The Student Room Group

SLT or medicine?

I just firmed medicine with a foundation year at University of East Anglia and my insurance is Speech and Language Therapy at University of Reading.
Lately, (since knowing about the lack of control over your location as a doctor in training) I have really been questioning my decision to pursue a career in medicine. There are so many sacrifices to make for... no reason??
Like,
- awful work-life balance
- no control over location in F1/F2
- no control over location in training
- very long training
- emotional damage
- little support.

On the other hand, I can go UoR, study Speech and Language Therapy and graduate at 21/22 and have 99% chance of finding a job with great life balance, no night shifts, and no staying after work because a patient is in literal danger. I also feel like some of the junior doctors I've talked to on work experience regret their decision but are stuck in the system now that they have studied 5 years to become doctors.

I only took a fancy for medicine since I am 15, before that, I wanted to become a writer/something to do with education. (but not a teacher)
I feel like Speech and Language Therapy would be my inner child's dream job, however I am scared of graduating at 21 and not having a clear path laid out for me. I working as a doctor for the NHS means your are almost exploited, BUT you have no decisions to make since the system decides for you, which is quite comfortable.

I also don't know if I will enjoy the SLT job (I did shadowing, but it was a very restricted part of what SLTs do) but I know that medicine might suck the joy out of my life. I am the type of person that really gets affected by their environment and will literally soak up bad vibes and bring them home to simmer. (idk if that makes sense)

Anyways, any advice from a doctor/someone with more insight? SLT was supposed to be my back up plan but now I don't really know anymore.

useful precision: Slt is what my mom wanted me to do, Medicine what my dad wanted me to do (but neither are deadset on it) I wanted to be a writer and to change the education system when I was 11 (??) but neither are an actual job so I just did like someone that has no personality whatsoever and followed what my parents thought suited me.
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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GCSE Requirements for Medicine
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Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
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Original post by wilderose
I just firmed medicine with a foundation year at University of East Anglia and my insurance is Speech and Language Therapy at University of Reading.
Lately, (since knowing about the lack of control over your location as a doctor in training) I have really been questioning my decision to pursue a career in medicine. There are so many sacrifices to make for... no reason??
Like,
- awful work-life balance
- no control over location in F1/F2
- no control over location in training
- very long training
- emotional damage
- little support.
On the other hand, I can go UoR, study Speech and Language Therapy and graduate at 21/22 and have 99% chance of finding a job with great life balance, no night shifts, and no staying after work because a patient is in literal danger. I also feel like some of the junior doctors I've talked to on work experience regret their decision but are stuck in the system now that they have studied 5 years to become doctors.
I only took a fancy for medicine since I am 15, before that, I wanted to become a writer/something to do with education. (but not a teacher)
I feel like Speech and Language Therapy would be my inner child's dream job, however I am scared of graduating at 21 and not having a clear path laid out for me. I working as a doctor for the NHS means your are almost exploited, BUT you have no decisions to make since the system decides for you, which is quite comfortable.
I also don't know if I will enjoy the SLT job (I did shadowing, but it was a very restricted part of what SLTs do) but I know that medicine might suck the joy out of my life. I am the type of person that really gets affected by their environment and will literally soak up bad vibes and bring them home to simmer. (idk if that makes sense)
Anyways, any advice from a doctor/someone with more insight? SLT was supposed to be my back up plan but now I don't really know anymore.
useful precision: Slt is what my mom wanted me to do, Medicine what my dad wanted me to do (but neither are deadset on it) I wanted to be a writer and to change the education system when I was 11 (??) but neither are an actual job so I just did like someone that has no personality whatsoever and followed what my parents thought suited me.

Hi there,

Well done for getting into the Medicine programme at UEA! It's totally normal to have doubts, especially with such a significant decision.

Medicine is undoubtedly a demanding course. The lack of control over your location during F1/F2 and subsequent training years, the long hours, and the emotional toll can be overwhelming. The sacrifices are real, and the work-life balance can be tough to manage, but I'd say it's not impossible provided the passion is there!

On the other hand, Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) offers a more stable and predictable path. Graduating at 21 or 22 with a high likelihood of finding a job, a better work-life balance, and no night shifts are significant advantages.

Thinking about your passions is essential. You mentioned wanting to be a writer or changing the education system. While these aren't straightforward career paths, this crearly highlight your desire to impact others' lives positively, which you can achieve in both medicine and SLT, albeit in different ways.

It's also important to consider your happiness and mental health. If the thought of being a doctor is already causing you significant anxiety and doubt, it might not be the best path for you. On the other hand, if you feel SLT might be fulfilling but are just unsure due to limited experience, perhaps seeking more exposure to the field could help clarify your feelings.

The key is to choose the one that aligns with your values, interests, and mental well-being. It’s a big decision, and it's okay to take the time to make sure it's the right one for you.

If you ever want to talk to a current Medicine student at UEA, feel free to do so here: www.uea.ac.uk/ask-us

Best of luck with your decision!
Daniel

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