Medical Officer Cadetship

#1
Hi. I am currently in 6th form going into year 13 to complete my A-levels. I was looking at cadetship offered to medical students. However, I wanted to get some insight from people within the navy about how the medical cadetship works and life in general for a doctor in the navy. Also, I have a few questions if anyone would answer them please.

1) When should I apply for the cadetship? I have read online that you normally visit the AFCO during year 13 since it takes around 2 years but there were was conflicting information on other websites.
2) I have lived in the UK for 6 years now but am yet to obtain my 'Indefinite Leave' which means my fee will be over 30k for my final 3 years of medicine. Would the navy still consider accepting me or would I be at a disadvantage if I am paying the international fee? I do have commonwealth citizenship so I am eligible to apply from what I read on the website.
3) I can reach Stage 10-11 on the 'Multi-stage fitness test' but my 5k time isn't great (26 min) although I rarely run anymore due to exams. How soon and often should I train to be in shape for the physical exam?
4) Do GCSE grades matter when the decision is being made? For context, I went to quite a low performing school in probably the worst part of UK and still managed to achieve 6A* and 12A*-A overall. I am predicted 5A* in Physics, Chem, Bio, Maths and Further Maths at A2 although I plan on dropping Physics.
5) I understand some specialities are rare in the Navy such as cardiology/neurology but are they available at some point? I want to be in the Navy in the long run (till I get booted because I'm too old) so doing a speciality of interest would obviously be a bonus.

Of course if anyone has more advice they can offer about the application process, AIB, Medical interviews or Navy in general I wont say no.

Thanks
 
#2
Hi, whatever response you gain from RR please remember that it is an unofficial RN website.

Given your interest/situation I'd suggest that you take time out to visit your nearest AFCO asap with your list of questions and I'm sure they will answer them all and put you on the right track.
 
#3
I echo the advice above. Talk to the AFCO as soon as possible.

Look up PJFT (pre joining fitness test) for more info on fitness standards. Essentially it's 2.4km on a treadmill. The RN website has downloadable fitness programmes.

GCSEs are the least of your worries, particularly with straight As. Meeting your A-level targets is a given, but for both medical school and the cadetship, you will need additional experience that sets you apart from the competition, who will all be well qualified.

My understanding of the situation with regards medical specialities is that most of the "niche" ones are filled by reservists, whereas the majority of full time RN medical officers are General Medical Practitioners. This is equivalent to (but not the same as) a civilian GP. Needs of the service come first; again, AFCO can advise on likely possibilities.
 

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