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Thinking about medicine when I've already started law Watch

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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 actually think getting a training contract or pupillage is harder than getting into medicine.
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    (Original post by SomeWelshGuy123)
    "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.
    No-one really leaves for academia and private medicine isn't an option for someone who's only just finished the foundation programme. A number of people do become full-time locums (it is many times more lucrative) or leave the country (more lucrative and better tan...) at this stage.

    The only people who really struggle are those obsessed with joining one competitive specialty (e.g. cardiac surgery) in a limited geographical area (usually London). Most people end up doing what they want.

    It is a very different situation to the situation that new lawyers (particularly barristers) find themselves in, i.e. self-funding the BPTC, minimum wage, working for free, no guarantees of progression, etc.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    No-one really leaves for academia and private medicine isn't an option for someone who's only just finished the foundation programme. A number of people do become full-time locums (it is many times more lucrative) or leave the country (more lucrative and better tan...) at this stage.

    The only people who really struggle are those obsessed with joining one competitive specialty (e.g. cardiac surgery) in a limited geographical area (usually London). Most people end up doing what they want.

    It is a very different situation to the situation that new lawyers (particularly barristers) find themselves in, i.e. self-funding the BPTC, minimum wage, working for free, no guarantees of progression, etc.
    Umm, that 30% thing was directly from the NHS, 1/3 of Doctors trained in the UK leave the NHS after foundation training.
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    (Original post by paniking_and_not_revising)
    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.
    Wow, so you did three years of law and went straight for post-grad med... could you share more about your experience? Did you work in the legal field at all, why did you go into law in the first place, etc

    I dropped bio&chem during AS but I still had 2 humanities which I carried on with to A2 and at A2 I took on another humanities subject and completed both its AS and A2 exams in one year so all in all it took me 2 years for a levels

    now that i'm at law school, where do i find the time to do medical work experience, that's why i thought if i dropped out i'd have all that time to go for it but obviously that's a huge risk so i'm really stuck on what to do
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    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.
    thank you, this is some really helpful advice!
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    (Original post by SomeWelshGuy123)
    "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.
    U wot m8?
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    If you are going to consider this seriously, you would need to research things carefully. Many med schools will not accept applicants who have dropped out of a degree course. Nor will most consider applicants who took longer than 2 years to complete the required A levels (usually Chemistry +/- Biology); you would fit into this category if you resit/continue your A levels in science subjects you have already started. There are a few unis that do not mind this scenario (Exeter, BSMS, Lancaster, Liverpool, Keele, UEA, Plymouth, I think off the top of my head), but even some of those will only accept this if they are achieved grades.
    So I do not think it is just a simple as deciding you want to do medicine and dropping out. You need to listen carefully to the advice already given, but also check all the university websites and admission policies to see if they exclude people who have failed to complete a degree, or who take longer than 2 years to achieve A levels. If necessary, call them up and ask (but maybe best to give them a few weeks to finish with this year's applicants!). You will then have a list of places is it possible for you to apply. You can also research foundation courses in the same way, as the same rules may well apply to them. Medical school admission rules are tough, and if you are not a standard applicant, they can be even tougher
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    What if Medicine is too stressful for you? It seems like you chose medicine and law based on prestige, but you tend to bail once you come up against any obstacle whatsoever. It doesn't seem like you are really committed to either of them to be honest. What do you really want to do? If you don't want to deal with hard work or stress, then pick a less stressful path.
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    (Original post by 06moca1)
    I actually think getting a training contract or pupillage is harder than getting into medicine.
    Getting into medicine isn't the only part that is competitive smh. Anyway, this point has already been explained by other posters.
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)

    now that i'm at law school, where do i find the time to do medical work experience, that's why i thought if i dropped out i'd have all that time to go for it but obviously that's a huge risk so i'm really stuck on what to do
    You're in first year Law, you have plenty of time to get work experience. Second years and third years from various degrees manage to balance academic work with work experience in preparation for applying for GEM. I'm applying for GEM next fall and am currently balancing an intergrated masters with voluntary work. It takes time management and sacrifices sometime but if I can do it, and everyone else can, you definitely can too.
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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?
    I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago. I am now currently in my 4th year of a Levels (2 separate 2 year courses) with predicted A*A*A* (and achieved A*AB) and I have just sent my application off.
    I agree with the majority of the posts, Medicine is very competitive! A lot of medical schools won’t consider resits if you fail the first time, also a lot may not consider you if you drop out of another degree as it shows no commitment. You also need a really strong UKCAT which is extremely hard and a lot of experience.
    You should get some experience before dropping out. I’d also look to study a foundation course rather than re-do your a Levels as most unis will not accept this and if you said you struggled with bio and chem the first time there’s really no point. But again these schemes are even more competitive with only a handful of courses and around 20 ish places on each course.
    Medicine is an extremely hard career but extremely interesting and rewarding, I loved my experience and I knew that it was 100% what I wanted to do.
    Honestly you have an uphill climb I would only drop out if you feel you NEED to do medicine rather than want.
    I would continue your degree aim to get a 1st and then look at post grad courses
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    (Original post by SomeWelshGuy123)
    Umm, that 30% thing was directly from the NHS, 1/3 of Doctors trained in the UK leave the NHS after foundation training.
    30% might well leave the NHS but they are going abroad, working as agency locums or (sometimes) leaving medicine altogether. They are not leaving for academia or private medicine as per your earlier post.
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    A few posters here have assumed that the OP is only considering medicine and law because of perceived status. I don't get this from the OP at all, particularly as one of the reasons they are turned off law is because their cohort only appear to be interested in selling their souls to corporate law firms.

    The reality is that medicine and law are similar in many respects - they are both professions, vocational courses with clear end points, secure (albeit less so for lawyers) careers, have reasonable salaries, require life long learning and application of expertise to solve patients'/clients' problems, provide opportunities to support/advocate for the vulnerable, etc.

    I don't have much faith in work experience as providing any kind of true insight into work as a doctor. The OP's lack of work experience (so far) is hardly a reason for him/her not to develop a medical school application. People who are 18/19 now have enough time to change direction lots of times before they settle on a final career.

    DOI: Another LLB MBChB.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    A few posters here have assumed that the OP is only considering medicine and law because of perceived status. I don't get this from the OP at all, particularly as one of the reasons they are turned off law is because their cohort only appear to be interested in selling their souls to corporate law firms.

    The reality is that medicine and law are similar in many respects - they are both professions, vocational courses with clear end points, secure (albeit less so for lawyers) careers, have reasonable salaries, require life long learning and application of expertise to solve patients'/clients' problems, provide opportunities to support/advocate for the vulnerable, etc.

    I don't have much faith in work experience as providing any kind of true insight into work as a doctor. The OP's lack of work experience (so far) is hardly a reason for him/her not to develop a medical school application. People who are 18/19 now have enough time to change direction lots of times before they settle on a final career.

    DOI: Another LLB MBChB.
    They usually lead to very different routes though and the main connection is the prestige factor. The OP dropped science A-levels because they weren't easy enough and now they want to drop Law for the same reason. I doubt that they'll be able to coast through Medicine! Rather than rushing in, the OP should think about things carefully. Dropping things because you find them hard can become a very dangerous habit.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    A few posters here have assumed that the OP is only considering medicine and law because of perceived status. I don't get this from the OP at all, particularly as one of the reasons they are turned off law is because their cohort only appear to be interested in selling their souls to corporate law firms.

    The reality is that medicine and law are similar in many respects - they are both professions, vocational courses with clear end points, secure (albeit less so for lawyers) careers, have reasonable salaries, require life long learning and application of expertise to solve patients'/clients' problems, provide opportunities to support/advocate for the vulnerable, etc.

    I don't have much faith in work experience as providing any kind of true insight into work as a doctor. The OP's lack of work experience (so far) is hardly a reason for him/her not to develop a medical school application. People who are 18/19 now have enough time to change direction lots of times before they settle on a final career.

    DOI: Another LLB MBChB.
    I think the main issue we all have is OP doesn't have a plan B actually.
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    (Original post by MollBritton98)
    I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago. I am now currently in my 4th year of a Levels (2 separate 2 year courses) with predicted A*A*A* (and achieved A*AB) and I have just sent my application off.
    I agree with the majority of the posts, Medicine is very competitive! A lot of medical schools won’t consider resits if you fail the first time, also a lot may not consider you if you drop out of another degree as it shows no commitment. You also need a really strong UKCAT which is extremely hard and a lot of experience.
    You should get some experience before dropping out. I’d also look to study a foundation course rather than re-do your a Levels as most unis will not accept this and if you said you struggled with bio and chem the first time there’s really no point. But again these schemes are even more competitive with only a handful of courses and around 20 ish places on each course.
    Medicine is an extremely hard career but extremely interesting and rewarding, I loved my experience and I knew that it was 100% what I wanted to do.
    Honestly you have an uphill climb I would only drop out if you feel you NEED to do medicine rather than want.
    I would continue your degree aim to get a 1st and then look at post grad courses
    you said you're in 4th year of a levels, does that mean you didn't actually start a degree, but have just chosen to do different a levels?
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    you said you're in 4th year of a levels, does that mean you didn't actually start a degree, but have just chosen to do different a levels?
    Yes, basically I finished 2 years of a Levels at one college and then went straight to a different college to do different a Levels
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    (Original post by YaliaV)
    They usually lead to very different routes though and the main connection is the prestige factor. The OP dropped science A-levels because they weren't easy enough and now they want to drop Law for the same reason. I doubt that they'll be able to coast through Medicine! Rather than rushing in, the OP should think about things carefully. Dropping things because you find them hard can become a very dangerous habit.
    You clearly didn't read my post. I didn't drop my science A levels because they were hard. I said I left everything to the last minute and it was not possible to learn a whole year's content in a month! The reason for that was because I was suffering from depression the whole year and had no motivation to study at all. I don't want to drop law because it's hard, there's a lot of content but completely doable if I were to put all the work in. My problem is whether I should put all the work in considering my heart isn't completely in it and my future is so uncertain. In terms of career I did not expect the focus to be on commercial law either, an area which I have absolutely no interest in going in to but then if I don't will I find a firm rich enough to help fund my LPC?
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    (Original post by MollBritton98)
    Yes, basically I finished 2 years of a Levels at one college and then went straight to a different college to do different a Levels
    i see. what unis have you applied to this year then? good luck with the application!
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    (Original post by OkashiAddict)
    i see. what unis have you applied to this year then? good luck with the application!
    I’ve applied to HYMS, Sheffield, Newcastle and Leicester, thank you! Are you an applicant?
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