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    I'm a second year medical student, and was wondering if there's anyone else out there who shares some of my feelings towards medicine just now, or if there's anyone who can add a bit of advice or a thought that might improve my outlook. Hopefully this thread can be a point of friendly discussion. Anyway, here's the point:

    I'm finding that medicine (without wanting to say it isn't for me just yet) is becoming something that I can't think positively about. The material isn't as interesting to me as I expected, I find that it's mundane and repetitive, and that the medical establishment, from student through to top academic, is an arrogant one.

    I was as certain as possible that before I started medicine that it was perfect for me, and by getting here I have literally set out on fulfilling my dreams, so I am horribly surprised and deeply upset to find myself struggling to gain any happiness from the course, or the thought of my career to come.

    Of course, many doctors and older students would be the first to tell me that I needn't worry about being put to sleep by lectures on peptic ulcers and that clinical experience at uni and ultimately the job satisfaction makes it all worth it. The problem is the later of those aspects is no longer selling the career to me. I'm becoming increasingly conscious that being a doctor is so commonly seen through rose-tinted glasses.

    No doubting that it's a greatly rewarding, enviable job, but I feel that it just won't be ( and already isn't) all that it's hyped up to be, or it's more the case that there are so many other careers that for different reasons offer the same satisfaction. I just feel surrounded by peers who are so much more enthusiastic than me, but in a sort of twisted way, I feel like they're blinded by a false idea of medicine leading them into a perfect life. The fault probably lies with myself, personally being unable to find any academic satisfaction in the subject.

    Ultimately, for myself, all that truly matters to me in a career is that I love what I do, and that I look forward to working. I can categorically say that status and wealth/comfortable living is not what I'm after. My aims in life are to contribute greatly into something I love, and I just don't see that happening by treating patients for 30 years then shortly after, kicking the bucket.
    The biggest give away that I'm not sure about medicine is that I'm constantly, truly, jealous of friends studying subjects like marine biology, philosophy, economics, theoretical physics, i.e any discipline that they must honestly love purely for the content.

    So that's about it . Reiterating, please comment if you feel similar sentiments towards medicine, or if you don't and want to tell my where I'm wrong! Of course, everyone has their different reasons for being in this career path. In the nicest possible way, please don't have a go at me if you aren't actively studying medicine/are a doctor ( in other words if you're an overly keen applicant ! ) .

    Cheers guys
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    Why did you pick it others? Prestige? Respect? Were parents an influence, are you from a medical background? It obviously wasn't for money, because if you want money you wouldn't pick Medicine.

    I understand what you mean, fed up or disinterested in the academics of the course, do u think ull enjoy it more when u reach the more clinical stages


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    (Original post by radiopred)
    Why did you pick it others? Prestige? Respect? Were parents an influence, are you from a medical background? It obviously wasn't for money, because if you want money you wouldn't pick Medicine.

    I understand what you mean, fed up or disinterested in the academics of the course, do u think ull enjoy it more when u reach the more clinical stages


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    Hey cheers for posting . Nah none of the above,except maybe family pressure to an extent, but really they were just encouraging me and glad to know I wanted to be a dr. Haha also I'm definitely not from a medical family, I first met a consultant at my med interview :P !

    I chose it for the same cliched reason as many people: liking science and wanting to do something rewarding. In fact my dream was initially to work for MSF after FY2.
    I'd love to think it'll get better as it gets more clinical, but I know the problem of my dissatisfaction lies far more with just not having passion for medical science. The sort of stuff that gets me buzzing is the science that deals with the big questions, literature, music, oceanography etc. These subjects, for me personally, are more passion filled than medicine could ever be.
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    (Original post by Jarowi)
    I'm a second year medical student, and was wondering if there's anyone else out there who shares some of my feelings towards medicine just now, or if there's anyone who can add a bit of advice or a thought that might improve my outlook. Hopefully this thread can be a point of friendly discussion. Anyway, here's the point:

    I'm finding that medicine (without wanting to say it isn't for me just yet) is becoming something that I can't think positively about. The material isn't as interesting to me as I expected, I find that it's mundane and repetitive, and that the medical establishment, from student through to top academic, is an arrogant one.

    I was as certain as possible that before I started medicine that it was perfect for me, and by getting here I have literally set out on fulfilling my dreams, so I am horribly surprised and deeply upset to find myself struggling to gain any happiness from the course, or the thought of my career to come.

    Of course, many doctors and older students would be the first to tell me that I needn't worry about being put to sleep by lectures on peptic ulcers and that clinical experience at uni and ultimately the job satisfaction makes it all worth it. The problem is the later of those aspects is no longer selling the career to me. I'm becoming increasingly conscious that being a doctor is so commonly seen through rose-tinted glasses.

    No doubting that it's a greatly rewarding, enviable job, but I feel that it just won't be ( and already isn't) all that it's hyped up to be, or it's more the case that there are so many other careers that for different reasons offer the same satisfaction. I just feel surrounded by peers who are so much more enthusiastic than me, but in a sort of twisted way, I feel like they're blinded by a false idea of medicine leading them into a perfect life. The fault probably lies with myself, personally being unable to find any academic satisfaction in the subject.

    Ultimately, for myself, all that truly matters to me in a career is that I love what I do, and that I look forward to working. I can categorically say that status and wealth/comfortable living is not what I'm after. My aims in life are to contribute greatly into something I love, and I just don't see that happening by treating patients for 30 years then shortly after, kicking the bucket.
    The biggest give away that I'm not sure about medicine is that I'm constantly, truly, jealous of friends studying subjects like marine biology, philosophy, economics, theoretical physics, i.e any discipline that they must honestly love purely for the content.

    So that's about it . Reiterating, please comment if you feel similar sentiments towards medicine, or if you don't and want to tell my where I'm wrong! Of course, everyone has their different reasons for being in this career path. In the nicest possible way, please don't have a go at me if you aren't actively studying medicine/are a doctor ( in other words if you're an overly keen applicant ! ) .

    Cheers guys
    You've spoke my mind.

    If i'm being brutally honest, medicine is dragging for me. I've yet to hit a single subject i feel genuinely interested about and i'm currently just doodling my way through medical school without any particular drive, passion or sustained effort. It isn't really challenging as such, as you say it's mundane, and doesn't particularly make you think as per say physics or maths i'd imagine would. On the otherhand, i'm willing to hash it out and see what clinicals is like before deciding anything further. I can it changing as such.

    I think a lot of this stems from never being 100% set on medicine to begin with, i've always seen myself as a doctor and thus never considered anything else. But come sixth form i really took an interest in physics/maths and since then i've always had doubts.

    I genuinely do doubt my ability as a doctor because i am so laissez-faire currently. I have no drive.

    I guess i'll just have to see how things continue to pan out.
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    Not a medic, but I studied Vet Med and from 3rd year onwards I felt like I'd made a mistake. I'm now 3.5 years qualified and if I could have my time back I would chose something else. Unlike you I am still interested in medical science and am now trying to get into a more research-based job, which would be a lot easier had I studied one of the life sciences.

    With regards to arrogance within the profession, I feel similarly about my profession. However, the only way this can be changed is for more people like yourself who are aware of the problem to remain within the profession. People without this arrogance undoubtedly give better service to their patients and this is an area you may get a lot of satisfaction from. I don't consider myself the greatest clinician, but a lot of clients ask for an appointment with me and thank me for treating them in a non-patronising way, which in itself backs up my claim about the arrogance.

    I'm getting a bit off topic, but my advice would be to have a long think about this and and what your alternative plan would be if you were to drop out. Speak to some of the uni staff. Ultimately it will be hard to drop off the course you worked hard to gain entry to, but if you're SURE it's not for you, there is no point in spending the next 3 years of your life just I say you completed the course. Good luck


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    (Original post by gozatron)
    You've spoke my mind.

    If i'm being brutally honest, medicine is dragging for me. I've yet to hit a single subject i feel genuinely interested about and i'm currently just doodling my way through medical school without any particular drive, passion or sustained effort. It isn't really challenging as such, as you say it's mundane, and doesn't particularly make you think as per say physics or maths i'd imagine would. On the otherhand, i'm willing to hash it out and see what clinicals is like before deciding anything further. I can it changing as such.

    I think a lot of this stems from never being 100% set on medicine to begin with, i've always seen myself as a doctor and thus never considered anything else. But come sixth form i really took an interest in physics/maths and since then i've always had doubts.

    I genuinely do doubt my ability as a doctor because i am so laissez-faire currently. I have no drive.

    I guess i'll just have to see how things continue to pan out.
    I think you might have hit the nail on the head when you said you've always seen yourself as a dr and never considered anything else. I'd definitely agree. It's good to hear that I'm not alone anyway, not that I suspected I was. Of course I want to categorise myself seperately from the people who drop out early on the basis that I do want to get the degree for sure, I just feel like I'd be selling my soul if I kept at it any longer than that. But yeah, clinicals could, and hopefully will, change my mind. I'd really love to love medicine just now!
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    (Original post by voodooshaman)
    Not a medic, but I studied Vet Med and from 3rd year onwards I felt like I'd made a mistake. I'm now 3.5 years qualified and if I could have my time back I would chose something else. Unlike you I am still interested in medical science and am now trying to get into a more research-based job, which would be a lot easier had I studied one of the life sciences.

    With regards to arrogance within the profession, I feel similarly about my profession. However, the only way this can be changed is for more people like yourself who are aware of the problem to remain within the profession. People without this arrogance undoubtedly give better service to their patients and this is an area you may get a lot of satisfaction from. I don't consider myself the greatest clinician, but a lot of clients ask for an appointment with me and thank me for treating them in a non-patronising way, which in itself backs up my claim about the arrogance.

    I'm getting a bit off topic, but my advice would be to have a long think about this and and what your alternative plan would be if you were to drop out. Speak to some of the uni staff. Ultimately it will be hard to drop off the course you worked hard to gain entry to, but if you're SURE it's not for you, there is no point in spending the next 3 years of your life just I say you completed the course. Good luck


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    Cheers, that is a great insight. I've struggled to speak to or hear from anyone who's felt dis-enamoured through this type of degree but made it through, I know I want to get it done and give the job a shot but thereafter I worry that a long career would be futile. Maybe I need to cast the net wider and find the right avenue to suit my interests. Roll on the psychiatry teaching .
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    (Original post by Jarowi)
    I think you might have hit the nail on the head when you said you've always seen yourself as a dr and never considered anything else. I'd definitely agree. It's good to hear that I'm not alone anyway, not that I suspected I was. Of course I want to categorise myself seperately from the people who drop out early on the basis that I do want to get the degree for sure, I just feel like I'd be selling my soul if I kept at it any longer than that. But yeah, clinicals could, and hopefully will, change my mind. I'd really love to love medicine just now!
    Yeh, i'll definitely stick it out. A medical degree is useful enough regardless. Maybe it's the exam revision talking now but i've also lost to the will to suceed if that makes sense? I used to enjoy doing well but now i'm just content to scrap a pass and spend my time on other things. I'd imagine this doesn't bode well for the future and is something i'll need to snap out of too.
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    1. Don't be focused on becoming a doctor - there are so many things you can do with a medical degree! Just a few examples:
    -phd after preclinicals and going into research (clinical or laboratory) or teaching
    -forensic medicine
    -(medical) law
    -politics
    -also practicing medicine can be very different from the stereotyped picture - think about volunteering, army doctor, etc, etc..

    2. Wait until clinical school. Supposed to be a blast!

    3. If you know that you have to change subjects, change. Medicine is competitive, but if you don't enjoy it, what's the point?
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    (Original post by warfarin)
    1. Don't be focused on becoming a doctor - there are so many things you can do with a medical degree! Just a few examples:
    -phd after preclinicals and going into research (clinical or laboratory) or teaching
    -forensic medicine
    -(medical) law
    -politics
    -also practicing medicine can be very different from the stereotyped picture - think about volunteering, army doctor, etc, etc..
    I think this is very important and good advice. But you need to still be motivated to do well in the course.

    One regret of mine in sticking at finishing the degree is that I was content to just scrape through the exams. If you want a good shot at getting funding for PhD you have to have been getting pretty good exam results. (You also need to be passionate about the subject your PhD is based around)



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    (Original post by voodooshaman)
    I think this is very important and good advice. But you need to still be motivated to do well in the course.

    One regret of mine in sticking at finishing the degree is that I was content to just scrape through the exams. If you want a good shot at getting funding for PhD you have to have been getting pretty good exam results. (You also need to be passionate about the subject your PhD is based around)



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    This definitely applies to me just now. With the pass mark I've had so far averaging 70%, I'm really only scraping through so far. I can't honestly see that changing, on the basis that I'm just not interested enough to spend the extra couple of hours a night to push above 80%. The only 4 specialties I'm genuinely interested in are all studied in my 3rd year, so hopefully by then I'll find the motivation.
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    If you have something you're specifically interested in and you know you'll be studying them in 1 years time, then stick at it at least till then.
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    You say you always wanted to be a doctor, but how much experience of it did you have before you got to medical school? Is it perhaps not a case of now being disillusioned but actually seeing what medicine is for the first time and that it doesn't live up to your dreams?

    I think everyone gets bogged down a bit in preclinicals because there is so much to cover that you're bound to find parts of it dull, and the range of stuff different people find dull is bound to vary a lot. You just have to find some way of motivating yourself to get through it to the more interesting stuff. When I was in second year I was so fed up of studying stuff that didn't interest me that I said so to my head of year. Unsurprisingly I got a lecture about how surgeons are doctors first, but that if I only wanted to do surgery there were schools in Russia that would teach me that :lolwut: Not the most constructive advice, but I ended up speaking to my tutor, and arranging to spend weekends in trauma theatre and subsequently spent a lot of time there through second and third year, which is what got me through all the dull bits, because I'd found something I genuinely enjoyed. Could you try that? You say there are some specialties that interest you, so speak to doctors in those fields about getting some experience there out of normal hours (stay out the way of clinical students during the week, you are only in the way )

    Everyone makes out that clinical years are this magical thing that suddenly make medical school everything you dreamed of - they're certainly a vast improvement on lectures and clinical skills labs, but don't hang everything on your experience of medical school improving once you get there. Once you're on the wards you need to have the motivation to go home and study in the evenings without the structure of a lecture to write up to guide you, so sort out motivation issues sooner rather than later.

    Also, just because you're at uni to study medicine doesn't mean you can't learn other things - sometimes learning medicine sucks because you have to learn the boring bits, whereas studying another subject for fun can be awesome because you're doing it simply for the sake of learning for personal enjoyment. If there's something you really want to learn about, email lecturers and ask if you can sit in on some of their lectures. The worst they can say is no.

    If you do decide that it really isn't for you any more, you can intercalate (bonus of getting to do proper in-depth science for a year) and leave that way with a degree, so you haven't lost anything time-wise and can pursue science masters etc.
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    I think you're in a tough spot. Have you spoken to your course directors about it? I'm not sure how supportive they are but they may be able to help you transfer courses. I know a medic who transferred to a different course after year despite passing with flying colours.

    I had quite poor outlook of medicine when I applied since expected silly long working hours (100+ a week), lots and lots of old terminal patients with no hope of improving their lives, tons of exams, no social life, being in debt from lots of years of study, paying to sit exams after graduating and paying for GMC and Royal College registration and generally being poor for many years after graduating. I hated scientific methodology in A level too. But I still chose to do it XD

    I don't regret it one bit. I love medicine more and more everyday. If anything I'm getting more and more rose tinted glasses the more I do it. The reasons: I love the subjects, the basic science concepts, the fancy imaging techniques, lots of subtle clues in patients, great socials, only one 120 mark exam this year!!!! (and just 2 essays all year!!). I love how relevant everything and self directed things are. If I want to put some work in I'll go around the hospital asking dcotors if they have any audits/projects to help with. If there's anything that interests me I'll work for it, get paid and if I'm lucky get published too I love the cherry picking you can do if you put the effort in. I love the range of specialisation there is. I love the odd humour you develop, the medic incest, the ability to pick up subtle clues from patients' behaviours. I feel incredibly lucky for patients to tell me things they wouldn't their close friends despite never meeting me. I love getting to see some elderly person and follow them over the course of their treatment and see how much better they are with a hip replacement or cataract operation. I honestly thought of elderly people as bed blockers before I entered medicine and now I love how much can be done for them I love how much my A levels came in handy even all the way to 3rd year medicine. I still have to think back to physics for doppler effect, human biology for haemoglobin dissociation curves, chemistry for various ions and how much it helps learning drugs. I love most of it really

    I agree on the arrogance part though of the profession and we need people like you to get medicine to a humble path. The things I don't like about medicine is that we usually have to teach ourselves (If I'm timetabled to get taught I expect to get taught - not turn up to a room full of students and no clinician!) and when doctors ignore you on wards.
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    Exactly the same as you and I'm a few months into the first clinical year. No idea what to do and no particular passion for other career fields either! You are definitely not alone.
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    (Original post by flying.high)
    I had quite poor outlook of medicine when I applied since expected silly long working hours (100+ a week), lots and lots of old terminal patients with no hope of improving their lives, tons of exams, no social life, being in debt from lots of years of study, paying to sit exams after graduating and paying for GMC and Royal College registration and generally being poor for many years after graduating. I hated scientific methodology in A level too. But I still chose to do it XD
    I'm not sure that this really grasps the negatives of medicine that some of the posters in this thread are thinking.

    OP and gozatron, I find myself in agreement with a lot of what you're saying. So much of medicine (in terms of academic learning) is mundane. People think it's going to be academically challenging, when really the only issue is committing things to memory, which is something that doesn't require any real thought. It just takes the willingness to dedicate time to a very dull task. A fair bit of the basic science I found interesting, but not at the level required to function as a doctor. I kept finding myself wanting to know how something *actually* works (or at least how far the scientific community is in terms of finding out).

    As for clinical years, I really found third year a drag. I'm partially convinced that it was because we weren't integrated into wards very well. In some rotations we'd only be on a ward for a day or two before moving on. It means that the staff don't get used to having the same students regularly and over time become accustomed to ignoring the students that do come on because they are never 'part of the team', just faceless entities that sweep onto the ward, hang around for a few hours and bugger off. I found clinical medicine to be even more mundane than the pre-clinical years. I don't really enjoy sticking needles in people (something so many of my year group were thrilled to partake in) or many other of the practical tasks. I expected clinical training to be so much better and I'm hoping that my 4th and 5th years will change my mind and re-kindle some of that pre-medical school gumption.

    That was a fairly incoherent rant, but ultimately I'm trying to say that you're not alone (and, as a side note, I'm intercalating now and, academically, it's been by far the most interesting of my 3.5 university years).
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    You're definitely not alone, I'm in second year and feel exactly the same! I'm sticking at it because I've only ever wanted to be a doctor, but now I'm even wondering if that's still true anymore! I'm just not interested in the course at the moment, and I have no idea what to do either!
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    (Original post by Kinkerz)
    As for clinical years, I really found third year a drag. I'm partially convinced that it was because we weren't integrated into wards very well. In some rotations we'd only be on a ward for a day or two before moving on. It means that the staff don't get used to having the same students regularly and over time become accustomed to ignoring the students that do come on because they are never 'part of the team', just faceless entities that sweep onto the ward, hang around for a few hours and bugger off. I found clinical medicine to be even more mundane than the pre-clinical years. I don't really enjoy sticking needles in people (something so many of my year group were thrilled to partake in) or many other of the practical tasks. I expected clinical training to be so much better and I'm hoping that my 4th and 5th years will change my mind and re-kindle some of that pre-medical school gumption.
    This is exactly how I feel on the wards - 3rd year has been very disorganised on the starting module so far. We weren't given any firms so there's no-one to report to in the morning. The patients have all been seen 100 times by other students, and rarely have conditions relevant to the ones I've supposed to have been learning about (endo, renal, neuro, infectious diseases).

    Started out spending my copious spare time in the library reading but to be honest I'm struggling to find the motivation to even do that now. Hoping that things are going to pick up in the next module starting next week (cardiology, resp & acute) when we'll be attached to firms and wards. But I've been 'hoping that things are going to pick up...' for what seems like ages!

    In retrospect, it's not all bad. Once every couple of weeks or so I'll get a tricky question right, or ask a good question to a patient, or suggest a difficult diagnosis that turns out to be right. But the rest of the time it just feels like I'm wasting everybody's time, including my own.

    Again, the thing that I've enjoyed the most by far was intercalating. Kind of set my sights on a half-research, half-hospital career... met a few people in medical job shares and that sort of thing which might be an idea. My med school grades are picking up every year but I'll never be at the top of the class so I'm hoping a good intercalated mark will see me into a post-grad degree =\
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    (Original post by Tech)
    This is exactly how I feel on the wards - 3rd year has been very disorganised on the starting module so far. We weren't given any firms so there's no-one to report to in the morning. The patients have all been seen 100 times by other students, and rarely have conditions relevant to the ones I've supposed to have been learning about (endo, renal, neuro, infectious diseases).

    Started out spending my copious spare time in the library reading but to be honest I'm struggling to find the motivation to even do that now. Hoping that things are going to pick up in the next module starting next week (cardiology, resp & acute) when we'll be attached to firms and wards. But I've been 'hoping that things are going to pick up...' for what seems like ages!

    In retrospect, it's not all bad. Once every couple of weeks or so I'll get a tricky question right, or ask a good question to a patient, or suggest a difficult diagnosis that turns out to be right. But the rest of the time it just feels like I'm wasting everybody's time, including my own.

    Again, the thing that I've enjoyed the most by far was intercalating. Kind of set my sights on a half-research, half-hospital career... met a few people in medical job shares and that sort of thing which might be an idea. My med school grades are picking up every year but I'll never be at the top of the class so I'm hoping a good intercalated mark will see me into a post-grad degree =\
    Everything in bold I totally agree with. My third year never really picked up, even when, in my last rotation, I eventually got tagged to a ward for 4 weeks. I think it is partly an issue of being a third year. You're not yet useful enough to play a role in the team or close enough to finals for people to feel obliged to involve you! I guess we'll both find out next year!

    Every now and again I'd come home from the hospital and think: that was a really worthwhile session (usually a clinic with a doctor or a specific teaching session). This was very rarely the case with baron, unstructured 'ward time'.
 
 
 
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