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Should I do medicine at university?

I need help choosing a career. I have no idea what I want to do in life because I would do alright in almost everything and I don’t feel a particular passion for anything. I do love English but I would much rather get a qualification that has some sort of job security, and I enjoy learning in general so not studying English isn’t going to make me hate life or anything. Me and my mom have been discussing it for ages but unfortunately for me, she’s an incredible parent who refuses to push her personal desires onto me so I can’t even just do what she wants. I settled on accounting for a while but the university I want doesn’t do a specific accounting course. Like I said, I’m not really passionate about anything so I had no qualms about discarding it. I’ve since kinda decided to go into medicine because it’s a good, respectable career and one that I can hopefully make money in. I do also enjoy social interaction and I’ll be glad to make an impact on people’s lives but it’s not like it was my main reason and that’s where I’m kinda struggling.

People have spent their whole lives wanting to save and help people, and working up to become doctors. It feels kinda unfair and even rude to pick the same career on a whim. This post makes me sound heartless but I do genuinely care for others and it’s not like I’m just in it for the money, but I need to live comfortably. I refuse to let all my mom’s sacrifices go to waste and I want nothing more than to repay her and pull us out of poverty so at the end of the day that is my main motivation and the root of my second issue.

My second problem is that I’m not sure if doctors are that well paid anymore, or rather I feel like there are much better professions for making money. A lot of doctors talk about how they think the job is worth it despite the long hours because of the difference they can make. I love helping people but I don’t think it’s worth the heavy debt of university and the stress of doing medicine if at the end of the day I can’t even pay my bills.

At the end of the day I guess it all comes down to money. I’m in year 11 about to do my GCSEs (it’s unlikely I’ll get less than an 8) and I’m asking now because I’m picking my A-level subjects so I don’t want to screw myself over with an incorrect choice. Right now I’m thinking of picking Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology but with some luck I may be able to swap Psychology with English.

Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for any responses. I promise I’m not a bad person I just want to be honest to get relevant responses :frown:
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

The Medicine forum gets a high volume of questions being posted, and some of these are already answered by the resources and Megathreads that members of the community and volunteers have created. This is an automatic post which is designed to highlight these resources. Below is a list of threads and articles that could answer your question (you should be looking in the original post of the megathreads). If one of the below threads is a more relevant place to ask your question, please post a reply in that thread to ask your question. If your query is answered by one of the Megathreads or articles linked below, and you would like us to close this thread for you, please reply to this thread with just the words "thank you". A member of our team will then get it locked.

Megathreads
(Please read the first post, before then posting any further questions you have within that thread.)
The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread
Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

2023 Applicants:
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2024 Applicants :
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
GAMSAT 2024 / 2025 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread

Other application years:
Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2025 Entry

Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
Interview Frequently Asked Questions
MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application

If your query is answered by one of the Megathreads or articles linked above, and you would like us to close this thread for you, please reply to this thread with just the words "thank you". A member of our team will then get it locked.
Reply 2
Original post by Efie_x
I need help choosing a career. I have no idea what I want to do in life because I would do alright in almost everything and I don’t feel a particular passion for anything. I do love English but I would much rather get a qualification that has some sort of job security, and I enjoy learning in general so not studying English isn’t going to make me hate life or anything. Me and my mom have been discussing it for ages but unfortunately for me, she’s an incredible parent who refuses to push her personal desires onto me so I can’t even just do what she wants. I settled on accounting for a while but the university I want doesn’t do a specific accounting course. Like I said, I’m not really passionate about anything so I had no qualms about discarding it. I’ve since kinda decided to go into medicine because it’s a good, respectable career and one that I can hopefully make money in. I do also enjoy social interaction and I’ll be glad to make an impact on people’s lives but it’s not like it was my main reason and that’s where I’m kinda struggling.

People have spent their whole lives wanting to save and help people, and working up to become doctors. It feels kinda unfair and even rude to pick the same career on a whim. This post makes me sound heartless but I do genuinely care for others and it’s not like I’m just in it for the money, but I need to live comfortably. I refuse to let all my mom’s sacrifices go to waste and I want nothing more than to repay her and pull us out of poverty so at the end of the day that is my main motivation and the root of my second issue.

My second problem is that I’m not sure if doctors are that well paid anymore, or rather I feel like there are much better professions for making money. A lot of doctors talk about how they think the job is worth it despite the long hours because of the difference they can make. I love helping people but I don’t think it’s worth the heavy debt of university and the stress of doing medicine if at the end of the day I can’t even pay my bills.

At the end of the day I guess it all comes down to money. I’m in year 11 about to do my GCSEs (it’s unlikely I’ll get less than an 8) and I’m asking now because I’m picking my A-level subjects so I don’t want to screw myself over with an incorrect choice. Right now I’m thinking of picking Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology but with some luck I may be able to swap Psychology with English.

Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for any responses. I promise I’m not a bad person I just want to be honest to get relevant responses :frown:

Hi. It sounds as though you have given this a fair bit of thought.

Its one of those wierds kinks that a choice you make about your A level choices can feel like its going to control your life for ever. Its not. Life will take many twists and turns.

My advice is very similar to your mums. You do do what you want to do, but if its possible to do that whilst keeping your options as wide as possible that is a great thing to do.

Some people will have wanted to be doctors since birth on here I think. Many more will come to that realisation over time, and this will be solidified through work experience, volunteering and reading. You have plenty of time to learn about medicine as a career choice. I do think though that it is a tough uni choice and a hard and demanding career, i am not sure that a desire for money/stability alone (although also good reasons) would be enough to sustain you for life through medicine as a career. I think you have to really want it too.

Do you really enjoy the sciences? Can you do well in them? Is there actually other A levels you would be more interested in?

Lots of people think you have to do biology, chemistry and maths to do medicine, a couple of places might favour that, one or two might want it.

Lots want chemistry and biol and one other academic.

Quite a few others want chem plus 2 others, some biol plus 2 others.

One school (Newcastle) doesnt specify any science particularly.

Choose A levels that you think you will enjoy and believe you can do well in rather than push yourself to do something that you hate because you think you have to.

There is very little benefit in pushing to do four as it stands now. Unless your school does 4 at AS level and then you reduce down once you settle on the ones you like?

Explore other jobs, you have time.

I dont think you are a bad person at all. Quite the opposite. You sound kind and thoughtful, they are some big pressures you are wrestling with. I know you said your mum is leaving it up to you. Perhaps do some more reading and talk your thinking /rationale through with her. It sounds to me like she could be a good listener and sometimes thats all it needs to help crystallise something in your mind.

Good luck with your summer exams 🤞
(edited 1 year ago)

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