Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,
    I am thinking about applying to medical school... Although the career of a doctor seems absolutely perfect for me (I love learning about how the human body works & how it goes wrong, as well as engaging with people, caring for people, and 'problem-solving', I am worried about work-life balance.
    I feel that I would love medicine, but would still want time with friends, family, fitness etc., and I am really worried that the lifestyle of a Dr would make this impossible and stop me from experiencing other amazing things!
    If any junior doctors or relatives could shed any light on this, I would really appreciate it Thank you!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Bump
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    There was a similar thread recently. Have a browse:

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4846500
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nexttime)
    There was a similar thread recently. Have a browse:

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4846500
    Thanks
    I was specifically wondering about the ability to have some work-life balance as a junior doctor, if you have any advice on that?
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vintagefirefly)
    Thanks
    I was specifically wondering about the ability to have some work-life balance as a junior doctor, if you have any advice on that?
    It's actually an interview topic they question at admissions! Something along the lines of "Why do you think it's necessary for doctors to have opportunities to destress and relax?".

    Yes doctors do have a good work-life balance in the end. They get as much paid annual leave as many other professions (remember, this isn't like school when you get a 'summer holiday'!).

    There is more of a learning curve in the starting years but it does tend to ease off as you go through the career from what I've heard so It does get better.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,

    I worked in the hospital for three years and I can tell you that it isn't easy. Of course it is still "only a job", which means you will have enough leisure time but it is a lot less than maybe your friends who work 9 to 5. What is most difficult of it all, is that you work in shifts and that you might have 24 or 48h shifts, you have to work the night shift etc. so this might actually collide with your friends' schedule. However it is still possible to maintain the friendships and such, but not all will understand. It can be quite exhausting, but it is a wonderful job.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vintagefirefly)
    Thanks
    I was specifically wondering about the ability to have some work-life balance as a junior doctor, if you have any advice on that?
    As healthcare is rapidly evolving and going through its greatest crisis ever currently its actually quite hard to predict the future. Currently, doctors are in very high demand and this means that when they have you locked into a full time contract they do work you like a dog. Not only are the hours long, but you will likely get very few breaks, have to sometimes stay late, you will have to do some work in your own time for free (revising for exams, doing audits etc) and the rapid rotating of nights then days then back to nights again that you get in some rotas makes those hours much harder to do than a simple 8-6 5 days per week. Your choice regarding when to take time off can also be very limited.

    Even more crucially, and something i didn't fully grasp before i started med school, is that they also require you to move city almost every year (or sometimes more often) until you are a consultant (so up to 10 years post graduation). Your jobs can be 100 miles apart, so you either face a very very long and frankly dangerous commute (junior doctors have a very high rate of road traffic accident death) or you move house every. single. year. It is highly draining, a huge financial burden, and a big problem to anyone who thinks they'll be settling down buying a house and starting a family before they are 35.

    However, the under staffing also means doctors are in demand at the moment and that has benefits. If you want to take a years break and come back no questions asked, you can. If you want to train part time, you can. Your training becomes very long if you do that and your income clearly halves, but your lifestyle clearly benefits. And you have to recognise that its not just doctors that face long hours - lots of other professions do as well, and in reality as a junior doctor you will still have most weekends to yourself, most evenings off, and you still get your 28 days per year annual leave. Its a hard job with massive downsides, but there are upsides too.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TBubblez)
    Hi,

    I worked in the hospital for three years and I can tell you that it isn't easy. Of course it is still "only a job", which means you will have enough leisure time but it is a lot less than maybe your friends who work 9 to 5. What is most difficult of it all, is that you work in shifts and that you might have 24 or 48h shifts, you have to work the night shift etc. so this might actually collide with your friends' schedule. However it is still possible to maintain the friendships and such, but not all will understand. It can be quite exhausting, but it is a wonderful job.
    Thank you. Yes, I've heard doctors mention the difficulties with shifts, as well as the difficulty with having to adapt with changing from night shifts to day shifts. Would you say it is worth it in the end, to have such a special job then?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nexttime)
    As healthcare is rapidly evolving and going through its greatest crisis ever currently its actually quite hard to predict the future. Currently, doctors are in very high demand and this means that when they have you locked into a full time contract they do work you like a dog. Not only are the hours long, but you will likely get very few breaks, have to sometimes stay late, you will have to do some work in your own time for free (revising for exams, doing audits etc) and the rapid rotating of nights then days then back to nights again that you get in some rotas makes those hours much harder to do than a simple 8-6 5 days per week. Your choice regarding when to take time off can also be very limited.

    Even more crucially, and something i didn't fully grasp before i started med school, is that they also require you to move city almost every year (or sometimes more often) until you are a consultant (so up to 10 years post graduation). Your jobs can be 100 miles apart, so you either face a very very long and frankly dangerous commute (junior doctors have a very high rate of road traffic accident death) or you move house every. single. year. It is highly draining, a huge financial burden, and a big problem to anyone who thinks they'll be settling down buying a house and starting a family before they are 35.

    However, the under staffing also means doctors are in demand at the moment and that has benefits. If you want to take a years break and come back no questions asked, you can. If you want to train part time, you can. Your training becomes very long if you do that and your income clearly halves, but your lifestyle clearly benefits. And you have to recognise that its not just doctors that face long hours - lots of other professions do as well, and in reality as a junior doctor you will still have most weekends to yourself, most evenings off, and you still get your 28 days per year annual leave. Its a hard job with massive downsides, but there are upsides too.
    Thank you so much for all that information! I am quite worried about the future - and from where I'm standing (with many family members being doctors), I can't see the NHS staying as it is for too much longer :/
    I feel so torn about what to do - on the one hand medicine would (as far as I know) be my perfect job, but I am also somebody who loves to spend time being creative, to be settled in one place, and to have free time with friends and family.
    Do you feel that it is all worth it, or do you in some ways regret choosing this career / lifestyle? Thank you again
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vintagefirefly)
    Thank you. Yes, I've heard doctors mention the difficulties with shifts, as well as the difficulty with having to adapt with changing from night shifts to day shifts. Would you say it is worth it in the end, to have such a special job then?
    It depends on you in the end. But you must realize that it will take away a lot of your spare time and it's difficult to combine with starting a family. it is possible of course, but you need to be really dedicated.
    Of course, once you are a doctor you could also choose to do something different like work in a clinic rather than a hospital or in a lab or somewhere with day time hours only. there are a lot of options, but the first years will be hard. But if you know all this and still decide to do it, i think its the right choice - because its a very interesting and rewarding job
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,

    I think it's normal to have these concerns. As someone who will start medicine in September, this is something that I considered very seriously. Since I am going to medicine as a mature student, an understanding that there is essentially no easy job out there helped me. Of course medicine would be on a different level as you have the reposibilty of people's lives but I am in academia right now and things are really tough. You regularly do unpaid work late into evenings and the weekends. In order to progress as a lecturer or a prof involved securing extremely hard to find grants, constantly worrying about publications (which is not directly related to how hard you work). My friends are in banking and while they make a decent living, their working hours are cruel.

    I think at the end of the day, as well as taking your passion into consideration, you should also take into account the sacrifices you will be okay to make in making something out of your life. And remembering that work life is not easy and every job will have really stressful times.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vintagefirefly)
    Thank you so much for all that information! I am quite worried about the future - and from where I'm standing (with many family members being doctors), I can't see the NHS staying as it is for too much longer :/
    I feel so torn about what to do - on the one hand medicine would (as far as I know) be my perfect job, but I am also somebody who loves to spend time being creative, to be settled in one place, and to have free time with friends and family.
    All i would add is that is can also depend on speciality. There is a reason why women of childbearing age tend to go for part time GP rather than trauma surgeon, and its not dislike of power tools.

    Do you feel that it is all worth it, or do you in some ways regret choosing this career / lifestyle? Thank you again
    I stand by what i said on that other thread (below). As above - i will probably alter my speciality choice from my actual subject of interest in order to get a better lifestyle.

    Spoiler:
    Show



    (Original post by nexttime)
    Despite all the problems the NHS is facing and the huge hit doctor's income have taken, its still a very varied very versatile job. As a result i will probably choose to work in a less intense area, am more likely to work part time and am more likely to take time out/leave the country entirely, but would i do it again? Probably.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vintagefirefly)
    Hi,
    I am thinking about applying to medical school... Although the career of a doctor seems absolutely perfect for me (I love learning about how the human body works & how it goes wrong, as well as engaging with people, caring for people, and 'problem-solving', I am worried about work-life balance.
    I feel that I would love medicine, but would still want time with friends, family, fitness etc., and I am really worried that the lifestyle of a Dr would make this impossible and stop me from experiencing other amazing things!
    If any junior doctors or relatives could shed any light on this, I would really appreciate it Thank you!
    I've shadowed both GPs and radiologists who have said their branch of medicine gave the best work-life balance. Near 9-5 days, weekends free often etc. Plus I guess there's always private work or working abroad!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Should Spain allow Catalonia to declare independence?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.