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Medicine or Radiography?

I have applied for med, but don’t know whether to pursue medicine or study radiography with a view to eventually train as a reporting radiographer or sonographer.

I have the right grades, work experience etc but now I’m having doubts that medicine suits me.

I’m not really keen on doing lots of studying so the idea of five years of med school + speciality exams isn’t really appealing.

Radiography is a shorter course and there’s options for degree apprenticeships so you earn money sooner. I know medicine eventually outearns radiography but the money doesn’t really bother me that much.

The idea of eventually being a consultant or GP and having the ultimate responsibility for a patient is terrifying.
I’m also not sure about doing invasive procedures, exposure to bodily fluids etc.

I guess I just want a job I can enjoy that helps people but that I can go home and leave behind at the end of the day if that makes sense.

Given that medicine is pretty intense and a huge commitment I’m not sure I’m really suited to it?

Would I be crazy if I gave up a med place for radiography? Does med even sound right for me? I don’t want to end up regretting my decision but I don’t know anyone who works in healthcare so I don’t have anyone to ask for opinions.
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
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Work Experience and Voluntary Work

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Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
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A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
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Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

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Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
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Original post by plantpots
I have applied for med, but don’t know whether to pursue medicine or study radiography with a view to eventually train as a reporting radiographer or sonographer.

I have the right grades, work experience etc but now I’m having doubts that medicine suits me.

I’m not really keen on doing lots of studying so the idea of five years of med school + speciality exams isn’t really appealing.

Radiography is a shorter course and there’s options for degree apprenticeships so you earn money sooner. I know medicine eventually outearns radiography but the money doesn’t really bother me that much.

The idea of eventually being a consultant or GP and having the ultimate responsibility for a patient is terrifying.
I’m also not sure about doing invasive procedures, exposure to bodily fluids etc.

I guess I just want a job I can enjoy that helps people but that I can go home and leave behind at the end of the day if that makes sense.

Given that medicine is pretty intense and a huge commitment I’m not sure I’m really suited to it?

Would I be crazy if I gave up a med place for radiography? Does med even sound right for me? I don’t want to end up regretting my decision but I don’t know anyone who works in healthcare so I don’t have anyone to ask for opinions.


I mean if you're interested primarily in medical imaging anyway, within medicine there is radiology - I don't think you HAVE to do interventional radiology within radiology I think either, and you can go straight into radiology run through training after foundation training (in theory, I think it is getting more competitive these days though). There are also other specialties with lower on call requirements - histopathology for example I gather is mostly 9-5ish with almost no on call work (they get a pay supplement to counter balance this in fact).

Do you have a medicine offer yet? If not then you can put off making a decision until later in any case. It may also be that you are just getting "cold feet" due to a sense of impostor syndrome - the things you are interested in doing as a radiographer (i.e. reporting) are the things you'd be doing as a radiologist following a medical degree. You haven't indicated any specific interest in actually doing the imaging yourself which is what radiographers are primarily there to do!
Hey there,
This is a really daunting part of the medical school application process- the wait between submitting your application and hearing back can definitely lead to lots of avenues of thought on what choices you've made.

Medicine is a long course that leads to a long profession. It's something you do have to work hard at for 5 years minimum of medical school plus at least 2 more years of foundation training before you specialise. In order to be able to do this, you have to make sure it's something you're passionate about. In terms of your interests, the good news is that radiology forms a critical part of almost all specialities, from x-rays for Orthopaedics to MRIs for Neurology. The bad news is that, even if you were to go and specialise on radiology, there is still an enormous amount of studying involved in this. Radiologists not only have to know how to spot things on scans, but also how this can impact treatment plans and therefore provide advice on how the patient should be managed. It is a a minimum 5 year specialisation course, with most years having a competition ratio of 1 spot per 4 doctors. I don't say this to scare you, but only to be realistic at how long and potentially challenging it would be before you would be doing what you are passionate about.

Ultimately, you are not crazy whatever you decide to do. The most important thing is that you are happy in what you are doing. I definitely have my days where I question my decision to go into medicine, but at the end of the day there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. I hope this helps and please let me know if you need any more help/advice :smile:

John C
Y5 UEA Med Student
Medic Mind
Why did you apply for medicine? You must have had your reasons, but your post focuses entirely on radiography. It's totally normal for impostor syndrome to bite after you've applied, so for clarity's sake try and refocus on what drew you to medicine.

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