise email letting you know the results are out and you check them on your GAMSAT account. Nothing in between :)

    FYI last September's results came out by surprise a few days earlier than expected.




  • I finally got my UCD transcripts today and I'm sending everything into the CAO now (yes, I know I'm late, they told me it would be ok).

    There has been lots of talk here about documents and problems with them, so let's see if we can provide the definitive check-list that is guaranteed to be accepted without a problem, for everyone's benefit.

    I'm looking at this page for info:
    http://www2.cao.ie/downloads/documents/GraduateEntryMedicine2013.pdf
    • full academic transcript (all years)
    • certified copy of parchment (even though the rules don't seem to require it)
    • Proof of EU status
    • GAMSAT score (if previously sat which I have)
    • A stamped self-addressed envelope with details of everything I'm sending

    I have a copy of my parchment stamped in the Garda station, I am taking it this will suffice.

    For EU status, I'm going to photocopy my passport and a payslip or something similar with my PPS number (has anyone submitted anything else for this one?)

    For my previous GAMSAT in the UK, the ACER website provides me with a PDF of the result. This hardly seems the most secure document in the world as PDFs can be altered, but I understand this is what we are to send. I see no mention of getting this certified in any way. I'm just going to print the PDF at home and send that, right?

    Are there any conceivable problems with all these or anything one should add to be completely certain?

    Can anyone who recently was in touch with the colleges about missing or faulty documentation provide any updates about what was wrong and what they need to do to remedy it?




  • Literally all I sent in was my transcript and a photocopy of my degree. Didn't get it certified or anything. Didn't even send in the SAE and everything was fine so I'd say what you're sending will be more than enough :)




  • All i sent was a copy of my transcript on university headed paper. Nothing else!


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  • Good for all of you who had no issue with documents, but some people clearly did and it would be helpful to hear about those problems and what was needed to fix them.

    It's pretty disheartening to hear the process may not have been consistent.




  • Ah well, it is the process and we all have to go with it...

    Meanwhile, what's your choice order all? I am still torn between UCD and RCSI... UCD is brilliant location-wise, but all other points go to RCSI... What do you think?




  • demure wrote: »
    Ah well, it is the process and we all have to go with it...

    Meanwhile, what's your choice order all? I am still torn between UCD and RCSI... UCD is brilliant location-wise, but all other points go to RCSI... What do you think?

    1: UCD

    2: RCSI

    I will make my final decision soon though.... By the end of May. Difficult one. Hopefully I'll have the option (score) to have a choice. If I only end up qualifying for one of the two I'd still be over the moon.




  • Did you attend UCD's Open Day for GEMs in November Hypnos?

    I missed it... Unfortunately, the Open Day for all applicants did not have much info on GEM... I was hoping for a chance to talk to some current GEM students, but there seems to be lots of them here, and they are all very happy with the course...




  • Yep yep.. just my transcripts with proof of conferring and they sent an email 3 days later saying I was eligible for competing for a place etc.


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  • demure wrote: »
    Did you attend UCD's Open Day for GEMs in November Hypnos?

    I missed it... Unfortunately, the Open Day for all applicants did not have much info on GEM... I was hoping for a chance to talk to some current GEM students, but there seems to be lots of them here, and they are all very happy with the course...

    UCD has medicine visiting days throughout the year. I was at one 2 weeks ago. Last I saw they were all full for the next few months, but get on to them and ask for a cancellation.




  • demure wrote: »
    Did you attend UCD's Open Day for GEMs in November Hypnos?

    I missed it... Unfortunately, the Open Day for all applicants did not have much info on GEM... I was hoping for a chance to talk to some current GEM students, but there seems to be lots of them here, and they are all very happy with the course...

    Nope I attended it 2 years ago. I'm in UCD so I can go over anytime pretty much. Know a GEM there too. I spoke to the dean of medicine a couple months back too. I'm quite familiar with their system, modules etc. Some brilliant lecturers they have too (that I had for immunology modules) which they teach to med students too. Some boring ones too unfortunately. Worst of all there are a couple of just really a-hole ones. Not gonna mention their names but I know they teach a couple of med modules and I thoroughly dislike them. Sadly the previous dean of Medicine left not too long ago because they cut his salary and we lost quite a couple brilliant lecturers that I was familiar with. They were offered more lucrative positions abroad and so they left. There is one more that's leaving this year although it won't affect us since we skip foundation med. The cut backs are doing a lot of damage in the sense that UCD is losing some of it's internationally recognised faculty because of the cut backs.




  • Hi guys, I was having a quick read through the thread for a bit of procrastination induced nostalgia and thought I'd throw in a comment. Did the GAMSAT last year, in UCD GEM preparing for summer exams at the minute. UCD was my first choice, mainly because of its hospitals but also because its part of an actual university. I wanted to hold on to the social aspect of college.

    The one thing that has really surpassed my expectations for this year is how much fun I've had. I mean, there's work that has to be done, and it is done, but there is also plenty of time to engage in whatever extra-curricular activities you're interested in. Granted, maybe I've slacked off a bit at times, but it always comes together in the end.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, remember that you'll be spending the next four years of your life (probably mid-twenties) in this course and as much as you might like to think that you're going to spend every waking minute studying, you're not.

    I've heard from a couple of friends and relatives that RCSI can be a bit med-centric and intense at times. While I don't deny that its an amazing educational institution with a great reputation I feel that there's more to a medical education than just that.

    I was talking to some friends in my class recently and we reckoned that if we were applying again we'd have put UCC down 2nd purely based on the fact that 1. You're part of a university and 2. Cork is a pretty cool spot.

    Anyway I dunno why I've felt the need to say this, maybe its what I would have wanted to hear this time last year.

    Also, its not half as hard a course as everyone makes it out to be. If you've half a brain and aren't a complete slacker you'll get through it. Admitedly, to do well you do have work very hard and have the brains to go with it. But if you're worried that you haven't got what it takes to get through, don't be.

    Now I should really get back to work. If anyone has any more questions about UCD or the course in general, just shout.




  • As regards UCD vs. RCSI here are some of the thoughts I have. Like many, if I want to stay in Dublin it's a straight choice between these 2 as I have a good GAMSAT already.


    COSTS
    RCSI costs 2K per year extra over UCD. This extra 2K per year won't be covered by BOI loans or count for tax credits so it has to be self-funded. This total of 8k extra is not small for most of us.

    However, if you factor in travelling and the free catering facilities in RCSI (see below) this cost difference is reduced. If you're like me, funding GEM is going to stretch you to the limit so costs are very important. RCSI gives you a laptop so factor in around 500 'refund' of your fees as well.

    I'm going by headline costs, I don't know enough about hidden fees or extras (can anyone shed light on these??).


    LOCATION
    UCD is based in Belfield with most clinical training in Vincents and the Mater. These locations suit me well, and are quite easy to get to from Belfield.
    RCSI is in Sandyford, Stephens Green, and then Blanchardstown Hospital. These are perhaps not as easy to get to for many. It may involve more travel time/expense.


    FACILITIES FOR STUDENTS
    Belfield is a top class campus with super sports and social facilities, reasonable amount of parking and good green space. You're based in the Med Building which is full of undergrad meds, physios, nurses, etc. this means the building is very full and busy. Libraries, labs and lectures are all in the one place, reducing travel time.

    RCSI Sandyford is much smaller and has some parking pluscatering and lounge facilities. Only grad meds are there so it's quieter and smaller and more focussed. You need to also travel to Stephens Green a couple of times a week. Blanchardstown hospital has a dedicated RCSI education building, again with lounge and catering facilities. Don't underestimate how much you could spend on coffees and lunches in UCD which you can do for yourself for free in RCSI.

    My personal take was that UCD was quite manic and big (I say this as a UCD grad), and I liked the idea of being in a quieter, smaller, more focussed environment in RCSI.


    QUALITY and TEACHING

    This really is a draw, both are excellent with international reputations. Class size in RCSI is smaller, though this may not really make a huge difference. I don't know exactly how grading works in each but I think the first 2 years don't count for finals.

    I'm under the impression that RCSI has a slightly greater emphasis on PBL than UCD, but the first 2 years are mainly didactic in both (as opposed to PBL in UL). Also, I sense that RCSI is slightly more pressured, but hard to be sure.

    There has been some discussion elsewhere about USMLE performance, but I don't know enough to comment.

    As regards intern placements, I understand this is done based on class ranking so none of the colleges have an advantage as such. However, with a smaller class it may be easier to rank well perhaps, but if you're up against better students this is cancelled out.


    RESEARCH
    I'm not certain but I imagine that UCD has more research going on, mainly due to the bigger scale of the place. It has the Conway Institute and other research institutions. I'm guessing this gives more chance to get involved in a research project and possible paid Summer research work (anyone know more about this?)

    TIMETABLE / YEAR
    UCD starts around Sept. 10th and has classes right through to December with exams BEFORE Xmas, then a break. The first year Summer break is long, around 13-14 weeks, with no hospital placement so you have time to rest or work or research.

    RCSI starts around the same time, has a 1 week break in October, then a Xmas break with exams AFTER Xmas in January. You have a month in the hospital in the first Summer which greatly reduces your time off or time to work.


    Any more comments or info would be really welcome.




  • cash2905 wrote: »
    The one thing that has really surpassed my expectations for this year is how much fun I've had. I mean, there's work that has to be done, and it is done, but there is also plenty of time to engage in whatever extra-curricular activities you're interested in. Granted, maybe I've slacked off a bit at times, but it always comes together in the end.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, remember that you'll be spending the next four years of your life (probably mid-twenties) in this course and as much as you might like to think that you're going to spend every waking minute studying, you're not.

    I've heard from a couple of friends and relatives that RCSI can be a bit med-centric and intense at times. While I don't deny that its an amazing educational institution with a great reputation I feel that there's more to a medical education than just that.

    Also, its not half as hard a course as everyone makes it out to be. If you've half a brain and aren't a complete slacker you'll get through it. Admitedly, to do well you do have work very hard and have the brains to go with it. But if you're worried that you haven't got what it takes to get through, don't be.

    If anyone has any more questions about UCD or the course in general, just shout.

    Thanks for that. Some practical questions:

    In first year are you in Belfield all the time?

    In the Med building, what are the facilities like? Is there anywhere you can make tea/coffee yourself, or heat up some lunch or are you at the mercy of the canteens there? I presume you can get lockers? What is parking like in Belfield these days?

    Do you know anything about research lab placements? Is is easy to get summer work? How much does it pay?

    When do they start ranking you and when do marks start counting for finals?

    What did you find the support from staff is like? Any problems?

    Ta!




  • pc11 wrote: »
    As regards UCD vs. RCSI here are some of the thoughts I have. Like many, if I want to stay in Dublin it's a straight choice between these 2 as I have a good GAMSAT already.


    COSTS
    RCSI costs 2K per year extra over UCD. This extra 2K per year won't be covered by BOI loans or count for tax credits so it has to be self-funded. This total of 8k extra is not small for most of us.

    However, if you factor in travelling and the free catering facilities in RCSI (see below) this cost difference is reduced. If you're like me, funding GEM is going to stretch you to the limit so costs are very important. RCSI gives you a laptop so factor in around 500 'refund' of your fees as well.

    I'm going by headline costs, I don't know enough about hidden fees or extras (can anyone shed light on these??).


    LOCATION
    UCD is based in Belfield with most clinical training in Vincents and the Mater. These locations suit me well, and are quite easy to get to from Belfield.
    RCSI is in Sandyford, Stephens Green, and then Blanchardstown Hospital. These are perhaps not as easy to get to for many. It may involve more travel time/expense.


    FACILITIES FOR STUDENTS
    Belfield is a top class campus with super sports and social facilities, reasonable amount of parking and good green space. You're based in the Med Building which is full of undergrad meds, physios, nurses, etc. this means the building is very full and busy. Libraries, labs and lectures are all in the one place, reducing travel time.

    RCSI Sandyford is much smaller and has some parking pluscatering and lounge facilities. Only grad meds are there so it's quieter and smaller and more focussed. You need to also travel to Stephens Green a couple of times a week. Blanchardstown hospital has a dedicated RCSI education building, again with lounge and catering facilities. Don't underestimate how much you could spend on coffees and lunches in UCD which you can do for yourself for free in RCSI.

    My personal take was that UCD was quite manic and big (I say this as a UCD grad), and I liked the idea of being in a quieter, smaller, more focussed environment in RCSI.


    QUALITY and TEACHING

    This really is a draw, both are excellent with international reputations. Class size in RCSI is smaller, though this may not really make a huge difference. I don't know exactly how grading works in each but I think the first 2 years don't count for finals.

    I'm under the impression that RCSI has a slightly greater emphasis on PBL than UCD, but the first 2 years are mainly didactic in both (as opposed to PBL in UL). Also, I sense that RCSI is slightly more pressured, but hard to be sure.

    There has been some discussion elsewhere about USMLE performance, but I don't know enough to comment.

    As regards intern placements, I understand this is done based on class ranking so none of the colleges have an advantage as such. However, with a smaller class it may be easier to rank well perhaps, but if you're up against better students this is cancelled out.


    RESEARCH
    I'm not certain but I imagine that UCD has more research going on, mainly due to the bigger scale of the place. It has the Conway Institute and other research institutions. I'm guessing this gives more chance to get involved in a research project and possible paid Summer research work (anyone know more about this?)

    TIMETABLE / YEAR
    UCD starts around Sept. 10th and has classes right through to December with exams BEFORE Xmas, then a break. The first year Summer break is long, around 13-14 weeks, with no hospital placement so you have time to rest or work or research.

    RCSI starts around the same time, has a 1 week break in October, then a Xmas break with exams AFTER Xmas in January. You have a month in the hospital in the first Summer which greatly reduces your time off or time to work.


    Any more comments or info would be really welcome.

    Hi PC,

    I'd be glad to answer any specific questions about RCSI if you have them. I'm 3rd GEP now, so should be able to give an honest opinion on all aspects of the course. I'd love to write a general synopsis of my time so far, but am in exam mode at the moment so haven't really got time.
    But to briefly address some of the points you made above:
    • Location:I loved the venue in 1st and 2nd year. Having our own building both years was a lot of fun, and was really handy for small group tutorials (plenty of times per week, mostly consultant led) and studying. In second year we essentially had Blanchardstown hospital to ourselves. It probably won't seem like a huge thing to applicants right now, but it's great to be able to literally walk across the road and be in an A&E department taking histories. The commute could be annoying, but a lot of people moved out to dublin 15 and saved themselves some cash versus renting near the city.
    • Teaching etc: Again, I thought it was great in the first 2 years. There was always tutors in the GEP building willing to go through stuff with you if need be. You have designated medical and surgical tutors who organise small group stuff. Lecturers are, on the whole, fantastic. Weekly couch sessions in Sandyford where you just talk through everything you've learned with a pathologist which were invaluable. The list goes on.
    • Exams: Yeah you're pretty much bang on with what you've written. Exams in first year are after xmas. You get about a 2 week break before them and a 3 week break after them. The first 2 years do count toward your final degree mark, but only 10% of it.
    • Research: RCSI have a big research building in the city centre that a good few people from my class did research in. They also have some collaborative links to other labs. I didn't bother with this, but there are ample opportunities there.
    • Intensity in general: I've heard from a few people that RCSI is the more intense of the Dublin courses. I've talked to a few UCD GEMs and this is probably true for the first year or two. Our first year is particularly rough, second is a good bit easier, third so far has been the easiest. Maybe RCSI is easier in the later years and UCD is easier in the earlier ones, I don't know. Regardless, we still have a lot of fun as a class and there's no shortage of nights out.
    I have very little understanding of the UCD course, so most of the above is not meant to be a comparison between the two, merely my experience in RCSI so far.

    EDIT: I'm going to paste in a post I made from the end of first year. Some people might have read it already, but it should be of help to those who haven't.

    Biologic wrote: »
    Hi all,

    I've seen posts from current UCD/UCC/UL GEP students outlining their experiences of the course to date. As far as I know there's nothing for RCSI yet so I'll give it a shot. I'll make it as detailed as I can, but feel free to reply here if I miss anything. I've just finished 1st GEP, so that's obviously all I can comment on.

    The Class:
    There's about 65 of us now, we lost 1 or 2 along the way. Canadians probably just take the majority with just over 40%, Irish about 40%, Americans about 10% and the rest from a mix of exotic places. Everyone gets on very well with each other and the year in Sandyford has made us a pretty close class. The ages range from about 22 up to 40+, with the average age being circa 26.

    Before the Coursework Starts:
    The first time the class actually forms up is the weekend before you begin (13th Sept for us). The outgoing GEP1 class will have setup a facebook page for the incoming GEP1's and they organise an icebreaker in a pub in Dublin,more than likely The Swan beside RCSI. That Monday you meet in Stephen's Green to do some admin. They give you a goodie bag with all sorts of stuff in it, including your laptop. A few high-ups in RCSI have a chat with you and they host dinner in the board room. Student services talk to you about what they do, and the student's union tell you about the GEP Fresher's Week they've organised which started that night. That's where all the niceties end, because less than 24 hours later you'll be in the anatomy room with a cadaver in front of you, wondering what and where the "femoral triangle" is.

    Semester 1:
    The modules are:
    • Genitourinary(GU)
    • Health, Behaviour and Society(HBS)
    • Neuromuscular(NM)
    • Molecular Medicine(MM)
    • Haemopoietic and Immune Systems(HIS)
    • Nutrition and Energy(NE)
    All systems based modules have anatomy, physiology and pharmacology components which are delivered (mostly) concurrently. The anatomy is almost exclusively taught on mondays and tuesdays in Sandyford, after which you hop on the Luas and go into the anatomy room in Stephen's Green to see/tough/dissect what we just learned about. The middle lectures of each module are mainly physiology, followed by the pharmacology of everything relevant to that system and the embryology of whatever anatomy you've covered. I.T. is well integrated into the various courses, with histology tutorials, anatomy videos, various ebooks etc available online.
    GU- This deals with all things genital and kidney. It's one of the shorter modules but really important.
    HBS- Explains the various reasons why society behaves the way that it does with regards to health. There's a certain amount of psychology in this module when examining behaviour, why people smoke/drink/do drugs. Additionally, learn about intellectual development during childhood, parenting styles and outcomes, mental disabilities and the impact of disease on the individual+ their family.
    NM- Nerves, muscles, action potentials and upper/lower limb anatomy. I can't remember if this is a double module, but there's quite a lot to it. The anatomy alone will take up a huge amount of your time.
    MM- This is by far the most 'sciency' module of the semester. My undergrad was in a biological area and I was shocked at how fast we made our was through this stuff. It's essentially an intense course in genetics, cell biology, basic lab techniques and cancer biology. Pharmacology is quite intense in this module and includes chemotherapeutics, anti-virals, anti-bacterials and pharmacogenetics. No anatomy in this module.
    HIS- All about blood/haemodynamics, how the immune system works, what happens when things go wrong and immunosupressant pharmacology. No anatomy here either.
    NE- In my opinion the toughest module of the semester. Over 50 lectures on everything to do with food, digestion, nutrient transport and energy utilisation/storage. Loads of anatomy on this one, as you can imagine.

    Continuous assessment (CA) is a huge part of the course. It keeps you under pressure to keep on top of the stuff, whether you actually do or not is your call. There are anatomy orals every 2 weeks and MCQs every 2 weeks. It makes for a particularly crappy week when they overlap. The MCQs examine all the lectures you've done to date and the orals examine all the anatomy you've done to date. Both tend to focus on the material from the previous 2 weeks though. There's an anatomy final at the end of each semester which is a bit of a ballbreaker. The only other CA is in the form of PBL, which I'll go into in a minute. Overall, CA accounts for a decent percentage of your overall grade. This % is variable between modules and semesters, but it's around 20%.
    PBL is delivered through weekly cases. On monday an actor comes in and simulates a patient with a particular complaint. This will invariably be a disease which is significant in whichever system your lecturers are teaching you about that week. It's then up to the class to take a detailed patient history (not as easy as it sounds). They get some pretty impressive lecturers/consultants to facilitate these sessions. There will be a Word file online which gives an outline of the diseases within that organ system, the diagnostic investigations you can do to differentiate between them and a list of questions on that patient presentation (differential diagnosis, medical/surgical management etc.). On the tuesday there are group based tutorials with a GP or surgeon where all aspects of the patient, disease, diagnosis and treatment can be discussed. The group then has to split up the questions and do them in detail by that thursday. On the friday the class forms up and random people are called up and asked random questions from that question list. Your group mark will be based on the quality of your case upload and how well the person from your group does when called up. In other words, you're expected to learn all the questions. The uploads can reach 5000 words so this can be a pain, but they're very clinically relevant so the info tends to stick when you do it on the tuesday.

    Semester 1 Exams:
    They take place just after new years (the 10th if I remember correctly). Definitely the worst part of the year for me. From Stephens' Day onward was a nightmare. Each module is examined with an MCQ paper and a short notes paper, both of which take place on the same day. They both have questions from everything you've studied all semester, including anatomy (even though you've already been examined on it loads of times). This month was spent by the class either in the library, studying at home, commuting around home/library or bitching about the whole process on facebook. Having said that, the nights out at the end of each of these exams almost make up for the hardship. And you'll amaze yourself at the amount of info you can soak up in a few short months. There's a 3 week break after the exams, complete godsend.

    Semester 2:
    Modules are:
    • Cardiovascular and Respiratory (CVR)
    • Neuroscience (NS)
    • Endocrine (END)
    • Population and International Health (PIH)
    • Evidence Based Health (EBH)
    Same module format as for semester 1 except the CA carries a higher percentage than before.
    CVR- Heart and lungs, veins and arteries. Teaches you the intricacies about dynamics and regulation of cardiac output and respiratory function. To do this you have to cover how blood flow to the brain, skin and organs is regulated and how the CVR system adapts. Also goes through the various congenital and acquired diseases or defects within the system.
    END- Many people said this was their favourite module. You learn the role of the main endocrine organs, the role of their secretions and the interaction between them. One of the more straightforward modules and it's relatively short. Very clinically useful given the prevalence of endocrine disorders (diabetes, thyroid over/underactivity, contraception difficulties etc.).
    NS- Physiology and function of the different parts of the brain, psychological and neurological disorders, the special senses and the dreaded cranial nerves. It's a large module but anatomy takes up the bulk, so you should be comfortable with much of it by the time the written exam comes around.
    EBH/PIH- These are delivered separately but examined as part of the same exam. There's some really interresting stuff in this module, but also some mind numbing stuff. I'd be here all day if I went into the aspects of PIH/EBH, so I'm going to have to ask ye to google the two terms if interrested. Together that account for the largest module of the year. Chances are there will be modifications to this course next year anyway so whatever I say could be redundant.

    Semester 2 Exams:As per semester 1, but I think people found it less intense. Maybe just because you're used to it at this stage. There's a 2 week break towards the end of the semester so most people use that to get a head start on the exams. The main anatomy exam is right after that break though so the temptation is to focus on that.

    That's it for the modules. The only other examinable material you'll cover is in Clinical Competencies (CC). Every friday you'll have group based tutorials with an actor and a GP/surgeon tutor. These will cover basic history taking and the clinical examination of the main systems. At the end of each semester (right after the written exams) you'll have a practical exam on this stuff. It'll be you, a doctor and an actor in a room and you'll be asked to do some of the examinations you've covered and to take a patient history and present it back. Not the worst of the exams at all because there's a finite amount of things you'll be asked, whereas anatomy can seem like a black hole.

    So to summarise the academic aspects of the course: There's 11 modules totaling 21 exams (if you separate short notes and MCQ), MCQs every 2 weeks, anatomy orals every 2 weeks, PBL every week, CC every week and end of semester exams in anatomy and CC. There's the odd group project too but these are likely to change every year so I won't get into it.

    The Compulsory Stuff That Won't Be Examined:
    Exactly as it says on the tin. You have to go, you'll learn a lot, but you won't be examined on it. This is in the form of surgical grand rounds (SGR), medical grand rounds(MGR) and wednesday rotations in the hospital.
    SGR- Every thursday morning at 8am (!) in Sandyford. You'll be video linked to Beaumont grand rounds where every big wig surgeon in the hospital gathers to discuss cases and recent research/developments. It's not strictly a spectator sport because the consultant running rounds in Beaumont will ask people in Sandyford questions. Only 1 per week to keep us awake thank god.
    MGR- The same thing but with the medics. These only begin in 2nd semester.
    Rotations- In the second semester you'll go to the hospital every wednesday and rotate through the major specialties. You'll be attached to a team and get some patient interaction. I really enjoyed most of these and it puts a great context on everything you've only done in theory so far. A great strength of the programme in my opinion.
    After the semester 2 exams you do a 1 month attachment full-time. That's what we're doing right now. It is examined but only the clinical stuff you covered in CC can be asked. The exam is essentially the same as other CC ones but you do it as a team of 4 and on a real patient. They rotate the team members through different parts of the history and examination. I'm actually really surprised at how much we're getting to do considering we have only finished first year. There's as much patient contact as you're comfortable with and most (difinitely not all) of the docs are keen to teach.

    Last, but quite the opposite to least, comes the social aspects of the year. There have been more nights out than I care to count and the whole class tends to get involved. I'll be honest, I was expecting people doing gradmed to be less social than they have turned out to be. The North Americans gel really well too, so there's no divide. If drinking isn't your thing there's loads of clubs that the GEPs tend to be involved in. There's also a few new societies next year being set up courtesy of our class so be sure to get involved in them!

    That's a much longer post than I intended to compose and I still know I've missed a gaping part of GEP1. Anyway, it's a great course with great people. I can't see how the teaching and facilities at our disposal could realistically be improved. I'm sure people from every college will say that, but hopefully the course breakdown above will backup my claims somewhat. If anyone has made it this far into the post, congrats and feel free to ask about anything I've poorly explained. I'm heading away soon but will still check this thread when I can. There's a few RCSI GEP students on this forum so they should be able to answer if I can't.

    Bio.

    EDIT: I almost forgot to add the only source of gradmed info that trumps boards. Anyone with any interest in gradmed, or just anything medical for that matter, should take a look at www.doc2be.ie. Great blog that goes back to the application and GAMSAT stage.




  • Good man Biologic. I'd say that original post of yours is the most read post on here!

    A few more questions for you:

    What sort of costs did you incur the first 2 years at RCSI over the headline fees amount? How much on books, materials, software etc? Any hidden or optional costs that you can remember?

    As regards time/effort, how much would you say you had to put in in first year? 5/6/7 days a week? Were you in the library every minute or did you feel like you kept a good life balance? How many hours were needed and so on? What background did you have going in and (roughly) how did you did relative to the class? I'm trying to get a sense of the work needed to do reasonably well versus very well.

    Did you have any problems and/or did you have a sense the RCSI staff gave good support?

    Did you find GAMSAT score correlated much with performance in GEM?

    Finally, an impossible question perhaps, but is RCSI worth 2K per year extra??

    Thanks!




  • pc11 wrote: »
    Good man Biologic. I'd say that original post of yours is the most read post on here!

    A few more questions for you:

    What sort of costs did you incur the first 2 years at RCSI over the headline fees amount? How much on books, materials, software etc? Any hidden or optional costs that you can remember?

    As regards time/effort, how much would you say you had to put in in first year? 5/6/7 days a week? Were you in the library every minute or did you feel like you kept a good life balance? How many hours were needed and so on? What background did you have going in and (roughly) how did you did relative to the class? I'm trying to get a sense of the work needed to do reasonably well versus very well.

    Did you have any problems and/or did you have a sense the RCSI staff gave good support?

    Did you find GAMSAT score correlated much with performance in GEM?

    Finally, an impossible question perhaps, but is RCSI worth 2K per year extra??

    Thanks!

    Thanks Biologic,only thing is that I think Biologic is a she?!!!

    Im torn between UCD and UL first choice (score pending however!), only thing Im wondering is why does UL go on so much longer than the other colleges. I believe UCD are finished their lectures now whereas UL doesnt finish their exams until late June. Please, no UL bashing either.




  • pc11 wrote: »
    What sort of costs did you incur the first 2 years at RCSI over the headline fees amount? How much on books, materials, software etc? Any hidden or optional costs that you can remember?
    The library has all the books you'll need and you can take them out for ages. In all honesty, everything you need is on the course online material. And all the software you need comes preinstalled on the school laptop. There are some optional things like a stethoscope and patella hammer, but the school provides them in exam and tutorial settings. The only essential thing is a white coat for anatomy. They say you need a dissection kit, but in reality only one per group needs one, and that needn't be you.
    The only significant cost I can recall is the vaccination programme. I'm not sure what the situation is now, but it was a compulsory 250 (I think) charge to be vaccinated against everything and have your blood levels tested. This caused a bit of a stink because most of us were already immunised from holidays etc, so they may have changed it. It's worth emailing RCSI is this is a worry for you, and asking if you can do it with your GP instead, which may be cheaper if you only need a blood test or something.
    pc11 wrote: »
    As regards time/effort, how much would you say you had to put in in first year? 5/6/7 days a week? Were you in the library every minute or did you feel like you kept a good life balance? How many hours were needed and so on? What background did you have going in and (roughly) how did you did relative to the class?
    First year was easily the worst for most people. The timetable would take up from about 8:30am until 5pm most days, with all the extras I listed above taking up the remainder of your day. Anatomy on the monday/tuesday would probably require you to sacrifice one of your weekend days, although plenty of times I took the weekend off and just accepted the humiliation in the anatomy room. A very rough estimate of time spent on college work (including travel etc) would be 7:30am-9pm mon-thurs, 8am-3pm fri, 10am-5pm sunday. I still managed to go out quite a bit and have an hour each day to do whatever.
    I had a strong science background going in. The people who didn't have any science found semester one particularly intense, but everyone did fine in the end. The science background really only helps for the first 6 weeks or so though. After that, everyone seems to be on the same playing field.
    It's hard to know how I did relative to everyone else in the class as our ranking isn't posted. Roughly, I'd say I was about average in first year. I'm perfectly happy to be average in this class though. One of the first things I noticed on entering medical school was how intelligent everyone is. If you were used to being the smart person in your class, that's about to change because everyone is smart. Just remember that you're smart too, and people are thinking the same thing about you.
    pc11 wrote: »

    Did you have any problems and/or did you have a sense the RCSI staff gave good support?
    I didn't have any personal problems really, but others did and the staff seemed fantastic about it. Some people missed time for personal reasons and they were allowed make it up elsewhere, others struggled with certain modules and every effort was made to help them over the line. It definitely felt like the staff knew us, wanted us to do well and were on our side if anything went wrong. I'll be honest and say that since we've amalgamated with the 5 year programme that level of support isn't there, but at this stage everyone is standing ok on their own two feet.
    pc11 wrote: »

    Did you find GAMSAT score correlated much with performance in GEM?

    Finally, an impossible question perhaps, but is RCSI worth 2K per year extra??

    Thanks!
    To be honest, I can't really answer either of those questions. Regarding GAMSAT scores, I don't know everyone's scores and med school results so I can't compare. Regarding fees, I haven't experienced the other schools so don't know if we're getting something they're not. When I entered RCSI there was very little price difference between all the schools so it didn't factor into my decision. If I had to make the decision this year though, I'd still pick RCSI.




  • Thanks Biologic,only thing is that I think Biologic is a she?!!!
    Nope, I'm a steak eating, Guinness drinking man ;)


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  • Hi PC, I'll take your questions one by one:

    Thanks for that. Some practical questions:

    In first year are you in Belfield all the time?
    Yes. You do a couple (3?) hospital visits in semester 1 and two GP visits in semester 2 but you're on campus the rest of the time.

    In the Med building, what are the facilities like? Is there anywhere you can make tea/coffee yourself, or heat up some lunch or are you at the mercy of the canteens there? I presume you can get lockers? What is parking like in Belfield these days?
    Facilities are ok in the health sciences building itself. We have a common room with a microwave and a few couches. No kettle but if you bring in your own cup the coffee shop will give you free hot water. Otherwise you're essentially stuck with the canteens, that can add up price wise though so a lot of people will either bring food in or try and get home for lunch.

    Do you know anything about research lab placements? Is is easy to get summer work? How much does it pay?
    UCD runs summer research schemes every year, both in Ireland and abroad. I haven't tried to get in myself but a few of my friends have and I gather its pretty competitive. As for funding, I'm not sure, I've some are paid but not all. I wouldn't be banking on making much from it anyway but the opportunities are there. It tends to be people coming from a science background with lab experience that do it.

    When do they start ranking you and when do marks start counting for finals?
    You're degree result is your average of 3rd and 4th year. For intern places as far as I'm aware you are ranked based on that result. So you don't have to worry about being top of the class on day one, you have 2 years to get your act together.


    What did you find the support from staff is like? Any problems?
    I haven't had much contact with them myself, just the admin staff, and they are always very helpful. A friend of mine was unhappy with a mid-term result so he asked to meet the lecture about it (one of our most senior and revered lecturers I should add). The sat down together and the lecturer went through the entire paper with him and showed him where he had gone wrong and what best approach to take next time. Took the guts of half an hour. Now I'm not saying they'll all do that but its an indicator at least. In general I couldn't fault the staff at all.

    Apologies for any spelling/grammar/formatting errors, in exam mode too.




  • Sorry just to say about facilities, I should have elaborated. The facilities are actually great, bar the lack of kettle. The library is beautiful, albeit busy and a tad noisy at times, but it is an impressive piece of architecture at least. We also have the new gym, pool and student centre. The gym is free for everyone, the pool is 100 for the year or 4e a session. There's a cinema in the student centre (haven't gone yet myself) and there's always stuff going on on campus. Even managed to catch Noam Chomsky's talk a few weeks ago.




  • Alright folks,

    So i decided to throw in the scholarship application for UL (if i am lucky to get a good score). Any ideas / resources for writing the personal statement?




  • Thanks Biologic,only thing is that I think Biologic is a she?!!!

    Im torn between UCD and UL first choice (score pending however!), only thing Im wondering is why does UL go on so much longer than the other colleges. I believe UCD are finished their lectures now whereas UL doesnt finish their exams until late June. Please, no UL bashing either.

    i think its simply the way they structured the course, ie. they had a chance to start from scratch (and based on Mc Master in canada and St. Georges in london).

    Apparently all the grad med colleges tendered to start a pbl course and UL got the nod as they didnt have an undergrad med course, i think they have a certain number of cases/conditions to get through each year in pbl so thats why the calender is longer than the other colleges....they also sit a ppi exam every year and the results are compared to mc master and st georges to make sure they are on track.

    In terms of difficulty i can only compare between my brother in UL and me in UCD and i think PBL is an awful lot more work for the first 2 years as he seemed to put in an awful lot more work than i did, as i dont think you can really cram with pbl like you can with didactic (and id say we are pretty similar academically)




  • I would concur with Nerrad on the difficulty/work front for PBL.




  • cash2905 wrote: »
    Sorry just to say about facilities, I should have elaborated. The facilities are actually great, bar the lack of kettle. The library is beautiful, albeit busy and a tad noisy at times, but it is an impressive piece of architecture at least. We also have the new gym, pool and student centre. The gym is free for everyone, the pool is 100 for the year or 4e a session. There's a cinema in the student centre (haven't gone yet myself) and there's always stuff going on on campus. Even managed to catch Noam Chomsky's talk a few weeks ago.

    Thanks for all that, very helpful. Where is the common room? I didn't see that on the tour. Is it just for med students or for GEM or for all students?




  • Its known as the common room, its not as fancy as it sounds. Its on the right of the main door as you walk in, the programme office used to be there. Its open to anyone of any faculty. There are a couple of couches, desks and a microwave. Its useful but I wouldn't get too excited about it. Picture a big bare room with some couches and desks NOT Hogwarts with fireplaces and smoking jackets.




  • pc11 wrote: »
    Thanks for all that, very helpful. Where is the common room? I didn't see that on the tour. Is it just for med students or for GEM or for all students?

    I know a place where there is a microwave, fridge, kitchen, sink, hot water, toaster and kettle. All for communal use. You just have to clean up after yourself. The reason why most are unaware of it because it's quite a gem and it's not open to undergrads (final years there's a slight exception). Go there quite often myself and the people there are really nice and it's exceptionally clean. I don't like to sit around there but I avail of it's facilities quite often. The area is usually colonised by PhD's unless it's at off peak hours where it's free... I don't know what the policy is for gradmeds but I'm sure it should be allowed considering none are undergrads. It's open to faculty and postgrads (and 4th year undergrads) from the science building. I don't know if there is a policy where it's only open to the science folk but some of the PhD's I've worked with are lovely and others are pure snobs who will just give you weird looks because they think so highly of themselves.




  • nerrad01 wrote: »
    i think its simply the way they structured the course, ie. they had a chance to start from scratch (and based on Mc Master in canada and St. Georges in london).

    Apparently all the grad med colleges tendered to start a pbl course and UL got the nod as they didnt have an undergrad med course, i think they have a certain number of cases/conditions to get through each year in pbl so thats why the calender is longer than the other colleges....they also sit a ppi exam every year and the results are compared to mc master and st georges to make sure they are on track.

    In terms of difficulty i can only compare between my brother in UL and me in UCD and i think PBL is an awful lot more work for the first 2 years as he seemed to put in an awful lot more work than i did, as i dont think you can really cram with pbl like you can with didactic (and id say we are pretty similar academically)

    Yeah there's 44 cases to be done before the term can finish so that's just how it falls! it's not too bad.. This year our classes finish on friday may 31st then our exams start june 10th and finish june 14th


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  • Ahh do you realize it's less than 2 weeks :O!


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