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    NAh that’s completely fine, depends on the person. I know a couple of consultants who have never published a single research paper
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
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    What do you mean by an "academic doctor"?
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    What do you mean by an "academic doctor"?
    Sorry, my OP hasn't been posted yet for some reason. I'll try again:


    I am aware that despite the medicine course and subsequent career as a doctor being vocational, you do need to be academic to get through. But that isn't my question. Is it ok to want to be a doctor but not be especially interested in academic medicine?

    I have good grades, I know how to study and by all accounts my academic record would indicate I'm an academic person. But it's not what I'm interested in. I want to study medicine and become a good doctor, but I don't want to do it because I want to 'change the world'. By this I mean I don't want to study medicine to 'discover the cure to cancer or Alzheimer's'. I don't want to be a doctor with the purpose of being central to ground breaking research. I just want to go out and do it. I want to put what I've learned to practice, adapt what I know to the situation, and change things for the patient(s) that I'm dealing with at the time. If I discover something 'revolutionary' along the way then that's great of course, but I mainly just want to learn the job, the lifestyle, and get on with it.

    However, I then hear/read of people arguing about where one should go for medical school, that certain universities (i.e. Oxbridge) will give you the connections to 'get somewhere' in medicine. And by that it's always about research etc. It makes me feel like going into medicine with the desire of being a clinical doctor and not necessarily wanting to be a 'game changer', is not good enough. I do want to be the difference, make a difference, but not in that way.
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    A lot of people don't go into medicine for research. Whilst it will make up elements of your course, and you may need some evidence of research for some specialist training that you may want to get into, it isn't a necessity to be a Doctor.
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    Sorry, my OP hasn't been posted yet for some reason. I'll try again:

    I don't want to be a doctor with the purpose of being central to ground breaking research. I just want to go out and do it. I want to put what I've learned to practice
    you sound like a potential ideal doctor. someone spending time on research rather than patients sounds less ideal. I don't think clinical doctors really have the time to do research as well? research is pretty consuming with all the repeating of experiments and writing up reports...I don't really think you'd be expected to be both. Plus I thought scientific researchers would have a phd in biochemstry or something not a medical degree. You aren't planning to get a phd I don't think so I don't see why research would come into it.
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    Sorry, my OP hasn't been posted yet for some reason. I'll try again:


    I am aware that despite the medicine course and subsequent career as a doctor being vocational, you do need to be academic to get through. But that isn't my question. Is it ok to want to be a doctor but not be especially interested in academic medicine?

    I have good grades, I know how to study and by all accounts my academic record would indicate I'm an academic person. But it's not what I'm interested in. I want to study medicine and become a good doctor, but I don't want to do it because I want to 'change the world'. By this I mean I don't want to study medicine to 'discover the cure to cancer or Alzheimer's'. I don't want to be a doctor with the purpose of being central to ground breaking research. I just want to go out and do it. I want to put what I've learned to practice, adapt what I know to the situation, and change things for the patient(s) that I'm dealing with at the time. If I discover something 'revolutionary' along the way then that's great of course, but I mainly just want to learn the job, the lifestyle, and get on with it.

    However, I then hear/read of people arguing about where one should go for medical school, that certain universities (i.e. Oxbridge) will give you the connections to 'get somewhere' in medicine. And by that it's always about research etc. It makes me feel like going into medicine with the desire of being a clinical doctor and not necessarily wanting to be a 'game changer', is not good enough. I do want to be the difference, make a difference, but not in that way.
    The people 'discovering a cure for Alzheimer's or cancer' will almost certainly not be a medical doctor, they'll be PhD doctors working in drug development or something similar.

    Almost all doctors at one point or another are involved in quality improvement or auditing, but that's not something that will take up the majority of your time, and isn't researching in the same capacity as what you are thinking of.

    I don't know what you mean by Oxbridge giving you the connections to 'get somewhere' in medicine.
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    (Original post by ax12)
    I don't know what you mean by Oxbridge giving you the connections to 'get somewhere' in medicine.
    This is something that I always hear from TSR. There are countless threads from people asking if going to Cambridge or Oxford medical school is better than go anywhere else. I mean, I know that it makes little difference at all when it comes to getting a job, but there's still this vibe that seems to be going around that they will give you the 'connections'.
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    (Original post by applesforme)
    you sound like a potential ideal doctor. someone spending time on research rather than patients sounds less ideal. I don't think clinical doctors really have the time to do research as well? research is pretty consuming with all the repeating of experiments and writing up reports...I don't really think you'd be expected to be both. Plus I thought scientific researchers would have a phd in biochemstry or something not a medical degree. You aren't planning to get a phd I don't think so I don't see why research would come into it.
    This is what I mean essentially. This is what the GEM course at Oxford says:

    "The course has a strong emphasis on academic medicine within a clinical context, and will appeal particularly to those who aim for a career combining clinical practice with medical research."
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    This is what I mean essentially. This is what the GEM course at Oxford says:

    "The course has a strong emphasis on academic medicine within a clinical context, and will appeal particularly to those who aim for a career combining clinical practice with medical research."
    Oxbridge methods of teaching differ considerably from other medical courses.
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    This is what I mean essentially. This is what the GEM course at Oxford says:

    "The course has a strong emphasis on academic medicine within a clinical context, and will appeal particularly to those who aim for a career combining clinical practice with medical research."
    so don't apply to oxford then? pretty simple.
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    (Original post by applesforme)
    so don't apply to oxford then? pretty simple.
    Well I'm not going to haha, but I mean is there anything wrong with not wanting/particularly caring about academic medicine? Just being in medicine for the clinical aspect? Because medicine (well some specialities) are progressing and changing, becoming more technological or using whole new 'revolutionary' methods. But is not wanting to work in a speciality that may be as academic, because I just don't think that suits me and what I want out of the career, ok? Or is it something I will have to accept will happen?
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    You have asked a very interesting question, and the answers you get will depend hugely on who you ask. I'll throw in my two pence (as someone who's finishing a PhD and heading to GEM this year- to make you aware of my biases).

    It's been my experience that the best medics are also great and curious scientists. There is an element, in the non-academic medics I have seen working, of rote prescription writing, a lack of real investigative curiosity in diagnosis and a more cavalier 'shotgun' approach to medicine. Those medics who have gone through the trouble of a rigorous scientific background are more curious, more diligent and generally 'better'. This typically ties with a greater interest in research and underlying science.

    I'm of the opinion that it's a travesty that so many medics couldn't care less about the science underpinning their practice. Medicine shouldn't (again, in my opinion!) just be script writing and associated non-academic practice.
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    (Original post by MissingPhoton)
    You have asked a very interesting question, and the answers you get will depend hugely on who you ask. I'll throw in my two pence (as someone who's finishing a PhD and heading to GEM this year- to make you aware of my biases).

    It's been my experience that the best medics are also great and curious scientists. There is an element, in the non-academic medics I have seen working, of rote prescription writing, a lack of real investigative curiosity in diagnosis and a more cavalier 'shotgun' approach to medicine. Those medics who have gone through the trouble of a rigorous scientific background are more curious, more diligent and generally 'better'. This typically ties with a greater interest in research and underlying science.

    I'm of the opinion that it's a travesty that so many medics couldn't care less about the science underpinning their practice. Medicine shouldn't (again, in my opinion!) just be script writing and associated non-academic practice.
    I'm curious as to your backstory. What's your PhD speciality? And made you decide to pursue a career in medicine after going so far in your studies already?
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    Well I'm not going to haha, but I mean is there anything wrong with not wanting/particularly caring about academic medicine? Just being in medicine for the clinical aspect? Because medicine (well some specialities) are progressing and changing, becoming more technological or using whole new 'revolutionary' methods. But is not wanting to work in a speciality that may be as academic, because I just don't think that suits me and what I want out of the career, ok? Or is it something I will have to accept will happen?
    Might be best to ask people working in clinical medicine how much they are involved in learning about new technologies in medicine. It might jsut be when it's useful to you - so if your hospital gets a new mri machine or something then that would be when you learn about a new technology. I don't know how much doctors keep up to date with new technologies, whether they are reading journals in their spare time and attending lectures now and then to keep up to date with new things. whethe it matters that you don't care about it and whether you should care...maybe that's what you need to find out from actual clinical doctors. maybe they will give your reasons why you should care, or why it's ok not to.
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    (Original post by David B)
    I'm curious as to your backstory. What's your PhD speciality? And made you decide to pursue a career in medicine after going so far in your studies already?
    Chemical Biology. Neurodegenerative disease and neurotherapeutics.

    The realisation that the clinic is an incredible distance from the lab and that really, the end goal in medical science is to help people, the amount of work that actually gets done in a lab that genuinely impacts peoples lives is trivial.

    I realise that that may sound counter to my previous message, but there's a little more to it. To be able to effectively treat a disease/ come up with a new drug/ manage a patient's weird symptoms/understand why some drugs work and which ones to use etc requires an exquisite knowledge of the underlying pathology of the disease, yes... but also necessitates the use of some of the mental acrobatics that you learn to do when doing hard science. That is to say, the skills one gets from doing an experimental discipline are, in my opinion as important as those learned in plain medicine when it comes to actually being a useful medic.

    Anyway- to answer your question, I want to be useful. Neither plain medicine nor plain research allows me to be that (in my opinion), but both together actually stand a chance.
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    Sorry, my OP hasn't been posted yet for some reason. I'll try again:


    I am aware that despite the medicine course and subsequent career as a doctor being vocational, you do need to be academic to get through. But that isn't my question. Is it ok to want to be a doctor but not be especially interested in academic medicine?

    I have good grades, I know how to study and by all accounts my academic record would indicate I'm an academic person. But it's not what I'm interested in. I want to study medicine and become a good doctor, but I don't want to do it because I want to 'change the world'. By this I mean I don't want to study medicine to 'discover the cure to cancer or Alzheimer's'. I don't want to be a doctor with the purpose of being central to ground breaking research. I just want to go out and do it. I want to put what I've learned to practice, adapt what I know to the situation, and change things for the patient(s) that I'm dealing with at the time. If I discover something 'revolutionary' along the way then that's great of course, but I mainly just want to learn the job, the lifestyle, and get on with it.

    However, I then hear/read of people arguing about where one should go for medical school, that certain universities (i.e. Oxbridge) will give you the connections to 'get somewhere' in medicine. And by that it's always about research etc. It makes me feel like going into medicine with the desire of being a clinical doctor and not necessarily wanting to be a 'game changer', is not good enough. I do want to be the difference, make a difference, but not in that way.
    The most brilliant surgeon I’ve ever met (he pioneered the use of artificial hearts & ventricular assist devices) is not academic, by his own admission. He got decent-ish A-Levels and worked his way up from there; he wouldn’t even get in to medical school now. As long as you’re willing to keep yourself up to date on new research relevant to your specialty (so you can provide the best possible & well-informed care to patients) that’s all you need.
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    (Original post by MissingPhoton)
    Chemical Biology. Neurodegenerative disease and neurotherapeutics...
    You have done lots of neuro as part of your studies so far, is that your eventual calling? Neurology / Neurosurgery / Psychiatry?

    (Original post by Mesosome)
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    To the OP - you can choose whatever you like after you have graduated in medicine. This is the beauty of being a doctor.

    However as posters have said, as a doctor you are supposed to dip your feet (at least) in some sort of quality improvement work as part of your work. Most of it is purely clinical. My project was, for example, how to improve monitoring INR (how thin your blood is after warfarin is used) and its treatment. That is nothing to do with academia.

    Currently, I am academic in the sense that I teach (big time!) but in my spare time. Because of this I have gained an additional title. However you can choose to do minimal teaching (you cannot do none!). At the end of the day, you can choose to publish / present or not and it's completely your choice. You have to bear in mind that publishing / presenting will boast your application score (when you are applying for specialty training) though.
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    (Original post by Mesosome)
    Well I'm not going to haha, but I mean is there anything wrong with not wanting/particularly caring about academic medicine? Just being in medicine for the clinical aspect? Because medicine (well some specialities) are progressing and changing, becoming more technological or using whole new 'revolutionary' methods. But is not wanting to work in a speciality that may be as academic, because I just don't think that suits me and what I want out of the career, ok? Or is it something I will have to accept will happen?
    (Original post by MissingPhoton)
    Chemical Biology. Neurodegenerative disease and neurotherapeutics.

    The realisation that the clinic is an incredible distance from the lab and that really, the end goal in medical science is to help people, the amount of work that actually gets done in a lab that genuinely impacts peoples lives is trivial.

    I realise that that may sound counter to my previous message, but there's a little more to it. To be able to effectively treat a disease/ come up with a new drug/ manage a patient's weird symptoms/understand why some drugs work and which ones to use etc requires an exquisite knowledge of the underlying pathology of the disease, yes... but also necessitates the use of some of the mental acrobatics that you learn to do when doing hard science. That is to say, the skills one gets from doing an experimental discipline are, in my opinion as important as those learned in plain medicine when it comes to actually being a useful medic.

    Anyway- to answer your question, I want to be useful. Neither plain medicine nor plain research allows me to be that (in my opinion), but both together actually stand a chance.
    OP: In any given year of medical school, there will be many who no interest in research, and that's fine - Being a scientist and scholar is only one of the aims of a doctor (GMC, tomorrows doctors) and you can achieve these competencies without going into an academic career through Audit, quality improvement projects, doing literature review etc. As long as you engage with the curriculum of your medical school and strive to improve your clinical competencies and patient outcomes, no one will chastise you for not wanting to be an academic clinician. Also, many who are initially not interested in research end up doing it - as part of an academic foundation job or intercalated Bsc - someone's interests can change a lot in 5 years!

    MissingPhoton, I know some absolutely fantastic clinicians with extraordinary ability to link symptoms to pathology to underlying pathological process who do not have a PhD or academic role. Whilst your statements may have merit, they are far too strongly worded without evidence to back them up and risk seriously influencing OPs future career decisions which is not good for someone who has not had significant experience working as a clinician - especially this line: "skills one gets from doing an experimental discipline are, in my opinion as important as those learned in plain medicine when it comes to actually being a useful medic" evidence? - Yes whilst there is development of logical reasoning, no PhD will teach clinical examination, proficient history taking and clinical skills which are definitely essential to be a competent clinician.

    If you enjoyed work experience and see yourself in the job even with the demanding training path ahead then go for it OP!
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    (Original post by ecolier)
    You have done lots of neuro as part of your studies so far, is that your eventual calling? Neurology / Neurosurgery / Psychiatry?
    Neurosurgery I think, subject to change after a medical degree of course! But twinned with having a research lab, at this point I would be hard pressed to move away from research science.
 
 
 
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