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    Hola! Been looking at universities and courses etc. and I'm interested in medicine, but i dont think i want to be a "doctor" [job title]. Medical research interests me greatly but would doing medicine at degree level be a good choice?
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    (Original post by Xenon1305)
    Hola! Been looking at universities and courses etc. and I'm interested in medicine, but i dont think i want to be a "doctor" [job title]. Medical research interests me greatly but would doing medicine at degree level be a good choice?
    If you want to do clinical research (running trials etc) you'll need a medical degree, which will involve being a practising doctor for a fair few years before going into research full time.

    If you want to do lab based research in a particular area (e.g. cancer biology, immunology, neuroscience etc) then you'd be better off dong a general science BSc e.g. biochem or biomed, followed by a PhD in your chosen area of specialisation.

    It really depends on what your interests are - if you're only interested in pure science I think you should go for the PhD route.
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    (Original post by Dr. Oxford)
    Hello there. I'm in my first year, studying medical science at the University of Birmingham (for some reason, they've renamed the degree 'Biomedical science' for 2015 entry) and it's very research-oriented I admit feeling pushed into research at times because of the amount of research taster sessions we've had lately. It's worth noting that the University of Birmingham is a major medical research hub, so that might explain why (the Queen Elizabeth hospital is a short walk away from our research departments). This also means that we are taught by lecturers who are experts in their fields. I wouldn't say that all of them are great but some lecturers are really excellent and will spark your curiosity!

    We are taught in the medical school and our timetable consists of lab practicals, and anatomy/ histology sessions every other week. We study the science that underpins medicine and how the human body works in health and disease. Unlike medical students, we study the various functional systems in more depth and are set essays regularly. I would say that this degree is a perfect combination of science and medicine for any student unsure of their future career goals and/ or willing to go into research or academic teaching. Although in the latter case, this degree alone won't secure you a proper job and you will need to further your studies.



    Thank you! It's interesting what you say about having to do further studies after a degree to secure a job! I find that has become an overarching piece of advice! I wonder if doing a medicine degree, then a masters in 'reseach' or whatever might be another idea.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    If you want to do clinical research (running trials etc) you'll need a medical degree, which will involve being a practising doctor for a fair few years before going into research full time.

    If you want to do lab based research in a particular area (e.g. cancer biology, immunology, neuroscience etc) then you'd be better off dong a general science BSc e.g. biochem or biomed, followed by a PhD in your chosen area of specialisation.

    It really depends on what your interests are - if you're only interested in pure science I think you should go for the PhD route.


    Thank you!
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    (Original post by Dr. Oxford)
    This could be a great idea actually but from your post, I take it you aren't interested in becoming a doctor at all (?) I wouldn't advise you to do medicine, unless if you are willing to work some time as a doctor before eventually switching to research. Medicine is extremely demanding and you will need genuine commitment throughout the whole course. Furthermore, patient contact hours are mandatory and most of your time will be spent in hospitals in your penultimate year.

    You cannot be "interested in medicine and not wishing to be a doctor" if you see what I mean.
    Just the penultimate year?
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    (Original post by Dr. Oxford)
    Oh no I think they do have some from year 1 onwards.
    It's generally the entirety of the last three years, as far as I am aware.
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    (Original post by Dr. Oxford)
    This could be a great idea actually but from your post, I take it you aren't interested in becoming a doctor at all (?) I wouldn't advise you to do medicine, unless if you are willing to work some time as a doctor before eventually switching to research. Medicine is extremely demanding and you will need genuine commitment throughout the whole course. Furthermore, patient contact hours are mandatory and most of your time will be spent in hospitals in your penultimate year.

    You cannot be "interested in medicine and not wishing to be a doctor" if you see what I mean.

    I see your points, that makes sense. Thank you, again, this has been rather insightful!
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    I agree with the others that going to medical school when you know that you don't want to practice medicine probably isn't a stellar idea. Everything about medical school is geared towards working as a doctor and you'll be detached from the whole experience if you know from the beginning that's not what you want to do.

    If you want to go into research of any kind then you are likely to need a PhD. You could go MBBS > PhD or BSc > PhD and both would be acceptable routes, but the latter would be two years quicker.

    Do you know what kind of research you are interested in? You can take a BSc > PhD route into just about any kind... from lab science to epidemiology to statistics to healthcare economics to clinical trial design. The only thing you can't do with out a medical degree is treat patients but it doesn't sound as if this is something you want to do anyway.

    In terms of the university you go to, research is a big part of all Russell Group institutions. You will be able to get involved in summer research projects etc at any major university but some might be more keen than others in involving undergraduates early on. Remember that most lecturers are on the look out for the best students to work towards PhDs with them afterwards.
 
 
 
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