GCSE grades are definitely important for Medicine, but there is no hard and fast rule categorising the grades as good or bad. Depending on where you apply, your GCSE grades will have a varying level of impact on whether you’ll be offered a place.
Most universities use a mixture of your personal statement, A-Level predicted grades, GCSE grades and your reference to decide whether to invite you for an interview. Once you’ve been called for interview, most universities will only consider your performance on the day to decide whether to give you that offer (unless a tie-breaking situation arises). So, your GCSE grades will only play a part in deciding whether you should be invited for interview.
The main thing you need to consider is the different ways different universities will use your grades. Some medical schools will assign you points for each of your grades, rank you and then discard the bottom applicants. If you’ve got straight A*s that’s great and those are the places you should apply to maximise your chances! Look into this carefully though because some places will rank you but assign the same number of points for an A or an A*…so getting a mixture of those two grades will then place you in the top band.
There are other medical schools which will simply have a threshold of grades and only want you to achieve higher than the grades they have defined. These universities won’t rank you against other candidates, so if you feel your grades aren’t high enough to score within the top band, these places might be for you!
Ultimately, GCSE grades only matter to the extent that you let them. There will be medical schools who love looking at them, and others that don’t place much emphasis on them. However, all the universities are pretty transparent about the way they use your application, so it’s up to you to look into it carefully and apply strategically!