HELP!! MEDICINE do I go in September? Watch

adri2000
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Hello,

I have posted a similar thread before but didn't get many replies and this really is my hour of need so I'm looking for advice desperately.

A bit of background: I got A*s in all of my GCSEs, I did biology maths and chemistry A level. Chemistry was the one I found most difficult, Biology was the one I found most interesting. I was meant to go and study a science degree at Leeds last year but decided against it as I was, and still am, so uncertain about what i'm doing with my life.

I can't quite believe that it is the day before results day, I got my grades a whole year ago (A*AA) and I am still considering swapping degree. I feel like I have done nothing but think about this for 2 years, my brain is mush. Clearing is meant to be used for people getting their exam results, not someone who has already had so much time to think things through.

Basically: I think I will enjoy a medicine degree, I have found my work experience interesting. My mental health hasn't been amazing for a couple of years (mainly because of my indecisiveness and scaling things up out of all proportion) so I doubt myself, I don't know if I will cope with medicine or be able to see a 5 year degree all the way through. But at the same time, I remember what I used to be like and that I do have a lot of the qualities of a good doctor. I am confident and think I could find the job very rewarding. But it all scares me a lot. The cons of medicine is mainly that the responsibility of the job is quite alarming for me.

Other course options are a Biology/ Maths joint honours (or natural sciences or a similar course). What puts me off this is I think I might as well give medicine a go, I could intercalate and leave if I hate it, and still be in a similar situation if I'd done biology and maths. So I kind of think maybe I should just give medicine a go.


Or another option is Economics and Finance (again, or similar degrees like accounting). I don't know anything about Economics, so I don't even really know whether I would enjoy it. But it's just 3 years that I'd have to put my head down and work hard! I would only choose this over a science degree as the employment prospects are better, am I right in thinking this? I doubt I would go into research or do further studying into biology. I'm much more likely to do some accountancy exams, work in HR... or whatever... you get the general route.

As you can see tomorrow is really my last chance to do anything about this. Letting go of medicine is a huge decision as it would be difficult to ever get back into it, and I don't think I'd want to waste that much time. And to make it worse, it's not like I have a plan B set in stone- I have a few other courses in mind!!

5 years ago I was extremely shy. I have changed completely so I wonder what I will be like another 5 years from now, and what would want to be doing.

My parents are really against me taking another gap year so that's really not on the cards. They know, and I know, that I will most likely be in exactly the same position next year. I would rather start a course, to know I gave it a try, and have to re-start a different one than waste this year and not get anywhere with my decision.

Please let me know what you think I should do, I am completely lost. I need to stop overthinking everything. My mum is getting really angry with me about this now. Please just help me discuss my options, I will be so grateful!!
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Royal Oak
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It sounds like your scared of the future. Do you think medical school and a career in medicine is worth facing that fear? It sounds like Economics and Finance isn't what you want to do at all, just an excuse to go to university.
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adri2000
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(Original post by Royal Oak)
It sounds like your scared of the future. Do you think medical school and a career in medicine is worth facing that fear? It sounds like Economics and Finance isn't what you want to do at all, just an excuse to go to university.
Deep. I am scared of the future, yes. I think I need to stop overthinking things. Other people just go with their gut whereas I always want to make the perfect choice, and have a back up plan. I'm not sure if medical school is worth it or not really.

With regards to econ and finance, it's just something I have always considered for the last couple of years. As if I graduated with any old degree, i'd still probably be looking for jobs in the financial sector.
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2500_2
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OK, a practical question - do you have a current UKCAT and what did you get? Can you speak articulately and concisely about why you want to do medicine? Medicine in clearing is really for those who did better than they expected so you'll need a competitive package as well as your good A-levels.Do you know which Uni you want to go to? Was it the course or the Uni at Leeds that didn't work for you?Have you considered a biomed course with an automatic grad-med interview at the end? That would give you more real and specific options in 3 years time, it sounds like its the open options that are paralysing you.
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Democracy
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What are you actually asking us? Beyond general musing you've not really explained much. You've briefly mentioned the cons of medicine and some worries about responsibility but not really elaborated. Maybe you could expand on that, as that's presumably what's holding you back?
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adri2000
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(Original post by 2500_2)
OK, a practical question - do you have a current UKCAT and what did you get? Can you speak articulately and concisely about why you want to do medicine? Medicine in clearing is really for those who did better than they expected so you'll need a competitive package as well as your good A-levels.Do you know which Uni you want to go to? Was it the course or the Uni at Leeds that didn't work for you?Have you considered a biomed course with an automatic grad-med interview at the end? That would give you more real and specific options in 3 years time, it sounds like its the open options that are paralysing you.
Thanks for your response. Btw I already have an offer, unconditional for medicine. Sorry if it wasn't clear. I am not trying to get into medicine through clearing, I'm more thinking of options if I decide I want to leave medicine behind. With Leeds, it was the course. I am not that picky in terms of university/ city. But I am very picky and undecided about what degree I should do. And because I was fresh out of A levels last year I decided to take a gap year to think about it. I thought that by now I would have made a decision, but clearly I haven't. I wish I could rewind the clock and do things differently, but I know I wouldn't because I love keeping all my options open all of the time. I applied for medicine mainly because of the early deadline- I wanted to keep that option open. That's not to say I applied for the sake of it, I do actually think it could be something I really enjoy, and there are so many perks to the degree and the career at the end of it. But there are also so many negatives, and I don't want to feel trapped in a really difficult degree or job, it's scary.
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adri2000
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(Original post by Democracy)
What are you actually asking us? Beyond general musing you've not really explained much. You've briefly mentioned the cons of medicine and some worries about responsibility but not really elaborated. Maybe you could expand on that, as that's presumably what's holding you back?
Sorry. I can't even explain, that's really how jumbled things are in my head. I'm just kind of stuck. I don't think I have the same passion for the job as other people at the same stage as me. But I am also not passionate about anything else. I also don't think a lot of medical students are as sure as they come across. I am sure a fair % have been encouraged by their school, family, or just have wanted to do it since they were young and so push the negatives to the back of their mind. I have a friend who is really not bothered if he meets his medicine offer tomorrow, but you would never think that if you spoke to him because obviously people need to act super passionate to others. I am worried about choosing the wrong course. I was depressed throughout all of year 13 as the fear of choosing the wrong course was so strong. Looking back I was over exaggerating so much because i always had the option of taking a year out. This year I don't have that option and so it really is the deadline this time, but I am a lot more composed about it and got it all into perspective a little more.

Anyway sorry enough waffling!!

pros of medicine: think I would find the course interesting (human biology is one of my fave things), patient interaction would be interesting, rewarding but also very challenging as people are relying on you as a doctor to always have all the answers. Pay and job stability is also a benefit. If I hate it, it's still a valued degree with a lot of options (but i've just spent 2 extra years studying on a very difficult degree when I could have done a more relevant one for 3 years only). I have thought about intercalation if I felt I didn't want to continue, but think it would be a very hard year and don't know if it would be in anything very employable.

cons of medicine: the responsibility. Long course, obviously I would rather it was only 3 years- who wouldn't. Nights and weekends are also a con. Relocation. however I know this doesn't have to last forever. Life long studying. There are good options for going part time, and so many specialities that it would be hard to find something you're not at all interested in.

These cons are not things I'm absolutely against doing, it's just hard to weigh up whether it's worth taking a shot at something which could be really fascinating, and an excellent career but at the same time is very challenging, i'm likely to burnout, it is so difficult to balance a family with it. It's a risky option, and doing a 3 year random degree would be a safer bet.

**** knows what i'm gonna do. Sorry if I've repeated myself or not made sense anywhere, my mind is all over the place!
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2500_2
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(Original post by adri2000)
Thanks for your response. Btw I already have an offer, unconditional for medicine. Sorry if it wasn't clear. I am not trying to get into medicine through clearing, I'm more thinking of options if I decide I want to leave medicine behind. With Leeds, it was the course. I am not that picky in terms of university/ city. But I am very picky and undecided about what degree I should do. And because I was fresh out of A levels last year I decided to take a gap year to think about it. I thought that by now I would have made a decision, but clearly I haven't. I wish I could rewind the clock and do things differently, but I know I wouldn't because I love keeping all my options open all of the time. I applied for medicine mainly because of the early deadline- I wanted to keep that option open. That's not to say I applied for the sake of it, I do actually think it could be something I really enjoy, and there are so many perks to the degree and the career at the end of it. But there are also so many negatives, and I don't want to feel trapped in a really difficult degree or job, it's scary.
That makes sense.

I have to say to take on a 5/6 year course and career (albeit one with lots of different options) if you aren't really sure about sounds very risky in the medium-term.

BUT, if none of the others you've looked at in clearing make you go 'yes, that's the one', then it's probably a better bet to start the course you have decided on but plan to intercalate and review again at that point, go on the milk round of employers. If you discover the course isn't right earlier on, try and stay on at the uni and switch courses if they will let you.
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Democracy
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(Original post by adri2000)
Sorry. I can't even explain, that's really how jumbled things are in my head. I'm just kind of stuck. I don't think I have the same passion for the job as other people at the same stage as me. But I am also not passionate about anything else. I also don't think a lot of medical students are as sure as they come across. I am sure a fair % have been encouraged by their school, family, or just have wanted to do it since they were young and so push the negatives to the back of their mind. I have a friend who is really not bothered if he meets his medicine offer tomorrow, but you would never think that if you spoke to him because obviously people need to act super passionate to others. I am worried about choosing the wrong course. I was depressed throughout all of year 13 as the fear of choosing the wrong course was so strong. Looking back I was over exaggerating so much because i always had the option of taking a year out. This year I don't have that option and so it really is the deadline this time, but I am a lot more composed about it and got it all into perspective a little more.

Anyway sorry enough waffling!!

pros of medicine: think I would find the course interesting (human biology is one of my fave things), patient interaction would be interesting, rewarding but also very challenging as people are relying on you as a doctor to always have all the answers. Pay and job stability is also a benefit. If I hate it, it's still a valued degree with a lot of options (but i've just spent 2 extra years studying on a very difficult degree when I could have done a more relevant one for 3 years only). I have thought about intercalation if I felt I didn't want to continue, but think it would be a very hard year and don't know if it would be in anything very employable.

cons of medicine: the responsibility. Long course, obviously I would rather it was only 3 years- who wouldn't. Nights and weekends are also a con. Relocation. however I know this doesn't have to last forever. Life long studying. There are good options for going part time, and so many specialities that it would be hard to find something you're not at all interested in.

These cons are not things I'm absolutely against doing, it's just hard to weigh up whether it's worth taking a shot at something which could be really fascinating, and an excellent career but at the same time is very challenging, i'm likely to burnout, it is so difficult to balance a family with it. It's a risky option, and doing a 3 year random degree would be a safer bet.

**** knows what i'm gonna do. Sorry if I've repeated myself or not made sense anywhere, my mind is all over the place!
I think trying to quantify passion isn't a very meaningful use of your time. It's not a competition and it's not social media - you don't need to be keeping up with other applicants. It's perfectly clear to senior doctors who cares about the job and who doesn't. You don't need to prove anything to other medical students.

Re the pros: I think most patients realise that doctors don't have all the answers. It's also perfectly fine to tell patients when you've reached the limits of your knowledge on a particular subject - with the understanding that you go and find out the answer or refer them to someone who does know. No one sensible expects you to be omniscient.

Nights, weekends etc don't have to last forever. You get used to it anyway, and if you don't like it, you can always change to another specialty.

Lifelong studying is actually what makes the job interesting and stops it becoming monotonous. It's not studying in the sense of formal classes, deadlines and bookwork, it's more appreciating that medicine is vast and changing and there's always something new to learn or re-learn. And since no one expects you to be omniscient, it's fine for learning to be a continuous process.

You've got an unconditional offer and you clearly didn't get it by accident. I think you should at least give it a go - you can always change your mind later.
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adri2000
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(Original post by 2500_2)
That makes sense.

I have to say to take on a 5/6 year course and career (albeit one with lots of different options) if you aren't really sure about sounds very risky in the medium-term.

BUT, if none of the others you've looked at in clearing make you go 'yes, that's the one', then it's probably a better bet to start the course you have decided on but plan to intercalate and review again at that point, go on the milk round of employers. If you discover the course isn't right earlier on, try and stay on at the uni and switch courses if they will let you.
Thank you. Good advice I think.

(I definitely would not stay at my current uni on a different course though, and I'd try to intercalate elsewhere- my uni is pretty poorly ranked. I know that doesn't make a difference in medicine but for other courses it could be pretty significant).
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adri2000
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(Original post by Democracy)
I think trying to quantify passion isn't a very meaningful use of your time. It's not a competition and it's not social media - you don't need to be keeping up with other applicants. It's perfectly clear to senior doctors who cares about the job and who doesn't. You don't need to prove anything to other medical students.

Re the pros: I think most patients realise that doctors don't have all the answers. It's also perfectly fine to tell patients when you've reached the limits of your knowledge on a particular subject - with the understanding that you go and find out the answer or refer them to someone who does know. No one sensible expects you to be omniscient.

Nights, weekends etc don't have to last forever. You get used to it anyway, and if you don't like it, you can always change to another specialty.

Lifelong studying is actually what makes the job interesting and stops it becoming monotonous. It's not studying in the sense of formal classes, deadlines and bookwork, it's more appreciating that medicine is vast and changing and there's always something new to learn or re-learn. And since no one expects you to be omniscient, it's fine for learning to be a continuous process.

You've got an unconditional offer and you clearly didn't get it by accident. I think you should at least give it a go - you can always change your mind later.
Thank you, that is probably what I am leaning towards at the moment.

I have a few questions if you don't mind...
1) how much of a pain does relocating/ changing hospitals become.
2) With postgraduate exams, how much studying is actually required? how many times are you able to resit an exam before they don't allow it anymore?
3) i know drs undergo an annual review (think it is called appraisal). Is this really scary? What happens if you fail? Things like this are the type of thing that scares me, it's just an additional pressure that lots of jobs don't have (but lots have similar things, I know).
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Democracy
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(Original post by adri2000)
Thank you, that is probably what I am leaning towards at the moment.

I have a few questions if you don't mind...
1) how much of a pain does relocating/ changing hospitals become.
2) With postgraduate exams, how much studying is actually required? how many times are you able to resit an exam before they don't allow it anymore?
3) i know drs undergo an annual review (think it is called appraisal). Is this really scary? What happens if you fail? Things like this are the type of thing that scares me, it's just an additional pressure that lots of jobs don't have (but lots have similar things, I know).
1) Changing hospitals is can be difficult because each hospital does things in a different way and simple things like IT, knowing your way around, management guideliens, door codes etc can really slow you down when you have to re-learn them constantly. That said, the rate at which you change hospitals begins to slow as you become more senior. It's just something you get used to. Once you're a consultant, you don't need to move around anymore.

2) Postgrad exams aren't easy but I think most people eventually pass, even if they need more than one attempt. My experience is that each attempt requires 3-4 months of preparation (but that's just me). You can have up to six attempts at each part of a qualification, but most people will pass well before this point.

3) Appraisals/ARCPs aren't really scary. I had an appraisal a couple of months ago and it was fine. The "difficult" bit is gathering all your reflections, feedback, certificates etc together and generally making sure you've ticked all the boxes. It's not actually intellectually challenging in the slightest, more of an admin chore. If you don't pass it, I'm assuming your appraiser points out what you need to do and you go away and do it. Like you say, many jobs have similar performance review type things. It's just something you do once a year and then forget about til the next one.
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2500_2
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(Original post by adri2000)(I definitely would not stay at my current uni on a different course though, and I'd try to intercalate elsewhere- my uni is pretty poorly ranked. I know that doesn't make a difference in medicine but for other courses it could be pretty significant).

this sounds like it might be the root of the problem for you?
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adri2000
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(Original post by 2500_2)
(Original post by adri2000)(I definitely would not stay at my current uni on a different course though, and I'd try to intercalate elsewhere- my uni is pretty poorly ranked. I know that doesn't make a difference in medicine but for other courses it could be pretty significant).

this sounds like it might be the root of the problem for you?
What do you mean?
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