Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, I really want to study Medicine at university, and become a doctor. It's been my ambition from an early age (only, I didn't really know you had to study Medicine to become a doctor back then ).

    However, I recently conducted some work experience at a hospital (only done one day so far, but still have one more day left to go!), I was shadowing a doctor, and the staff appeared to share this internal joke of 'putting me off medicine.'

    I know it's only a joke, but some people said that they wouldn't recommend medicine. They said choose dentistry (no way am I accepting that - teeth are boring! ), and seemed to not really recommend medicine as a degree due to the stresses, the fact that you're treated as s**t (their words, not mine), and the relatively low pay.

    Obviously, I would be lying if salary doesn't influence me, but I really am wondering whether going through medical school to become a doctor really IS worth it. Not coming from a very 'privileged' background, with both parents on minimum wage, it inspires you to make something of yourself, and earn money, eventually - for your families sake: it's necessary.

    However, some of the people I talked to said would not trade it for anything! I also spent a week in a GP, and the GP said the same thing! Although it's a lot of hard work, it is worth it.

    I hope a Medicine degree really is worth it after you've completed it, because it's, ultimately, what I wish to become. However, their comments have reminded me that everything is not perfect in this world - I had a rather 'fairytale' view, I suppose. A lot of a doctor's experience depends on the patients, and, thankfully, I've met some lovely patients.

    On the wards, there were some times where I really enjoyed it - and didn't want time to speed up! (I remember looking at the clock, and being thankful it was only 12). And, seeing a medical procedure, and the gratefulness of some of the patients, made me think this is the place for me.

    However, I must admit, the doctor I was shadowing put a little doubt in me - his random interview questions, and general medical questions threw me off guard! Some of the questions were things I had learnt in AS level, but, for some reason, even though I had the answers circling in my head, I never said anything! I just froze! I had the answers ready! I knew what he was asking about, and what I was supposed to say!
    Also, seeing the junior doctors do their work kind of made me wonder: How would I know what to do? How would I know what the cause is, and how to treat the patient? Watching them run about, treating patients, coming back to the senior doctor, the senior doctor instructing them with more things to do etc recycled - and it was that aspect of the experience that kind of troubled me, and caused me to doubt myself. Would I be able to do it?

    I suppose the most difficult thing about this is that I'm 'only' 17. I haven't really seen enough into a doctor's lifestyle. I haven't really learnt enough to be capable of treating someone. And, as I'm not doing a Medicine degree yet, it seems so far away, as if I will never be able to develop the skills I need to become a very successful doctor. I guess I'm thinking about becoming a doctor as if I'm qualified as soon as I finish college - I forget that there's still university left, however, my worry stems from the fact that I don't have any experience of the degree, therefore I don't have any experience of what being a doctor is truly like.

    What are previous graduates of medicine, whatever you're doing now, thinking about their decision? Would you have chosen another course? I understand that the stresses of the job are great, and, although the salary is decent, it's not really what you would expect - is the job, though, worth the stress? Surely, the happiness when you cure someone of a disease, or help them, and see a smile on their face should keep you content. Ultimately, are the stressful years at medical school worth it for the stressful years as doctors?

    I'm only 17 years old, so perhaps my views on the outside world are a little distorted by what I think the job of a doctor is! Other than Medicine, I'm also interested in Chemistry, and Natural Sciences - however, my determination really remains on studying medicine at a 'top' university!

    Please help! Any comments, experiences, suggestions etc are greatly appreciated!
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    I hope a Medicine degree really is worth it after you've completed it, because it's, ultimately, what I wish to become. However, their comments have reminded me that everything is not perfect in this world - I had a rather 'fairytale' view, I suppose. A lot of a doctor's experience depends on the patients, and, thankfully, I've met some lovely patients.
    Hey,

    I'm still a med student so I've left some of your questions for the doctors to answer. But here are some of my general thoughts and opinions:

    Whilst I've never experienced it, I'm sure that being a junior doctor is very stressful and tiring a lot of the time, however, I also think that many doctors (even more senior ones) who say they'd rather be doing other jobs aren't being wholly frank with themselves.

    Because I am a graduate medical student, I know what it's like to study another course and do other jobs...and whilst "other jobs" have less stress or hours compared to medicine, they have other drawbacks too! Not feeling like you're making a difference, repetitiveness, not producing results, endless deadlines, failed grant applications...frankly all jobs are a bit **** at times. Expecting perfection from your job is a mistake, it's a job, it's not supposed to be an antidote to unhappiness!

    I'm not saying that being a junior doctor is therefore "easy", but I am saying that doctors are humans and all humans occasionally think the grass is greener on the other side, even though it actually isn't

    However, I must admit, the doctor I was shadowing put a little doubt in me - his random interview questions, and general medical questions threw me off guard! Some of the questions were things I had learnt in AS level, but, for some reason, even though I had the answers circling in my head, I never said anything! I just froze! I had the answers ready! I knew what he was asking about, and what I was supposed to say!
    Oh, don't worry about that, I shadowed an ENT surgeon when I was 18 and he and the anaesthetist also pitched a lot of questions at me...the majority of which I actually did know the answer to, but in the heat of the moment I somehow lost the connection between my brain and my mouth so instead I blurted out random wrong answers. Repeatedly.

    Freezing up or becoming temporarily stupid (like me :p:) is something that happens to everyone: pre-freshers, med students, junior doctors etc...don't feel down about that. Being a good med student is not about knowing all the answers, it's about being hard-working and willing to learn imho.

    Also, seeing the junior doctors do their work kind of made me wonder: How would I know what to do? How would I know what the cause is, and how to treat the patient? Watching them run about, treating patients, coming back to the senior doctor, the senior doctor instructing them with more things to do etc recycled - and it was that aspect of the experience that kind of troubled me, and caused me to doubt myself. Would I be able to do it?
    Well, medical school teaches you the basics and the rest you eventually pick up through practical experience and further study. And yes, you are under the guidance of seniors, so it's not like you're totally unsupervised.

    You can't expect to know what you'll be like as a junior doctor. But you should know that the vast majority of medical students finish medical school and become perfectly competent and able doctors. That should tell you something

    I suppose the most difficult thing about this is that I'm 'only' 17. I haven't really seen enough into a doctor's lifestyle. I haven't really learnt enough to be capable of treating someone. And, as I'm not doing a Medicine degree yet, it seems so far away, as if I will never be able to develop the skills I need to become a very successful doctor. I guess I'm thinking about becoming a doctor as if I'm qualified as soon as I finish college - I forget that there's still university left, however, my worry stems from the fact that I don't have any experience of the degree, therefore I don't have any experience of what being a doctor is truly like.
    To be honest with you, you can't ever truly know what anything is like until you've experienced it. But if you go into it with good faith, and having done all the necessary research then no one could ask any more of you. Which is what you're doing right now: by asking questions, doing work experience, etc, you're confirming whether or not you would be suited to being a doctor. You can't be wholly certain of that, but nobody genuinely knows what it's like to be a doctor until they are one!

    If you can see yourself as a doctor and the job appeals to you, then I'd say go for it. You can't ever expect absolute certainty from anything (jobs, relationships, whatever!)
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Democracy)
    Hey,

    I'm still a med student so I've left some of your questions for the doctors to answer. But here are some of my general thoughts and opinions:

    Whilst I've never experienced it, I'm sure that being a junior doctor is very stressful and tiring a lot of the time, however, I also think that many doctors (even more senior ones) who say they'd rather be doing other jobs aren't being wholly frank with themselves.

    Because I am a graduate medical student, I know what it's like to study another course and do other jobs...and whilst "other jobs" have less stress or hours compared to medicine, they have other drawbacks too! Not feeling like you're making a difference, repetitiveness, not producing results, endless deadlines, failed grant applications...frankly all jobs are a bit **** at times. Expecting perfection from your job is a mistake, it's a job, it's not supposed to be an antidote to unhappiness!

    I'm not saying that being a junior doctor is therefore "easy", but I am saying that doctors are humans and all humans occasionally think the grass is greener on the other side, even though it actually isn't



    Oh, don't worry about that, I shadowed an ENT surgeon when I was 18 and he and the anaesthetist also pitched a lot of questions at me...the majority of which I actually did know the answer to, but in the heat of the moment I somehow lost the connection between my brain and my mouth so instead I blurted out random wrong answers. Repeatedly.

    Freezing up or becoming temporarily stupid (like me :p:) is something that happens to everyone: pre-freshers, med students, junior doctors etc...don't feel down about that. Being a good med student is not about knowing all the answers, it's about being hard-working and willing to learn imho.



    Well, medical school teaches you the basics and the rest you eventually pick up through practical experience and further study. And yes, you are under the guidance of seniors, so it's not like you're totally unsupervised.

    You can't expect to know what you'll be like as a junior doctor. But you should know that the vast majority of medical students finish medical school and become perfectly competent and able doctors. That should tell you something



    To be honest with you, you can't ever truly know what anything is like until you've experienced it. But if you go into it with good faith, and having done all the necessary research then no one could ask any more of you. Which is what you're doing right now: by asking questions, doing work experience, etc, you're confirming whether or not you would be suited to being a doctor. You can't be wholly certain of that, but nobody genuinely knows what it's like to be a doctor until they are one!

    If you can see yourself as a doctor and the job appeals to you, then I'd say go for it. You can't ever expect absolute certainty from anything (jobs, relationships, whatever!)
    Thanks. That kind of comforted me!
    And, of course, you want a job to be stressing in some ways - without stress, the job would be no fun at the same time! It's just whether the training, and the extra abundance of stress is worth it - especially since it is likely that other people doing another course are likely to be earning by the time you finish training.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    I know it's only a joke, but some people said that they wouldn't recommend medicine. They said choose dentistry (no way am I accepting that - teeth are boring! ), and seemed to not really recommend medicine as a degree due to the stresses, the fact that you're treated as s**t (their words, not mine), and the relatively low pay.
    this is off topic but you said you wouldn't chose dentistry because 'teeth are boring'? i just thought i'd point out that if you do dentistry, you don't only learn about teeth, you learn about the whole body. I'm starting Dentistry at Liverpool in October and for the whole of my first year, my PBL meetings will be with Medical students as well.

    Also, many people have the false perception - that dentists are ONLY concerned about your teeth and oral health. That's not entirely true - they have a holistic approach towards patients and they often advise them about general health too. dentists can also pick up early signs of for example, heart disease, by examining a patients mouth. Just thought i'd throw this out there
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by V95)
    this is off topic but you said you wouldn't chose dentistry because 'teeth are boring'? i just thought i'd point out that if you do dentistry, you don't only learn about teeth, you learn about the whole body. I'm starting Dentistry at Liverpool in October and for the whole of my first year, my PBL meetings will be with Medical students as well.

    Also, many people have the false perception - that dentists are ONLY concerned about your teeth and oral health. That's not entirely true - they have a holistic approach towards patients and they often advise them about general health too. dentists can also pick up early signs of for example, heart disease, by examining a patients mouth. Just thought i'd throw this out there
    Thanks for the information. I didn't mean to disrespect anyone, so sorry if it appeared like I was!
    Obviously, I respect what dentists do, and they're essential to our health. They're just as important as doctors yes, but they specialise in teeth. While doctors specialise in other body parts, such as the heart or brain - which I personally find more interesting. I mean no disrespect, of course! Sorry it had come across like that! I honestly didn't mean it to, and I perhaps should've phrased it better.

    I hope you have lots of fun on your Dentistry course!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    Thanks for the information. I didn't mean to disrespect anyone, so sorry if it appeared like I was!
    Obviously, I respect what dentists do, and they're essential to our health. They're just as important as doctors yes, but they specialise in teeth. While doctors specialise in other body parts, such as the heart or brain - which I personally find more interesting. I mean no disrespect, of course! Sorry it had come across like that! I honestly didn't mean it to, and I perhaps should've phrased it better.

    I hope you have lots of fun on your Dentistry course!
    haha there's no need to apologise, just thought i'd explain to you that dentistry is more than just about teeth - many people initially think the same thing, people completely disregard it as a career for that reason! - so i just like to explain that its not the case
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I'm a grad medic, so have some experience studying degrees and working previously. I think it's important to remember that most medics have never worked in jobs outside of medicine, their last job was probably their paper round. As a result I think they can idolize other jobs and see the flaws in medicine, when in fact other jobs can be just as stressful and lengthy in hours, but lack the interest, pay and same personal reward that medicine bring. The truth is that all jobs have their downsides and given the choice most people wouldn't work. But as jobs go, medicine is a pretty damn good one. One day in an office job would probably bore most medics to tears (I know it did me), that's if they were lucky enough to have a job in this climate.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Firstly if you can't find anything that fits you better, then do medicine. Secondly, there is quite a bit of politics and bull**** the further you progress.

    Edit: I had a friend who was asked an anatomy question on wards and he didn't know the answer so he brushed up for the future. A couple of days later the consultant asked him when the great fire of london occurred. You can never win.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hopefully the same won't happen! I told him to lay of the surprise questions, especially considering that it was my first day and within 30 minutes!

    And I'm also 'looking' at Natural Science and Chemistry, since those degrees seem very interesting. So does a degree in medicine to be fair!

    And I really couldn't imagine doing an office based job. A research based job.

    Are you e buying your medicine degree, Sinatrafan? Would you have changed your course when you had the opportunity to pick during my stage?


    Great appreciated for the help!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sinatrafan)
    I think it's important to remember that most medics have never worked in jobs outside of medicine, their last job was probably their paper round. As a result I think they can idolize other jobs and see the flaws in medicine, when in fact other jobs can be just as stressful and lengthy in hours, but lack the interest, pay and same personal reward that medicine bring. .
    ^^^^^^ this.

    We have quite a few doctors in the family and our friendship group. It tends to be the older ones that complain endlessly about how much paperwork they have to do and all the meetings - because I guess it has changed significantly since they qualified. One senior consultant is always saying he wished he'd gone into the city instead. My dad, a banker, just has a wry smile when he complains - he works longer hours than anyone I know, is at the mercy of his blackberry 24/7, is frequently called home from holidays or misses them altogether - and spends his entire life in meetings. He has almost no job security, and most of his cohort have left banking over the last 10 - 15 years. The grass is always greener.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HCubed)
    ^^^^^^ this.

    We have quite a few doctors in the family and our friendship group. It tends to be the older ones that complain endlessly about how much paperwork they have to do and all the meetings - because I guess it has changed significantly since they qualified. One senior consultant is always saying he wished he'd gone into the city instead. My dad, a banker, just has a wry smile when he complains - he works longer hours than anyone I know, is at the mercy of his blackberry 24/7, is frequently called home from holidays or misses them altogether - and spends his entire life in meetings. He has almost no job security, and most of his cohort have left banking over the last 10 - 15 years. The grass is always greener.
    But, depending on your position in the medical hierarchy, you could be placed 'on call' as well. And, I suppose you never really are far away from contact from patients - since their care does depend on you. Taking a holiday away for a short period of time surely would make you feel uncertain about leaving your poorly patient in the hands of others - although they'll be similarly qualified. Also, most patients appear to have their doctors mobile number! There's no getting away from it, I guess.

    But, I can imagine bankers having a very high workload and late work hours to. But, what do you reckon their pay difference is? It's not all about money, but it comes down to whether medicine is worth it - whether the satisfaction you receive is enough go offset the working hours, pay and stress.


    Thanks a lot for the replies everyone!
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    But, depending on your position in the medical hierarchy, you could be placed 'on call' as well. And, I suppose you never really are far away from contact from patients - since their care does depend on you. Taking a holiday away for a short period of time surely would make you feel uncertain about leaving your poorly patient in the hands of others - although they'll be similarly qualified. Also, most patients appear to have their doctors mobile number! There's no getting away from it, I guess.
    Where did you get this from? In the UK, they really don't.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helenia)
    Where did you get this from? In the UK, they really don't.
    Well, I'm not too sure to be honest. The doctor I was with got contacted a few times by patients. Maybe he's just an anomaly.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    Well, I'm not too sure to be honest. The doctor I was with got contacted a few times by patients. Maybe he's just an anomaly.
    Definitely. No patients have my mobile number, and I'm pretty sure the same is true for the vast majority of my colleagues. A few consultants may give their number to a few select long-term patients, but it is far from common practice. It would be a total nightmare in terms of confidentiality and traceability.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    Who can say? How many of these doctors have worked in any other profession? What do you want out of a career and life?

    To be perfectly honest, who -doesn't- complain about their job in some capacity?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helenia)
    Definitely. No patients have my mobile number, and I'm pretty sure the same is true for the vast majority of my colleagues. A few consultants may give their number to a few select long-term patients, but it is far from common practice. It would be a total nightmare in terms of confidentiality and traceability.
    Well that's alright I guess. Would you day a job as a doctor is worth all of the preparation you had to do during college and university?

    (Original post by DeanFoley)
    Who can say? How many of these doctors have worked in any other profession? What do you want out of a career and life?

    To be perfectly honest, who -doesn't- complain about their job in some capacity?
    True. It's likely that anyone word complain about any job. But, at the same time, that job likely pays more.
    I asked my supervisor would he have gone back and chosen Chemical Engineering, rather than medicine (Chemical Engineering was his 'first' choice, before he decided to study medicine.) He said no: but he could have made a lot more money.

    There must be something really amazing about becoming a doctor. N intangible factor that makes everyone hate but love their job at the same time.

    (FYI, I wanted to be and F1 racer when I was really young. )
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    Well that's alright I guess. Would you day a job as a doctor is worth all of the preparation you had to do during college and university?



    True. It's likely that anyone word complain about any job. But, at the same time, that job likely pays more.
    I asked my supervisor would he have gone back and chosen Chemical Engineering, rather than medicine (Chemical Engineering was his 'first' choice, before he decided to study medicine.) He said no: but he could have made a lot more money.

    There must be something really amazing about becoming a doctor. N intangible factor that makes everyone hate but love their job at the same time.

    (FYI, I wanted to be and F1 racer when I was really young. )
    Medicine pays more than the majority of jobs. I think TSR'ers expectations of their future salaries are often a little...inflated.

    That's not sufficient to recommend going down that route, of course. To be honest, I've always found picking a profession a little bit of a hit and miss system. You'll never truly gain an appreciation of the work without being actively involved in it, but by then you'll be quite committed, and changing is not only impractical, but it's a risk. How do you know you'd enjoy your next career? What guarantee do you have that you'd be any good at it? Not to mention the lost earnings and the years of living as a student...

    I think these doubts are natural in every profession.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)


    Please help! Any comments, experiences, suggestions etc are greatly appreciated!
    They have to try and put you off medicine to see if your really cut out for it! Some medical students are very academic, yet lack 'patient skills'; they're good at reading textbooks, but not the practical real life side. I've got family who are doctors (5!!)and here is some of the scenarios you'd have to deal with, if you can not only cope but tackle these problems head on then you've got what it takes to become a doctor:
    1) prostate examination: putting your finger up a mans anus, to check the prostate
    2) Christmas day at a maternity ward. Where some babies will be born with abnormalies and disabilities, knowing that some of them will be in intensive care or will die.
    3) Seeing illnesses and situations which your own family have suffered from
    4) From a military doctor side; seeing depression, disability and death of soldiers.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Konflict)
    Well that's alright I guess. Would you day a job as a doctor is worth all of the preparation you had to do during college and university?



    True. It's likely that anyone word complain about any job. But, at the same time, that job likely pays more.
    I asked my supervisor would he have gone back and chosen Chemical Engineering, rather than medicine (Chemical Engineering was his 'first' choice, before he decided to study medicine.) He said no: but he could have made a lot more money.

    There must be something really amazing about becoming a doctor. N intangible factor that makes everyone hate but love their job at the same time.

    (FYI, I wanted to be and F1 racer when I was really young. )
    You seem to be very focused on what people earn. The vast majority of graduate careers will pay you enough to keep yourself and a family. Beyond that, you have to actually want to work there.

    Any sufficiently intelligent Tom, **** or Harry can be a chemical engineer. Being a doctor is a privilege and a vocation, not a job.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Being a doctor is a demanding job, but if you love medicine then it shouldn't be such a drag!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.