Most people who do not finish their course don't do so out of their own choice as they realise that it is not for them. Others fail due to serious personal circumstances. Medical schools do not want people to fail and there is usualy an opportunity to resit your exams if you fail the first time round or even repeat the year. There is a girl in my friend's PBL group retaking the year, although she almost never shows up to any of the classes... must be something to do with parents forsing her to do medicine. Also I don't think everyone who gets into medicine is extremly academicaly able. I certainly do not think about myself in that way. The course itself does not require you to be briliant, more like hard working and consistent with your studies. No matter how clever you are if you slack around it is not going to help you.
It's a little early for self doubt.
A small number of people do leave medical school. There are traditionally two peaks, in the first term when people decide that university is not what they want to do and in the third year when people decide that clinical medicine isn't for them. It's very hard to predict before hand who these people are, especially the latter peak. The only reasonably realiable indicator is whether there has been pressure applied to the person to study medicine, sometimes the person rebels, sometimes they hate it and leave, sometimes they really enjoy it.
An even smaller handful complete medical school and don't go on to practice medicine for whatever reason, some of these people may have started medical school with that intention others come to realise it later in the course, again it's very hard to predict who these will be at the beginning.
By far the largest number of people who leave are those who fail significant aspects of the course. This is extremely hard to do, especially after the first year. The only people who fail are those who want to. Nobody should have any difficulty passing medical school, the hardest bit is getting in.
The only advice I can offer is that if right now, you really want to do medicine and you can honestly see yourself as a doctor then there's no reason you shouldn't apply.
As for self doubt - it happens to pretty much everyone, don't worry.
Hope this helps.
Belis and Renal thank you very much- that is very good advice you've both offered there.
im finding it really hard right now, dont see how im ever going to pass...i have 2000 pages of lecture notes to memorise. sofar im halfway through with 2 weeks to go... but its not staying in my head. it depends where you go...i know bristols first yr is ridiculously hard, and someone in the yr above me said only 5 people in their year passed all of these exams first time...out of 270 people! so yea...encouraging stuff!
ok then im not trying to memorise everything in them but i have 2000 pages to go over, and there is a lot of stuff. i duno what ur exams are like but ours are just stupid. they seem to expect you to memorise everything! i know basic principles but these seem not enough....pah. need 50% to pass with negative marked mcq section too.
Oh really? didn't know that....
Yes, but the trick is to fail HOM. Then you won't even get a third.