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How does medicine compare to other degrees?

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    I wonder how medicine compares in terms of intensity, difficulty, contact hours, stress etc to degrees like Biomedical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.

    Do medical students manage to have part time jobs as well? Do they spend every summer volunteering in hospital or preparing for the next year?

    Is there anyone here who has done a degree like that (or part of) and is now doing medicine?
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    Learnt more in this year than I did in my entire degree.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    I wonder how medicine compares in terms of intensity, difficulty, contact hours, stress etc to degrees like Biomedical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.

    Do medical students manage to have part time jobs as well? Do they spend every summer volunteering in hospital or preparing for the next year?

    Is there anyone here who has done a degree like that (or part of) and is now doing medicine?
    intensity - more so
    difficulty - not really but volume of information to learn is huge comparatively
    contact hours - less than I expected tbh
    stress - just depends on how stressful a person you are

    I have a toddler so no part-time jobs for me as have a full-time one with my son
    Currently, writing up my thesis for MRes that finished last year before I went into medicine and might be resitting in August (results of 1st year exams due Friday) but if not I think I will be looking over stuff before I return especially stuff I'm not sure about.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    I wonder how medicine compares in terms of intensity, difficulty, contact hours, stress etc to degrees like Biomedical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.

    Do medical students manage to have part time jobs as well? Do they spend every summer volunteering in hospital or preparing for the next year?

    Is there anyone here who has done a degree like that (or part of) and is now doing medicine?
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    I wonder how medicine compares in terms of intensity, difficulty, contact hours, stress etc to degrees like Biomedical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.

    Do medical students manage to have part time jobs as well? Do they spend every summer volunteering in hospital or preparing for the next year?

    Is there anyone here who has done a degree like that (or part of) and is now doing medicine?
    I can only compare with the Biological Natural Sciences students, as my university didn't do pharmacy or nursing. In the first few years our workload was probably roughly similar in terms of contact hours. Theirs was probably more difficult conceptually, we just had loads and loads to learn. Everyone is stressed around exam time. Later on in clinical years I think it is different; we probably did about the same hours as my friends doing science PhDs, but our stresses were different from theirs.

    At my university we were not allowed part-time jobs in term time, except for maybe a few hours working in the college bar. Most people got some kind of job in the summer holidays (for the first three years) and occasionally other holidays too. I don't know anyone who went back to doing hospital volunteering, though some people did go off and do health-related volunteering overseas. There is usually some work set over the Christmas and Easter holidays, but not over the summer.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    I wonder how medicine compares in terms of intensity, difficulty, contact hours, stress etc to degrees like Biomedical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.

    Do medical students manage to have part time jobs as well? Do they spend every summer volunteering in hospital or preparing for the next year?

    Is there anyone here who has done a degree like that (or part of) and is now doing medicine?
    In comparison to biomed sci, nursing and pharmacy - medicine is more difficult, more intense, possibly more contact hours (depending on PBL/traditional/integrated) but this is irrelevant as the hours you spend per week will roughly the same. Generally, it is possibly to have jobs over the summer break in the pre-clinical years, some may fit part time work during term time in their pre-clinical years, but then you will need to find time from somewhere else to fit in the work needed, which might mean less of a social life/sports etc.
    Working is not recommended. No, you aren't required to volunteer in the summer holidays and I dont think many people chose to do that at all.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    Learnt more in this year than I did in my entire degree.
    Which year of your degree is it?
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    (Original post by . . .)
    Which year of your degree is it?
    First.
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    Not particularly different in terms of contact hours etc compared to the other science degrees, in my experience.
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    Medicine has exponentially more material than most other degrees, and a particular challenge is learning the theory and applying it, altogether.

    In most other degrees, you aren't learning theory and applying it in the workforce at the same time, so medicine presents a particularly challenging type of degree than others.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    Learnt more in this year than I did in my entire degree.
    Can I ask what your first degree was in?

    (Original post by sweetchilli)
    I have a toddler so no part-time jobs for me as have a full-time one with my son
    Currently, writing up my thesis for MRes that finished last year before I went into medicine and might be resitting in August (results of 1st year exams due Friday) but if not I think I will be looking over stuff before I return especially stuff I'm not sure about.
    You do medicine and have a toddler? I really admire you! What do you find are the biggest challenges fitting family around medicine (or is it the other way round?)

    (Original post by Helenia)
    I can only compare with the Biological Natural Sciences students, as my university didn't do pharmacy or nursing. In the first few years our workload was probably roughly similar in terms of contact hours. Theirs was probably more difficult conceptually, we just had loads and loads to learn. Everyone is stressed around exam time. Later on in clinical years I think it is different; we probably did about the same hours as my friends doing science PhDs, but our stresses were different from theirs.
    Thank-you that was really helpful. So (at least in the beginning) medicine is more about volume of work than difficulty?

    (Original post by tpxvs)
    In comparison to biomed sci, nursing and pharmacy - medicine is more difficult, more intense, possibly more contact hours (depending on PBL/traditional/integrated) but this is irrelevant as the hours you spend per week will roughly the same.
    What year are you in? I suppose it varies between different universities and on the individual.

    (Original post by nexttime)
    Not particularly different in terms of contact hours etc compared to the other science degrees, in my experience.
    Thats interesting thanks. So not 9-5 Monday to Friday then?
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    Can I ask what your first degree was in?
    Reflexology. Mostly accupuncture, chakras, that kind of thing.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    Thats interesting thanks. So not 9-5 Monday to Friday then?
    Definitely not no!
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    Thank-you that was really helpful. So (at least in the beginning) medicine is more about volume of work than difficulty?


    Thats interesting thanks. So not 9-5 Monday to Friday then?
    I think it's definitely more about the volume of work. Not to say that it's all easy and you just have to memorise it (though there are some elements of this) but the challenge is more to be able to manage the amount than understand the concepts. There are always going to be some tricky bits, but when I compare with what some of my natsci friends were doing in similar courses, theirs was more conceptually hard.

    In terms of contact hours, it's not 9-5. Total number of hours put in is probably roughly equivalent to that each week.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    Thats interesting thanks. So not 9-5 Monday to Friday then?
    My course is near enough 9-5, but it is a 4yr course.
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    I did a music degree and a nursing degree before starting medicine. Music was more time consuming, I was in from 8am to 9pm most days and in at the weekends. I had to do 3-5 hours individual practice every day, including the holidays, with concerts, recitals and rehearsals in the evenings!
    Nursing was like a full time job, the course was 45 weeks per year, so no summer holidays of several months. The work load was fine, easily managed and could be contained within 9-5 when on uni time. On placement it was more difficult as you were doing 12 hour shifts and trying to complete essays and group work. But the course was manageable! I had 3 part time jobs during my nursing degree!
    Medicine is technically a 9-5 degree according to the staff at my uni! If you keep on top of the work that is possible, but in the run up to the exams that changes! My summer is all about earning enough money to survive the next term without having to work! There are people that have part time jobs throughout the year, and it is possible if you have good time management and organisation! The work load is def about volume.. There is so much to take in and learn. It isn't that complicated, it just is the sheer volume!

    Anyway, there you go.. A brief comparison between 3 different degrees!


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)
    I wonder how medicine compares in terms of intensity, difficulty, contact hours, stress etc to degrees like Biomedical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy etc.

    Do medical students manage to have part time jobs as well? Do they spend every summer volunteering in hospital or preparing for the next year?

    Is there anyone here who has done a degree like that (or part of) and is now doing medicine?
    I am doing nursing not medicine, but have lots of friends doing medicine aswell... They all tell me that academically they don't find it extremely challenging and we have actually done similar work it's just the volume. I guess with both degrees (at least I have found doing nursing anyway) time management is really important as you can be working long hours, and then have uni work to do on top of it. Medicine is also 5 years, where nursing is only 3 (although 9-5 for 45 weeks of the year) you deffinately need to be commited.

    I have found my nursing degree the hardest thing I have ever done so far though, I am always tired and have work to do, and can imagine medicine is a whole lot harder.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)

    You do medicine and have a toddler? I really admire you! What do you find are the biggest challenges fitting family around medicine (or is it the other way round?)
    Biggest challenge is getting the work done during the day so that I can spend evenings and weekends with my family.

    Mostly managed it this year but at exam time had to start revising in the evenings as we didn't get any study leave - classes went on up until Thursday 17th and both exams were on the 22nd. Felt a little guilty about it but had to be done. It is hard telling a toddler that mummy is too busy to play etc but his Dad did his best to entertain him whilst I was busy.

    For 2nd year, I definitely will be trying to organise my time better during the day. In first semester, I spent too many weeks pissing about having coffees and the like and not getting into a work routine quickly enough. I also think I will be trying to work a couple of nights a week so that come exam time as I didn't feel fully prepared when I sat them (Results due Friday so we shall see if I've done enough to pass).
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    In terms of contact hours, it's not 9-5. Total number of hours put in is probably roughly equivalent to that each week.
    Ooh so possible to have a life as well as being a student.


    (Original post by polldoll)
    Anyway, there you go.. A brief comparison between 3 different degrees!
    Really interesting to read your comparisions. I never thought Music would be so time consuming. It seems that nurses always get a raw deal, they work long hours and don't get the recognition or respect they deserve and as students they don't get decent holidays :eek:


    (Original post by sweetchilli)
    Biggest challenge is getting the work done during the day so that I can spend evenings and weekends with my family.
    It is really good to hear that you are managing this most of the year. I think extra exam stress and revision would happen whatever course it was.

    The reason I'm so interested is because I want to apply to medicine as a mature student and am being told by friends and family that I should do an 'easier' degree so that my family does not suffer as much. What has been said here reassures me that an 'easier' degree would not necessarily be easier or less hours, in fact nursing looks like it would be harder on a mature students family than medicine.
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    (Original post by Mr. Nobody)

    The reason I'm so interested is because I want to apply to medicine as a mature student and am being told by friends and family that I should do an 'easier' degree so that my family does not suffer as much. What has been said here reassures me that an 'easier' degree would not necessarily be easier or less hours, in fact nursing looks like it would be harder on a mature students family than medicine.
    Go for it! I have a friend who believes that the more you have to do, the more you get done! There are about 30 mature students in my year, I am one of 3 who have kids. One is a single parent to 3 and commutes from Edinburgh to Glasgow every day so it is definitely do-able!

    Best of luck with applying!

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