eveling457
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Since year 10 I have been decided on medicine as a career- it stemmed from watching Sherlock (I was completely obsessed) and wanting to become a forensic pathologist. Since then I realised that forensics aren't all they seem on the telly, and decided that I'd still go for medicine, because everyone I knew who did it seemed to like it.

Fast forward to now, in year 12. For the past year I have been trying my best to get work experience for my application, never thinking about a different career path. But over the past few months I've had doubts about my choice, as I can never answer the question- "Why medicine?"

Anyway, this week I visited a hospital and was taken around by some F1 junior doctors who told me about their day-to-day life. They told me about the difficult working conditions, the long hours and being underpaid (all of which I had heard before). But the one thing everyone said that has stayed in my head is that,
"All the difficult parts of the job don't matter if you know that it's what you want to do with your life".

My problem is that I don't know if medicine is what I want to do with my life. I am willing to put in all the hours and sacrifices, but only for something that I'll love. What I would hate is to be in a well payed job that I don't like.

So for a while now I've been considering veterinary medicine- I've always loved animals (cheesy I know) and I have researched the life of a vet, and I think I would be willing to make all the sacrifices vets make if I feel passionate about it.
I love small animals, I live in a rural area so I am comfortable on farms, and I have kept chickens all my life. I am a good communicator when I want to be, and can cope with the families of both human and animal patients.

So, I'd love for some advice on what you think the next step for me is, and if you think I should go for medicine or veterinary. I am very stressed and confused and it would help a lot!

Thanks x
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Mesopotamian.
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Choose dentistry instead

Joke aside, from reading the OP, you seem much more passionate about vet med rather than medicine. Your work experience at the hospital indicate your caring nature and keeping animals around show you have experience with them - obviously do try to get veterinary volunteering however - but I would say go for vet med. bearing in mind I think there are only 7 vet med schools in the U.K. It is incredibly competitive.

If you feel comfortable with that choice, apply next year as normal. If you still feel unsure, you could always take a gap year, get more experience and then make a decision for the next round of applications.
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eveling457
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(Original post by Mesopotamian.)
Choose dentistry instead

Joke aside, from reading the OP, you seem much more passionate about vet med rather than medicine. Your work experience at the hospital indicate your caring nature and keeping animals around show you have experience with them - obviously do try to get veterinary volunteering however - but I would say go for vet med. bearing in mind I think there are only 7 vet med schools in the U.K. It is incredibly competitive.

If you feel comfortable with that choice, apply next year as normal. If you still feel unsure, you could always take a gap year, get more experience and then make a decision for the next round of applications.
Thanks- I'm feeling like I might take a year out yeah
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Popsicle_pirate
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Well I think the obvious is answer is to go do some work experience at a vet practice and see how you feel afterwards - vet med is even more competitive to get into than medicine but the downsides to the profession are not dissimilar so you want to make sure your heart is in it! I'm not sure how much you've looked into vet med yet but you have to complete a number of weeks of work experience at various animal establishments pre-application anyway (it varies between the uni's so have a look on each of their websites to see what the latest requirements are).
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eveling457
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(Original post by Popsicle_pirate)
Well I think the obvious is answer is to go do some work experience at a vet practice and see how you feel afterwards - vet med is even more competitive to get into than medicine but the downsides to the profession are not dissimilar so you want to make sure your heart is in it! I'm not sure how much you've looked into vet med yet but you have to complete a number of weeks of work experience at various animal establishments pre-application anyway (it varies between the uni's so have a look on each of their websites to see what the latest requirements are).
Yeah I agree- if I decided to do veterinary then I'd have to take a year out to make sure I have all the work experience needed. I know someone who has applied for veterinary science and he says that it's very difficult.
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lwescott
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(Original post by eveling457)
Anyway, this week I visited a hospital and was taken around by some F1 junior doctors who told me about their day-to-day life. They told me about the difficult working conditions, the long hours and being underpaid (all of which I had heard before). But the one thing everyone said that has stayed in my head is that,
"All the difficult parts of the job don't matter if you know that it's what you want to do with your life".
Speak to new grad vets and you will hear exactly the same things. We are always told "if you want good money go into Medicine" so read into that what you will...
There has been a massive shift in attitudes towards support and work life balance over the last few years but there is still a long way to go.

I'd suggest getting some work experience booked in veterinary and medicine, decent stints in both and decide which you prefer more. If you can't answer the Why medicine question, can you answer Why veterinary?
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username2703735
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If you become a medic, long term, you will earn more. But if you become a medic and hate the job so much that you cannot stand more than 3-4 years of practice then economically becoming a vet and having a happier career would have earned you far more money. That is not to say being a vet is definitely the career choice for you and it certainly can have pretty bleak looking prospects at times in terms of hours and practice progression.
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Nessie162
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Sorry for posting in your thread but I'm having a similar issue, and would also appreciate any advice.
My heart is 102% set on VetMed, however... I am not sure I can afford it, even with the gap year. (I'm a grad student).

£9000 a year in tuition fees. During my gap year I would have to work full-time with a lot of overtimes which would cover me for 2 years of vet school at most.
Was planning to pay the rest with money from part time work during vet school, parents + bank loan. The problem is, I don't think I would be able work properly during vet school with EMS on top. And even if I were, I'm scared I would be putting wayyy to much pressure on myself which would affect not only my grades but also mental health. In addition to that I would also have to resit my school exams if I were to apply to more vet schools than just RVC, so that's another £1,500 extra I would have to spend.

On the other hand, if I were to apply to Medicine in Scotland as a Scottish student I would only have to pay £2000 a year in fees (£10,000 for the entire course). 3/4 of my choices are within commutable distance from my home and my 4th choice is the uni I'm currently at. So that would save me a LOT of money, not only tuition fee wise but also accommodation, and I wouldn't have to resit any exams as they only look at degree results.

I am aware of pros and cons of both careers, veterinary medicine is 100% what I would prefer to do, but if I end up doing medicine I know exactly what path I would like to take (specialisation wise). So it's not like I would be throwing myself into medicine just because it would be financially more convenient for me. I am genuinely interested in many aspects of medicine and would enjoy working as a doctor.

But it would mean I'd have to abandon my childhood dream and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. haha
What do you guys think? Most of my family and friends think I am incredibly dumb for still considering veterinary medicine, but I just can't let it go.
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DOM26
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(Original post by Nessie162)
Sorry for posting in your thread but I'm having a similar issue, and would also appreciate any advice.
My heart is 102% set on VetMed, however... I am not sure I can afford it, even with the gap year. (I'm a grad student).

£9000 a year in tuition fees. During my gap year I would have to work full-time with a lot of overtimes which would cover me for 2 years of vet school at most.
Was planning to pay the rest with money from part time work during vet school, parents + bank loan. The problem is, I don't think I would be able work properly during vet school with EMS on top. And even if I were, I'm scared I would be putting wayyy to much pressure on myself which would affect not only my grades but also mental health. In addition to that I would also have to resit my school exams if I were to apply to more vet schools than just RVC, so that's another £1,500 extra I would have to spend.

On the other hand, if I were to apply to Medicine in Scotland as a Scottish student I would only have to pay £2000 a year in fees (£10,000 for the entire course). 3/4 of my choices are within commutable distance from my home and my 4th choice is the uni I'm currently at. So that would save me a LOT of money, not only tuition fee wise but also accommodation, and I wouldn't have to resit any exams as they only look at degree results.

I am aware of pros and cons of both careers, veterinary medicine is 100% what I would prefer to do, but if I end up doing medicine I know exactly what path I would like to take (specialisation wise). So it's not like I would be throwing myself into medicine just because it would be financially more convenient for me. I am genuinely interested in many aspects of medicine and would enjoy working as a doctor.

But it would mean I'd have to abandon my childhood dream and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. haha
What do you guys think? Most of my family and friends think I am incredibly dumb for still considering veterinary medicine, but I just can't let it go.
Just go for vet med, I garuntee youll regret it later wondering what if? Its better to try and fail than never to try at all. Student finance cover fees for years 4 and 5, and you get maintenance to live on throughout. You said you can cover the first three years so id go for it. Following what you want isnt dumb, its brave considering you know you could fail.
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ouchthathurts
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If you think of all the negatives there are to doing medicine, vet med you'll probably not have quite such crappy hours but after 5-6 years be on crappier money. Otherwise do which appeals to you more. VetMed you'll get to muck around on farms and learn to drive tractors if you're really lucky, a big plus in my book.

Both will provide you with plenty of opportunities if you decide the professions aren't for you, both are good degrees to have.

Can't say about medicine, but certainly the skills I've gained on a vet med degree seem wide ranging, useful and very appealing. I've decided to leave clinical practice and pursue a PhD and honestly, having the degree made getting offered the scholarship near enough a formality up against candidates with more research experience and who had already completed Masters degrees etc. (sorry if I sound like a **** but it's true).
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Nottie
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(Original post by eveling457)
Since year 10 I have been decided on medicine as a career- it stemmed from watching Sherlock (I was completely obsessed) and wanting to become a forensic pathologist. Since then I realised that forensics aren't all they seem on the telly, and decided that I'd still go for medicine, because everyone I knew who did it seemed to like it.

Fast forward to now, in year 12. For the past year I have been trying my best to get work experience for my application, never thinking about a different career path. But over the past few months I've had doubts about my choice, as I can never answer the question- "Why medicine?"

Anyway, this week I visited a hospital and was taken around by some F1 junior doctors who told me about their day-to-day life. They told me about the difficult working conditions, the long hours and being underpaid (all of which I had heard before). But the one thing everyone said that has stayed in my head is that,
"All the difficult parts of the job don't matter if you know that it's what you want to do with your life".

My problem is that I don't know if medicine is what I want to do with my life. I am willing to put in all the hours and sacrifices, but only for something that I'll love. What I would hate is to be in a well payed job that I don't like.

So for a while now I've been considering veterinary medicine- I've always loved animals (cheesy I know) and I have researched the life of a vet, and I think I would be willing to make all the sacrifices vets make if I feel passionate about it.
I love small animals, I live in a rural area so I am comfortable on farms, and I have kept chickens all my life. I am a good communicator when I want to be, and can cope with the families of both human and animal patients.

So, I'd love for some advice on what you think the next step for me is, and if you think I should go for medicine or veterinary. I am very stressed and confused and it would help a lot!

Thanks x
Medicine and surgery is so so sooo vast I'd be very surprised if you can't find something you are passionate about.
From days spent in labs as pathologist/microbiologist to working in A&E, you have so many career options and you can always train in more than one thing (I know a GP with 20 years experience who is now training to be ophthalmologist). You can have career with 9-5 working hours and no night shifts (e.g. sexual health medicine) or be 'always on the go' (e.g. covering labour ward as an obstetrician). You can do mainly outpatients clinics (e.g. GP or dermatology) or work purely on the ward/hospital environment (e.g. emergency and acute medicine). You can do purely medicine (e.g. healthcare of the elderly), purely surgery or mixture of both (e.g. O&G, dermatology, ophthalmology).
And there's research and teaching opportunities! Honestly, there is virtually no way to not find something you will love.

F1 and F2 are the only years when you will have to rotate through many different specialities, but after that you apply for speciality training and generally just stick to that.
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SilverstarDJ
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(Original post by eveling457)
Since year 10 I have been decided on medicine as a career- it stemmed from watching Sherlock (I was completely obsessed) and wanting to become a forensic pathologist. Since then I realised that forensics aren't all they seem on the telly, and decided that I'd still go for medicine, because everyone I knew who did it seemed to like it.

Fast forward to now, in year 12. For the past year I have been trying my best to get work experience for my application, never thinking about a different career path. But over the past few months I've had doubts about my choice, as I can never answer the question- "Why medicine?"

Anyway, this week I visited a hospital and was taken around by some F1 junior doctors who told me about their day-to-day life. They told me about the difficult working conditions, the long hours and being underpaid (all of which I had heard before). But the one thing everyone said that has stayed in my head is that,
"All the difficult parts of the job don't matter if you know that it's what you want to do with your life".

My problem is that I don't know if medicine is what I want to do with my life. I am willing to put in all the hours and sacrifices, but only for something that I'll love. What I would hate is to be in a well payed job that I don't like.

So for a while now I've been considering veterinary medicine- I've always loved animals (cheesy I know) and I have researched the life of a vet, and I think I would be willing to make all the sacrifices vets make if I feel passionate about it.
I love small animals, I live in a rural area so I am comfortable on farms, and I have kept chickens all my life. I am a good communicator when I want to be, and can cope with the families of both human and animal patients.

So, I'd love for some advice on what you think the next step for me is, and if you think I should go for medicine or veterinary. I am very stressed and confused and it would help a lot!

Thanks x
As veterinary professions we do share similar problems to medics in terms of working long hours (although this is improving in small animal practice with more outsourcing out of hours work), unpaid overtime (I do this almost daily!), and the stresses of working with the general public (who will blackmail and shout at you). And a lot poorer pay than medics long term. Working for the NHS gives you other benefits such as better sick pay, pension etc. whereas you are lucky to get any sick pay as a vet (I was hospitalised for a cat bite and all the time off I had was taken out of my salary). However, I do enjoy the variety and some of the challenges that my job brings.

As others said, get some experience in the vet industry and see what you think. Let me know if you have any further questions about working as a vet in general.
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