Looking for a career change, anyone with Radiography/medicine background? Help ! Watch

Vaskai19
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Hi everyone,


I have studied in France and done an MBA in marketing (10 years ago).
I enjoyed it but I could not stand marketing anymore.

I am honestly considering starting to study in healthcare but im not very sure about the field (dentistry, midwifery, medicine and or radiography).

Could anyone who are sudying or working in those fields, could give some advice ? how do you feel with you career choice ? typical day like ? expectations vs reality ? pros and cons ?


Would be very grateful for your contributions on this thread !

Thank you !


Vee.
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Sarahmedic
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Final year medical student here
Study requires long hours of revision, you full week will involve a lot of studying for 5 years. Gets worse in yr 3, 4, 5 as u have placements at lots of different hospital in different parts of the country lasting 1 month each normally so location wise it can be tricky for mature students.
After this u do basic training for 2 yes somewhere in the country, takes over your life a little. After this u apply for speciality training and this can be hell, it lasts about 7 years for medical and surgical specialities. It takes over your life and has a huge emotional strain.
You can apply to be a gp which is a lot nicer and 3 years training only.
Career wise it is very stressful but u can have a balance if u do gp.
Note:70% of doctors dont apply to speciality straining after the 2 years of basic training, mainly because they feel they need a break or the emotional stress is too high so they take a few years away to travel or have a life.

Very stressful but if you care about it then you will be willing to sacrifice your life for it.
It is a lifestyle choice not to be taken lightly.

Having said that, I love medicine as a student and happy with my choice. I feel limited as to what I can do because I love medical and surgical specialities and hate gp, but gp is the only option to have an OK work life balance.

-also it's very hard to get into medicine please note this.
-if u love it and are passionate, and really care about the career and understand the reality of medicine, go for it. If u want to be rich fast it really isn't that. U will be paid well but the hours worked for that money is not worth it at all
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pateli4
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Hi!

I've just finished my degree in Diagnostic Radiography and I am about to start working soon:

Here are some pros and cons from my experience.

Pros:
- There's a lot of variety meaning every day/week is different. You can be rota'd to A&E, fracture clinic, or mobile x-raying on wards, imaging in theatre, in NICU/PICU/HDU/ICU, you see in-patients and out-patients so if you're someone that is interested in working in a varied environment with all kinds of patients it's a good option. Some hospitals change the rota weekly and some daily.
- Career progression - you can pick a speciality further into your career like CT/MRI/Ultrasound or even work in dental or neuro hospitals. During my course I got to go to all of these areas and specialist hospitals so when applying it's good to look at the clinical sites that are available at each uni. If you wanted a 9-5, Mon-Fri job in the future then ultrasound is good, if you're happy doing nights and weekends then CT is good - so plenty of future options.
- Lots of jobs - there's a shortage, so you will be able to get a job easily.
- As a student you really get stuck in, you might observe here or there but most of the time they expect you to do things solo and supervise you. I've found this to be really good, its given me confidence and I feel prepared to work.
- Pay is good (for newly qualified band 5's), it goes up with London weighting, I'll get paid more than junior docs and if you think of the comparative hours/stress/responsibility you have compared to a junior doctor it's worth it. In terms of the pay going up as you get more experienced it's limited.
- A lot of people think it's just about pushing buttons and making sure the patient is ok. In reality you have to justify every single examination you do, so you have to know a lot about the conditions patients have, and you do have to think more about these things that people assume.
- In the UK we have a similar degree to Australia/New Zealand/Dubai (you should double check this) so there's opportunity to travel and work in the future.

Cons:
- The uni you pick will make a huge difference, whilst the content is probably similar everywhere, the rules about clinical placement will vary. It's a huge component of the course and you should think about: how strict they are with having to make up hours if you miss them (even if you're sick), the amount of hours you have to do in a week, how flexible they are with doing the hours on another day, how regularly they check-in with you, if you can change your placement site if there are problems, and also how long it will take you to commute to their placement sites. (I went to LSBU and I've had mostly good experiences with this).
- You don't spend much time with patients in the same way you would with medicine or midwifery, you don't really get to follow their journey, you see them for a tiny fraction of their care, and most of the time they'll be behind a lead screen or you watch them through a window.
- It is a physical job. Whilst all health care jobs will give you moving + handling training and have you on your feet, as a radiographer you will have to move people in and out of scanners, transfer them to/from wheelchairs/beds/scanners all day everyday.If you have anything like a bad back or anything like that I'd avoid.

I hope this helps and gives you more of an insight. let me know if you have any more questions!
Last edited by pateli4; 1 month ago
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Vaskai19
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(Original post by Sarahmedic)
Final year medical student here
Study requires long hours of revision, you full week will involve a lot of studying for 5 years. Gets worse in yr 3, 4, 5 as u have placements at lots of different hospital in different parts of the country lasting 1 month each normally so location wise it can be tricky for mature students.
After this u do basic training for 2 yes somewhere in the country, takes over your life a little. After this u apply for speciality training and this can be hell, it lasts about 7 years for medical and surgical specialities. It takes over your life and has a huge emotional strain.
You can apply to be a gp which is a lot nicer and 3 years training only.
Career wise it is very stressful but u can have a balance if u do gp.
Note:70% of doctors dont apply to speciality straining after the 2 years of basic training, mainly because they feel they need a break or the emotional stress is too high so they take a few years away to travel or have a life.

Very stressful but if you care about it then you will be willing to sacrifice your life for it.
It is a lifestyle choice not to be taken lightly.

Having said that, I love medicine as a student and happy with my choice. I feel limited as to what I can do because I love medical and surgical specialities and hate gp, but gp is the only option to have an OK work life balance.

-also it's very hard to get into medicine please note this.
-if u love it and are passionate, and really care about the career and understand the reality of medicine, go for it. If u want to be rich fast it really isn't that. U will be paid well but the hours worked for that money is not worth it at all
Thank you @Sarahmedic !! thank you for your feedbacks and i know it is very hard, my cousins are GPs and i have seen the emotional stress on them.. and sacrifices... but they love their jobs.

Can i ask, why do you hate GP ?

I had some experiences abroad in refugee camps, and some of my experiences just made me realise that is what i really want to do.. my first choice would be medicine. i know its very hard to get into medical school but i am over 30s now, i have been thinking about it for quite some times...

I dont think anyone should be a gp just for money ... i can have a good job in marketing too which pays well but i am not interested in that field anymore.

thank you again for your tips, advices and taking the time to answer my questions !

Vee
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Vaskai19
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(Original post by pateli4)
Hi!

I've just finished my degree in Diagnostic Radiography and I am about to start working soon:

Here are some pros and cons from my experience.

Pros:
- There's a lot of variety meaning every day/week is different. You can be rota'd to A&E, fracture clinic, or mobile x-raying on wards, imaging in theatre, in NICU/PICU/HDU/ICU, you see in-patients and out-patients so if you're someone that is interested in working in a varied environment with all kinds of patients it's a good option. Some hospitals change the rota weekly and some daily.
- Career progression - you can pick a speciality further into your career like CT/MRI/Ultrasound or even work in dental or neuro hospitals. During my course I got to go to all of these areas and specialist hospitals so when applying it's good to look at the clinical sites that are available at each uni. If you wanted a 9-5, Mon-Fri job in the future then ultrasound is good, if you're happy doing nights and weekends then CT is good - so plenty of future options.
- Lots of jobs - there's a shortage, so you will be able to get a job easily.
- As a student you really get stuck in, you might observe here or there but most of the time they expect you to do things solo and supervise you. I've found this to be really good, its given me confidence and I feel prepared to work.
- Pay is good (for newly qualified band 5's), it goes up with London weighting, I'll get paid more than junior docs and if you think of the comparative hours/stress/responsibility you have compared to a junior doctor it's worth it. In terms of the pay going up as you get more experienced it's limited.
- A lot of people think it's just about pushing buttons and making sure the patient is ok. In reality you have to justify every single examination you do, so you have to know a lot about the conditions patients have, and you do have to think more about these things that people assume.
- In the UK we have a similar degree to Australia/New Zealand/Dubai (you should double check this) so there's opportunity to travel and work in the future.

Cons:
- The uni you pick will make a huge difference, whilst the content is probably similar everywhere, the rules about clinical placement will vary. It's a huge component of the course and you should think about: how strict they are with having to make up hours if you miss them (even if you're sick), the amount of hours you have to do in a week, how flexible they are with doing the hours on another day, how regularly they check-in with you, if you can change your placement site if there are problems, and also how long it will take you to commute to their placement sites. (I went to LSBU and I've had mostly good experiences with this).
- You don't spend much time with patients in the same way you would with medicine or midwifery, you don't really get to follow their journey, you see them for a tiny fraction of their care, and most of the time they'll be behind a lead screen or you watch them through a window.
- It is a physical job. Whilst all health care jobs will give you moving + handling training and have you on your feet, as a radiographer you will have to move people in and out of scanners, transfer them to/from wheelchairs/beds/scanners all day everyday.If you have anything like a bad back or anything like that I'd avoid.

I hope this helps and gives you more of an insight. let me know if you have any more questions!
wow thank you @Pateli4 ! thank you for all these info !
you gave me lot to think about here !

i have a question, are you exposed to radiation (machines, x-ray etc) - as I know long term it can impact your health.. ?
did you do any volunteering work before applying to the uni ? any idea how i can look up for those ?

how many years have you done diagnostic radiography ? 3 or 5 years ?

Would you recommend radiotherapy ?

I have been looking for the universities ranking but i had no idea that it was so important.

i have a friend as radiographer but she has not been enjoying her work... but you have been extremely helpful ! so thank you again,

if i have more questions, i ll definitely contact you again !

Good luck with your future job and let us know how it goes !

Vee

(Original post by Sarahmedic)
Final year medical student here
Study requires long hours of revision, you full week will involve a lot of studying for 5 years. Gets worse in yr 3, 4, 5 as u have placements at lots of different hospital in different parts of the country lasting 1 month each normally so location wise it can be tricky for mature students.
After this u do basic training for 2 yes somewhere in the country, takes over your life a little. After this u apply for speciality training and this can be hell, it lasts about 7 years for medical and surgical specialities. It takes over your life and has a huge emotional strain.
You can apply to be a gp which is a lot nicer and 3 years training only.
Career wise it is very stressful but u can have a balance if u do gp.
Note:70% of doctors dont apply to speciality straining after the 2 years of basic training, mainly because they feel they need a break or the emotional stress is too high so they take a few years away to travel or have a life.

Very stressful but if you care about it then you will be willing to sacrifice your life for it.
It is a lifestyle choice not to be taken lightly.

Having said that, I love medicine as a student and happy with my choice. I feel limited as to what I can do because I love medical and surgical specialities and hate gp, but gp is the only option to have an OK work life balance.

-also it's very hard to get into medicine please note this.
-if u love it and are passionate, and really care about the career and understand the reality of medicine, go for it. If u want to be rich fast it really isn't that. U will be paid well but the hours worked for that money is not worth it at all
also, did you do any volunteering work before applying to the uni ? any idea how i can look up for those ? which uni are you attending ?
Last edited by Vaskai19; 4 weeks ago
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lledrith
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Qualified as a teacher in 2010, hated every second of it but sort of stuck with it because I felt like that's what I was supposed to do.

Went back to uni in 2015 to do Radiography.

Qualified in 2018, been working as a radiographer for a year with mixed speciality in general, CT, and Nuclear Medicine (as of September 2019).

Best decision I ever made, and have never been happier. It is a fair bit more stressful than the kid-gloves you experience while on placement, particularly with lone working.


how do you feel with you career choice ?
- Pretty awesome, I regret nothing.

typical day like ?
- Varies wildly depending on modality, can vary from a day of walk-in GP patients for chests, knees, etc. to late night trauma CT scans and complex theatre cases that run into the night.

expectations vs reality ?
- Expectation: Yay bones!
- Reality: WHY MUST THE CT SCANNER CRASH WITH THE RESUS PATIENT ON THE TABLE. WHY.

pros and cons ?
- Pros: Endless jobs, endless scope for developing practice. I'm going into a Masters this year for Nuclear Medicine, funded by my hospital.
- Cons: Sometimes some fairly cruel shift patterns that are a bit brain garbling, and lots of task juggling.
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Sarahmedic
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(Original post by Vaskai19)
Thank you @Sarahmedic !! thank you for your feedbacks and i know it is very hard, my cousins are GPs and i have seen the emotional stress on them.. and sacrifices... but they love their jobs.

Can i ask, why do you hate GP ?

I had some experiences abroad in refugee camps, and some of my experiences just made me realise that is what i really want to do.. my first choice would be medicine. i know its very hard to get into medical school but i am over 30s now, i have been thinking about it for quite some times...

I dont think anyone should be a gp just for money ... i can have a good job in marketing too which pays well but i am not interested in that field anymore.

thank you again for your tips, advices and taking the time to answer my questions !

Vee
I dont hate gp, it's great but just not as exciting and u predictable as other things. Can be isolating cos u only see a couple of doctors that work there and staff. Hospital u meet billions of new people all the time. I tend to isolate myself so dont want a job which enhances that haha. U shouldn't be worried about ur age. I'm currently studying with atleast 15 over 37s on my course, its ur life and dont let age stop u. When you think of this in a couple of yrs u will thank yourself. If its stressful go part time, or do something exciting and niche haha eg public health, humanitarian, global health, even research and journalism
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ecolier
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(Original post by Sarahmedic)
...but gp is the only option to have an OK work life balance...
There are many specialties with a reasonable work-life balance. Public Health medicine for a start, dermatology is also said to be one, as is psychiatry. If you wanted to train as a surgeon - urology is one of the least demanding surgical specialties.

My specialty also has a good work-life balance (in my opinion).

You are right that getting to where I am (senior reg) will require working tough hours (at least initially, for a few years - 4 in my case) though.

For most specialties in fact, as a consultant the working hours are not too bad. Your registrars are usually the hospital's first port of call - and they may wake you up if they can't sort things out. Specialties like anaesthetics and emergency medicine may require consultants to be physically present overnight though.

(Original post by Sarahmedic)
...Can be isolating cos u only see a couple of doctors that work there and staff.
Pretty sure that depends on where you work. Some GP surgeries can be huge with physios, OTs, dietitians, speech and language therapists etc.

There are also GP surgeries that are so big that hospital doctors / specialist nurses go there to do weekly / monthly clinics. Of course, many GPs teach so new med students pop in every month / few weeks. It's not as isolating as you think.

Paging GANFYD
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GANFYD
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(Original post by ecolier)
There are many specialties with a reasonable work-life balance. Public Health medicine for a start, dermatology is also said to be one, as is psychiatry. If you wanted to train as a surgeon - urology is one of the least demanding surgical specialties.

My specialty also has a good work-life balance (in my opinion).

You are right that getting to where I am (senior reg) will require working tough hours (at least initially, for a few years - 4 in my case) though.

For most specialties in fact, as a consultant the working hours are not too bad. Your registrars are usually the hospital's first port of call - and they may wake you up if they can't sort things out. Specialties like anaesthetics and emergency medicine may require consultants to be physically present overnight though.



Pretty sure that depends on where you work. Some GP surgeries can be huge with physios, OTs, dietitians, speech and language therapists etc.

There are also GP surgeries that are so big that hospital doctors / specialist nurses go there to do weekly / monthly clinics. Of course, many GPs teach so new med students pop in every month / few weeks. It's not as isolating as you think.

Paging GANFYD
I have experience of hospital medicine, obviously, both as a junior doctor, as a Psychiatrist and because my husband and many of my friends are hospital consultants. I have been a GP for eleventy billion years now and love it.
I work in a small GP practice and it is only as isolated as you make it. We all have a coffee break together after morning surgery and have a good old moan about everything
I see people constantly, to the extent I like a bit of peace and quiet, practice nurses, receptionists, admin, district nurses, counsellors, dietitian, podiatry, nurse practitioners are all in and out all the time. Med students and FY2s during the season. Calls from Consultants most days, plus social workers, physios, OTs. That is without around 30 patients who are in a very different situation to when they are in hospital, in that they are usually (relatively) well, so treat me as a person rather than a job title and know (sometimes) more about my life than some of my friends, as I do theirs, so these are social as well as professional interactions - award winning gingerbread and a delayed bar of Dairy Milk as it was my birthday last week came in today. Along with sticky buns picked up by our Frailty Co-ordinator and copious cups of coffee lovingly made by the staff (who joking aside are hugely supportive, hepful and loyal). My work partner and out Practice Manager are now two of my very best friends and we have total autonomy to do the work we want in the hours we want to do it. Having said that, I would like to dispel this myth that GP is a better work/life balance. It might be easier to go LTFT earlier, but our core hours are now 8 until 8, 7 days a week. We have to provide the service from 8-6.30 Mon to Fri and the rest can be out-sourced (at a cost). I am out of the house far longer than my husband on a normal working day and his 1 in 12 on call does not make up for the fact I do 8.30 to 7.30 on my working days (he does around 8.30-9 until 5.30-6).
A bigger practice would bring more people to mix with and probably more flexibility regarding hours, but the core hours still have to be covered by someone!
As a student, it is hard to become part of the team, especially in a bigger practice, but once qualified, you can choose the people you work with who provide as much (or as little) interaction as you want. We work hard to integrate our med students, but in a team of about 18, that is easy to do and every one of them has said how much they enjoyed it, as well as how much they learned, in feedback.
And I really do not see how you can get a more varied and unpredictable working day, other than in A&E. Literally, something different comes through the door every 10 minutes! I have had polymorbidity x about 10 (COPD, diabetes, IHD, CCF) today, a schizophrenic, someone who wanted referral to the Gender Identity Clinic, a child with cows milk protein allergy, a cold, a perineal hernia (with the gingerbread), pleurisy, a new diagnosis diabetic, a sub-acute obstruction (with the chocolate), a pelvic pain, gallstones, a palliative visit, a bereavement visit and that is just off the top of my head from today. I cannot think of anything worse than a chest pain clinic, an IBD clinic, an epilepsy clinic, a COPD clinic, a Psych clinic - how repetitive and boring!
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Vaskai19
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(Original post by Sarahmedic)
I dont hate gp, it's great but just not as exciting and u predictable as other things. Can be isolating cos u only see a couple of doctors that work there and staff. Hospital u meet billions of new people all the time. I tend to isolate myself so dont want a job which enhances that haha. U shouldn't be worried about ur age. I'm currently studying with atleast 15 over 37s on my course, its ur life and dont let age stop u. When you think of this in a couple of yrs u will thank yourself. If its stressful go part time, or do something exciting and niche haha eg public health, humanitarian, global health, even research and journalism
thank you ! great advice and tips, really appreciate your time to reply to my questions !

really i did not think there would be so much mature students.. which uni are you in if you dont mind me asking ?
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Sarahmedic
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(Original post by Vaskai19)
thank you ! great advice and tips, really appreciate your time to reply to my questions !

really i did not think there would be so much mature students.. which uni are you in if you dont mind me asking ?
Manchester! Dont forget medicine is a degree that is so great that people WILL and DO pursue it regardless of their age. and it's totally worth it- with other things it's harder to take a risk cos its unknown, but medicine is a solid career which is beautiful and worth the sacrifice. Dont let age stop you. If it helps medics dont finish training until much later and take many years out for family, babies, work less than full time so dont assume the young students finish and are consultants before the older mature students who already have life a little figured out and more life experience!
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Vaskai19
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(Original post by Sarahmedic)
Manchester! Dont forget medicine is a degree that is so great that people WILL and DO pursue it regardless of their age. and it's totally worth it- with other things it's harder to take a risk cos its unknown, but medicine is a solid career which is beautiful and worth the sacrifice. Dont let age stop you. If it helps medics dont finish training until much later and take many years out for family, babies, work less than full time so dont assume the young students finish and are consultants before the older mature students who already have life a little figured out and more life experience!
thank you so much !!!
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