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Am I crazy to decline a place at medical school?

hi guys,
i'm in a huge dilemma. so this year, i was rejected from 4/4 medical schools and throughout the whole process, i realised that i didn't want to pursue medicine anymore. i think even if i got accepted into med, i still would not want to pursue medicine, as i've realised the main reason why i loved medicine so much was the science, and the science only LOL. i'm not a huge fan of the bureaucratic NHS system and the all-consuming side of medicine. i'd would much rather just study science (biology or natsci) at university, hopefully take a phD, and go into research. i really love biology and was hoping to apply for it this year, including oxbridge and UCL.
but on results day today, i got A*A*A and got a place for medicine at the university of birmingham, and surprisingly, i was quite upset. i didn't want to make such a massive decision, and to be honest, i was really excited to apply for biology this october. everyone i know is urging me to take it, that if i try a year of medicine i won't have any regrets, but in my heart, it really doesn't feel right. but i don't want to live with regrets in the future, but i also don't want to waste potentially numerous years studying medicine and deluding myself that i enjoy it when i'd rather do something else. please help me guys, also my uncle who's a doctor said if you love science and are good at it, the natural pathway is medicine but i can't help but disagree... i know i might be answering my own questions as i write this, but i've honestly never been more confused.
thank you in advance.
(edited 9 months ago)

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Reply 1
Original post by rayamer
hi guys,
i'm in a huge dilemma. so this year, i was rejected from 4/4 medical schools and throughout the whole process, i realised that i didn't want to pursue medicine anymore. i think even if i got accepted into med, i still would not want to pursue medicine, as i've realised the main reason why i loved medicine so much was the science, and the science only LOL. i'm not a huge fan of the bureaucratic NHS system and the all-consuming side of medicine. i'd would much rather just study science (biology or natsci) at university, hopefully take a phD, and go into research. i really love biology and was hoping to apply for it this year, including oxbridge and UCL.
but on results day today, i got A*A*A and got a place for medicine at the university of birmingham, and surprisingly, i was quite upset. i didn't want to make such a massive decision, and to be honest, i was really excited to apply for biology this october. everyone i know is urging me to take it, that if i try a year of medicine i won't have any regrets, but in my heart, it really doesn't feel right. but i don't want to live with regrets in the future, but i also don't want to waste potentially numerous years studying medicine and deluding myself that i enjoy it when i'd rather do something else. please help me guys, also my uncle who's a doctor said if you love science and are good at it, the natural pathway is medicine but i can't help but disagree... i know i might be answering my own questions as i write this, but i've honestly never been more confused.
thank you in advance.

I'm confused 0 why did you seek out a Medicine offer if you didn't want to study it?

If your heart is not in it then please don't do medicine ...
Reply 2
I honestly think you are in a better headspace than most people would be in your situation! Your grades put you in a very strong position to get you into a good biology/sciences course.
If your heart is not in medicine do not do it!
Reply 3
Original post by rayamer
hi guys,
i'm in a huge dilemma. so this year, i was rejected from 4/4 medical schools and throughout the whole process, i realised that i didn't want to pursue medicine anymore. i think even if i got accepted into med, i still would not want to pursue medicine, as i've realised the main reason why i loved medicine so much was the science, and the science only LOL. i'm not a huge fan of the bureaucratic NHS system and the all-consuming side of medicine. i'd would much rather just study science (biology or natsci) at university, hopefully take a phD, and go into research. i really love biology and was hoping to apply for it this year, including oxbridge and UCL.
but on results day today, i got A*A*A and got a place for medicine at the university of birmingham, and surprisingly, i was quite upset. i didn't want to make such a massive decision, and to be honest, i was really excited to apply for biology this october. everyone i know is urging me to take it, that if i try a year of medicine i won't have any regrets, but in my heart, it really doesn't feel right. but i don't want to live with regrets in the future, but i also don't want to waste potentially numerous years studying medicine and deluding myself that i enjoy it when i'd rather do something else. please help me guys, also my uncle who's a doctor said if you love science and are good at it, the natural pathway is medicine but i can't help but disagree... i know i might be answering my own questions as i write this, but i've honestly never been more confused.
thank you in advance.


Doesn't sound crazy. Sounds like you've thought this through so listen to your instincts and be confident in your decisions :yy:
There's nothing worse than an appointment with a disinterested doctor.
Reply 5
Original post by Democracy
Doesn't sound crazy. Sounds like you've thought this through so listen to your instincts and be confident in your decisions :yy:


that means so much, that makes me feel better :smile:. it's just scary because medicine is SO competitive in the first place, and there are some unbeatable perks to the career. but if my passion for medicine rekindles, i suppose i could always do grad-entry medicine so it's not like the door is fully closed for medicine and for now, i should follow my gut and apply for biology.
Reply 6
Original post by Muttley79
I'm confused 0 why did you seek out a Medicine offer if you didn't want to study it?

If your heart is not in it then please don't do medicine ...


i have changed quite a lot across this past year, and i liked the idea of medicine in theory, but as i matured this year something clicked in me that it isn't quite what i want just in terms of the sort of life i want to live and what i genuinely enjoy learning. i know it might not make sense haha
Original post by rayamer
hi guys,
i'm in a huge dilemma. so this year, i was rejected from 4/4 medical schools and throughout the whole process, i realised that i didn't want to pursue medicine anymore. i think even if i got accepted into med, i still would not want to pursue medicine, as i've realised the main reason why i loved medicine so much was the science, and the science only LOL. i'm not a huge fan of the bureaucratic NHS system and the all-consuming side of medicine. i'd would much rather just study science (biology or natsci) at university, hopefully take a phD, and go into research. i really love biology and was hoping to apply for it this year, including oxbridge and UCL.
but on results day today, i got A*A*A and got a place for medicine at the university of birmingham, and surprisingly, i was quite upset. i didn't want to make such a massive decision, and to be honest, i was really excited to apply for biology this october. everyone i know is urging me to take it, that if i try a year of medicine i won't have any regrets, but in my heart, it really doesn't feel right. but i don't want to live with regrets in the future, but i also don't want to waste potentially numerous years studying medicine and deluding myself that i enjoy it when i'd rather do something else. please help me guys, also my uncle who's a doctor said if you love science and are good at it, the natural pathway is medicine but i can't help but disagree... i know i might be answering my own questions as i write this, but i've honestly never been more confused.
thank you in advance.

I would suggest to keep your medicine offer since the competition is so fierce and honestly if you decline it you might regret it quite badly later. People are literally fighting for 1 place. Graduate medicine is sooooo competitive. I am trying as a graduate to get into dentistry after so many years and the competition is sooooooo competitive.
I would siggest to enter the course and if you don't like it you can always intercalate in the third year and exit with a bsc. Have a look at their intercalation option in the link below
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/med/medical-sciences-bmedsc-intercalateddegree.aspx
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by rayamer
i have changed quite a lot across this past year, and i liked the idea of medicine in theory, but as i matured this year something clicked in me that it isn't quite what i want just in terms of the sort of life i want to live and what i genuinely enjoy learning. i know it might not make sense haha


Yes but why get an offer today? It makes no sense - follow your heart and don't do medicine.
Reply 9
Original post by Muttley79
Yes but why get an offer today? It makes no sense - follow your heart and don't do medicine.


oh right, i got waitlisted for birmingham med and if i met the grade requirements, they would reconsider my application after rejecting me initially which they did and they offered me a place.
Original post by rayamer
oh right, i got waitlisted for birmingham med and if i met the grade requirements, they would reconsider my application after rejecting me initially which they did and they offered me a place.


Oh I see - you did not say that you were waitlisted just rejected. Please don't feel you have to accept it ...
Reply 11
I was in areally similar position last year, I ended up taking a gap year to think things through and I don't regret it a bit. The best thing I can say is do what's right for you not anyone else. At the end of the day you're the one sitting the 5 yr course and career afterwards, not the people trying to sway you into medicine. Besides, with the amazing grades you got, it sounds like you have the knowlege and skills to do well on whichever path you choose, medicine or otherwise :smile:
You don’t sound motivated by medicine. More a nagging sense of “what if?” and not wanting to let people down.

Personally I’d take a gap, maybe do some relevant work experience to make sure it’s definitely not your thing then more than likely apply to a decent biology programme.
Original post by rayamer
hi guys,
i'm in a huge dilemma. so this year, i was rejected from 4/4 medical schools and throughout the whole process, i realised that i didn't want to pursue medicine anymore. i think even if i got accepted into med, i still would not want to pursue medicine, as i've realised the main reason why i loved medicine so much was the science, and the science only LOL. i'm not a huge fan of the bureaucratic NHS system and the all-consuming side of medicine. i'd would much rather just study science (biology or natsci) at university, hopefully take a phD, and go into research. i really love biology and was hoping to apply for it this year, including oxbridge and UCL.
but on results day today, i got A*A*A and got a place for medicine at the university of birmingham, and surprisingly, i was quite upset. i didn't want to make such a massive decision, and to be honest, i was really excited to apply for biology this october. everyone i know is urging me to take it, that if i try a year of medicine i won't have any regrets, but in my heart, it really doesn't feel right. but i don't want to live with regrets in the future, but i also don't want to waste potentially numerous years studying medicine and deluding myself that i enjoy it when i'd rather do something else. please help me guys, also my uncle who's a doctor said if you love science and are good at it, the natural pathway is medicine but i can't help but disagree... i know i might be answering my own questions as i write this, but i've honestly never been more confused.
thank you in advance.


It might be worth doing a little more research into the outcomes from a medical degree. It's not all being a GP or a Surgeon. There's no reason why you can't get a PhD and go into research as a medical Doctor. Just explore whether medicine can still deliver you where you want to be, before you give up on the offer.
Reply 14
Original post by dlsuser
I was in areally similar position last year, I ended up taking a gap year to think things through and I don't regret it a bit. The best thing I can say is do what's right for you not anyone else. At the end of the day you're the one sitting the 5 yr course and career afterwards, not the people trying to sway you into medicine. Besides, with the amazing grades you got, it sounds like you have the knowlege and skills to do well on whichever path you choose, medicine or otherwise :smile:

wow, so what was the reason for you changing your decision?
Reply 15
Original post by threeportdrift
It might be worth doing a little more research into the outcomes from a medical degree. It's not all being a GP or a Surgeon. There's no reason why you can't get a PhD and go into research as a medical Doctor. Just explore whether medicine can still deliver you where you want to be, before you give up on the offer.

that's true, but i'm quite worried about being burnt out and quite frankly exhausted by the time i finish medical school. if the main reason i want to go into medicine is because i like research and science, i think it's better to do a scientific degree instead of going through lots of clinical placements and extremely intense exams for five years straight :/
Reply 16
My son is going through similar to you although he hasn’t been offered a place. He got 4 rejections and he’s thinking about studying something else now. He’s taking a year out and having a think. He also got A*A*A. Good luck with whatever you do.
Reply 17
Original post by MeddygMam
My son is going through similar to you although he hasn’t been offered a place. He got 4 rejections and he’s thinking about studying something else now. He’s taking a year out and having a think. He also got A*A*A. Good luck with whatever you do.


it really is such a tricky decision to make especially at such a young age that we are at! best of luck to him, i hope he makes the right decision that is best for him :smile:
Reply 18
Some things to remember: turning down medicine to do something else is perfectly valid. Taking up an offer to do medicine to see if you actually like it is also perfectly valid. Any decision you make to take up or turn down an offer right now is based on you not actually knowing exactly what you’re turning down. Logically, trying it first is the only way you’ll know for absolutely certain if you are making the right decision. Don’t worry about HEE funding or whatever. They accept that some people won’t complete a course. People who change their minds or don’t complete medical degrees for other reasons are a whole column in their budgeting sheet. Your funds will get reallocated somewhere else, nothing will be wasted. It’s your life to live.

My advice? Take up your offer, see if you like it, make your decision an informed one. No one will deny medicine is a massive opportunity, even with all the problems facing the profession.

I could equally advise you another way entirely. I won’t, because I know what it’s like to constantly measure your life against a decision you did or didn’t take. I’ve got several of those and I’ve got a few shadow lives haunting me these days. I don’t regret my decisions, but they do make my life difficult occasionally when I’m feeling at my worst. Don’t make medicine unfinished business, essentially.
Reply 19
Original post by rayamer
i have changed quite a lot across this past year, and i liked the idea of medicine in theory, but as i matured this year something clicked in me that it isn't quite what i want just in terms of the sort of life i want to live and what i genuinely enjoy learning. i know it might not make sense haha

What aspect of science are you thinking of?If it is a future in academia you want it will be very competitive with poor renumeration and career prospects are dire ATM .People on short term contracts having to keep moving around from uni to uni.Just saying do your research.But if you are not 100% medicine do not do it.

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