(Original post by barborazel)
I'm from the Czech republic, wanting to study in the UK. For a long time I thought that I wanted to become a doctor but as the deadline approaches I'm less and less sure. I don't want to spend my youth studying day and night without any social life. And the situation of doctors in the Czech republic isn't particularly good - their salary right after university is about 500 pounds/month. Later it can get up to 2000 - when you're a good surgeon probably with a higher position in the hospital but that's it. And the people aren't particularly nice. Yes, I could stay abroad bus still... home is home. I'm also really interested in politics so I thought that I could go study PPE or something like that but I can't imagine a job that I could do after that other than a politician or an economist. I definitely don't want to be an economist. I would like to be a politician but not for my entire life. I would like to do something with human rights but I don't want to be a lawyer. So I'm thinking about applying to medicine and genetics in the UK (I used to want to be a geneticist but I don't want to spend my life closed in a lab) and in the Netherlands to PPE. If I decide for PPE maybe after the first year in the Netherlands I could transfer or reapply to the UK (is it possible?), my big dream is Oxford but that's probably unrealistic.
Also what do you think are my chances to get accepted to King's college medicine? My high school is probably one of the best in the country - also most demanding. I usually get 2s for gredes (we have 1-5, 1 is the best) - at other schools I wouldn't have problems with getting straight 1s. I think that I could get straight 1s at my Maturita exam (something like A-levels). Also I go to Genetics class after school since 10th grade - we learn the processes, do some research in the lab and cowork with the university. Also last year I had something like an internship in a Chemical institute where I did some experiments. Then I had an intership at the Institute of botanics where I did a research about the changes in one forest over the past 50 years. Also I participate in the bio olympics (although I don't win) - so that might help too.
Also how selective is medicine at University of Glasgow?
So basically my struggle is deciding between medicine and politology. I know that if I don't do medicine I will feel less worthy because I didn't accept this challange. But then I don't know if medicine is the job for me. Don't get me wrong - biology is my favourite subject, but so is history.
Medicine is not easy and I'm sure you already know that. It isn't just about biology; it's about chemistry, bed side manners, being a leader, working in a team, being kind to rude patients at 3 in the morning - that's why the application process for medicine is so strenuous i.e to ensure you're passionate enough to stick with it.
To give you my example, I was always set on doing medicine until my father suggested I look into dentistry; much less time consuming, better pay, more time for a family etc. I did lots of work experience in the dental field but at the end of it, no matter how much someone tried to put me off medicine, I still wanted to do it. I don't care about the lack of pay nor the length (this opinion may fluctuate in the years to come) because at the end of the day, I've found what I love and I love doing it. I know it's for me and there is very rarely doubt in that.
I think if you're having serious doubts that you'll be able to stick with it, don't do it. Ask yourself - are you willing to do late nights and early mornings, sometimes having to give up on family time? It's not a 3 year course or a 6 year course either - being a doctor is for life and a lot is expected of you no matter what stage you reach in your career. You said you'll feel "less worthy because you didn't accept the challenge" - I can't speak for everyone but a lot of budding medics don't go into medicine because of the challenge. We go into it for the love of care, science and the application of basic knowledge into wider clinical scenarios.
What is it about medicine that is putting you off - that could help me address some of your concerns. Is it the salary (purely asking as that's what you've mentioned) - that is likely to be a problem in a lot of places (getting paid little in comparison to the amount of work you put in). If you're looking to make money, I don't think you should do medicine; there are much more simpler and shorter ways of doing so without having to give up so much time.
Have a good think about it. If you feel you need more time, you could take a gap year and get more work experience. Let me know if you have any further questions
With regards to your queries about KCL/Glasgow etc - I can't advise much since I have very little knowledge on the NL education system or what your entry requirements would look like.