7 Oct 2011

GEMP (Medicine) at Wits - How to not get accepted


 

 June 2017 Update: "Based on general comments I have received over the years I would like to explicitly state the point of this article up front: Don't let anyone tell you that you can just keep going through the motions, ticking boxes and that you will eventually get into medicine by trying for long enough (or for having enough passion) - There is a high chance that things will not work out and you will probably be left at least a little bitter about the outcome. In addition to this, I would like to draw specific attention to the fact that I do not make any reference to race in this post or any of my comments related to this post."

I am also thinking about creating a more formal online Health Science forum to facilitate organic discussion around this (and related topics). If you would like me to do this (or not) then please complete this quick 4 question survey to let me know. Thank you.



Johannesburg, South Africa 

First attempt
  • Start by nurturing a passion to become a doctor for as long as you can remember
  • Add a natural aptitude for science and technology
  • Participate (and perform well) in sport (first team rugby), cultural activities (play the piano from age 7) and academics at school (and be a prefect)
  • Get a basic first aid certificate
  • Donate spare time to volunteer work in hospitals and clinics
  • Complete an IEB matric at a Jo'burg private school with results that are good enough to be offered a place in electrical engineering (where the academic entry requirements are higher than for medicine)
  • Apply for entry into first year medicine at Wits Medical School (2001)
Second attempt
  • Complete a Bachelor of Science degree in human anatomy and physiology at the University of the Witwatersrand
  • Make special arrangements to complete a basic life support (BLS) training course from the American Heart Association (this course is run for qualified healthcare professionals) - Get higher test results than qualified healthcare professionals who are on the course with you
  • Continue volunteer work at a christian primary healthcare clinic
  • Make rural hospital visits with an old (practicing) professor of surgery
  • Apply for entry into the Graduate Entry Medical Programme (GEMP) at Wits Medical School with a respected surgeon as your referee (2004)
Third attempt
  • Accept an offer to join the experimental physiology honours class at Wits Medical School
  • Contribute to the medical research community by collecting cardiovascular data that is published in the American Journal of Physiology
  • Help second year medical students in physiology lab tutorials (one of  whom didn't know what diarrhoea is and another who was repeating second year medicine for the 3rd time - painful, but true stories)
  • Apply for entry into GEMP at Wits Medical School again, this time with an A rated physiology Professor as your referee (2005)
  • Get excited when you are short listed for an interview
  • Mention that you want to "help people" during the interview
  • Have the dean of student affairs warp your answers and talk over you for the remainder of the 'interview'
Move on
  • Reinvent yourself
  • Get on with life in a completely different field, continue to "help people" in other ways and don't feel too bad that the only thing you've really sucked at so far (in spite of a rather wasted medical background), is getting in to study medicine at Wits Medical School...


I am thinking about creating a more formal online Health Science forum to facilitate organic discussion around this (and related topics). If you would like me to do this (or not) then please complete this quick 4 question survey to let me know. Thank you.

GEMP related blogs:

http://richardtrtm.blogspot.com/
http://unofficialgempguide.blogspot.com/

483 comments:

1 – 200 of 483   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Rich, this is a disheartening story. Sadly it seems that this is a classic case of politics clouding the candidate selection process.

Have you considered studying at one of the Caribbean medical schools such as SGU (www.sgu.edu)?

Many times more expensive that WITS but by the sounds of things you will also get a far better medical education and they prepare you for practice in the US or UK.

It sounds like you are still young. Do it now before this becomes a regret that haunts you once this is far more difficult to do with family and other responsibilities.

Rich said...

I am still young but I have already moved beyond the position where I could consider studying a degree like medicine again - I have made my peace with it though.

The Carribean university you mentioned looks really nice - what a dream to go and study over there... Maybe it can help someone else who ends up reading this post? I am hoping to generate some useful conversation on this topic. Thank you for your response.

GEMP_success_story said...

A very sad story. I am sorry you could not achieve your goal Rich. I'm also sorry you gave up!

For the other people who read this post, it's not impossible to get accepted to the Wits GEMP. I have just finished my BSc taking the subjects Physiolgy and Medical Cell Biology (after Human and Comparative Biology). If you are really committed to it, you can do it. I have received provisional acceptance for the GEMP, I am just waiting for my exam results to come in for it to be a firm offer (I am white by the way - I know this is an important factor. Also no doctors in the family and all that other rubbish they base their decisions on. No bribes either!). If you don't lose sight of your goal, and work hard enough to get consistently high marks, community service, etc., then you can do it. Then it's just a case of passing the WAPT, and you're sorted.
Also, if you really want to be a doctor, and cant imagine doing anything else, then swallow your pride after your BSc and apply for 1st year medicine, because you WILL get in if you already have a fairly decent degree. Don't let any quota system or whatever stop you. And then there is always emigration. Don't give up!

Rich said...

Well done and congratulations! I can only imagine the sense of accomplishment you must feel at receiving a provisional offer and I wish you all the best. Don't take your position in GEMP (and the opportunity to become a doctor) for granted though - Most applicants are not accepted and you owe it to them (and the rest of South Africa) to become a good doctor!

Clearly, it's not impossible to get into Wits GEMP - It's not so much a question of commitment as luck, but it is nice to imagine that perhaps the selection process at Wits Medical School is starting to be driven by candidate credentials.

My advice to anyone who isn't accepted into medicine out of school would be to study a professional undergraduate degree first (like engineering for example) and then apply for GEMP so that your education is not 'wasted' if you don't get into medicine in the end. The reality is that no one can just keep studying forever, no matter how committed they are. Studying requires significant investment of time and money (particularly if you do go and study overseas) and unfortunately, the window for full time studying is not open forever - I did not 'give up' as much as I had to move on.

None the less I hope your place is confirmed soon and that you don't give up on becoming (and ultimately being) a good doctor.

Anonymous said...

Rich I am in the same predicament as you. I have a Bsc majored in Physiology from Wits. For all years of my BSC undergrad I applied for admission to Wits medical school. I got rejected everytime. I finished my BSc undgergrad, then registered for Honours in Pharmacology at wits. Finished the Bsc Honours pharmacology degree, and still got rejected. I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for almost 8 years at senior management level. Heard about the GEMP and thought with my experience at management level I will be acceptedn especially since I also completed a Master of Business Leadership fom UNISA School of Business Leadership. Wits rejected me. I don't want to give up but at Mid Thirties of age, I think I will have to painfully give up this passion. Its not a dream but a passion that I will have to give up. This is painful.
The advise to study a professional undergrad degree like law or engineering is important so that if one is not accepted to study medicine, one can concentrate on the srcond choice professional degree.

Lo said...

Wow I am in the same boat, I am thinking about doing my Msc and then applying again, all the while working part time jobs trying to make a living. I agree with you in choosing an undergrad that you can make a living out of, if only I knew that years and didn't choose biological sciences, an undergrad that is extremely difficult to get employed with.

The passion is hard to quieten down, especially when our country needs good healthcare. It is interesting to know which career field are you now in?

Rich said...

Hi Lo. I really admire your perseverance and you are right, it's a joke that the medical schools have not increased their capacity for decades when the country needs doctors so desperately.

I completed a PDM (Postgraduate Diploma in business Management) at Wits Business School after my honours degree and I work in IT now as a full time webmaster with a few of my own internet businesses on the side.

I hope you are able to find something that works for you soon / get into medicine! all the best...

Anonymous said...

Hi rich. Wow I can only imagine how you feel. I've also only ever imagined studying medicine! I didn't get in and did a degree in biomedical science. I also just received a provisional offer from wits for gemp and hope that it becomes a firm offer! ! I'm also a white female. I hope that it happens for anyone who wants it badly enough and I'm not taking it for granted. Good luck to anyone else !

Rich said...

That's great! All the best with receiving a firm offer.

nomzamo said...

Wow. I thought I was the only one going through this. I assure you now colour has nothing to do with it (as I noticed some mentioning it might be because they are white), I am black. I graduated top of my class, Iam a qualified podiatrist since 2006, got my MBA in 2009, and I volunteer for the healthy athleted programmed as clinical director for Special Olympics SA, trained in China for that. This year was my second attempt, trying again next year. The passion for medicine haunts me too much to give up1

Anonymous said...

What a painful journey you've been through. I can relate in so many ways. Fortunately for me though I am still 19 years old (black female). I got rejected at Wits for Medicine (second attempt) but I have been accepted for Biomedical Sciences. Besides achieving really high marks throughout my degree and on-going community service, is there anything else I can do to make my GEMP application as colourful and reject-proof as possible? Are there any clubs, societies, organisations etc that I should join? Any other advice is welcome.

You mentioned tutoring second year medical students. Does anyone have an idea of what the failure/dropout rate is for those fortunate enough to gain access to Medicine straight out of matric? It hurts everytime I see someone doing medicine, and yet they have no genuine passion for it.

Rich said...

I hope that you are starting out at the beginning of a journey with a happy ending.

Physiology honours students are required to do labs / tutorials for 2nd year health science students (Medics, physios, dentists, etc) - I am not sure of an official drop out rate, but there were several students repeating second year medicine while I was doing labs. I also can't understand how or why the university accepts applicants who do not have 'genuine passion'.

I did not get in, but my advice would be to study hard, make sure your marks are genuinely worthy of consideration and focus on your own passions - let them reflect who you are in your application. Don't do anything just because you think it will help you get in to medicine. A lot of people I know who did get in, never did a stitch of community service - So it certainly was not a requirement back then.

You should network and make connections with the right people (professors / doctors) who can mentor you and help you with/through the whole process. Other than that, do your best in all you do and I wish you all the best and that you find favour with the University.

Anonymous said...

I am fresh out of high school. Matriculated last year..and got rejected for medicine. Will bhsc biomedical science make me eligible for gemp? And do any of you have any advice as to how to improve my chances

Rich said...

Yes, you will be eligible for GEMP. But from my experience and what I've seen, getting in is not about meeting 'requirements' as much as it is about pot luck. Be careful of getting stuck at the end of your biomedical sciences degree with no path forward if you still don't get into medicine in the end. There really are no guarantees unfortunately. If you would still like to pursue a career in the biomedical sphere if you don't get into medicine then you are on the right track. Otherwise I would recommend you investigate other degrees that will allow you pursue another direction if you don't get in. You can still apply for GEMP with other degrees, though you should probably investigate this further as the rules seem to have changed a lot since I was there. Apply at all the universities you can and all the best.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! That's what I needed to know..as long as biomedical science will still make me eligible, then its good.. I understand the whole process will not be easy and there is no certainty. But medicine for me has been a childhood dream which I am striving to achieve. but the reason I'm taking biomedical sciences is because it provides a wide range of career opportunities I can fall back on should things not go my way...so ya I am just going to take a leap of faith and give it my all and also hope for the best but at the same time, I have something solid to fall back on.

Rich said...

It's good that you are convinced you will be happy going into a biomedical sciences career - you are definitely doing the right thing then. All the best for medicine though and try take subjects in your degree that will give you an advantage in the WAPT, they didn't have this when I was trying to get into GEMP, but you can read more about the requirements here: http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/health/entities/chse/gemp/10056/entry_requirements.html

As I keep saying though - Getting in is unfortunately more about luck than commitment or dreams or passion or meeting requirements or anything logical...

Anonymous said...

This is really said, I am also in the same boat, I was rejected, being a Pharmacist for 11 yrs in management position, having MPharm, and completing community project where I worked as a consultant to two PHD students in Ethiopia and a Principal researcher in Malawi for 3 month in each country working with NGO's, I thought I stood a good change. I also applied to Free State and UCT, all in vain. I didn't do well in NBT though, I just don't understand why graduates must write it.
The country has a shortage of doctors and there are so many qualifying candidates who can't get trained due to insufficient training capacity in the country. I think Wits has done well in introducing the course for people like us. What we can do is to appeal to the authorities to get other universities to consider this route or increase their intake of first years.

D

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich

I followed a similar path to yours. I started out as a straight A student throughout school, I matriculated with an IEB distinction aggregate and one of the top in the country in addition to numerous other academic achievements including top placement in the national science olympiad. I went onto complete a BSc in Genetics (with many, many distinctions) and then an Honours in Human Genetics. During this time I did more than 100 hours of community service in God forsaken government hospitals. Other than achieving exceptionally in maths, science and biology I also passed the so called entrance tests better than the average candidate.I wrote essays of motivation, and sent in reference after reference from distinguished professors. After spending four years of pain staking effort, spending thousands on medical textbooks and funnily enough invidulating second year medical students myself in addition to also have been short listed for an interview I was eventually asked to stop applying in essence. I wasn't allowed to sit the entrance exam for the anatomy and physiology test even though I reached all the qualifications. After that I tried to get a scholarship to do a PhD and of course was told that I'm much too white for that. I've since moved to Australia where they fought over having me as a PhD candidate. I received a full scholarship and am now completing my PhD in neurogenetics. I have an amazing project that I'm working on and I frequently get bonuses for hard work. I still want to study medicine but its unbelievably expensive to do so as an international student. Once you get to a certain age and have to pay your own bills it becomes harder and harder to go back to that once dream. I will never live in South Africa again, I feel extremely sorry for all the young achieving people out there coming out of school and degrees and trying to get into medicine as there is almost no hope. I know so many people in similar situations to me and even people with masters degrees who have applied 6 or more times to medicine and still been denied.
Since black students are of equal intelligence, they don't need a seperate and lower set of standards. Entrance should be based on academic standards and practical abilities, not on race and bribery as it is now.

Rich said...

Well said! I think your comment is better than my actual post. I am sorry that you didn't get to pursue your original dream either, but glad to hear you are doing so well in spite of it. For what it's worth, it sounds like you would have made an excellent doctor, but I wish you all the best in your research career and whatever else you decide to do in the future.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
This is disheartening, but I won't give up. I most probably would have easily gotten into medicine straight after sschool if I had applied, but I wasn't a 100% sure about it then. Instead of taking a gap year to think about what I wanted to do I studied a BSc in Dietetics at Stellenbosch University's Health Sciences' Faculty and graduated Cum Laude. I have a very good medical background and am currently working in a tertiary government hospital. I know I have what it takes to become a doctor and I have excellent experience as a clinical dietician that will help me to become a well-rounded doctor, so I hope this counts in my favour! I am applying at all the medical schools in SA for next year and am willing to start from the beginning. WITS GEMP would be good though, as it will only be 4 years. I also don't understand why some of the the universities make mature students write the NBT and others not. I think it should be the same at all the universities. I bought some high school maths study guides, and I'm going to start studying for the NBT next week. I did really well in Maths at school but that was 6 years ago, and the curriculum's changed a bit. I don't think it's fair to test us on something we didn't even do at school. I am going to give it my all though and pray I get a place somewhere! Good luck everyone!

Anonymous said...

hey Rich:)
I am a student in Matric applying to study medicine at WITS next year and naturally I have put down BSc (Medical Cell Biology) and BEng(BME) as my second and third choices.

I was wondering if any other universities offer the GEMP programme? I have searched their websites, and found only references to WITS.

Anonymous said...

Guys we need more doctors that have passion for it. I've seen worst doctors and most doctors that I've worked with, they are from Wits.

Try other universities. To be the best on what you do, you don't have to study in one of the top universities. I have met many health professionals that claim to come from top rated university, but at the end of the day I ask myself what does that university teaching them all along. To be the best on what you do, takes an individual's commitment to his or her job, not which university you coming from. Although it does put you in some kind of advantages to study in top rated universities.

Apply to other university, you still can be the same doctor with care, respect, passion and commitment to help South Africa.

But if it's about money, I don't wish you good luck, because I have seen enough unethical decisions in public and especially in private hospitals. Almost 80% doctors don't really care about patients, they follow money. That's why I am so happy for National Health Insurance. I can't wait for the implementation, I am actually tired of hungry lions.

Anonymous said...

Disheartening as it may seem- everyone ends up on the right path for them! Don't be bitter! You will do well in your present career. Also-medicine Is not all it's cracked up to be- there are also frustrations and tough times that doctors face! Do take my advice!

Anonymous said...

Hi guys! I'm 20years old. I applied for medicine after matric and was rejected.I'm currently doing my 2nd year BSc Sport Science degree. I'm majoring in Human physiology and Human movement studies! Together with two of my friends want to apply for Gemp! I don't know why but seeing postgrads MSc students talk like this, I ask myself, will I stand any chance! Medicine is my greatest passion! But if all doesn't go according to plan, I'll apply for honours in Biokinetics and do an MSc in sports medicine. I never thought making it to Gemp was this difficult!

Rich said...

Remember, some people do get in, so it's not totally impossible. You do need to be one of the lucky few though, otherwise it's very important to have a plan B in place that will make you happy if you don't get in and it sounds like you do, so all you can do is your best and hope for the best. I really hope plan A works out for you though!

Anonymous said...

I am turning 30 this year and medicine has been a passion for me. I first tried to apply at Medunsa but I did not meet requirements I was advised to start with nursing. I went ahead to do something else IT which I did not complete due to financial constraints. I have been working for a healthcare company since 2008 in their call centre department in which I'm currently a team leader. No matter how much I try to convince myself, I cannot let go of my dream. I was thinking that I could study something else but I feel it is just a waste of time, I don't even know what to study. I have ventured into other businesses for financial stability and I feel now it the time for me to pursue my dream, but I don't meet the required standards. What can I do or study to ensure that I upgrade and improve my chances of being accepted. I feel strongly about it now, I even dream about it.

Anonymous said...

evidently the GEMP takes in 80 applicants per year, does anybody know how many candidates apply per year? I am a 2nd year now and will be applying for 2014, I wont lie my chances sound like zip, jokes aside I actually think investing time and money into attending mentalist courses may be more beneficial, that way if you make an interview you could use those skills to manipulate the interviewer by reading those who are interviewing you...

Rich said...

In reply to Anonymous, 2 comments up - Your best best would be to get a good grounding in physiology and anatomy - do a Bsc with these as majors? These subjects would help you be an excellent doctor if you got accepted. The flipside is that if you do study these subjects then your career path is quite limited if you don't get in to medicine. As I keep emphasising, it's important to consider what you'll do as a plan B. Perhaps you have some other skills you could combine with Bio? You could study a degree like biomechanical engineering for example?

And in response to the last comment, I'm not totally sure if you are being serious about the 'mentalist course' but I think some general interview training would be a good idea. The irony is that I would have done a lot better in the interview coming out of business school with the training I received there, than fresh out of my honours degree. I'm not sure how many people apply for GEMP every year - we all know that it's a lot more than 80 and I bet the number of applicants only increases every year (as should the number of positions in GEMP).

Rich said...

To follow up, I actually heard that they have scrapped the interview these days - so I'm not totally sure that Wits are still interviewing candidates at all. Frankly, they could have done with some 'how to conduct an interview' lessons themselves, they must have realised they were wasting everyone's time.

Anonymous said...

in response to Rich the mentalist course was just a joke as I cannot believe the effort some of you have put in, you have virtually committed your lives to getting in and deservantly should, hence my comment on the mentalist course because if you have not got in after all efforts then seriously I really dont know what they are looking for. I am a sports science student and I am considering applying still regardless of what I have read on this blog but to be honest I am not very hopeful so my plan b is to go to physiotherapy... And in case everyone was wondering they have 9000 applications per year, yes 9000. 9000 applicants who have probably achieved well above their requirements, I didnt do excellent at school I got very average marks. Definitely not all A's like most of you but I have done absolutely everything close to a 100 per out of school, but now judging from what I have read its not looking so great for me. I think the best advice would be to not only apply for wits gemp but apply everywhere else for 1st year to. That is what I plan on doing and I just pray to get in. Goodluck to everyone and I really hope your hard work pays off.

Rich said...

I never intended for this post to stop people from trying to get in to GEMP outright. I was just hoping that my experience might help other people by exposing some reality. The main point is that all the passion and dreams in the world are no guarantee. Anyone can see that you need a good dose of luck to be one of the 80 who is picked from 9000 applicants. The take home message is don't put all your eggs in 1 basket and make sure you have a viable plan B in place that will make you happy if you don't get in. It is simply reckless to approach the situation with an all or none attitude like I did. I wish someone had shaken me and said 'I know it's really hard to come to terms with, but there is a chance that you won't get in, you need to consider that in all of this'. The truth is that if I had considered it properly I would have studied a different under grad degree and studied engineering or computer science in order to be better prepared for the software business world, which was always my plan B, I just didn't prepare for it as well as I could have in the end...

Anonymous said...

Wow. I would agree with the previous comments that this is pretty disheartening. I too plan on applying to the GEMP at Wits (along with apparently 9000 others). I have a BS in Biology, with a minor in Biochemistry from a university in Pennsylvania in the US (just graduated). I went there on a scholarship, so not even as expensive as most SA universities. I knew I had the scholarship in gr11 already so I sort of coasted through highschool (moronic in hindsight). I have all the credentials necessary to study medicine in the States, but it's crazy expensive for foreigners. Other options like the Carribean schools are out there but I really thought, given my credentials (I graduated cum laude, tons of volunteering, internships and shadowing, extra curriculars etc.) I would like to go back home and study, but sadly that seems harder than I thought (naive I guess). I will apply to not only Wits, but other schools in the months to come, but if as much emphasis is placed on highschool marks as I gleam from this post, this will be sadly in vain. Lord, with some of the other posters not getting in...
Thanks for the info, everyone.
Good luck to all

GEMP_success_story said...

Hello, it's me again, I commented on the 8th of November 2011.

I am currently in my GEMP 1 year after doing my BSc in Physiolgy and Medical Cell Biology at Wits. I just wanted to clarify that (for me, at least) there was no interview process. The top 200 applicants to the GEMP programme get invited to write the WAPT test to see if your physiology, anatomy and molecular medicine is up to scratch, and if you pass this (pass = 50%) then you are accepted into the programme (that's how it was explained to us, in any case).

I have to say, there is no way that there are 80 graduates in my class. There are about 300 people in my year, and I'd say no more than 40 are graduates. Some of these are older people in their 40's, like an engineer, a physiotherapist, etc. There are also some random people who did BComs, BA's, etc. Also people from other universities like UCT, Stellies, etc.

So I don't want to rub my success in everybody here's faces, but I just want to say that I absolutely LOVE med school, and it's everything I knew it would be - extremely hard work but SO satisfying, and a lot of fun at the end of the day, if you make the most of it. If it's what you really want, don't give up. All I can suggest is that you push yourself so hard that you just want to cry, and make sure that you have a back-up plan.

Rich said...

Too awesome, well done! Thanks for sharing the inside info :)

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. I was wondering how long it took to get your application decisions from Wits? I'm applying there for 1st year Medicine, even though I have a BSc in Biology from an American University.
I'm a student from Southern Africa so I'm not too confident about getting in but I thought it was worth a shot. My only problem is that I've been accepted for a masters course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that starts in September and I don't want to give that up so that atleast I have something to fall back on in case I don't get in to Wits.

Rich said...

My experience was that most people got provisional offers by November (if they got one) and they let me know by late December that I didn't get in to GEMP. I don't recall ever being told my first year application had been unsuccesful.

I don't think you are going to know the status of your application by September. I would suggest that you try and speak to someone at Wits who can give you an idea of your chances of getting in and help you decide whether you should hang around here or persue the Masters degree instead.

Punkie said...

Hi GEMP success story is it possible for you to assist on what to expect for the whole process.

GEMP_success_story said...

Yeah, don't expect to be told before September... I can't remember when I got my provisional offer but I'm pretty sure it was after that. And as for firm offer, that was late December/early January (they really do take a long time; and as Rich said, they don't even tell you if you are not accepted, you have to keep phoning). You should explain your problem to the Faculty of Health Sciences, and they are usually quite helpful and ill be able to advise you.

Punkie, what would you like to know specifically? The general process is to hand in an application form, specifying that you want to do the GEMP programme, and then you have to write the National Benchmark Test (at least I did, I don't know how much has changed), then if you are in the top 200 applicants, you get invited to write the WAPT test, after which you get provisional acceptance if you pass it, and then once you finish your degree they make their final decision. All of this info is available on the Wits website, at http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/health/academicprogrammes/postgraduate/8875/gemp.html

Anonymous said...

Hi guys can anyone answer a question for me. What I want to know is for those of you who have applied did you apply using your last year marks of your degree? The website states that you use your last year marks but when I phoned in they told me they take the last 2 years? the reason I am asking is because I didnt do as well as I'd like in 2 subjects during semester 1 in my second year so If anyone can tell me that they do in fact only use last year ie 3rd year marks that will keep my hopes alive... thank you.

Anonymous said...

You mad I'm a C student, and studying Medicine at Wits, because I'm black?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many first year intake Medunsa accommodate?NBT you have to produce proof of qualification in order to waive that test when u send your Application

Anonymous said...

Success story - I have been invites to the Wapt test, does this mean there is a fair chance I will be excepted ( if I pass Wapt?)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich and everyone !

I wonder if anyone here could help me ... I am planning on applying for GEMP in 2014. I also qualified as an electrical engineer and actually went on to do my master of science in engineering at WITS. I work as an engineer now but have been part-time, self-studying Biology courses from UNISA (didn't do Bio @ school or uni ;) as well as the Human Anatomy, Physiology and Molecular Medicine for the WAPT ... whew, quite an undertaking - but totally worth it (and soooo interesting)

My question is: do I need to write the HSS test ? ... The reason why I ask is that the website seems to imply I do however after some correspondence with someone at the WITS medical school, she said the HSS test is not required for GEMP admission ?

Also, if there's any other advice/help/guidance anyone can offer it would be EXTREMELY appreciated ! :)

Thanks again for this great forum/comment page!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonynous

You're right. All GEMP applicants only need to write the WAPT if you're lucky enough to be invited.

Cecile Maritz said...

Hi there!

I thought I would share the frustration with you guys... I ended up on this blog by actually doing google searches on contact details for different Universities. I decided to apply to study medicine AGAIN!!!

I am a qualified dietician - our first two years are EXACTLY the same as the curriculum of medical students. And guess what - I cant even get credit for those two years. I applied for
GEMP at WITS, they came back with an answer to further my studies...by doing a masters (and graduate cum laude) and THEN we could TALK.

If I look at some of the student doctors - it is really scary who to see who did get accepted into medical school. People with D's, E's and F's in STANDARD grade subjects.

I'm currently working in a corporate position at an awesome international company...,but my heart still lies with medicine.

Good luck to you guys out there.

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Can you please shed some light on what the WAPT was like and if there's any way we can get past questions?

Anonymous said...

Thank u for a wonderful blog. My status for GEMP still says pending selection test but no invite yet. Each time I called, I was told they are still selecting and I may be notified about the invite by as late as fri (10th)or even next week wed....yes on the day of WAPT. This makes no sense, is it true that one can be notified so late or is it all just false hope? Same story here, PhD, >15 yrs in medical research & a passion for Medicine. Good luck to all who were invited to WAPT. Make us proud & go live the dream guys, God bless.

Anonymous said...

My daughter has completed her BSC and has applied for entry into the GEMP. she has been invited to sit for the WAPT. Are there no examples of the test anywhere?

T

Anonymous said...

Rich
your blog is sad yet amuzing at the same time. My daughter is doing the WAPT test tomorrow after completing her BSC. After reading your comments i have advised her to have a plan B

Rich said...

Hi T

The selection process seems to have changed a lot since I applied a few years ago. I can't imagine that there will be WAPT examples / past papers anywhere - best bet would be to chat to someone who has actually sat the test before. It sounds like WAPT covers Bsc type content - so the test might be similar to papers your daughter has done in Bsc? (though I am certainly not an authority on this) Otherwise speak to Wits, but I'm not sure you will have much luck there - All the best! I hope your daughter gets in...

Anonymous said...

Hi
I had no idea getting into Gemp was this though. I plan to apply next year for 2014, but reading all these comments gives me a heart attack.

I am a Registered Nurse and I am writing my thesis at the moment for my MSc in Nursing.I have been working in the hospital for almost 3yrs now after my first degree.

Hey T, hope your daughter makes it into Gemp, pls do let us know what the WAPT looks like.

The PhD>15yrs, hope u finally got a call and u are writing the WAPT!!do let us know if u get in.

Rich, this blog is good for all those who want to study medicine, to share their ideas and maybe help each other. I am still going to give it a try next year.

V

Rich said...

Hi V

That's great that you are still going to try to get in next year - My intention was never to discourage people from applying. I am glad you have found this blog post useful and I wish you all the best with your application - May you be one of the lucky ones!

lehlogonolo mashaba said...

Hi guys I'm a medical technologist specialising in cytology,I want to apply for GEMP 2014 but I am so discouraged after reading your posts, I don't even have a university degree only a btech degree. Any advice?

Rich said...

Hi lehlogonolo

There is no need to be discouraged - Do not discredit your btech degree! There is no set list of requirements that will guarantee anyone a spot in GEMP - You can only do your best like everyone else and hope that you are one of the lucky ones who gets in.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I wrote the WAPT on Wednesday and it was tough. Not because of the content, but because of the way that the questions were structured. They say that they're trying to make the selection process as objective as possible this year hence the elimination of the interview. However, they also told us that passing the WAPT is no guarantee of getting in. So riddle me this: if a person with a physio degree passes the WAPT, and a person with a BCom degree fails the WAPT, will they choose the BCom candidate based on the fact that his university marks are higher? How are the playing fields leveled when considering candidates from different degrees? Surely a physio degree is more relevant to medicine than a BA degree for example? And a physio would be more equipped to deal with med school than someone with a BA. So many questions, but it still depends on the luck of the draw...

Rich said...

Thanks for the feedback on the WAPT! Let us know how the rest of your application goes. All the best!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich

Super sad story, but I just feel this post is going to achieve nothing but hate and give mixed impressions of an amazing institution. Medicine has come and gone for me at wits and I'm proud to have gone through it. Stupid second years, people with d's and E's, etc... These kind of comments upset me! I'm a white male, and had it all against me, but I made it happen, legitimately. I have no doubt that you are an awesome guy, but remember that you are not what YOU see in the mirror... The reality might be very different! #justsaying

All the best

Annoyed!

Rich said...

My intention was and is to cast some reality on the challenges that people will face if they want to get in to medicine at Wits. As I keep itterating - There is always at least a small chance that things won't go according to the big plan (no matter how passionate or 'legitimate' their cause), it's important for new applicants to realise this risk and make allowance / consideration for it and that is why I published this post.

I did not discuss marks or say anything about 'stupid second years' (though I did allude to the fact that some of the second years I was exposed to did not present with qualities I would expect from 2nd year medical students in an ideal world). I also can't be held responsible for comments that other people may add to this post (anonymously). But look in that mirror and ask yourself, would you honestly trust every single one of your fellow class mates with your own life in a hypothetical medical emergency?

Don't be annoyed, we all know that reality can't always look the way we would like it to...

Anonymous said...

Rich,
Our stories are almost identical, except I didn't apply a third time, instead I left South Africa and moved to Perth, Australia where currently reside, soon to be a permanent resident, and on the road to acceptance to studying a Postgraduate (I have a B.Comm (UCT)) 4-year Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Western Australia in 2014, the first year this course is being run at the University.
Just another way that the current South African government is knowingly destroying a once blossoming, world-renowned, labour market.
I wish you all the best for your future endeavours and I'm sorry that you weren't allowed to follow your initial dream.
Kris

Rich said...

Thanks Kris - That is so awesome that you have made the overseas thing happen for yourself. Do you have family over there? All the best to you too!

Anonymous said...

Hi, After reading all of this, I feel like giving up already but I will try fighting for my passion.
Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to do medicine but I was always afraid of rejection due to the quota system. Today, I have a social work degree( Honours) and I am cureently completing my honours in Psychology. I know that these 2 degrees are human sciences whilst MBChB is a natural and human science degree, hence iwas told to complete a first year Bsc degree and then apply for the gemp. However i feek as though my 2 degrees will mean nothing to them. Any advice will be appreciated/

Nadine van der Haar said...

So...after reading all the comments, I come to the conclusion that in order to become a doctor it is less about one's qualifications or marks...

Researching about medicine I realise that medicine really is a calling, and I've read this many times.

It is either meant to be or not... therefore, it will never matter how qualified you are, afterall one's acceptance into the GEMP depends on one's ultimate performance in the entrance tests. Given that, all your BSCs and related medical degrees mean nothing until put to the test.

I have a BA and pursuing an hons in Philosophy but in 2014 I will be in the Wits GEMP... hope to see some of you there! (if its meant to be)... all the best for everyone

Anonymous said...

Dear all, just wanted to know if anyone has heard about their WAPT results as yet? No one answers the phone at the GEMP office or replies to emails. A special congrats to all who are successful in getting a place for 2013. All the best guys. To everyone else with the dream, never give up-'Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want-Jim Rohn'

Anonymous said...

I received an email on the 25th September saying that I passed the WAPT and now am in the final selection. When I called them last week they said that they are sending out the rejection letters first. Maybe try call the student enrollment centre, they are very helpful (011 717-1033) please keep us updated with any developing information, I'll do the same. Fingers crossed we should find out any day now...

Anonymous said...

Maybe try call the student enrollment centre, they told me that they are updating every application individually, they might know your status before they put it online, good luck!

Bhavz said...

Hello everybody.

This story is very disheartening and I am seriously beginning to doubt my chances of being accepted to study medicine at WITS.

I am currently a matric and I have applied for medicine at WITS as my first choice and a Bachelor of Health Sciences as my second choice.

I have received provisional acceptance for the Bachelor of Health Sciences, but, my application for medicine is still under consideration.

Has anyone received provisional acceptance from WITS at this stage or have they not began giving out provisional acceptance for medicine as yet?

Any information and help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Bhavz

Anonymous said...

My online status now says that "The decision has been deferred." What does this mean exactly? Deferred to when or to who? And why? Is it a rejection? Or am I on a waiting list? Grrrr...

Anonymous said...

Called the Enrollment Centre and they said your application status is "decision deferred" if your application is subject to the outcome of something currently ongoing, e.g. completion of a degree etc. Apparently some rejection letters have been sent out, so if your status is "decision deferred" it means you're still in the running.

Anonymous said...

I called enrollment center now, I also had the 'decision deferred'status, and I was informed that I am on a waiting list and my chances are not great at all. I have a Masters degree in Molecular Medicine but they said that the undergraduates have more points than me and stand a better chance :(

BSc-BHSc-MBBCh-SUCCESS!! said...

Hi,

I would like to share with you a success story of a different kind. I did well in matric, etc. etc., but unfortunately I got declined to study MBBCh at Wits. I was, however, offered a place in BSc, which I accepted, with the hopes of getting into GEMP.

At the end of 1st year, I went to see the Head of the Department of Anatomical Sciences, prof Daly, with regards to doing Anatomy in 2nd year. He directed me to a wonderful and helpful woman, Sandra Benn, the faculty registrar, as he felt I was doing the wrong degree for the type of anatomy I was talking about. Sandra then said that I should apply for 2nd year Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc), in which I would do Human Anatomy, Physiology and Biochem and Molecular Medicine (the subjects that the WAPT tests), the exact same subjects and course as the matric entrant MBBCh students do.

At the beginning of the year, the Dean spoke to the BHSc class giving a glimmer of hope, that should we obtain an aggregate of 65% for the year, and be in the top 20 of the BHSc class, we need not complete a degree and would earn a place in GEMP 1 (MBBCh 3).

It took a lot of stress, hours of working, tears and nervous laughter, but I ended top of the class. Only 7 of about 90 students made it, proving that not only is it difficult, but POSSIBLE!!!

So to those in matric, BSc or BHSc, if you really want this, it is more than possible.

I would like to add that this was a new entry point into the GEMP, inducted in 2011.

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody. On the WITS self-service page where you check your application status, mine does not say "Deferred".

It says this: "The decision is subject to conditions, e.g. selection test, interviews, auditions, etc. (further information in letter to follow)"

Does this mean I still have a chance of getting provisional acceptance?

Anonymous said...

I have no idea..first they told me that if it says deferred that there is something missing from your application, they said my academic record was outstanding, however I have been studying at wits for 6 years, so how can that be? and how did i write the wapt test if they did not have my academic records? then they told me that they actually do have my records and im just on a waiting list and my chances dont look good. To me it sounds like they dont know what they are doing...and getting in is based on luck and nothing else. They make no sense at all

Bhavz said...

Has anybody received provisional acceptance yet?

Whose application status says: "

The decision is subject to conditions, e.g. selection test, interviews, auditions, etc. (further information in letter to follow)"?

Anonymous said...

I havent, mine says that deferred message, but my friend has received provisional acceptance and her status had the same message as yours..so I think you will be accepted...are you still studying or have u completed all ur studies?

Rich said...

I’m glad you are all able to converse in the comments here, please continue to do so, but I have removed a few of the more conversational comments to try and keep things a little neat. I would also just like to remind everyone that this is not an official Wits channel and I am not responsible for any comments that do get posted here (apart from my own). But I wish you all the best at this very stressful time of year for anyone who is trying to get in to medicine!

Anonymous said...

This is based on luck I guess, I'm currently doing my 3rd year in BSc biochemistry and microbiology and pssss I got rejected but hope is still bubbling inside for 2014 but as for next year I'm planning to do my honours in medical biochem if not medical microbiology @ wits but the thing is I don't even know where I stand since there's no reply and when I sent an email they said its still under consideration, hope everything goes well to those waiting for their replies, if I fail to be accepted for 2014 that will be just a clear indication that GOD didn't plan for me to have a degree in MBChB, but in what so the future holds which could medical biochem as I'm starting to have much interest in

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I'm in my 2nd year BHsc and unfortunately did not make it into medicine. Its really sad having done the exact same subjects as the med students(and even being in their class and knowing that they're going to be doctors and you might not) what's most disheartening is that their are students who get 15%, when there are so many of us out there who would do a much better job, but have been rejected.
I am however going to persevere and apply for gemp in 2014. Can anyone tell me what the HSC test is about? And also, will it work in my favour if I did the exact same subjects as MbbCh at wits for 1st and 2nd year?

H.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Chartered Accountant and still have dreams of being a doctor. Dnt know where to start. Do I do all the first year science subjects then apply? Has anyone tried the Cuba route?

Anonymous said...

The wits website is quite comprehensive regarding the requirements for GEMP. I would read all the info there first and then arrange to speak to Mrs Schreuder at medical school if you're still not sure about courses and such.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

WITS GEMP COORDINATOR
Mrs Elizabeth Schreuder
011 717 2029 Elizabeth.Schreuder@wits.ac.za

Anonymous said...

http://www.wits.ac.za/health/gemp/

Anonymous said...

Hi all

I finished my Optometry degree 6 years ago and have always wanted to study medicine. Does anyone know if I can apply for Gemp 2014 even though I finished my degree more than 4 years ago? Or do you have to apply within 4 years after graduating?

I would appreciate any info you can give me?

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I finished my degree in 2005 and I've been accepted into GEMP 1 in 2013. I don't think it matters when you finished your degree, but I think they have a cut-off age of 45.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Congrats for getting accepted!! thanks for the information. Do you think doing community service work helps? I have not done a lot of it since graduating, just wondering if I should start doing more.

Thanks
B

Anonymous said...

Hi B

They told us this year that they tried to make it as objective as possible. They only considered academic results and not the biographical questionnaire and did not hold interviews. So community service probably wasn't a major factor this year. They keep changing criteria every year so it would be best to speak to someone at the faculty.

All the best!

Serena Young Lee said...

Hey, so I'm new to all this GEMP. Is the NBT absolutely required of all applicants to GEMP?

Witsie said...

Hi, all
congrats to everyone who made it for 2013, and for everyone who didn't, be strong, medicine is not the only career in the medical scope.

I will be applying for gemp this year for 2014, i am studying a BHSc (biomed) degree, and would like to know, from everyone who got in for advice, on what they did to ensure their acceptance. Also, i'm an indian female, and have heard that this hinders my chances due to old stereotypes that most indian girls do not actually become doctors. This is rather unfair, but i don't know how truthful it is. Could someone who got accepted for gemp please give me some advice, it would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks,
witsie

Helena said...

Hi All!

This blog is interesting reading as I aspire to apply for GEMP in future and because I am a Research Psychologist.
The future is still a couple of years away as I am a mom of 2 young boys (2.5yrs and 10 months). Luckily they accept appliocants up to 45years of age.
I would like to come in contact with a mother who is currently on the GEMP. I would love to qualify as a doctor but have to know how it will impact on my family.

Thanks

Matt said...

Hi Rich,

I am amazed at how many people with a passion for medicine have not been accepted at Wits. I have a similar story to yours. I completed a BSc and I was going to do honours in Pharmacology but decided against it and did the PDM instead.

I also did paramedic work and logged over 1000 hours through ST John Ambulance. I applied 4 times with no acceptance.

I was accepted into Dentistry but not into medicine? I dont know how their selection process works but I am pretty sure you have to have luck on your side.

I have to agree with you, all students hoping to do medicine need to have a Plan B just in case things dont go to plan.

I am in the IT industry now, its sad that so many passionate people lose out on their dream.

I have to ask, are you happy now?

Rich said...

Hey Matt

A lot of my class mates in PDM had medical / Bsc undergrad degrees because they had also been trying to get into medicine and then had to change course like me. I can't believe how many people I know got into medicine without doing 1 hour of any kind of community service, never mind 1000 hours like you!

I am glad to say that I am actually happy now though - not that I would have been unhappy if I had become a doctor. Life is different to what I had planned / was expecting but it's still good, and I am making the most of it, so yes, I am happy.

I hope you manage to find some happiness too!

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I have applied every year since I matriculated (7 times) and have still been unsuccessful. I am a qualified dietitian currently studying my masters in New York and am hoping to try get in again when I come back home. I know nothing is based on the countless community service hours I have logged, the fact that medicine is my passion or that I ace those WAPT tests every time. Its just a very sad situation.

Anonymous said...

What an intreseting blog, I'm an optometrist and this is my 2nd year working but I feel my pasion for being a doctor is far much stronger & the calling un-ignorable. I've recently heard about the GEMP & I too want to apply for the year 2014, bt I'm not very sure of the procedure, please enlighten me........

Anonymous said...

Does anyone who studied for the Wapt test last year want to sell their human anatomy and physiology as well as essentials of human anatomy and physiology text books?

Thanks
B

Anonymous said...

What a great, informative blog! Thanks Rich and others who have shared their stories. I applied to GEMP last year and was not even invited to sit the WAPT.

Re community service - where can one volunteer? Someone has mentioned St John's ambulance, are there any other "clinically oriented" projects/charities? Any ideas will be very much appreciated.

Best of luck to all aspiring doctors.

Rich said...

If I was going to apply again I would not waste too much time on community service... Rather focus on academics and make sure your marks are as good as they can be. Most of the people I know who got into medicine (with the exception of 1 or 2) never did a single hour of community service before they were accepted.

Having said that, I don't think there are any clinics or hospitals that won't accept volunteers. I did community service at the Christian clinic out on the road towards Hartebeespoort Dam, observed surgery and ward rounds at Baragwanath and Tshepong Hospital (in Klerksdorp). But I also put in some good hours in the casualty at Milpark Hospital.

You can only go and speak to the right people at these places and see if they will have you, though it is often easier if you do have some connection.

All the best.

Rich said...

p.s. you could also get involved in 'Docs' at the medical school if it still exists? They used to go out into the city once a week and help homeless people in all kinds of ways. Medically, spiritually and physically - giving them food etc.

SkinnyG said...

Hey Rich, its Greg Skinner here. I was very fortunate to get into Gemp. it took me 4 applications! I only applied the 4th time because a friend forced me too. I am enjoying medicine now but did come close to calling it quits in internship. It is very demoralising working in certain departments/hospitals. To be honest what people in South Africa need are skills, decent employment and education. Healthcare is obviously important but is secondary to enabling people to take care of themselves. Many if not most people we see at clinics and hospitals are there for conditions that could be prevented.

I dont regret getting into medicine but realise to make a sustainable difference in South Africa we need brilliant entrepeneurs, researchers, business people etc, etc to come up with creative solutions to the underlying problems facing South Africa. I'm not discouraging those who truly want to do medicine but for those who want to transform our society medicine may not be the best starting point.

Greg

Good discussion

Rich said...

Hey Greg, great to hear from you and thanks for the insightful feedback. You are always an inspiration.

I'm glad that you pushed through your tough internship experiences. It's encouraging to know that there are people like you out there doing their best to make a difference however they can.

I do hear you - South Africa needs so much in addition to good doctors - there are a lot of opportunities to improve life /lives in general here.

All the best and stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rich,

Very sad story and I have been in the exact boat as you. Instead of quitting at Honours Level, I did a Masters Degree to increase my chances.Still no joy!

I wanted to do it for the passion that I have for medicine and still have but have made peace with it after several applications.

Guess its not meant to be and the state is happy with some doctors that are useless, incompetent in most cases and will take their time to do the job because of their attitude and unwillingness to help.

PS: They will chill and make very sick people wait for hours before they attended to because now they Doctors and really dont care for the people. All the bullshit they spoke of being passionate dies the day they get the degree.

NOTE: Not all doctors are like that but most of them are!

Rich said...

I think it's a case of there not being enough doctors (with a lot of qualified doctors that we do have leaving the country to boot). During my community service experiences I saw scenarios where the doctor who was on call would never stop working if they were expected to keep going until all the waiting patients had been seen to, those queues grow. There are too many people and not enough doctors. Realistically, the only way you could get through the queues you are talking about is to put mechanical / robot doctors in place who don't need to sleep, eat (or go to the toilet) ever. Doctors are human beings and have needs of their own. Passion is clearly important but I don't know that any single human being has enough passion to meet the overwhelming demands of practicing medicine in Africa.

Reference Greg's comment, 2 up - There are so many other primary needs in South Africa over medical ones. I know that people used to go and queue at the clinic just because it was something for them to do. Not everyone in those long queues is physically sick... a lot of them actually have other needs and doctors are some of the few people they can go and 'visit' and make them feel cared for. There are all kinds of expectations placed on doctors in this country, and a lot of doctors aren't up to the challenge and leave, which makes it even more challenging for the doctors who are left behind. I think we need to cut the doctors who are working in South Africa some slack and South Africa needs to do something about training more doctors and keeping them in the country!

Anonymous said...

Sad story rich...do not mean to be prejudice to fellow african country men,but so many passionate local South Africans about Medicine,and yet our local Hospitals are full of foreign Doctors.What is wrong with our Institutions.Our higher learning institutions are also contributing in failing both us and the goverment. So unfair!

Anonymous said...

Ok so I wanna try out for gemp too but it seems like it's tough...anyways, I won't give up. I'll keep trying and trying until they get sick of me and they'll have no choice but to accept me Lol...hope my strategy works.

thandiswa ntoyanto said...

mhhhm! thanx rich for this post!! it will run for many more years to come, trust me!lol.

I am a forth year Pharmacy student 2013. Im planning to go do the GEMP 1 next year. I do hope they will consider me . I have very good mARks for last year, and hopefully this year, I will also do as good. .

Thandi

Anonymous said...

Could someone please give me an indication of which month of the year the WAPT tests are normally written.

Thanks
B

jHat said...

Hi Anonymous,

So I believe the WAPT is traditionally written in September - and I have it under fairly good authority that the WAPT will be written on the 18 September this year (2013).

Is anybody from a completely non medical related field getting ready for the WAPT this year? How are you managing? Do you have any good resources, past papers, etc ?

Anonymous said...

Dear All,

For the latest on application process, updated objectives and most importantly the WAPT test date for 2013 please visit:

http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/health/entities/chse/gemp/10056/entryrequirements.html

Happy studying guys

Ashleaigh said...

Hi there, I'm new on the blog. I just wanted to say, I'm quite familiar with the system since I studied a BSc (Biochemistry& Cell Biology and Human Physiology) at Wits and got in straight after that to do GEMP 1 in 2012. I am now in GEMP 2.
Just some wisdom to add quick: if you're in Matric and applying to First Year Medicine, please put BHSc Biomedical Sciences as your 2nd option! This course does the same subjects as the Medicine class in 1st and 2nd year (including the Anatomy dissections which hold you in very good stead for Medicine), and then they do other subjects in 3rd year. My reason for saying this is the best option to put as your second option, is that MANY of the 3rd year BHSc students get accepted into GEMP 1 whereas very few from BSc get accepted. Also, there is a new thing Wits Medical School has started- the top 2nd year students from BHsc are offered a place in 3rd year Medicine (same as GEMP 1), thereby bypassing 3rd year BHSc. The 2nd year BHsc students do not have to apply for this intake, it is automatic that they select the top students for this.
Also, I think Tukkies BSc Biological Sciences is a good option to apply for in Matric, if you don't get into Medicine, because in their first year, the top BSc students in the first semester, get selected to join the medicine class.

One more piece of important advice (here, it is specifically for GEMP). It's all about marks! Sometimes you might think it is important to be on many committees during undergraduate years or do 3 majors, or learn an extra language, or do extra paramedical courses because it'll look good on your application, but please don't prioritise these things if it means your marks will take a hit- they look at marks as the main thing, and they want to see 80 % and above (yes I know, for a 3rd year BSc that is almost impossible, but I did it and so can you).
Also, the GEMP 1 intake does not seem to prefer any race. In fact I see many white people getting in to GEMP. I stand corrected, but just thought this may encourage some whities out there.

To all who are trying- please don't give up, Medicine is such an awesome, rewarding field. I am a white person, and I also didn't get into first year med, I know exactly how you feel- you feel like maybe there is something wrong with you specifically that you can't get in- don't believe it! You are just being caught in the system! Anyone can study Medicine! Although it is a commitment and can be hard at times, it is totally manageable.

Let me know if you have any questions. Ashleigh :-)

Rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I have been considering studying medicine since who knows when and over the years, the application form ends up on my desk but after reading all these posts, confusion still rules my mind. All those doing the program, is it worth it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ashleigh

Thanks for your great information. You mentioned in your post that they are looking for candidates with an average of at least 80%. My average was approximately 74%. Do you think that there is any chance for me for being accepted?

Would appreciate your input.

Lili said...

Wow this is quite hectic. I am also applying for med but after reading this I don't know what my chances are. But why only Wits? Did you not apply to any other medical schools?

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Did anyone get accepted from the humanities field?

Anonymous said...

ok so i was very naughty in school.. a rebel of some kind, best 5 years ever. However i got my act together at university and without doing science at school, i got into a bsc and i am in second year doing well majoring in biochem and human physiology. But the problem with the biographical questions that wits requires, is it asks a lot about school involvement which mine is at a severe minimum.

So do I still have a fighting chance taking into account the lack of school involvement. Also what marks should one be getting to guarantee entry into gemp?

Rich said...

There is no such thing as a guarantee of being accepted into GEMP - You need to get the highest marks you can pull off. Back when I applied, it was pretty apparent that biographical stuff counted for jam as most people I knew who got in hadn't done a single hour of community work - Rather focus on getting the highest marks you can so that you might be considered, that's the best you can do.

Anonymous said...

i am real very thankful for the person who created this blog. i am a 3rd year biomedical stdnts at Uj, we did biochemistry , haemaatology, immunology, anatomy and physiology, physics and chemistry, microbiology, all of them i got them distinction with as high marks as 92% and low as 77. my average is all above 75+++, till 3rd still abv 75% average, and i am studying my
btech next year.. i am one of the UJs top stdnts with numerous awards and invitations and memberships of UJ top stdnts achievers. i am wholly heartedly planing to apply next year 2014 for 2015 GEMP. do i stand a chance guys.. i'm a bit discouraged though. i hv strted studying anatomy and physiology and my molecular biology.. so as to compete very well if invited for WAPT. i am to be one of the best.. guys do i stand a chance.. does it worth all this early study. Felix Made

GCBaby said...

Dear Friends...
Shooo, at the beginning of this blog, my heart was beating in all sorts of directions... in anguish for all those people who have been trying to get into this program and have failed, those who have made it, and those who are looking to get in. I am currently sitting with a BCom Informatics from UNISA, an MBA IT & Finance , and completing a Medical Informatics Masters at UKZN. I did have an opportunity to pursue here in Botswana, but I was not ready for the commitment at the time and went into IT. After working in my current organisation in the Health Informatics Department it has rekindled that desire to finish what I started and left behind so long ago. I started looking around for more information just this week! I would like to sincerely thank the owner of the blog for creating such a platform. It just goes to show that one can never run away from their true calling! I would also like to thank Ashleaigh for calming my nerves and giving us the low down on a potential approach to get into this program... One question though... is Wits the only School offering such a program in SA? P.S. Please do not be discouraged if you don't get in... At least they recommend plan B's you could do to try another attempt... the GEMP program where I originally come from is LITERALLY impossible to get in regardless of colour, gender, or what is in you bank account...(wink).. Good Luck to you all and I am definitely bookmarking this page for future insights into this journey!!. Ciao GCBaby

Anonymous said...

Dear Doctors-to-be, please check the wits self-service page as updates on application status are now available. Sadly no invite this year and it was a straight out unsuccessful (2nd attempt). I must be honest, its heart-breaking. To those who are invited for the 12th of September, I sincerely wish you good luck for WAPT and a spot for GEMP 2014. For those in my shoes, just remember 'Everything will be alright in the end, if it's not alright, then it's not yet the end'...so until then, please keep your dreams of studying medicine alive, keep applying, keep reading, never loose hope and have backup plans B, C and D to channel all that passion for medicine elsewhere. Until we chat again for WAPT 2015, keep chasing your dreams guys!

Anonymous said...

hey there guys!

i was wondering if there was anyoone out there who could give me any sort of advice for writing the WAPT test this year(2013)

i've had a look at the example questions but are there any things i should specifically focus on or are there any tips that anyone can offer?

i would really appreciate the help!

Anonymous said...

I think you should study hard and know your work.. i am hoping u have been studying since the beginning of 2013. you have to work hard hard and be at your best level possible.. the test is hard .. so i'm sure your have the guidelines of what to study from wits... its actual everything ..
looking for tips etc etc will put u in trouble..watch the steps..its gona get steeper @ annoynonmous

Lisa Selwood said...

Hi there everyone! i am a pharmacist and have been invited to write the WAPT in September. Is there anyone I can chat to regarding this test, just want some idea of what to expect! Thanks alot:)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to those invited to WAPT 2013. Regarding the test, please be early as there are usually several selection tests going on at the same time and the venue gets chaotic. Standard exam rules apply so no bags etc in the exam room. PLEASE DONT FORGET YOUR ID. As its an MCQ, sharp pencils and eraser are most NB. NO calculators are needed. The Test generally commences around 9am and you will be done by 12. It seems long but it goes so fast as the entire test is MCQ. Please read through and carefully understand the WAPT sample questions on the website. For e.g. if there are 100 questions, only about 20 questions (Type A) will be straight-forward answers and the majority will be (Type B) where you will be given a list a statements and for each you must state whether they are true or false. At least 80% of the test will be in this format (unless it changes this year). All chapters from all modules are tested in some way or the other and please ensure you do study the chapter on CANCER. This year candidates have new sections like Malaria, Bacteria, HIV etc....Do study them well as these are most exciting and you can do well in these sections. Most importantly, cover all the course content thoroughly, keep calm, read daily, pray daily, have faith in yourself. Don't make the test outcome a make or break reflection of who you are and what you are worth....as no test has the power to truly determine your true essence and intelligence. If all goes well, you will be in 3rd year next year, if not, ITS OK, reapply and TRY AGAIN...As stated by the faculty there are a very few available spots so off course its becoming more competitive each year....what I am trying to say, is do your best but if it doesn't go according to plan, make sure you have a backup plan for your medical passion. In the days before the test, do not cram, get enough sleep and on the test day, pray, stay calm and most NB....read each question carefully and you will be just fine. Study well and best wishes for a most happy ending.

Rich said...

I would take this seemingly helpful comment posted on the 9th of August with a pinch of salt as it was posted anonymously and I can not vouch for its validity (or for any other comments validity for that matter). All the best everyone who is applying for 2014!

Anonymous said...

Dear Rich, you are welcome to delete the post of the 9th August. It only comes from someone who wrote WAPT & wanted to share their experience while giving hope if things don't go as planned. I don't think someone would take their time to write on your blog without the best of intentions but if you unhappy with the ''seemingly helpful and honest advice'', please be my guest and delete the post.

Rich said...

Okay thank you for the helpful insight anonymous, it just sounded like someone had posted official info from wits, but thank you for providing some context, I will leave your comment published now that it has been clarified

Anonymous said...

Never Ever Give Up.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the usefull info guys! Good to know I'm not tackling this alone! Where on WITS' website are the practice questions? I havnt received an invitation yet - but was told today that they're not even halfway through all the applicants yet - so just studying it up anyway. Hoping for the best.

Lisa Selwood said...

There are only 3 practice questions which is why I am freaking out a bit!! You can get them from the GEMP WAPT learning objectives - at the end.

Anonymous said...

29 Aug 2013, application is still under consideration! No WAPT invitation yet. Wtf?? Other people got their invitations on the 9th already and most, their rejection letters. What must happen now???

Unknown said...

so my friends and i have been trying to study for the WAPT these past few days. but being 3rd year BSc they tend to cram us with projects so its making life exceptionally stressful... cannot believe the test is on thursday. shitting balls. good luck to everyone writing !!

Anonymous said...

Any last minute advice for those of us invited to write the wapt??
Anything we should focus on?
Tips?


I'd really appreciate it. I'm really stressed
-Amy

Lisa Selwood said...

How did everyone find the exam yesterday?

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest how many non-WITS graduates/students were invited to WAPT this year?

Maria said...

University of Ghana also offers GEMP:
http://ugms.edu.gh/index.php/admissions/graduate-entry-medical-programme

Anonymous said...

I found the test difficult! I know its probably too soon but has anyone heard anything?

Anonymous said...

I also found the test difficult, I do think it was a reasonable test, but because of the negative marking, I found it tricky. I have not heard anything yet. 4 weeks, then we should know if we passed or failed.

B

Anonymous said...

Reading everyone's comments has really been an eye-opener for me out here.

I'm a Grade 12 IEB student writing my first final paper in a month or so.

I've applied for Medicine in, I think, every university across the country. Also listing Pharmacy and a BSc in Biological Sciences as my second choices wherever I could.

Reading the posts here are a real motivation to simply work harder, I hope it pays off though. I'm feeling really sorry for everyone else on here, and I wish everyone the best of luck.

By not being black, I know my choices are limited. So I've looked into China, Mauritius and the UAE. Things look pretty promising there especially for South Africans and there seems to be quite a growing community.

I do hope the GEMP spreads out to other universities as well though, for everyone's sake.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone

Can anyone tell me if they've received news of provisional placement yet?

Anonymous said...

latest news abt entrance exams is that more than half failed and some people did well.

jHat said...

hi Anonymous,

Where did you get this info from?

Anonymous said...

i got the info directly from wits GEMP office and I inquired to know abt the test results.

Anonymous said...

Hi all

Does anyone know when we will get our results?
I can't believe it takes 6 weeks for a computer to mark a few tests?

B

Anonymous said...

People have already started receiving rejection emails apparently.

Anonymous said...

HEY EVERYONE

I JST RECEIVED REJECTION EMAIL FROM WITS AND MY PROBLEM IS THAT THEY CANT GIVE ME MY REULTS TO BE ABLE TO SEE HOW BAD I FAILED THIS YEAR COZ LAST YEAR I FAILED +++ BUT THIS YEAR I FIND THE PAPER WAS REASONABLE BT NOW IM DISAPOINTED IF THEY CANT ISSUE RESULTS AND THEY JIST TOLD ME THEY BASED THEIR SELECTION TO OTHER THINGS. THIS IS SO CONFUSING I REALLY NEED MY RESULTS.

Anonymous said...

For the love of medicine, has anyone received good news from WITS this year? Its quite sad that WITS GEMP is slowly loosing its appeal and the original objective of giving graduates a 2nd chance of getting into medicine seems to have been forgotten. WITS seem to be giving their limited invites and "3rd year spots" to their students i.e 2nd year BHSc students while majority non-WITS POSTGRADUATES receive outright rejection emails without valid reasons, year after year.

This is just my personal opinion so please don't start a war of words on this forum if you feel otherwise.

All the best to those who received acceptance for 2014.

Anonymous said...

I've heard nothing from Wits besides that the status of my application is as of yet unchanged. I don't know if this is a good thing though? I haven't been told if I passed the WAPT either.....

Anonymous said...

As far as feedback goes, I received a request for more info on my NSFAS application and a rejection letter for GEMP, on same day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have not heard anything either......not sure if that is good or bad? Has anyone been accepted?

B

Layla said...

Hang in there B, as they say "no news is good news" I hear rejection letters always go out first, so I am saying a special prayer that you get great news soon.

This forum is becoming depressing instead of motivating so will someone please share your good news of "acceptance" as soon as you get feedback.

Crossing fingers & toes
Layla

Phil said...

Nerves!!!!

I havent heard anything either but my surname is in the last part of the alphabet so they might just not have reached the V's yet...touch wood!!!

Would really appreciate anyone with positive feedback at this stage so if anyone is accepted let us know please guys!

And to someone who posted here a while ago, im not a Wits graduate, got the wapt invite...whether im accepted still remains to be seen though...

Good luck all!!!

Phil

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil

I don't think it has anything to do with Surnames, mine starts with an A, and I have not heard anything either : -)

Anonymous said...

Hey guys

I sat the WAPT tests now in September too. I decided to phone them as I also never heard whether I passed or not.

Apparently letters were sent out two weeks ago already and it seems that a portion of the batch didn't go through to everyone. So they are busy trying to resend it all.

On a more positive note I passed the WAPT test and progressing through to the next selection phase...P.S. I'm not a wits graduate either ;)

So now we wait again.

Holding thumbs and toes I get in and hopefully see some of you guys there next year too.

Ray

Phil said...

Jeez what was ensuring you write your correct email ad on the control sheet for then?! Do they really post rejection letters?!

Psssh...anyways, just heard we should all give it another week or so. Wouldnt hold my breath, but hopefully everyone will know asap.

Anonymous said...

I passed the Wapt!!!So now we wait again to hear if we get accepted or not.

B

Anonymous said...

Okay so I was informed that I failed the WAPT test yet I really thought I passed. I asked to see the papers as I am not convinced that I failed, I was told under no circumstances are we allowed to see the papers.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Anonymous said...

How did you guys find out? Did you call Wits? I havent received any letter or email notifyinf me whether I passed or failed the WAPT.

Finally woke up to reality said...

Same here anonymous from above. I found WAPT fine but was also informed that I failed and that no further details could be shared. The faculty officer suggested 'getting some tuition and reapplying for 2015'. As I have chased this for far too long now with the same disappointing and heartbreaking results, I am officially done. Time to find a new dream and live a little. There is more to life than Medicine and WITS.

To those that were accepted, congrats guys. Have an awesome journey in med school.

Anonymous said...

To Finally woke up to reality said...

I was told that Wits students that studied these subjects at Wits have no edge over the non-Wits students and that I should also consider getting 'tuition for the WAPT test' from Wits students. I too am too old for this.

Anonymous said...

I am a non-wits student and finished my degree 8 years ago. I just heard that I passed the WAPT.

So don't give up :-)

The next chapter... said...

To the post above, well done on passing WAPT. Thanks for your encouraging words BUT we are not "giving up", some of us are just facing reality that our time is up! While many of us have amassed several years of work experience in medical fields like nursing, pharmacy, dietetics, occupational therapy etc, completed postgraduate degrees, clocked in the community service hours, done First Aid courses, sent good referee letters from academics and have even heeded the faculty advice of "getting tuition" by taking additional courses, we still had no joy with acceptance for several years in a row. For the next intake (2015), I would have passed the cutoff age for entry into GEMP so thats why I'm officially done. I wish you and everyone else an amazing medical school journey. Please don't reply to say how sad or sorry you feel about my situation because after many years of only chasing medicine, I'm finally off to start a new adventure :-)

The next chapter.....here I come!

Anonymous said...

Good luck for the next chapter. I too have applied many times for GEMP and have passed the WAPT for the second time. This is the last time I will be applying so hopefully I will get in.

Does anyone have any information as to when we will find out about provisional placement or how many people ultimately get accepted?

beryl ngcobo said...

Hey can any of you confirm if they really consider other graduates with non schience degrees e.g. BA, BCom,Law etc.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many people passed the wapt at all?

Also any news on when we will hear about provisional placements and how many places are available?

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned above that more than half failed (whether it's true or not).

Would be nice to know how many of us passed. This whole process is taking way too long...

How many people wrote the exam? +/- 300 I'm guessing?

Anyways, I hope to see you guys and girls next year in GEMP1 2014!

Anon non-Wits Grad student :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you.

This process is immensely slow. I understand that they are busy and it takes time but flip we need to know earlier. A person needs to kind of know where they will be next year.

This uncertainty is killing me haha

Hopefully see everyone next year too.

If anyone hears anything please post about it

Anonymous said...

I called on Monday and they said they would start slotting people in over the next 3 weeks! I have the issue of needing to secure a job if this doesn't happen, so I cannot wait until the end of the year to hear about this. I hope they let us know soon.

Rich said...

I know it's been a while since I applied to get in to medicine, but I would say don't count on Wits to keep you up to date on anything.

I didn't receive rejection letters from them for my first 2 application attempts. They did let me know that my application had been unsuccessful on my third and final attempt, but I only received the letter in late December - I read it on new years day.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys

I also wrote and passed the WAPT, just to share what a fellow class mate heard from wits.. +- 500 ppl wrote the WAPT this year and only 160 ppl passed.
They said there are 40 guaranteed places for next year but they usually end up accepting about 120 graduates.
They also could not say when they will let us know only that it'll be before the end of the year. The students still completing their degrees only submit their final marks by end November so it could still take a while. This is obviously not official information, just thought id share :)

Anonymous said...

Sooo ... they should just accept all 160 :) Shortage of medical doctors and all that.

Thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many people were accepted into this years GEMP1 group?

Anonymous said...

Will anyone be so kind as to post if they know for 100% certain of someone that has been accepted for next years GEMP intake? Or were accepted themselves? Seriously pissing the ladies at admin off calling the whole time, got a less than royal treatment haha...

Anonymous said...

Hi

Can anyone confirm whether they will accept someone with a BA degree who did all the required Science subjects with Unisa as this is found on their website?

Regards

Anonymous said...

Thing is some of us need to secure accommodation and part time jobs etc should we be accepted (generally sorting out our futures).

It's beyond ridiculous that they are drawing this out for so long.

There is no accountability on their part either.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree! All of us have been waiting patiently for around 6 months for this decision to be made?

Rich said...

It was exactly the same story when I was applying all those years ago... Some things never change.

beryl ngcobo said...

Hi,

To anonymous who said...

""Hi
Can anyone confirm whether they will accept someone with a BA degree who did all the required Science subjects with Unisa as this is found on their website?

Regards

4 November 2013 16:12""

I sent an email asking the same thing, I'll post as soon as i get the responce.I also would like to know for sure, don't know, whether i should have just phoned instead of sending an email.

Rich said...

Beryl and anonymous...

I don't think you will get Wits to say "yes, we will accept you (or anyone else) who has met specific requirements". This is not how they work... they don't make promises to anyone until they send off official acceptance letters.

I do understand your frustration though, but perhaps you need to rephrase your question and ask them if they would consider your application given your current qualifications. This may get a more helpful answer from them in terms of "yes, your application will be considered as you have met the minimum requirements". But I would expect a vague, rehearsed, unhelpful answer at best, whatever question you throw at them.

beryl ngcobo said...

Thank you Rich, Very helpful info and advice.

Rich said...

Pleasure Beryl :) as always I wish you and all the other posters here the best and hope that you get to be some of the lucky ones who are picked for the next batch of GEMP 1 students.

Anonymous said...

They have the monopoly, hence their attitude towards us.

Sad.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything? This is getting ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Mrs Schreuder confirmed I passed wapt telephonically, but I havent even recieved the official confirmation email yet! So I think its a waiting game, just hope there is enough sane applicants left by the time they do decide to let us know...

Anonymous said...

I also received only a telephonic confirmation of my WAPT status. WITS has now said we have to wait another two weeks before hearing whether we have been accepted or not.

Anonymous said...

I doubt we will hear anything before December! If Wits say 2 weeks, they normally mean 4 weeks....

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything yet ? I don't know how long I can wait before going completely crazy, what a looong process this is!!!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what is going on.... We have been waiting for almost 2 and a half months since we wrote the WAPT.

Why is this taking so long?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they won't be accepting anyone and now don't know how to break the news to us :/

C'mon Wits... get your act together ...

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should hire a second person to reduce the work load and ergo stop wasting peoples lives.

Anonymous said...

i believe if anyone hasn't gotten any response after the WAPT, there's high chances that they through to the next selection phase, i recieved a rejection email and a letter as well mid october...so hang in there n pray harder...all the best!

Anonymous said...

Hi

i'm looking to try volunteer at a hospital or free clinic to gain some medical experience. I've really tried to find something but have been unsuccessful thus far. Does anyone know of a place or organization i could get hold of. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks
J

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,
The reason they're taking so long is cause they're still finalizing the current second year's marks to see how many of them get to third year. The number of GEMP students accepted after the initial 40 depends on the number of current second years who actually pass. That's why the confirmation emails come around December. I'm currently in second year and Ill see the rest of yall who'll make it next year!

Anonymous said...

If you don't mind me asking, how many 2nd year Wits med. students are writing supp. exams?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that information about why its taking so long. I think that was a more comprehensive answer than anyone from WITS has given me in months.

Does anyone know when Supp. exams are finished?

Anonymous said...

Currently there are 400 second years including medicine and BSc students. Supp exams are done, they're marking papers, also the third years supps are only next week so they also have to see how many need to repeat. I am a gemp 1 ( well as of last week gemp2 now) and I've spoken to the people in charge and there are are guaranteed 60 places for gemp1 next year. GOODLUCK guys!

Anonymous said...

To the post above, thanks for the information.

When you say 60 guaranteed, is that excluding the potential amount of places available after supp. exam students are taken into account?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Last year people received provisional acceptance from October? Why is it different this year?

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my late reply, 60 places for those accepted of the wapt group ie coming from post grad degrees.

To the last post, our group of gemp students did start hearing in cot last year but wapt was earlier and so was all the supp exams.

Will try and check the site everyday to answer anymore questions if they are any :)

Anonymous said...

No early provisional offers this year. Said they wanted to get the results of everyone finishing their degree and only then will everyone be considered together. Sounds like we're gonna be here well into December...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the information guys! So I'm guessing if the third years still have supps this week then their marks will only be out in the next two weeks. I cannot believe they make us wait this long. At this rate those that are accepted will have to register within days of hearing.

Rich said...

The selection / notification process has been this same way for years - It's just the way it 'works', no use getting too frustrated about it... All the best everyone!

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