Not sure whether to study medicine or biomedical science? Watch

II scientist II
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Dear members,

Previously I have been insistent on studying medicine, however I'm not so sure now. I would like to work in a setting where I am constantly learning about science, but also interacting with/caring for other people. This is my main dilemma at the moment. I have done work experience in both a research setting as well as hospitals and found that the research world was quite lonely. I love being in a team. Could someone help? What are the differences between the courses at UK/European universities?
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StationToStation
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Sounds like you'd probably enjoy medicine more. Besides, it's much easier to transfer to a biomed career after med school than it is to transfer to a medicine career after studying biomed, for obvious reasons. What's the reason you are considering biomed instead of medicine? You said that you want to constantly learn about science, but many doctors are active researchers, and keeping up with science is a must in the field. Oh and if it makes your decision any easier, you could apply to 3-4 medicine courses and 1-2 biomed courses and then decide after you've found out about your offers.
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UniAdmissions
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(Original post by II scientist II)
Dear members,

Previously I have been insistent on studying medicine, however I'm not so sure now. I would like to work in a setting where I am constantly learning about science, but also interacting with/caring for other people. This is my main dilemma at the moment. I have done work experience in both a research setting as well as hospitals and found that the research world was quite lonely. I love being in a team. Could someone help? What are the differences between the courses at UK/European universities?
Hi ll scientist ll

Can I ask what you think has made you unsure?

Of course at the end of the day only you can decide what you would like to study, however, if you have always had the intention of studying medicine, I would ask yourself what has changed?

Really the most important thing is to study something that you are passionate about and if that has always been medicine, then that is your choice made.

I thought you might find this blog interesting as it gives a bit of insight into the life of a medical student.Feel free to give me a shout if there is anything I can help with.Good luck in making your decision.UniAdmissions
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Pinkberry_y
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If you like working with other people, then choose Medicine
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Sara_t
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If you're getting yourself into thousands of pounds worth of debt it's best to go for a career with the best graduate prospects. That would inarguably be medicine.
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Vanny17
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(Original post by Sara_t)
If you're getting yourself into thousands of pounds worth of debt it's best to go for a career with the best graduate prospects. That would inarguably be medicine.
This Op. If you love research, lab work and do not mind being in the lab, then biomed is for you. Though, the degree has to be IBMS accredited and then you need it to be HCPC recognised with the completion of a portfolio in a lab, which is diffiuclt to get now. Additionally, you need to gain experience in your degree as when you graduate they would need you to already have experience in it, which.is ridiculous in my opinion.

At least with medicine, you are guaranteed a job, the same cannot be said for biomedical science.

On the other hand, medicine requires dedication and passion for 5 years, huge debt, long hours as a juniour doctor, although it is rewarding later in life.

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Hugh Laurie
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(Original post by II scientist II)
Dear members,

Previously I have been insistent on studying medicine, however I'm not so sure now. I would like to work in a setting where I am constantly learning about science, but also interacting with/caring for other people. This is my main dilemma at the moment. I have done work experience in both a research setting as well as hospitals and found that the research world was quite lonely. I love being in a team. Could someone help? What are the differences between the courses at UK/European universities?
in addition to the above useful information, i can chime in with the loneliness in research. thats something i also felt during my phd - it felt that despite having colleagues, collaborators, students to look after, meetings/conferences, ultimately a large portion of your work will be independent leading to a feeling of isolation. my brief shadowing experience in a hospital gave the opposite experience (patients, multidisciplinary teams, basically never a dull moment).

for me, medicine has the best of both worlds - it also incorporates lifelong learning, and there is every opportunity to get into research as a medic later on (though maybe less likely lab-based). ive seen plenty of MDs splitting their time between research theyre interested in and patient care.
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JMorty97
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Have you considered becoming a healthcare scientist? You can study healthcare science degrees in a number of disciplines and the subjects come under three main headings: life science, physiology and medical physics.

A lot of the roles in healthcare science involve direct patient contact and teamwork while also allowing scientists to be involved in scientific research and education.
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Chikkinn
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You needn't worry over picking one or the other; you can do both. Many of the researchers in my department are also medics, dividing their time between clinical and basic science work. If that sounds good to you, study medicine first. You get plenty of opportunities to seamlessly move into science as a doctor, but going the other way likely means putting your research on hold for the duration of a medical degree, and you have to deal with fiercer competition for places as a graduate.

I'm currently in the process of applying for medicine while finishing a PhD as a researcher. For what my experience is worth: My two main motivations are helping people and learning about the human body, which sounds similar to you, and science works wonders for the latter but does very little for the former. Logically, you go in expecting to feel like you're helping people, since your work might one day influence clinical practise. Personally, I've felt too far removed from healthcare to enjoy that fact. Not to mention, you get far more negative data than positive data. As important as negative data is for ruling things out, you still go to bed at night thinking "would the world be any different if I'd never done these experiments?" If feeling like you're improving peoples lives is important to you, I'd suggest studying medicine. Science is fulfilling for a lot of reasons, and it sounds like it will be for you, but caring for people isn't one of them.
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