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    Medicine is something I've been considering since school but have only just looked into seriously at 25. I finished my degree in biomedical science 3 years ago and have found no job satisfaction in any diagnostic or research role I've had.

    I did a bit of shadowing with some respiratory consultants and decided to go for it. I sat the UKCAT and got a very average score, and also registered for the GAMSAT exam. Before sitting it in September I had a change of heart and tried to cancel it. My mum was diagnosed with cancer and I felt medicine wasn't a priority. However as I'd already passed the deadline for changes I went ahead with it as I'd paid a few hundred to sit it. I did no real revision and saw it as a practice run should I ever wish to sit it again. I applied via UCAS just in case.

    Since then I'd given medicine no real consideration as in my mind there was no chance I would have done well enough to even meet the cut offs. Then by some miracle I got my results back at the end of last week and I did fairly well! Medicine is now a real option but I need some advice from medical students/junior doctors - those who have gone through the graduate route even more so!

    Do you have any regrets about studying medicine? Does the course/job live up to your expectations? Is there any possibility of having a reasonable work-life balance?!

    Should I get a place next year that would put me at 30 by the time I graduate. When would be a good time to start a family?

    I realise it's a very personal decision but any advise would be massively appreciated! If you could suggest any ways for me to get a greater insight myself that would also be extremely useful.

    Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by kelisha2)
    Do you have any regrets about studying medicine?
    No

    Does the course/job live up to your expectations?
    Very much so - but then I'm in specialty training. There were times when I was junior that I was very much disillusioned.

    Is there any possibility of having a reasonable work-life balance
    In my specialty? Absolutely. In other specialties - it is harder and people do miss important events occasionally - e.g. a sibling's wedding? Though it is sometimes self-imposed (i.e. person not organised enough to swap)

    Should I get a place next year that would put me at 30 by the time I graduate. When would be a good time to start a family
    Whenever you like - in my (not personal!) experience med schools and training schemes are very accomodation. Any pressure to return is really the trainees' (I know a lady who took 4 weeks off after delivery, in order not to be a year below everyone, at CMT level).
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    (Original post by kelisha2)

    Do you have any regrets about studying medicine? Does the course/job live up to your expectations? Is there any possibility of having a reasonable work-life balance?!

    Should I get a place next year that would put me at 30 by the time I graduate. When would be a good time to start a family?

    I realise it's a very personal decision but any advise would be massively appreciated! If you could suggest any ways for me to get a greater insight myself that would also be extremely useful.

    Thanks in advance!
    I did undergrad medicine but have no regrets about choosing it. The job is different from what I expected, because what 18 year old really knows what to expect?! It is hard, and I think things are relatively worse for FY1s now than when I did it, because although their hours may be better on paper, the traditional firm structure is being eroded away and that was a valuable support network for me.

    Work/life balance is a very subjective judgement. I still manage to do things I enjoy outside of work, go on holidays, help run a Brownie pack etc - though my personal balance has changed since having a child! Rotas do interfere with seeing friends/family, and you will be working Christmas on a regular basis for the foreseeable future, but it is possible to have some time to relax.

    As for starting a family, I waited till I had a registrar job because I felt more secure with the longer term post (5 years, while foundation/core training jobs were only 2 years) and was 32 when my son was born. I've gone less than full-time since returning from mat leave, so I do 3 days a week and 60% of the normal amount of on-calls, which works nicely for me. As you would be older than me by the time you graduate, you may want to have kids sooner in your career, but there's never really a perfect time! The NHS maternity package is reasonable but you do have to have 12 months continuous NHS service before you're eligible, so that's worth bearing in mind.

    Good luck with your application!
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    (Original post by ecolier)
    No



    Very much so - but then I'm in specialty training. There were times when I was junior that I was very much disillusioned.



    In my specialty? Absolutely. In other specialties - it is harder and people do miss important events occasionally - e.g. a sibling's wedding? Though it is sometimes self-imposed (i.e. person not organised enough to swap)



    Whenever you like - in my (not personal!) experience med schools and training schemes are very accomodation. Any pressure to return is really the trainees' (I know a lady who took 4 weeks off after delivery, in order not to be a year below everyone, at CMT level).

    Thank you so much for your response! I think my main concern is managing a career and family life later down the line. Ideally I'd like to start a family in my early 30's but being a mature student I'll still be very early in my career at this point. I suppose it's something you can't really plan for so far in advance.

    In your experience, which specialties would you say are the most flexible?
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    (Original post by ecolier)
    Whenever you like - in my (not personal!) experience med schools and training schemes are very accomodation. Any pressure to return is really the trainees' (I know a lady who took 4 weeks off after delivery, in order not to be a year below everyone, at CMT level).
    What is your specialty?
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    I did undergrad medicine but have no regrets about choosing it. The job is different from what I expected, because what 18 year old really knows what to expect?! It is hard, and I think things are relatively worse for FY1s now than when I did it, because although their hours may be better on paper, the traditional firm structure is being eroded away and that was a valuable support network for me.

    Work/life balance is a very subjective judgement. I still manage to do things I enjoy outside of work, go on holidays, help run a Brownie pack etc - though my personal balance has changed since having a child! Rotas do interfere with seeing friends/family, and you will be working Christmas on a regular basis for the foreseeable future, but it is possible to have some time to relax.

    As for starting a family, I waited till I had a registrar job because I felt more secure with the longer term post (5 years, while foundation/core training jobs were only 2 years) and was 32 when my son was born. I've gone less than full-time since returning from mat leave, so I do 3 days a week and 60% of the normal amount of on-calls, which works nicely for me. As you would be older than me by the time you graduate, you may want to have kids sooner in your career, but there's never really a perfect time! The NHS maternity package is reasonable but you do have to have 12 months continuous NHS service before you're eligible, so that's worth bearing in mind.

    Good luck with your application!
    I'd say the one advantage of pursuing medicine at a later age is having a more realistic idea of what the job involves than you would at 18.. but then for myself (a massive over-thinker) it makes the decision making process even more difficult!

    As far as children are concerned I'm hoping it will all just come together at the time and be manageable. I'm quite interested in general practice at this point and I've heard as a specialty it's fairly flexible for family life.

    Thanks very much for your response. I have just received an email from St George's - looks like an interview is on the cards for February!
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    (Original post by peeked)
    What is your specialty?
    I do neurology myself, but that story was when I was doing CMT and the lady in question was doing endocrine.
 
 
 
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