I wonder though if some of the idealistic reasons, that attract many applicants to medicine, simply just don't exist in the real world and the disappointment this causes can be a bit jarring until you find the realistic ways to enjoy medicine.
I am only a first year med student but I have been a nurse for a few years. I went into this without any idealistic notions of what medicine is like and know the general c*** I am in store for. Yet I still did it. I suppose that's because I know there are aspects of it that I enjoy and will hopefully be good at.
I have learnt it's more the little things that matter to me. I may not directly save lives very often but I know I make a difference. As a student nurse I once looked after an acquaintance of my mum's. Years later he saw her and passed on his thanks for my care and attention. I was a student nurse so realistically I did very little to aid his treatment but what every I did had made it slightly easier for him. And that meant a lot to me.
And I suppose it's things like that that I will hopefully bring to my career as a doctor (and hopefully whatever system is in place at that time will allow me to do so).
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Is freshers still worth it?