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    Currently I'm very confused with which course I should apply for (deciding between Medicine, Accounting, Dentistry and Chemical Engineering- I'm aware they are quite different to each other haha)

    I feel that Medicine will interest me, whereas Dentistry did get very repetitive during my work exp week, and I wanted to gather more information about it from actual students and junior doctors. Thank you to everyone who responds in advance!

    These are a list of questions I have come up with:

    1. What is the workload like as a student? Do you have lots of free time or is there a lot of stress to cope with? Work-life balance?

    2. How interesting have you found the course? Would you have chosen otherwise with hindsight?

    3. I've heard that the stresses and work of a junior doctor are difficult, is this true? (Please feel free to tell me more..)

    4. How much do you expect to get paid as a junior doctor and then in a few years?

    5. Which speciality have you chosen or intend to choose and why? How will you reach that stage?

    6. Can you give me some more information about the differences (pros & cons) of working in a hospital and a GP? Is there a possibility to work private (not as a GP)?

    7. What should I really ask myself before committing to this field?

    8. What are the prospects of future graduates, conditions and salary within the next 10-15 years?

    9. Any other advice?

    Thanks again!
    (Please feel free to correct me, I have done some research but I'm not fully aware of the ins and outs hence personal experience sounds like a good place to begin with!)
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    (Original post by SK20)
    Currently I'm very confused with which course I should apply for (deciding between Medicine, Accounting, Dentistry and Chemical Engineering- I'm aware they are quite different to each other haha)

    I feel that Medicine will interest me, whereas Dentistry did get very repetitive during my work exp week, and I wanted to gather more information about it from actual students and junior doctors. Thank you to everyone who responds in advance!

    These are a list of questions I have come up with:

    1. What is the workload like as a student? Do you have lots of free time or is there a lot of stress to cope with? Work-life balance?

    2. How interesting have you found the course? Would you have chosen otherwise with hindsight?

    3. I've heard that the stresses and work of a junior doctor are difficult, is this true? (Please feel free to tell me more..)

    4. How much do you expect to get paid as a junior doctor and then in a few years?

    5. Which speciality have you chosen or intend to choose and why? How will you reach that stage?

    6. Can you give me some more information about the differences (pros & cons) of working in a hospital and a GP? Is there a possibility to work private (not as a GP)?

    7. What should I really ask myself before committing to this field?

    8. What are the prospects of future graduates, conditions and salary within the next 10-15 years?

    9. Any other advice?

    Thanks again!
    (Please feel free to correct me, I have done some research but I'm not fully aware of the ins and outs hence personal experience sounds like a good place to begin with!)
    I have just finished my first year of medicine at Cardiff, and although my reply may not be as comprehensive as someone who is higher up in the profession I can still answer some of your questions.

    1. the workload really does depend on your year in medical school and the medical school you attend. If you opt for a more traditional course there seems to be less free time so striking the work-life balance is harder than on an integrated/PBL/CBL course where you have more free time for independant study. For me the workload is very large, and there really is no escaping the fact that you need to know a lot of information to pass the exams. Its nothing like A-levels, there is so much more to learn. As long as you keep on top of it and realise you cant know everything you will be able to pass the year with a good grade. As you move up through medical school into the clinical year the workload seems to increase as contact time increases, but that may be because you again have less free time.

    2. I knew I wanted to study medicine as I found human biology incredibly interesting all through school. I find the course incredibly interesting, I have to admit some parts are dull but its worth it for me as 90% of the course is very interesting. I would choose medicine again if I was going to apply again.

    3. I know a couple of junior doctors, and yes they are stressed. I feel this is because they work long hours with few breaks and they are still really just learning and adjusting to the fact that they are a practising doctor. it is defintely manageable though.

    4. https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employ...rs-pay-england
    this link will direct you to the minimum and maximum pay scales for junior doctors and speciality trainees in england currently.

    5. Its very early for me yet, but I am liking general practice as well as enjoying a lot of general medicine. once you graduate out of medical school you do your junoir F1 and F2 years and then you choose to specialise. once inside your specialism you complete training years (for some specialisms it really is a long haul)

    6. I really cant tell you much about this. Obviously as a GP hours tend to be more structured than in a hospital, but as a salaried GP there is less chance of career progression and salary increases. it really depends on what you want out of the medical profession.

    7. You need to ask yourself....
    - can I commit myself to studying for 5/6 years to then graduate at 23/24 and continue training?
    - Am I ok with having to constantly sit exams and continue learning throughout my life?
    - Am I interested in the medical profession?
    one thing I would say is avoid medicine if your in it for the money, because you can earn so much more money so much quicker in other professions. medicine isnt worth the slog unless you are in it due to interest in the career and a want to help people.

    8. Due to the new junior doctor contracts this isnt really known right now, plus I wouldnt have enough information to give you at my stage. Career prospects for medicine mean you will become a doctor at least.

    9. If you want to apply to medicine make sure you have some medically related voluntary work and work experience before applying or else you will be straight up rejected.

    from above I can tell that money seems really important to you, considering you have asked about going private and salaries twice, You will not be earning a lot of money as a doctor until you are at least in your mid 30's (this is in comparison to other careers) and the training is tough, stressful and demanding. So genuinly if you are just in it for the money I would choose another profession.
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    (Original post by SK20)
    3. I've heard that the stresses and work of a junior doctor are difficult, is this true? (Please feel free to tell me more..)

    4. How much do you expect to get paid as a junior doctor and then in a few years?

    8. What are the prospects of future graduates, conditions and salary within the next 10-15 years?
    3. Like any other job, being a doctor can be stressful at times but it waxes and wanes. Being on call can be stressful and the amount of jobs dumped on you can seem like an impossible feat, but you always get through it. All in all, you've got a lot of people demanding your time and you can be pulled in six directions.

    Overall, it definitely beats sitting in a cubicle all day. You have an opportunity to use your brain and you're always learning. I would much rather be run off my feet all day than spend my life looking at spreadsheets that don't really matter.

    4. This information is available online.

    8. Nobody knows. It's always changing and now is a particularly turbulent time.
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    (Original post by SK20)
    Currently I'm very confused with which course I should apply for (deciding between Medicine, Accounting, Dentistry and Chemical Engineering- I'm aware they are quite different to each other haha)

    I feel that Medicine will interest me, whereas Dentistry did get very repetitive during my work exp week, and I wanted to gather more information about it from actual students and junior doctors. Thank you to everyone who responds in advance!

    These are a list of questions I have come up with:

    1. What is the workload like as a student? Do you have lots of free time or is there a lot of stress to cope with? Work-life balance?

    2. How interesting have you found the course? Would you have chosen otherwise with hindsight?

    3. I've heard that the stresses and work of a junior doctor are difficult, is this true? (Please feel free to tell me more..)

    4. How much do you expect to get paid as a junior doctor and then in a few years?

    5. Which speciality have you chosen or intend to choose and why? How will you reach that stage?

    6. Can you give me some more information about the differences (pros & cons) of working in a hospital and a GP? Is there a possibility to work private (not as a GP)?

    7. What should I really ask myself before committing to this field?

    8. What are the prospects of future graduates, conditions and salary within the next 10-15 years?

    9. Any other advice?

    Thanks again!
    (Please feel free to correct me, I have done some research but I'm not fully aware of the ins and outs hence personal experience sounds like a good place to begin with!)
    1) I'm on a traditional course, pre-clin workload was mammoth, but it's why you have weekends and revision period to revise there's tonnes of free time during term to go out, play sport and enjoy yourself. There's a tutorial to prepare for most days but no more than 1/2 hours a work for an evening? Work life is good, I can play sport 3 times a week, throw a night out in there and mess about whilst doing my work.

    2) Ethics is dull as f*** same with Psych. Don't get me wrong it's important ofc but learning countless models is so boring. 95% of the rest of the course is SUPER interesting and I really enjoyed anatomy and physiology teaching and clinical teaching on wards is really good fun

    3) You'll have to ask a junior, it'll likely change up somewhat when you graduate so don't base it off what's happening at the moment

    4) Think it's 23k plus overtime and banding so no idea what that brings it up to. Consultant salary is minimum 75k I believe so in roughly 11 years time I'll be paid well one hopes.

    5) Neurosurg/Ortho/ENT. There's no right or wrong way to build your CV and until I have a job offer I can't say whether I've gone about it the right way

    6) Erm, GP sort of Jack of all trades master of none. See a vast variety of patients, different ages problems etc but it's not as serious as hospital for the most part and you are sort of in a room isolated from colleagues. Hospital: lack of resources, busy, patients sometimes die, on calls etc. These are brash generalisations admittedly

    7) Do you enjoy science and knowing how things work? Do you enjoy applying your knowledge in quirky ways to ultimately help people and do you want to commit to a long hard path which culminates in the most awesome job known to man? Do you enjoy responsibility and having to do things under pressure? There's such a variety in medicine so don't be put off by oh I don't like paediatrics or geriatrics or surgery etc!

    8) Literally I don't even know but I'm not in it for the money so I don't overly care. Frankly, if you're dealing with people's emotions, feelings and lives everyday then money shouldn't be your primary thought. Doctors for the most part get paid well and that's enough for me

    9) Read up on the course and really find out what interests you before committing to a degree
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    (Original post by SK20)

    These are a list of questions I have come up with:
    Hi there I'm a third year med student currently so I'll try and answer some of your questions.

    1,2 The workload is a lot but it doesn't sound like any of the other options you're considering are exactly easy either. I disagree slightly with the poster who said its less if you're on a non traditional course, I think you'll be very busy regardless. But most of what you're learning is truly interesting and fascinating and you're surrounded by people going through the same thing which makes it bearable.
    With regards to work/life balance its very doable to still have fun. I don't have a single friend who's not actively involved in a society and some even work part time as well as having time to socialise. You sound like you enjoy a challenge anyway so don't let the workload put you off
    I would definitely still choose this course in hindsight. I'm doing it as a second degree so a lot of my friends are already working and from what I hear about their jobs (paper pushing, sitting in a cubicle all day) nothing else would have worked for me

    3. Your year as a junior doctor is definitely not easy but you are well prepared for it with 5 years of med school. I think most of the challenges are to do with confidence which naturally will take a while to develop. Yes you are very busy and pulled in different directions but it's also an exciting time (the start of your career!) and as time goes on you get better at prioritising tasks and doing things quicker. Some of my friends are F1s and yes they have bad days but no one seems to regret it and thousands of doctors before them have made it through. Obviously there are some people who choose to leave medicine at this point but from what I've heard it's because they're interested in another path rather than f1 was too much for them.

    4. The link posted earlier is probably the best thing to look at but roughly depending if you're in london and what specialities you rotate through f1 pay is about 22-28 thousand. Though with contract disputes this could change I would plan for about mid 20s as an average. It's not as high as a lot of professions but it's not the worst either. It's important to be aware of extra costs though, like paying for training courses, exams and transport since you may move around a bit for placements.
    As you progress pay will increase up to 76-100 000 as a consultant depending how long you've been one for. And then there is scope for private practice as an additional source of income.
    You'll be comfortable not extravagantly rich so do not do not do this for the money

    5. I'm personally interested in surgery. Maybe plastics or vascular I'm still undecided. Training pathway; fy1, fy2, core surgical training (2 years), speciality training (aprox 6 years), a lot of people also do a fellowship after this for 1-2 years, then hopefully consultancy. However it's not an escalator, progression isn't automatic. Many people do an "fy3" year or extra year after core training for more experience/to do a PhD or masters/because they didn't pass exams/they didn't get the job they were offered etc. You are earning a salary throughout training though it's not like being at uni.

    6. It really does depend on what you want from life and enjoy. I wouldn't worry too much about this until you're in medical school and gain exposure to both but generally GPs seem to enjoy the continuity of care with seeing the same families for years etc, being involved in community services like palliative care, getting to care for lots of different areas of medicine so enjoy the variety and they have a shorter training time which could be seen as a pro. Also I guess they sort of have more control over the hours they work, less emergencies etc. Down sides are increasing pressures on time meaning you have to examine, diagnose and manage a patient in 10mins which is not easy to do, some would find dealing with colds etc boring, it can be isolating compared to being in a hospital with hundreds of other doctors, hospitals also have lots of expensive fun kit GPs don't have access to.
    There is definitely opportunity to do private work as a hospital doc. I'd say more so than GP. Generally people do so at consultancy for 1 or 2 days a week. it can involve extra insurance costs etc but is generally seen as a reliable extra source of income

    7. Ask yourself if you are willing to commit to life long learning. Medicine changes every day and you have to be willing to stay on top of that. That means learning new skills when you're in your 50s even. Fun but also daunting.
    Ask yourself if interacting with people is important to you (although medicine isn't the only job that offers this) My brother was an accountant and loved the role but was jealous that as a med student I speak to more new people a week than he does a month. He's now considering a more client facing role for that reason.
    Ask yourself what fascinates you. I may have painted a work load heavy picture but it makes all the difference if you're genuinely fascinated by what you do. I've just finished exams and while they were gruelling I really really really love what I'm learning and I don't know how many people would say that.
    And some cheesy but good advice my mum gave me when deciding "which of those jobs would you still do if you weren't being paid?"

    Best of luck deciding and I'm sure you'll be fine whatever you do






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    (Original post by SK20)
    Currently I'm very confused with which course I should apply for (deciding between Medicine, Accounting, Dentistry and Chemical Engineering- I'm aware they are quite different to each other haha)

    I feel that Medicine will interest me, whereas Dentistry did get very repetitive during my work exp week, and I wanted to gather more information about it from actual students and junior doctors. Thank you to everyone who responds in advance!

    These are a list of questions I have come up with:

    1. What is the workload like as a student? Do you have lots of free time or is there a lot of stress to cope with? Work-life balance?

    2. How interesting have you found the course? Would you have chosen otherwise with hindsight?

    3. I've heard that the stresses and work of a junior doctor are difficult, is this true? (Please feel free to tell me more..)

    4. How much do you expect to get paid as a junior doctor and then in a few years?

    5. Which speciality have you chosen or intend to choose and why? How will you reach that stage?

    6. Can you give me some more information about the differences (pros & cons) of working in a hospital and a GP? Is there a possibility to work private (not as a GP)?

    7. What should I really ask myself before committing to this field?

    8. What are the prospects of future graduates, conditions and salary within the next 10-15 years?

    9. Any other advice?

    Thanks again!
    (Please feel free to correct me, I have done some research but I'm not fully aware of the ins and outs hence personal experience sounds like a good place to begin with!)
    1. Workload and work-life balance depends on the course and how you manage things, how competitive you are, and how much you want the top grades. I had less free time than my flatmates, but did have less 'homework' assignments (generally it was just personal study) than those studying science. I had time to be in a university sports team and to climb, as well as socialise.
    As a doc - again depends what job and how you manage your time. Its difficult to achieve in any job as an FY1, but as you specialise it is possible to choose careers which may make gaining a good work-life balance more easily.

    2. Interesting enough for me to learn it, we do an overview of everything rather than anything in detail. Perhaps I might have chosen a science or engineering to have a less involving and emotionally tiring career, but perhaps not. Being a doctor is a privilege, the secrets you learn, the trust place in you - its a special career.

    3. Being a junior doctor can be hard because of long hours, exhaustion, pressure, responsibility, unfortunately bullying does happen... There are satisfying moments but they can be few and far between. When you have just graduated much of the job is either boring or stressful. Hopefully this improves as you get further up the ladder...

    4. Before tax my pay for FY1 is about £34000. Because of 1.5x banding due to antisocial hours for the whole year.

    5. This is difficult for me to be positive about. I thought I wanted to be a GP, but why would I want to join a sinking ship? There is a universal shortage, the hours tend to be bad despite the general public thinking its a 9-5 job, and it can be a stressful and isolating job. *I find myself leaning to medicine, but watching my seniors virtually living in the hospital - not sure about that. Like the idea of A and E, but bang goes life work balance. I enjoy medicine but not sure where I want to go with it.

    6. GP and hospital medicine are worlds apart. Generally hospital medicine is more 'acute' and specialist, GP is more general, dealing with chronic illness and picking up the occasional acutely ill person to send to hospital. The sense and use of time is very different. And yes lots of opportunities to work privately in hospital medicine and surgery.

    7. Hmm, you need to be able to commit yourself to medicine. No one likes the constant moaner who doesn't want to be there, when its not a great working environment anyway. To give your patients the best you need to be committed. You will have to put medicine first sometimes, you can't always leave on time, can't always make the choices you want to. Its a long haul too. Years of your life.

    8. Difficult to say. Money is running out. Likely NHS will privatise at least in part. But not really bothered about the pay so long as its enough to live off of, thats not why I chose this career.
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    1. I was a student in the 1980s but it was constantly intense but great fun. I loved being a medical student and loved many of the people I was students with. As a swotty fairly quiet girl at a state school it was the first time I met other women who I felt were like me. There was plenty of free time for socialising and my social life was excellent.
    2. I loved it. I wish I'd studied statistics properly instead of cramming it. If you like science and the human body and how the body and mind work it's all fascinating.
    3. Yes it was but I was a junior doc before the European working time directive so my house year I worked a 1 in 2 where I entered the hospital at 8.30 on a Friday and didn't get guaranteed sleep and to turn my bleep off until after 5 on the Monday. It has all changed now. On the pro side i got free accommodation in the hospital and free meals and when second on for surgery could do it from the local pub (very changed times now)
    4. No idea these days. You can look this up. Don't be a doctor for the money, you will regret it. As far as pay goes it's consultant and GP pay you need to be looking at as that is what you will be paid for most of your career.
    5. I'm a GP. After the long hours in a hospital I was glad to escape hospitals and I loved the variety of general practice. Being a GP was also extremely popular in the 1990s due to the high pay and escaping the hospital treadmill and being your own boss early.
    6. As a GP partner I am my own boss and my 4 partners and I make all decisions about the practice. We are very limited by our NHS contract which makes up the bulk of the pay for us and all our staff but QOF and the chasing after over 1000 different points has just finished n Scotland so we should be able to be more flexible. Our work is very general with a lot of psychiatric problems and chronic disease management. I enjoy that though and think secondary care has become more narrow in focus , so there are no longer general physicians you have to know a lot about a very narrow field for instance. Private work is very dependent on where you work and what you specialise in. Most private doctors also work for the NHS.
    7. When I was a junior doc you could put off specialising until much later. I think there is a lot of pressure on very young docs to decide what to do very early nowadays. As a GP you can do other stuff, I'm also a speciality doc in dermatology. Just do what you fancy at the time. There will always be some people who change their minds. That's OK, it's more difficult these days but not impossible. The important thing to decide is how much contact with patients you want. There is always histopathology!
    8. No idea, governments are fickle things. We will still need doctors. The hoops to jump through just change but the patients and diseases don't alter that much. There have been a lot of changes in general practice in the past 20 years most of which i wouldn't have predicted but the day to day stuff doesn't alter that much and for many consultants it is similar. O&G and stomach surgery have probably altered more than many specialities.
    9. Just do what you fancy and medical careers are more flexible than many other careers. There is always the option of developing a specialised interest in something or changing jobs and moving (within limits). Doctors are intelligent people who are likely to get a bit bored after 10 + years or so whatever they do. That doesn't mean you should have chosen something else just that you maybe need to diversify a bit. Have hobbies. Don't let who you are be dependent on your job. You will get complaints, don't let them get you down.
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    3) Foundation years are there to a) have an overqualified secretary to sign all the forms whilst the 'real' doctors do the work and b) to 'break' you so that you learn not to complain about staying late, having rota gaps, HR getting your pay wrong for the 6th time in 6 months, etc.

    Just a cynic's viewpoint

    ...

    All the long hours and long postgraduate training stuff everyone knows. The main thing that I didn't realise was what having long training meant and how its stupid and ruins your life. Other countries you graduate med school, do 4 years specialised training then you're a consultant-equivalent and can look for a permanent job. Here its at least twice as long (except GP), forces you through rotations you have no interest or use for (like paeds when you hate children or O&G when you have no interest), and worst of all: forces you to change cities every year or sometimes more. Whilst I have friends who are looking to buy houses, or who you see on facebook being mates with the same people for years because they can stay in one place, I am left to make friends for a year then leave. Ridiculous commutes are commonplace... some people don't mind, but for those who imagine having a family (or just consistently living with a partner) before 35 there are some major barriers that other jobs do not face. Its a mess and everyone just accepts it. Its pretty frustrating and I wish I'd known beforehand.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    3) Foundation years are there to a) have an overqualified secretary to sign all the forms whilst the 'real' doctors do the work and b) to 'break' you so that you learn not to complain about staying late, having rota gaps, HR getting your pay wrong for the 6th time in 6 months, etc.

    Just a cynic's viewpoint

    ...

    All the long hours and long postgraduate training stuff everyone knows. The main thing that I didn't realise was what having long training meant and how its stupid and ruins your life. Other countries you graduate med school, do 4 years specialised training then you're a consultant-equivalent and can look for a permanent job. Here its at least twice as long (except GP), forces you through rotations you have no interest or use for (like paeds when you hate children or O&G when you have no interest), and worst of all: forces you to change cities every year or sometimes more. Whilst I have friends who are looking to buy houses, or who you see on facebook being mates with the same people for years because they can stay in one place, I am left to make friends for a year then leave. Ridiculous commutes are commonplace... some people don't mind, but for those who imagine having a family (or just consistently living with a partner) before 35 there are some major barriers that other jobs do not face. Its a mess and everyone just accepts it. Its pretty frustrating and I wish I'd known beforehand.
    Would it have influenced your decision in pursuing medicine as a career? or do you wish you'd known beforehand so you would be more prepared?
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    (Original post by nexttime)

    All the long hours and long postgraduate training stuff everyone knows. The main thing that I didn't realise was what having long training meant and how its stupid and ruins your life. Other countries you graduate med school, do 4 years specialised training then you're a consultant-equivalent and can look for a permanent job. Here its at least twice as long (except GP), forces you through rotations you have no interest or use for (like paeds when you hate children or O&G when you have no interest), and worst of all: forces you to change cities every year or sometimes more. Whilst I have friends who are looking to buy houses, or who you see on facebook being mates with the same people for years because they can stay in one place, I am left to make friends for a year then leave. Ridiculous commutes are commonplace... some people don't mind, but for those who imagine having a family (or just consistently living with a partner) before 35 there are some major barriers that other jobs do not face. Its a mess and everyone just accepts it. Its pretty frustrating and I wish I'd known beforehand.
    What's the rationale behind it being so much longer here?
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    What's the rationale behind it being so much longer here?
    Probably because actual training hardly gets a look in over service provision.
    Doctors are becoming more and more de-skilled at junior levels. Presumably because the service is so under pressure and not helped by the fact that we are required to waste time taking blood, doing endless paperwork and practicing defensive medicine.
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    (Original post by qwerty123A)
    Would it have influenced your decision in pursuing medicine as a career? or do you wish you'd known beforehand so you would be more prepared?
    Probably not no, but I feel like it was 'hidden' behind 'doctors training is well long isn't it haw haw' and just wish I'd been aware.

    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    What's the rationale behind it being so much longer here?
    I think its just that traditionally service provision in this country has been by juniors. Consultants were just that - for consultations in the rare instance you were brave enough to ask for one. That's kind of changing now, but the training structure hasn't. Juniors are still there primarily to work, not primarily to get training like in other places.

    Additional factor are: a) we do far, far more paperwork in this country than europe, due to litigious culture. And paperwork is for juniors, right? (even though it results in chinese whispers and errors) b) we spend a lot of time doing jobs that nurses would do in other countries, like taking bloods, cannulas, ABGs, etc. c) there's a significant culture of 'juniors are just there to make my life as a consultant easier'. A lot of juniors just keep lists and write in notes all day, saving the consultant maybe 5-10% of their time, but occupying 100% of the junior's time d) like I said, we do a lot of redundant training. I want to do medicine and am on O&G atm. Ok, maybe i'm gaining some slight knowledge on when to refer to gynae, but that's countered about 100-fold by the amount of medical knowledge I've forgotten through lack of use. e) our training is broader in general. That does have its advantages of course, but contributes to the delay. f) They can get away with paying JDs less for doing the same job (e.g. running ward rounds by themselves) so are cautious to change it.

    During the all-out strike things ran super-smoothly I think we all agree. That's because the consultants were on the front line running services. A lot of people were joking saying 'why can't we just get rid of juniors and only have consultants'... well, we sort of can. Not get rid of entirely of course, but simple changes would mean better trained juniors training for half the time, so service could indeed be consultant-lead. And I mean truly consultant-lead, not 'there's a consultant out back in his office somewhere'.

    But in all honesty I don't think we'll see these changes in our lifetime. The current trend seems to be the opposite - more time spent on broad based training etc. Which like I said does have its merits, but will mean more SHOs on the front line with less specialist knowledge failing to make the decisions needed, and even more drawn out time in limbo for the trainees.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    3)
    The main thing that I didn't realise was what having long training meant and how its stupid and ruins your life.

    and worst of all: forces you to change cities every year or sometimes more. Whilst I have friends who are looking to buy houses, or who you see on facebook being mates with the same people for years because they can stay in one place, I am left to make friends for a year then leave. Ridiculous commutes are commonplace... some people don't mind, but for those who imagine having a family (or just consistently living with a partner) before 35 there are some major barriers that other jobs do not face. Its a mess and everyone just accepts it. Its pretty frustrating and I wish I'd known beforehand.

    Thank you for this, I wasn't aware of these aspects whatsoever. Please can you give me some more insight on what you meant by having to move frequently and the major barriers to family life that other jobs don't face? :eek:

    I think what I want most is a career that I can enjoy (medicine does genuinely interest me) but at the same time earn enough to live comfortably and have enough time to spend with my family and friends... Please correct me if I am mistaken, but I'm getting the impression medicine will restrict a lot of my family time?

    Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has responded so far!
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    I'm just an applicant but came here to recommend a book called "Trust me, I'm a (junior) doctor" by Max Pemberton. It's sort of like his diary during his foundation year 1, and it's hilarious. And horrifying. You should read it.
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    (Original post by SK20)
    Currently I'm very confused with which course I should apply for (deciding between Medicine, Accounting, Dentistry and Chemical Engineering- I'm aware they are quite different to each other haha)
    (Original post by SK20)
    2. How interesting have you found the course? Would you have chosen otherwise with hindsight?
    Most of your other questions have been answered in detail, but I'd just like to address this bit. I often regret my decision to study medicine, although I have largely come to terms with it and now can't imagine doing anything else. When I was a teenager however, I considered doing engineering. I didn't look too much into it, but looking back I wish I had been encouraged to look into it more seriously. I have a friend who has just graduated with a 2:1 in Nuclear and Chemical Engineering and walking straight into a 30k/yr job at Sellafield. Chemical engineering specifically is potentially VERY lucrative if you want to/are willing to work overseas. Medicine is great in a lot of ways, but also has a lot of drawbacks as people have told you. I would encourage you to look into engineering quite seriously, and make an informed choice.

    (Original post by SK20)
    Thank you for this, I wasn't aware of these aspects whatsoever. Please can you give me some more insight on what you meant by having to move frequently and the major barriers to family life that other jobs don't face? :eek:
    I'm pretty sure I can field for nexttime on this one: Because training programmes are designed around service provision, not around actually training you

    Basically, when you're in training you apply to a region, but then are allocated to jobs around the hospitals within that region, and you have no say in that. For example you may apply to the west midlands because you live in Birmingham, but could then be allocated a job in Stafford. So you have two options: commute an hour and a half, or move to Stafford. The trouble is that your kids go to school in Birmingham. And then next year you could be in Coventry.

    So for a doctor who graduated at age 23, then did 2 years foundation, and has just entered into an 8 year long training programme, you have limited control over where you'll be working from age 25 to 33. Which is exactly when you want to have children, buy a house, all that stuff.

    The system kind of sucks, but there are ways around it. My personal plan is to not enter training and just work as a locum/staff grade for the forseeable future :P
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    (Original post by StationToStation)
    I'm just an applicant but came here to recommend a book called "Trust me, I'm a (junior) doctor" by Max Pemberton. It's sort of like his diary during his foundation year 1, and it's hilarious. And horrifying. You should read it.
    It's pretty dated now, the book is ok. I can't help feel that a lot of the romance stuff takes over as the books main theme though...
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    (Original post by SK20)

    1. What is the workload like as a student? Do you have lots of free time or is there a lot of stress to cope with? Work-life balance?
    2. How interesting have you found the course? Would you have chosen otherwise with hindsight?
    3. I've heard that the stresses and work of a junior doctor are difficult, is this true? (Please feel free to tell me more..)
    4. How much do you expect to get paid as a junior doctor and then in a few years?
    5. Which speciality have you chosen or intend to choose and why? How will you reach that stage?
    6. Can you give me some more information about the differences (pros & cons) of working in a hospital and a GP? Is there a possibility to work private (not as a GP)?
    7. What should I really ask myself before committing to this field?
    8. What are the prospects of future graduates, conditions and salary within the next 10-15 years?
    9. Any other advice?

    Thanks again!
    (Please feel free to correct me, I have done some research but I'm not fully aware of the ins and outs hence personal experience sounds like a good place to begin with!)
    Hi, I've just finished my first year at the Hull York medical school
    1) yes, the workload is intense. I could have a night out/ with friends once or twice a week, but I spent the entirety of the rest of my time studying. My results tbf were some of the best in the year, but the course certainly demands a LOT of work!
    2) I absolutely love medicine. It makes all the work worth it.
    3) I've also been told this, so you have to be truthful about yourself. Part of being a med student is learning how to cope with being a junior doctor. I personally have anxiety issues that I know I have to try and manage.
    4) A Google search is probably accurate here
    5) before starting medicine, I thought I wanted to be a surgeon, and now I have no idea at all. It seems almost silly to settle on one idea until near the end of the degree. You do not have to commit until after F1/2.
    6) Being a GP is usually more 9 to 5 than a hospital doctor, and tends to be easier with a family- however, some GPs do extra work in hospitals and research. A lot of doctors do a small amount of private work, but it is highly unlikely for a doctor to work solely privately- it varies.
    7) am I absolutely committed? can I deal with high work and stress? do I enjoy reading and studying? do I have as much insight to this career as possible?
    8) A massive question, so I'm going to bow out here
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    (Original post by SK20)
    Thank you for this, I wasn't aware of these aspects whatsoever. Please can you give me some more insight on what you meant by having to move frequently and the major barriers to family life that other jobs don't face? :eek:
    As above. You apply to regions, but there is no guarantee you will get the region you want, and then even if you do the jobs within that region are always spread out over multiple different cities. Its either spending a substantial portion of your life in the car, or you move every year which is incompatible with having e.g. children at school, or a working partner.

    Other major barriers are that you have very limited choice over when you take annual leave. I've not worked a job where you can get more than a week off in a row, so any dreams of far-flung holidays you can forget. Sometimes you have no choice and leave is allocated for you at a time of the manager's choosing - I've never come across another job that does that, except perhaps the military.

    And then the irregular shift patterns would make things like getting the kids to school a major logistical problem, plus you'll miss a lot of weekends with them.

    I think what I want most is a career that I can enjoy (medicine does genuinely interest me) but at the same time earn enough to live comfortably and have enough time to spend with my family and friends... Please correct me if I am mistaken, but I'm getting the impression medicine will restrict a lot of my family time?

    Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has responded so far!
    It definitely would infringe of both the logistics of having a family and the enjoyment of spending time with them yes.

    To be fair, there are some ways to get around this: being a GP buts your training to 3 years and gives you more predictability in terms of your rota pattern. There is also increasing provision for working part-time (though its still quite speciality-dependent), and taking a year out of medicine is relatively easy with few career consequences.
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    Thank you to everyone

    One more question, what does it mean to be on call (all I know so far is that you can be called to service at any time, but I may have got this wrong haha) and your opinions?

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    (Original post by SK20)
    Thank you to everyone

    One more question, what does it mean to be on call (all I know so far is that you can be called to service at any time, but I may have got this wrong haha) and your opinions?

    For junior doctors, being on call usually means that you have to be in hospital, and you have to deal with any problems/emergencies affecting your specialty's patients. It usually refers to out of hours (evenings/nights/weekends) work, but may also mean whoever is carrying the emergency bleep or seeing acute admissions during the daytime. You get handed over tasks from the day team, anything from checking blood results to a full review of a patient they're concerned about. You may have to see new admissions coming in under your specialty, and if you're in a surgical specialty this may include going to theatre with them. On top of this, the ward nurses will bleep you for any issues they discover, from drug charts needing rewriting to patients needing more painkillers to deteriorating patients who need reviewing and managing. You may be on the cardiac arrest/trauma team and have to attend any such calls which go out. It's often very busy, especially in acute/general medicine, and can be extremely stressful as there are multiple conflicting priorities and scary sick patients, but it's got to be done, and I often found you learned more from those hellish shifts than from endless ward rounds.

    As a consultant (and as a registrar in some specialties) you can often be on call from home, so you don't have to physically be in hospital, but available for telephone advice if your juniors need you, and usually need to be able to be in hospital within 20 minutes in an emergency. Some specialties contact their consultants a lot more than others.
 
 
 
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