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Thinking about medicine when I've already started law Watch

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    First year undergrad at a top London uni doing law but I've always struggled with choosing between med and law. In fact, I chose bio and chem for a level but I ****ed it up and left everything last minute before my AS exams so dropped out and then took on humanties instead and aced them obtaining A*A*A. I've always been naturally better at essay based subjects but I really need to work hard for sciences. thought that would be the same case when it came to doing law at uni which is one of the prime reasons I chose it. But honestly? This all just seems like a completely different language! I feel like I'm doing maths with words when it comes to contract problems for example. Also, the environment here is so competitive and it's making me wonder if I even want to get a career in law anymore. There's so much emphasis on magic circle firms and honestly I've never been interested in commercial law. I keep wondering if I should have just stuck to my sciences. I know there are some (very few but still) unis that have foundation courses for those without science background but ultimately if I were to drop out of law and apply for med now it'd be entry for 2019 so that would be another 2 years without uni and graduate in 2025 (for a 6 year foundation year) or could I straight up re-do my a levels in sciences in that 2 year gap? idk how that works considering I already have a level grades ? vs continuing law for 3 years then do an LPC for a year and start my training contract 2021/22.
    I'm just so confused and lost and I feel like I went into law without thinking about it realistically and so I don't want to make that mistake again by just continuing with it before it's too late and I've wasted all that money. It's been a month into the degree so I think it's now or never that I really start considering if it's for me.
    Do you think it's realistic switching to medicine and am I throwing away a great opportunity with law considering my current a level grades, the uni I'm at and the fact they gave me a law scholarship?
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    If you think medicine is less competitive than law you're in for a nasty shock.

    Have you had any work experience for medicine?
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    (Original post by Volibear)
    If you think medicine is less competitive than law you're in for a nasty shock.

    Have you had any work experience for medicine?
    I know the application process is crazy but in terms of job market there's no comparison
    Also, if I were to apply for medicine I have a disadvantaged background and there are lots of schemes for us so I think that would help in the application process a little. I've never done work experience for medicine I never had the chance to as I suffered from depression a lot in my AS year and in my A2 year I suffered a pedestrian accident and suddenly it was time to apply for uni! But that's why I think the 2 year gap would be a good chance for me to gain some
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    I know the application process is crazy but in terms of job market there's no comparison
    Also, if I were to apply for medicine I have a disadvantaged background and there are lots of schemes for us so I think that would help in the application process a little. I've never done work experience for medicine I never had the chance to as I suffered from depression a lot in my AS year and in my A2 year I suffered a pedestrian accident and suddenly it was time to apply for uni! But that's why I think the 2 year gap would be a good chance for me to gain some
    So all the postgraduate exams don't count? Not to mention being outcompeted for a consultant position or opportunity to get into research etc?

    I'm sorry but I just don't see how this is a good idea. If you drop out, do work experience, and realise medicine isn't for you, what are you going to do? What's your backup plan? I'm all for people only going to university if they think it will benefit them, not just because it's the trendy thing to do, but you might be risking a lot for something you haven't had relevant experience for.
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    (Original post by Volibear)
    If you think medicine is less competitive than law you're in for a nasty shock.

    Have you had any work experience for medicine?
    Could you please explain more?
    I thought carers like medicine and all health & care related are funded by the government for a reason, therefore graduates should be able to find jobs easily and for doctors maybe without even looking for a job as they have a foundation year and so..

    What makes medicine competitive?
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    (Original post by UNSAID)
    Could you please explain more?
    I thought carers like medicine and all health & care related are funded by the government for a reason, therefore graduates should be able to find jobs easily and for doctors maybe without even looking for a job as they have a foundation year and so..

    What makes medicine competitive?
    You're pretty much guranteed to have a job once you graduate as a doctor. The competitive part is getting the medical career you want.
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    (Original post by Volibear)
    So all the postgraduate exams don't count? Not to mention being outcompeted for a consultant position or opportunity to get into research etc?

    I'm sorry but I just don't see how this is a good idea. If you drop out, do work experience, and realise medicine isn't for you, what are you going to do? What's your backup plan? I'm all for people only going to university if they think it will benefit them, not just because it's the trendy thing to do, but you might be risking a lot for something you haven't had relevant experience for.
    Yes but you are guaranteed a job as a junior doctor, that's what the goal is. That doesn't compare to trying to get a vacation scheme in 2nd year and then hoping they see something in you and actually offer you a training contract. If they don't give you one you then have to go elsewhere where they'll be more likely to offer their TC to their vacation scheme kids. A lot of prep for a job in law happens whilst you're still at uni undergrad and it's outside of your studies. That isn't the case with medicine, you can just focus on your studies.
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    (Original post by Volibear)
    You're pretty much guranteed to have a job once you graduate as a doctor. The competitive part is getting the medical career you want.

    Exactly... whereas with law you go through all this wondering if you'll ever even see the inside of an office after graduating... and the LPC and BPTC aren't exactly cheap. It's just a huge financial risk.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    Yes but you are guaranteed a job as a junior doctor, that's what the goal is. That doesn't compare to trying to get a vacation scheme in 2nd year and then hoping they see something in you and actually offer you a training contract. If they don't give you one you then have to go elsewhere where they'll be more likely to offer their TC to their vacation scheme kids. A lot of prep for a job in law happens whilst you're still at uni undergrad and it's outside of your studies. That isn't the case with medicine, you can just focus on your studies.
    Fine, whatever, medicine will be a breeze. I still think dropping out now isn't the best idea unless you have a backup plan for if you find out medicine isn't for you.
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    (Original post by UNSAID)
    Could you please explain more?
    I thought carers like medicine and all health & care related are funded by the government for a reason, therefore graduates should be able to find jobs easily and for doctors maybe without even looking for a job as they have a foundation year and so..

    What makes medicine competitive?
    It's competitive to get into in the first place. Thereafter, there's competition to get jobs in certain locations/specialties, but realistically most medical graduates end up with a job as a doctor. Law has a bit less certainty than Medicine in that respect. Medicine can be brutal, but on the whole I think it's a bit more co-operative than Law, which makes sense when you consider what the respective career paths involve.

    The bit that worries me most from the OP is this:
    But honestly? This all just seems like a completely different language! I feel like I'm doing maths with words when it comes to contract problems for example.
    Really? If you can't manage the 'maths with words' that you're struggling with in Law, how on earth are you going to cope with things like statistics or biochemistry?
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    It's competitive to get into in the first place. Thereafter, there's competition to get jobs in certain locations/specialties, but realistically most medical graduates end up with a job as a doctor. Law has a bit less certainty than Medicine in that respect. Medicine can be brutal, but on the whole I think it's a bit more co-operative than Law, which makes sense when you consider what the respective career paths involve.

    The bit that worries me most from the OP is this:

    Really? If you can't manage the 'maths with words' that you're struggling with in Law, how on earth are you going to cope with things like statistics or biochemistry?
    I meant that in the sense that I didn't expect law to feel like maths but it does in a weird way. I don't know what I was thinking when I applied honestly. I just knew I was good at writing essays and found law really interesting.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    I meant that in the sense that I didn't expect law to feel like maths but it does in a weird way. I don't know what I was thinking when I applied honestly. I just knew I was good at writing essays and found law really interesting.
    Yes, but if you're struggling with Law partly because it 'feels like maths', how would you cope with actual maths?

    I'm not suggesting you couldn't do well at Medicine; I have no idea whether you could or not. But at the moment, your post reads like that of someone who's realised they're not happy doing what they're doing (despite only being a month or so into the course), and is grasping for the next 'prestigious' career without giving that much thought either. Medicine is interesting, and leads to a great job, but you need to think properly about what you might be committing to if you drop out of Law and apply for Medicine instead.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    Exactly... whereas with law you go through all this wondering if you'll ever even see the inside of an office after graduating... and the LPC and BPTC aren't exactly cheap. It's just a huge financial risk.
    Here’s a simple way of showing the real life issue my friend is having.

    He has done his 2 foundation years, and completed his core surgical training (2years).
    He sat the exams and the membership and is now a surgeon. Each exam cost approx £500 and the membership was nearing 2000 afaik. All paid out of own pocket.
    He wants to do urology.
    He got a spot on the training program.
    There are 4 spots on the training program for all of Ireland.
    At the end of the training, there are 2 consultanty posts that may or may not be even available at the end of his training.
    And they could be anywhere across Ireland.
    So even with all the training, chances of actually getting that consultant job is 50%.

    Even though this is Ireland, it is the same in the uk.

    Law and medicine are competitive. If you’re interested in law generally then you could always go on and do medical law.
    If you are smart and hard working there are other options out there, don’t fall into the trap of “you’ Smart, so you should do medicine or law.”
    Many, many people in Med school have been pushed into it that way, just remember it is an intensive 5 years plus 2 years of basic training and then what ever path you deicide on.
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    (Original post by *pitseleh*)
    Yes, but if you're struggling with Law partly because it 'feels like maths', how would you cope with actual maths?

    I'm not suggesting you couldn't do well at Medicine; I have no idea whether you could or not. But at the moment, your post reads like that of someone who's realised they're not happy doing what they're doing (despite only being a month or so into the course), and is grasping for the next 'prestigious' career without giving that much thought either. Medicine is interesting, and leads to a great job, but you need to think properly about what you might be committing to if you drop out of Law and apply for Medicine instead.
    I'm not struggling with it because it feels like maths, it's just not what I was expecting is my point.

    And yeah, I get what you mean but as I said, I was so ready to go for medicine at the end of secondary school. Anyway yeah, I'm taking the time now to really think about if it's something I really want to commit to
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    Exactly... whereas with law you go through all this wondering if you'll ever even see the inside of an office after graduating... and the LPC and BPTC aren't exactly cheap. It's just a huge financial risk.
    Okay.

    I agree that studying Law makes you wonder whether or not you will actually become a lawyer. I'm actually in a similar situation (1st year law student with no family a £1000 savings account and no one in earth would pay for my LPC in the future) still I won't drop out and will do my best to get a 1st.

    Tbh I wanted to do medicine aswell but I did triple science in the past and I failed it miserably. Not because I was lazy but I didn't have the time, family support, money, age, maths, I didn't have the perfect environment to give it my best.

    You might be in a different situation and you can afford to spend 10 additional years in education so If you think you are able And you can go through all challenges and you're ready to sacrifice to do medicine go for it. But just be honest and realistic with your self and take time thinking about it/ looking at med studying materials.. .

    Other points to keep on mind.
    Weather it's Law or any other degrees you don't go to uni to get a job.

    You go to learn and get knowledge, getting a job won't ever be secured even if you get a 1st it's at the end a peace of paper.
    If you have a good experience, if you focus on developing yourself and build your personality throughout your 3 or 4 years of uni this is what would matter the most (what you do outside uni).

    +

    Law degree is a well respected degree and will definitely open other doors for you so consider looking otger careers than becoming a lawyer.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    I'm not struggling with it because it feels like maths, it's just not what I was expecting is my point.

    And yeah, I get what you mean but as I said, I was so ready to go for medicine at the end of secondary school. Anyway yeah, I'm taking the time now to really think about if it's something I really want to commit to
    Okay.. so if you're having trouble with Law because it's not what you expected, then I guess that's all the more incentive to think hard and make sure you don't make the same mistake twice. Try not to let yourself fall into the trap of creating an idealised version of Medicine for yourself; there's every chance that your impression of Medicine resembles the actual degree as little as your impression of Law resembled that degree. Speak to as many med students/doctors as you can, and let them tell you what it's actually like. If you have preconceptions, ask people if those hold up to the reality. Above all else, get some really solid work experience and voluntary work under your belt (both are very important for Medicine). If you're planning to drop out of one degree and then take a bit of time out of education, med schools will want to see that you've spent that time as wisely and fruitfully as possible.

    You're not the first person to want to transfer from one to the other, and you won't be the last! Just make sure you're not doing what a lot of other bright people do, and assume that it has to be one or the other. If you do the work experience etc and figure out Medicine is not for you, what's plan C? Either way, I hope things work out for you.

    (Original post by UNSAID)
    You might be in a different situation and you can afford to spend 10 additional years in education so If you think you are able And you can go through all challenges and you're ready to sacrifice to do medicine go for it. But just be honest and realistic with your self and take time thinking about it/ looking at med studying materials.. .
    Although Medicine sort of involves 10-15 years 'in education' you're paid as soon as you graduate from medical school (i.e. after year 5 or 6, assuming you go into the course as an undergraduate). It's expensive, obviously, but you're not going to be skint for your whole training period!

    Other points to keep on mind.
    Weather it's Law or any other degrees you don't go to uni to get a job.

    You go to learn and get knowledge, getting a job won't ever be secured even if you get a 1st it's at the end a peace of paper.
    If you have a good experience, if you focus on developing yourself and build your personality throughout your 3 or 4 years of uni this is what would matter the most (what you do outside uni).

    +

    Law degree is a well respected degree and will definitely open other doors for you so consider looking otger careers than becoming a lawyer.
    That's a nice idea, but Medicine and certain other courses such as Vet Med, Dentistry, Nursing, Architecture, Physiotherapy and so on, lead to vocational degrees, meaning 'getting a job' is the exact reason people on those courses go to university. Yes, there are transferrable skills from any of those degrees, but the courses are set up as training with specific career goals in mind. The difference between those vocational degrees and something like Law is that with the former, by the time you finish the degree you're qualified to do the job (albeit on the bottom rung, with additional post-graduate training required in some cases) and can call yourself 'doctor', 'nurse', 'vet' and so on. In the latter instance, you need certain post-grad qualifications in order to be able to call yourself 'lawyer' or 'solicitor', so your suggestion of maybe going to university for enlightenment's sake makes a little more sense there.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    First year undergrad at a top London uni doing law but I've always struggled with choosing between med and law. In fact, I chose bio and chem for a level but I ****ed it up and left everything last minute before my AS exams so dropped out and then took on humanties instead and aced them obtaining A*A*A. I've always been naturally better at essay based subjects but I really need to work hard for sciences. thought that would be the same case when it came to doing law at uni which is one of the prime reasons I chose it. But honestly? This all just seems like a completely different language! I feel like I'm doing maths with words when it comes to contract problems for example. Also, the environment here is so competitive and it's making me wonder if I even want to get a career in law anymore. There's so much emphasis on magic circle firms and honestly I've never been interested in commercial law. I keep wondering if I should have just stuck to my sciences. I know there are some (very few but still) unis that have foundation courses for those without science background but ultimately if I were to drop out of law and apply for med now it'd be entry for 2019 so that would be another 2 years without uni and graduate in 2025 (for a 6 year foundation year) or could I straight up re-do my a levels in sciences in that 2 year gap? idk how that works considering I already have a level grades ? vs continuing law for 3 years then do an LPC for a year and start my training contract 2021/22.
    I'm just so confused and lost and I feel like I went into law without thinking about it realistically and so I don't want to make that mistake again by just continuing with it before it's too late and I've wasted all that money. It's been a month into the degree so I think it's now or never that I really start considering if it's for me.
    Do you think it's realistic switching to medicine and am I throwing away a great opportunity with law considering my current a level grades, the uni I'm at and the fact they gave me a law scholarship?
    If you haven't done any medical work experience, how do you know medicine is something right for you? It's difficult to get in and the workload is intense. If you're struggling with Law now, how are you going to be able to deal with Medicine? It's not easier. In fact, I'd say it's much harder.

    Now, I did medical work experience when I was a teenager but I ended up studying Law. I changed my mind during my Law degree but I finished studying and I'm now studying graduate entry Medicine. When I made the decision to apply, I already had experience of what medicine would entail and since you're lacking this experience, I wonder whether your interest in medicine is more fuelled by your lack of interest in Law than anything else?

    The only real motivation (if you can call it that) I see for Medicine in your post is that you perceive it to be less competitive than Law but really, getting a medical school place will be comparably competitive to getting a Magic Circle training contract. So it's not going to get any easier.

    If you seriously want to consider medicine, get some work experience first before you make a decision you may regret later.

    You say that you dropped Bio and Chem so I'm assuming you took three years in sixth form? I'd also contact individual universities to make sure they'd consider you if you were to drop out and take your A Levels again. I'd also advise you to think about the effect of dropping out and the impression it would leave on medical school interviewers, who may want to see evidence of commitment.

    You've also only been at university for a month so it's no surprise you're struggling. Law didn't make any sense to me until the end of the first year and through the first semester of the second year.

    Oh, and the SRA are scrapping the LPC in favour of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam so you won't be taking the LPC.

    And Medicine is also like a completely different language.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    I know the application process is crazy but in terms of job market there's no comparison
    Also, if I were to apply for medicine I have a disadvantaged background and there are lots of schemes for us so I think that would help in the application process a little. I've never done work experience for medicine I never had the chance to as I suffered from depression a lot in my AS year and in my A2 year I suffered a pedestrian accident and suddenly it was time to apply for uni! But that's why I think the 2 year gap would be a good chance for me to gain some
    "No comparison" Someone like 30% of Docs after the foundation years leave for academic or private medicine because they can;t get their desired speciality.
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    Basically OP, not a good idea.
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    Don't rush into anything. You won't get your money back for this academic year and can't apply for medicine now anyway. My vote would be to work hard this year and aim for a 1st. You may learn to enjoy your course and this will set you up (particularly with A*A*A* and a scholarship) for an awesome career in law.

    You could simultaneously plan your "escape" to medical school by building up an application (e.g. work experience) during that time. If you do choose to leave law, a 1st this year will convince everyone that you are making a positive decision and aren't just struggling with your course. Do some reading about the different medical schools' entry requirements and perhaps ask directly whether they would consider an application from someone that is already registered for a degree elsewhere. It might be that you need to top up your existing A-levels with (e.g.) a chemistry A-level to satisfy their admission requirements. My former school let me do this (sit exams and even supervised the practical components!) a number of years after I'd left to go to university. A local further education college might also be able to help. A single A-level really isn't a very big deal compared with the material you will be expected to learn for the LLB.

    Alternatively, you could finish the LLB and plan to join a 4-year graduate entry medicine course afterwards. There are lots of overlaps between medicine and law, and plenty of roles for those with training in both.

    PS. It is normal to have serious doubts about your choice of course at this stage. I would definitely aim to sit it out for a bit longer but - by all means - have a "Plan B" set up so that you don't have to go into the second year if you still aren't convinced. I wouldn't be put off by your magic circle types either - there are many more worthwhile careers in law beyond working in an open plan office on mergers and acquisitions.
 
 
 
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