aeneas_son
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i'm gonna have to start thinking of applying to unis and what degrees to take with that soon, but im just a bit confused as to what degree is most suitable for me. i do want to become a doctor, and for the longest time ive been pretty set on taking medicine.

however, i've been researching what degrees different jobs require, and some jobs require biomedical sciences rather than medicine?

what im trying to say is, to become a doctor im pretty sure medicine is the degree i need to choose. but is that correct? what is biomedicine for, and why is it separate from? and which would be suitable for me, who wants to become a doctor and help people but also participate in analysing samples, diagnosis, and a very 'practical' environment.
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aeneas_son
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all in all im just very confused about the whole degree process haha. a lot of jobs require a phd as well. is that something that is recommended?
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artful_lounger
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If you want to become a doctor, you need to study medicine. There are no ifs or buts there. It is both cheaper and easier (in terms of admissions) to apply to standard entry medicine in the first instsance as a school leaver, rather than e.g. do a degree in BMS or similar then pursue graduate entry medicine. Also in any case, you cannot work in the NHS as both a doctor and a BMS, although you can be a doctor and do research in the academic area biomedical sciences (as an academic, and there are some pathways to allow clinicians to do so).

Biomedical science is distinct but related to medicine, in that medical students study similar topics to biomedical scientists (to a point, anyway) however have very different end goals to studying that - medics study the basic medical sciences to apply to clinical diagnostic and therapeutic decision making. Biomedical scientists study those sciences to do research in those sciences, or to work in a lab doing biological labwork. However some doctors are engaged in research (in the basic or clinical sciences) or may work in a lab environment in a hospital (i.g. pathologists). The work of NHS BMSs will also be used by doctors in a hospital to support their clinical decision making.

NHS biomedical scientists do not have much if any involvement with patients, and will be given the samples taken by clinical staff in a lab, which they will then analyse and provide the data they got from their analysis back to the clinical staff, who will then make clinical decisions regarding the outcome of the tests. The important thing is that BMS's aren't making diagnoses, or clinical decisions about treatment. They are just looking at some sample, and reporting back what the tests they run say, e.g. "this protein is present", "this bacteria grows with x mm of this antibiotic", etc. If you want to work as a biomedical scientist in an NHS lab, the best course to do, incidentally, is the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degree, as that's the only one which allow you to apply to band 5 biomedical scientist positions on graduation.

ecolier can no doubt offer more advice or information about medicine and the different ways in which different specialties work (particularly in his specialty, neurology), and RegisteredBMS can advise on the work of biomedical scientists in the NHS (since they are one!). They can also both no doubt advise on any errors in the above (which are likely numerous as I'm half asleep while typing this ).
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St George's, University of London
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Hi!

I'm a student studying Medicine at St George's University of London. St George's offers both Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, so I know a lot about both.

If your ultimate goal is to be a doctor, then I would recommend applying to study Medicine. You cannot practise as a doctor without a medical degree.

Biomedicine is another name for Biomedical Sciences. In the UK, this is not the kind of Medicine degree that allows you to practise as a doctor - Biomedicine is a science degree.

There are many exciting jobs that a Biomedicine degree could lead to, such as being a biomedical scientist in the NHS.

From your post, I understand that it is a doctor that you wish to be, so if you did do a Biomedicine degree, you would still need to complete a Medicine degree afterwards in order to be a doctor.

In my opinion, it would make more sense to apply to Medicine if you already know that you want to be a doctor.

Hope that is useful. Let me know if you have any other questions that I could answer.

Millie, 4th year medical student, official student rep of St George's University of London
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ecolier
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(Original post by aeneas_son)
...what im trying to say is, to become a doctor im pretty sure medicine is the degree i need to choose. but is that correct?...
Yes, it's correct that you must do Medicine to become a (medical) doctor / surgeon of any sort.

There are (a few) doctors who do research alongside clinical practice. As a junior doctor you can do academic programmes which combines clinical work with research or teaching. They are usually more competitive than the standard training programmes.

Read https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/doctors for more information.

(Original post by artful_lounger)
...ecolier can no doubt offer more advice or information about medicine and the different ways in which different specialties work (particularly in his specialty, neurology)...
:ta:
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aeneas_son
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Sorry for the late reply, but thank you all very much! this helped me reach a decision a lot better, and im fairly certain in my decision that i want to pursue medicine now. thank you again for your help; would it be fine if i came back to this thread any time i had any other questions?
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ecolier
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(Original post by aeneas_son)
Sorry for the late reply, but thank you all very much! this helped me reach a decision a lot better, and im fairly certain in my decision that i want to pursue medicine now. thank you again for your help; would it be fine if i came back to this thread any time i had any other questions?
Yes, but not if it's > 6 months!
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aeneas_son
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(Original post by ecolier)
Yes, but not if it's > 6 months!
haha hopefully i wont be too long! im going to have to start looking for unis soon too, so i may need to ask for advice on how to apply to medicine in the first place (aside from the whole BMAT and UKAT stuff)
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St George's, University of London
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(Original post by aeneas_son)
haha hopefully i wont be too long! im going to have to start looking for unis soon too, so i may need to ask for advice on how to apply to medicine in the first place (aside from the whole BMAT and UKAT stuff)
Happy to answer any questions I can or give you advice. It's good that you are asking questions! It shows you really care about your future.

Good luck!

Millie,
4th year medical student, official student rep of St George's University of London
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