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Whats it really like being a doctor/medical student?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by HaNzY)
    Well I'm glad it's worked out for you, but some people's exams go on until the early part of June and so if they are going out with medics, they don't get much time to see each other. That's what I was moaning about, they could have given you July off instead of April when everybody else's exams are. Again, this is something to know before people apply which is why I said it in the first place. We knew he wouldn't get as much holiday as me, but we didn't know he could get his holiday when everyone else was doing exams...we do now. So I wanted to let others know this fact too. When he is getting paid a full time salary, this issue doesn't bother me, he should do full time hours then of course and book off holiday. But it is not a full time job yet, you are paying them for you to do full time job hours pretty much, which personally I do not agree with. If they want you working full time hours then they should at least pay your tuition (and don't tell me because I know they do in 5th year), but they should be doing it earlier. Because let's face it, students are doing quite a lot of stuff to help the running of the hospitals (I could be very specific here but I have decided not to, what's the point).
    We pay a tiny amount towards our training (obviously this will increase with the tuition fee increase) but it costs somewhere in the region of £250k to train a doctor. I have no problem working hard, working in the summer, having short holidays, not seeing friends, family and my boyfriend as much as I would like, being the dogsbody on the wards, and I don't mind paying for it because I know that in the end I will have a good, stable job with good pay. If you and/or your boyfriend don't get this it's time to get out now or learn to live with it and stop complaining because it gets worse over the next few years - as we learn more they expect us to do more and in 5th year there's only a total of 4 weeks holiday (shock horror!).

    I feel incredibly priviledged to be studying medicine at Birmingham.
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    (Original post by Ganky)
    Just saw you said he's at Birminham. When I was researching which medical schools to apply to, I found birmingham had loads and loads of contact hours, well above the average for medical schools, almost up there at the top with Oxford and Cambridge. Its quite unusual like that. So for anyone applying... don't let this thread put you off - do your research, there's a huge spectrum.
    Where did you find that birmingham has lots of contact hours?
    Thanks
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    (Original post by groovyangel2008)
    Where did you find that birmingham has lots of contact hours?
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    Went to the open day this year, they said it in the lecture, and spoke to students etc. The campus was so so nice.
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    (Original post by groovyangel2008)
    Where did you find that birmingham has lots of contact hours?
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    (Original post by Ganky)
    Went to the open day this year, they said it in the lecture, and spoke to students etc. The campus was so so nice.
    We do have a very high level of contact, but I would expect that of any medicine course, no?
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    (Original post by HaNzY)
    I know you get given percentage marks, but as you say you can convert them to grades (which is what I did to make the post easier to understand), so I don't know what your point is there lol.

    I'm not trying to give Brum a bad rep, however, I have not had a very good experience and I am damn glad to be leaving (now I'm talking about my own course as well). I am aware that different people have different experiences, that is why I said that I hope someone with a better experience jumps on the thread. But I also know medicine isn't a bunch of roses like some folks make out, so I wanted to stress this side of it to the OP.

    And yes my bf is incredibly committed, and he doesn't do all the reading either, he doesn't have time to lol! And he has had to be in hospital for at least 8 hours most days, so I think you had lucky placements! Aren't you really p***ed off that you get like no summer? Going back in June is complete and utter ****e.

    I'm glad you are having a good time, my bf is as well, even though he moans about it a little bit. You probably live there which makes it a lot easier, we chose to live away, which whilst saving money is a good idea, it's quite an issue because I don't care how much Brum say they cater for home students, they do not. You know the FOCSOC (freshers off campus society)??? Held most of its meetings late at night in the centre of Brum so only people who live near the uni and Brum can really go (it would probably cost me like £50 in taxi fees to go to one meeting!). So whilst the place is probably awesome for people living there (which I have no doubt it is) it makes ridiculous claims to those who live a substantial distance away...anyway, I'm ranting now lol.

    My main point to the OP (and others) was do your research into the course, the career and the uni, before making any decisions. I know this is an obvious point, but it is so important. I found that the more research I did, the more I was put off it, but obviously it will be the opposite for others so it's an important exercise to do
    It sounds like Brum does have a huge amount of contact hours but I think that living away from uni sounds like a massive mistake. You get out of uni what you put into it and obviously living away from home is going to make things cheaper but also harder. You're meant to live near uni, some unis like Oxford insist on it.

    I'll graduate when I'm 24, at 23 I'm not expecting months off during the summer whilst most people my age will be working and get 3/4 weeks all year.
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    (Original post by My-My-My)
    We do have a very high level of contact, but I would expect that of any medicine course, no?
    I've heard that Brum are pretty rigorous, I'm about to become a medic fresher at a different uni and I agree with you, I'm not going into this thinking I'll have the same amount of lectures as an English student or a history student, the degrees are taught differently.
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    (Original post by Sherbet)
    I've heard that Brum are pretty rigorous, I'm about to become a medic fresher at a different uni and I agree with you, I'm not going into this thinking I'll have the same amount of lectures as an English student or a history student, the degrees are taught differently.
    Rigorous might not be the right word. It may just be they expect us to learn differently, more through lectures and small group teaching rather than self directed learning with books in the library or at home.
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    (Original post by My-My-My)
    We pay a tiny amount towards our training (obviously this will increase with the tuition fee increase) but it costs somewhere in the region of £250k to train a doctor. I have no problem working hard, working in the summer, having short holidays, not seeing friends, family and my boyfriend as much as I would like, being the dogsbody on the wards, and I don't mind paying for it because I know that in the end I will have a good, stable job with good pay. If you and/or your boyfriend don't get this it's time to get out now or learn to live with it and stop complaining because it gets worse over the next few years - as we learn more they expect us to do more and in 5th year there's only a total of 4 weeks holiday (shock horror!).

    I feel incredibly priviledged to be studying medicine at Birmingham.
    You're hilarious and brutally honest, and I like that! Honestly, your insight to studying medicine at birmingham has made me feel so much better and I'm really looking forward to studying there in September
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    (Original post by My-My-My)
    We pay a tiny amount towards our training (obviously this will increase with the tuition fee increase) but it costs somewhere in the region of £250k to train a doctor. I have no problem working hard, working in the summer, having short holidays, not seeing friends, family and my boyfriend as much as I would like, being the dogsbody on the wards, and I don't mind paying for it because I know that in the end I will have a good, stable job with good pay. If you and/or your boyfriend don't get this it's time to get out now or learn to live with it and stop complaining because it gets worse over the next few years - as we learn more they expect us to do more and in 5th year there's only a total of 4 weeks holiday (shock horror!).

    I feel incredibly priviledged to be studying medicine at Birmingham.
    You seem to think I don't know this? Of course I knew he wouldn't get much holiday and that it gets worse and will get even less time off...doesn't stop me disagreeing with it though does it??

    I don't think you are fully reading my posts, I never said I wasn't expecting it to be like this, I really was (the only thing I didn't expect was for his holiday to be at a completely different time of the year to everyone else's, which is the main thing I disagree with) because as I've said the gazillionth time, I did my research when thinking of applying to medicine, and so did he.

    When I initially posted in this thread, I intended to give MY HONEST OPINION which is what the OP wanted. After all, the OP should get a wide range of opinions, it's no good getting all of one side and none of the other. Why does it matter to you that I disagree with some things about it? You are having a good time, good for you, tell OP your experience as that is just as important as mine. But as an aspiring doctor you should be very aware that everyone experiences things very differently. I know one guy in your year who developed an eating disorder not long ago because of the stress doing the course. But I know others who are really really loving it, especially now they are doing clinical, along with my boyfriend who is much happier doing clinical. And others are in the middle saying it's stressful but they are looking forward to actually working afterwards doing their chosen speciality. And another guy I know in your year failed a lot of his exams last summer, and I think my boyfriend said he failed the resits too...don't know if he re-sat the year or left though. So yeah, many varying opinions, which is what this thread should be about.
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    (Original post by Sherbet)
    It sounds like Brum does have a huge amount of contact hours but I think that living away from uni sounds like a massive mistake. You get out of uni what you put into it and obviously living away from home is going to make things cheaper but also harder. You're meant to live near uni, some unis like Oxford insist on it.

    I'll graduate when I'm 24, at 23 I'm not expecting months off during the summer whilst most people my age will be working and get 3/4 weeks all year.
    Well tbh I would actually want a summer so I could earn some money lol but hey ho, the fact there's not much time off wasn't really my point. It's important to note though, because if you wanted a couple of months of solid work/full time work during the summer, then that's pretty much out if you have 3 or 4 weeks off and go on holiday for 2 of them.

    And yeah, we thought we lived close enough to uni (10 miles away), couldn't really see the point in moving there. However it can take up to 2 hours to get in on some days when there's traffic. It was ok when we started, like half an hour travelling, but it's becoming a nightmare just lately (not really sure why, there's just a lot more cars on those roads, on every single route, and particularly a lot of road works within the last year). So yeah, living at uni is better, just I needed to save the little bit of student finance I was getting for my Masters degree which is a couple of thousand, and since I don't live *that* far away, I would feel like I was wasting money if I moved there. But it's just been a massive inconvenience to have to waste 2 to 4 hours travelling for one 50 minute lecture. So in that sense, my boyfriend was better off because his travelling at least was for a good jam packed day lol!
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    (Original post by HaNzY)
    Well tbh I would actually want a summer so I could earn some money lol but hey ho, the fact there's not much time off wasn't really my point. It's important to note though, because if you wanted a couple of months of solid work/full time work during the summer, then that's pretty much out if you have 3 or 4 weeks off and go on holiday for 2 of them.

    And yeah, we thought we lived close enough to uni (10 miles away), couldn't really see the point in moving there. However it can take up to 2 hours to get in on some days when there's traffic. It was ok when we started, like half an hour travelling, but it's becoming a nightmare just lately (not really sure why, there's just a lot more cars on those roads, on every single route, and particularly a lot of road works within the last year). So yeah, living at uni is better, just I needed to save the little bit of student finance I was getting for my Masters degree which is a couple of thousand, and since I don't live *that* far away, I would feel like I was wasting money if I moved there. But it's just been a massive inconvenience to have to waste 2 to 4 hours travelling for one 50 minute lecture. So in that sense, my boyfriend was better off because his travelling at least was for a good jam packed day lol!
    Ah I always wanted to move away and experience a different part of the country and I think living at home as a medic is a massive mistake, you just have too many contact hours a week to justify it, obviously different if you're doing a humanity and have some days with no lectures and can do extra reading etc at home. But it's a lot to fork out for halls if you could live at home, but I could live round the corner and still choose to pay for halls I want freedom!

    My summers look ok for the next 5 years, but shorten as my degree progresses. I don't mind not having loads of time off, I'll have fantastic earning potential when I graduate, part of being a medic is doing lots of work which can't all be done in normal term time, I've always known about it and I've accepted it .
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    This is an excellent thread

    Out of curiosity, any potential medical applicants put off applying now, considering what you've read?
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    (Original post by Sherbet)
    Ah I always wanted to move away and experience a different part of the country and I think living at home as a medic is a massive mistake, you just have too many contact hours a week to justify it, obviously different if you're doing a humanity and have some days with no lectures and can do extra reading etc at home. But it's a lot to fork out for halls if you could live at home, but I could live round the corner and still choose to pay for halls I want freedom!

    My summers look ok for the next 5 years, but shorten as my degree progresses. I don't mind not having loads of time off, I'll have fantastic earning potential when I graduate, part of being a medic is doing lots of work which can't all be done in normal term time, I've always known about it and I've accepted it .
    Fantastic then You seem like you know a lot about it and you should definitely go for it XD What areas do you think you may be interested in? Or do you have no idea yet, I think most people don't really know which area they'll fancy before they go hehe!
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    This is an excellent thread

    Out of curiosity, any potential medical applicants put off applying now, considering what you've read?
    No but it has been an informative thread! I never expected medical school and everything after to be easy. Figured that out from alot of research, work experience and just talking to people. It should be worth it though and I am excited for the highs and lows to come if I get in . Its important to have some sort of idea what it will be like, dont exactly want to walk in there niaive and crash and burn .
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    (Original post by thisloveisours)
    So I want to be a doctor....but this morning my biology teacher had a big speech on how her brothers did medicine but it was exam after exam after exam and they had no life and no time to themselves ever. Even after they qualified it was still exams and long long hours and no social life at all.

    So I was just wondering what is it actually like at medical school? How much free time do you get? And being an FY1 & FY2?

    Just she said dont go in blinkered because you just want to do something sciency and help people cause that is stupid because there are plenty of other jobs that you can do that in!

    So honest opinions, is it worth it?
    I have a cousin who is a first year medic and she is always out and having fun. Im not saying she doesnt study but she studies a normal amount. Not the crazy way its made out to be "medics have no life".
    She isnt even in uni alot of the time. Has alot of frees. I know because we go to the same uni and we meet up so i know when shes free etc
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    (Original post by HaNzY)
    Fantastic then You seem like you know a lot about it and you should definitely go for it XD What areas do you think you may be interested in? Or do you have no idea yet, I think most people don't really know which area they'll fancy before they go hehe!
    No surgery, I want a decent work life balance haha and I don't want to spend lots of time around people who are unconcious . I like the look of gastro and dermatology because of chronic conditions, develop a relationship with patients, get to do minor procedures such as biopsies but aren't a surgeon. The hours aren't too antisocial either depending on your job. Maybe general practice. I'm also really interested in paeds .

    What's your bf looking at getting into?
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    (Original post by sumsum123)
    No but it has been an informative thread! I never expected medical school and everything after to be easy. Figured that out from alot of research, work experience and just talking to people. It should be worth it though and I am excited for the highs and lows to come if I get in . Its important to have some sort of idea what it will be like, dont exactly want to walk in there niaive and crash and burn .
    Same
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    (Original post by Sherbet)
    No surgery, I want a decent work life balance haha and I don't want to spend lots of time around people who are unconcious . I like the look of gastro and dermatology because of chronic conditions, develop a relationship with patients, get to do minor procedures such as biopsies but aren't a surgeon. The hours aren't too antisocial either depending on your job. Maybe general practice. I'm also really interested in paeds .

    What's your bf looking at getting into?
    Sounds good You are definitely a people person then My bf is interested in the same kind of things as he also wants a nice work/life balance. He's airing on the side of general practice but is also quite interested in dermatology. He enjoys the surgery stuff quite a bit though, but isn't keen on how difficult it can be to get into the training (competitive) and the work/life balance etc.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    This is an excellent thread

    Out of curiosity, any potential medical applicants put off applying now, considering what you've read?
    It's made me all the more determined actually , but it just reconfirms how difficult it is actually going to be. I've been reading a few current medic's blogs and it does seem like a long journey but hopefully it'll be a rewarding one
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    This is an excellent thread

    Out of curiosity, any potential medical applicants put off applying now, considering what you've read?
    It has made me scared to start in September and I'm starting on the graduate course! But I'm excited aswell and ready for the challenge.. I knew it wasn't going to be easy and there will be times when I will probably will moan about all the work but it'll be worth it in the end!

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