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  • This week, Lisa Stone, freelance Career Consultant  www.lisastonecareersandcoaching.co.uk is guest blogging about getting into a career in medicine.

    Medicine is competitive, however I would like to bust a few myths about getting in.

    Myth # 1

    You need to have studied A-levels to get into medicine. Usually ‘yes’, but there are some ‘access to medicine’ courses that are one year in length that are designed for mature learners who may not have A-levels or equivalent (to widen their access to medicine). Not all medical school accept these, so it is essential to check where they are accepted.

    Myth # 2

    You need to pay over £9,000 per year for five years. There is some support. In England an NHS bursary pays for final year tuition fees and there is a means-tested bursary for maintenance costs. There is nothing before this though, so you’ll need to rely on loans. NB: For those on the graduate entry programme your course will usually be four years in length.

    Myth # 3

    For the graduate programmes, you will need to have a science degree. This is often the case, but it is not true for all medical schools. Each medical school sets its own criteria, so it’s worth checking this out. However, there will usually be admission tests, e.g. UKCAT – UK Clinical Aptitude Test that will test your knowledge of the sciences.

    Other aspects to consider, if you are thinking about going into medicine

    Work experience – this counts for a lot in the medical school personal statement and interview. You can think about work shadowing, volunteering or paid work. It does not need to be in the NHS. It could be in care homes, hospices, charities or private clinics.

    If you want advice on anything to do with getting into medicine, either Alistair or myself can help. We have both worked in the NHS advising doctors and providing information on the NHS website about getting into medicine.

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    With Christmas just around the corner, many organisations will be planning their budgets for the new calendar year.  

    As part of the budget planning process many organisations will be looking to make savings.

    Budget cuts can mean a variety of changes for both the company and staff.

    These could be:

    • A change in the direction of the company or
    • The organisation may become more focussed by eliminating certain functions and adding extra duties to existing staff roles.

    It is important to understand the objectives of the organisation and how you fit into the organisation.

    If you think that you may not fit in or your job could be in jeopardy now is the time to start putting a plan together. 

    Research suggests that if you have a plan you are more likely to make a successful transition to your next destination.

    Your plan should include:

    • Weighing up your options.
    • Looking at your values, skills, strengths and achievements.
    • The type of roles you are considering.


    Unsure what to do next?

    Stirling Careers Consultancy can help you.

    We can help you evaluate your options and put together a targeted job search plan. This will enable you to market yourself effectively to get the right new job for you.

    For a Free informal chat please call us on 0790 461 4946

    Email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk

    Or contact us via our contact form on our website:


    We look forward to hearing from you and helping you move forward.

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    On reading recent newspapers and watching news programmes, Alistair Stirling of Stirling Careers Consultancy see some organisations are struggling to adapt to changing market conditions or in danger of going out of business in 2017.

    For example, considering the steelworks in South Wales, which have been reprieved for 4 to 5 years, workers there should now seriously consider all their options, just in case the business does not progress as expected.

    All the research suggests that if people spend time planning in advance for such eventualities they are more likely to make a successful transition to the next destination.

    With the onset of globalisation and advances in technology there are many organisations under threat. Ways of working are also changing which might not suit everyone.

    It is time to consider your options.

    If you are in a position, like the workers at the steelworks, then you will have some time to consider your options.

    Other factors which might make you want to consider your options:

    * A fall in sales

    * Poor product or service

    * More competitors in the market place

    * Cheaper products / services can be purchased elsewhere

    These are just some of the signs, but for those in the public sector most redundancies are being made to reduce costs due to the reduction in money received from central government.

    One of the first things you can do is start thinking about your transferable skills.

    What are your transferable skills?

    Transferable skills are general skills that can be used in many jobs.

    These can be gained from your current role, previous jobs, projects, voluntary work, sport, your home life, hobbies and interests.

    They will enable you to be adaptable and be flexible in case you need to change career in future.

    Skills and Achievements

    It is worthwhile writing a list of all your skills and achievements and things you enjoy doing.

    Exploring Career Ideas

    If you have some ideas initially it is worth exploring these ideas online, talking to people doing the role(s) and possibly shadowing somebody doing that role.

    If you are unsure about what career might suit you it is possible to undertake psychometric assessments. However, these are only a guide.

    Alistair Stirling is qualified and trained to use some psychometric assessment tools.

    Once you have some ideas, it is important to start putting an action plan together. It may mean that that you have to take a step backwards to gain a qualification.

    So find out exactly what a particular career entails

    To book a Careers Consultation either call us on 0790 461 4946 email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on our website:

    We look forward to hearing from you.

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    The Result of the EU Referendum - What next?

    Following the European Union Referendum there is a certain amount of economic uncertainty and some organisations are starting or considering making cutbacks. It is important to keep your ear to the ground to see if you can pick up any signals within your own organisation, i.e. reduction in work load, loss of orders/sales, contracts not being renewed.

    Stirling Careers Consultancy believes it is advisable to have your Curriculum Vitae ready just in case your organisation starts making any cutbacks. All the research suggests that if you are prepared you are more likely to make a successful transition to your next job role.  Should cutbacks occur you are prepared and ready.

    It is really important to keep up-to-date with how things are developing in your profession/sector.

    The first thing you need to do is start reviewing your curriculum vitae (CV).

    Reviewing your CV

    Start updating your CV by targeting it at your next possible role. There are plenty of CV templates available on the Internet.


    It is important to get out and about meeting people and attending targeted networking events related to your sector / profession. You can often find out about local networking events through your local Chamber of Commerce or local trade  associations. If you are a member of a profession you can start attending their events.


    It is important to have a presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an on-line network where many HR managers and recruiters look to recruit staff. It gives you the opportunity to connect with an organisation or person within that organisation directly. LinkedIn frequently sends out opportunities related to your skillset. LinkedIn is a useful tool for researching organisations and employees within those organisations.

    You can join specific discussion groups which will give you a flavour of what is going on in your sector/profession and helps you raise your profile.

    Unsure what to do next?

    If you are thinking you may need some help Stirling Careers Consultancy can help you through the process.

    We can help you evaluate your options and put together a targeted job search plan that will enable you to market yourself effectively to help you get your new job role as quickly as possible.

    Either call us on 0790 461 4946 email us at info@stirlingcareersconsultancy.co.uk or contact us via our contact form on our website:


    We look forward to hearing from you.

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