Career advice please! Another med or clinpsy post.Watch
Recently I have been thinking of applying for graduate medicine and I have done my research on the course, funding, years spent in education etc. And I have booked a UKCATSEN exam. However, I am slightly concerned whether medicine is a good route for me to take - due to the costs and years involved I would like to make the best informed decision as possible.
Before my thoughts of doing graduate medicine, I was considering taking the clinical psychology path - I am currently a third year psychology student and on track for a 1st or at least very high 2.1. My interests primarily lie in mood disorders, biological psychology and cognitive psychology. I am fascinated by the brain and recent research seems to suggest that there is clearly a physiological component to the onset and maintenance of mood disorders (and I am not talking about serotonin pathways..). And because of this, it has made me want to know more physiologically what is going on in the human body to give rise to certain disorders and diseases (I am pretty open to learning about the human condition in general too). Psychology barely teaches much on the biological side. I considered neuropsychology, but my primary interest does lie in mood disorders and not stroke and neurodegen patients. Neuropsy assessments are pretty interesting, just down to the fact I can see what I have learnt on my degree be applied to a real setting - however I would rather know what was going on in the brain biologically and how to treat it..than assessing cognitive ability. I understand the usefulness of them of course, but just personally can not see myself doing it in my everyday job. Therapy is again pretty interesting and I would love the one to one interaction - but I wouldn't want it to fill most of my job. And finally another part of psychology is the research - which I find interesting again and I would like to do some on the side, but not a main feature of my future career.
Now lets move onto my academics seeing as medicine is a difficult course - I am unsure if I am good enough. Of course access onto a graduate course - some of the unis do not take into account GCSEs or A levels (e.g Warwick), however I am worried how much I will struggle on the course with my grades. I enjoy challenges, but I do not wish to end up with a breakdown if I can't deal with the course (if that makes sense?).
I was diagnosed with dsylexia and dyspraxia during my A2 year - so I never received any real support until really at university (where I am now achieving many 1st and 2.1). My A levels were Biology (B), Psychology (B), English lit and lan (C) and EPQ (A*). I had to do many resits for my biology during my A2 year and I always struggled on the math based questions (however I seem to excel at statistics on my degree!). I seemed to be great at understanding and retaining alot of information though!
I attempted AS chemistry and well lets just say I dropped it after my first exam.. I was lost as soon as she mentioned moles and many maths equations basically. I am sure if she went slower or I had some support, I might have been ok though. I really struggled to get my C in GCSE maths (probably something laughable on the student room!) - again I had no support but I could also just be bad at it as well.
I have gone over some GCSE maths for the quantitative reasoning section in the UKCAT and seem to be picking it up again ok - atad on the slow side but I have booked the UKCATSEN so it should be fine. My best section by far is decision analysis.
Relevant experience wise - I have worked 2 years as a HCA on the bank in a general hospital (worked on many different wards), 6 months in a dementia care home as a care worker and current a HCA in a mental health hospital. I have also had the opportunity to shadow a clinical psychologist. I have realised from all this the certain things I don't wish to do (such as nursing) and the things I enjoyed - seeing an individual improve over time, patient satisfaction and working with children.
Anyways enough with all the waffle.. am I good enough for medicine (then eventually become a psychiatrist)? Or should I stick to the clinical psychology route, despite my physicalist approach? Please be honest - thanks!