With around 470 places available to study Medicine within the CAO system I estimate that less than 1% of applicants sitting the leaving cert actually gain a place. To do so they must effectively be capable of achieving a minimum of c.570 points as well as achieving a high score of around 175 on the very challenging aptitude tests known as the HPATs.
Unfortunately many students seem to adopt an all or nothing approach to applying for medicine. By this I mean that being offered a place on a medicine course seems to be the only goal that would satisfy them. Because of the very high standards needed to qualify for a place, I feel that many students who adopt this approach are setting themselves up for major disappointment.