To those of you who have studied/are currently studying medicine, how did you know it was for you?

Discussion in 'Studying Medicine' started by chefcurry30, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. chefcurry30

    chefcurry30 New Member

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    So as the headline says, I was wondering how you guys knew that medicine was right for you. I am currently a first year university student and honestly, I am unsure where I want to end up, regarding my career. However, postgrad medicine is something that I am contemplating but I do not know enough about what life as a medical student/doctor is like. This led me to wonder what aspects usually draw people to study medicine, aside from the 'wanting to help people'. As far as I know, medicine is a very demanding profession yet it can be very rewarding but I was wondering how so. So, in summary, I would love to know what aspects drew you guys to study medicine and how did you know it was the right degree/career to pursue? Thank you in advance!
     
  2. pi

    pi Junior doctor Moderator

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    I don't think anyone really knows what it's like until they try it. What I thought medical school would be like was different to the reality. Similarly, what I thought being a junior doctor would be like was different to the reality. You never really know until you're in the thick of it, so in short: I didn't know it was the right degree/career to pursue when I started because no one knows, medicine (for the vast vast majority) isn't a calling, it's just another road one can take in life, nothing special about it.
     
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  3. GJ07

    GJ07 Member

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    My reasons for studying medicine are: I wanted a career that mixed scientific knowledge / study with people skills, where each day would be varied, where I worked in a team and with a variety of people from all backgrounds both clients and co workers, where I felt I was doing something that had value to society, where I would always be learning new skills or knowledge, that had many different career paths within the career of medicine itself, that was portable to more than just my own country or local town and hopefully paid enough to have a good lifestyle. Hope that helps
    PS Another family member is a junior doctor at the moment and so its really interesting watching their path through med school and the reality of after graduating. It's not always easy but for them it is definitely proving to be the right choice.
     
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  4. Surgical Bounce

    Surgical Bounce Member

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    Do you mind elaborating a little on what the big differences between what you thought it would be and the realities? Thx in advance
     
  5. pi

    pi Junior doctor Moderator

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    Of being a junior doctor? Difficult to discuss in words. But let's just say you never really know what having responsibility means until you actually have it. And I'm sure the transition from intern/resident to registrar is a similar feeling, as would be from registrar to consultant.
     
  6. Benjamin

    Benjamin Intern (JCU MBBS) Administrar

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    I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I started medical school. I knew I wanted to always have options & the only way I could go to university & have options was to do a degree that would get me a professional qualification I could use as a day job but also potentially opened doors for me in terms of research if I really didn't like the actual clinical work. My other back-ups beyond medicine (if I didn't get in) were centered around this same theme - pharmacy / engineering. I figured medicine was the better option as it paid better than pharmacy & I liked biology more than physics/math. That was the extent of my reasoning process at highschool before applying & getting into medicine.

    Throughout university I felt that medicine was something I would probably enjoy because I liked the content. I found (and still find) learning physiology to be an enjoyable thing & also really like actually working in a clinical sense at the moment ... though largely at a junior level my job is paperwork based!

    At the moment I still see medicine as a job where there are a lot of different options about how you can play things out. As a junior doctor I change rotations every 10 weeks ... which means I'm constantly in a new job doing something I probably haven't done before. I find this somewhat refreshing but it's probably something I will eventually tire of. When I do I'll work towards a registrar training pathway of something that has caught my interest / fits with what I want & go from there.

    In terms of thinking about the future ... A lot of people talk about getting onto training pathways ASAP and heading upwards at any opportunity - this is great for some but I struggle to see the rationale at times. I am in my mid 20's, second year out & currently earning only slightly less than my parents who are at the end of their 40 year careers - money is not a motivating factor at the moment. Staying as a resident for a few years gives me the opportunity to get more 'inside looks' into jobs I otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to if I ran straight towards registrar training, it also affords me far less responsibility which is both a positive & a negative at times.

    How do I know medicine is for me? I enjoy the work, I get to do new things, I get to work in (usually) good teams of like-minded people, I have the flexibility to stay at my current level (RMO) for a while or try & progress more quickly, it pays very reasonably provided you get paid overtime, & the job is relatively flexible in terms of where you live provided you aren't too strict with your rotation requirements or vice versa (i.e. get one or the other of location & rotations, rarely both!). I have somewhat of an idea what I want to do but that is absolutely not set in stone - even after 6 years of medical school & internship the only places I have real experience of what the job is like are in are ED, respiratory, orthopaedics, general surgery, vascular surgery, psychiatry & palliative care!
     
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  7. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    Like milk, work at a fixed level as a JMO has a definite use-by date. You'll see: you get to the point of boredom with scut, with an urge to do something more than that. Bright, motivated people (with which medicine is festooned) tend to outgrow pre-vocational jobs quite markedly.
     
  8. Kat92

    Kat92 Student (BDemCare, BBeSt). Hopeful for JMP 2020

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    To be honest in High School I never really gave much thought to the prospect of studying in health/the medical field as I had the preconceived notion that I would not be clever enough and would be ridiculed.

    However, after starting an education degree and after a few years in I started to become really bored with it (and took the exit degree as I had paroxysms of A-fib that didn't allow for completion of internship). It was at this point when I was bored with education that I started looking at allied health courses but it didn't really curb my itch as I have always enjoyed science, how the body ticks, further learning and helping others so I went on to the AIN and medical assistant course and it showed me that the work that doctors do and medicine is the path I want to undertake.

    Secondly, I had a lovely Registrar and cardiologist who looked after me and explained everything in detail after seeing my interest in the area which has further prompted the inspiration.

    Thirdly, my GP has been a great inspiration as well as she allows me discuss things I've heard in the media, read, or what could be the case when some of my family members were ill.

    Fourthly, when doing my AIN placement I would sometimes arrive early and stay back late with some of the doctors that were on and they would discuss some of the cases they were working on and I would provide some insights into the things I observed and what I thought that may mean- which they kindly explained (learnt that sometimes there are case of panic attacks that mimic cardiac events on ECGs).

    Fifthly, I took a module in anatomy at UniSA through correspondence and was fascinated with the material and knowledge of the lecturer- I achieved one of the highest marks in the course and the conversations I had and still do with that lecturer has helped show that health/medicine is the right path for me, plus she also queried why don't you look into medicine I think you would enjoy its components.

    Finally, I also became more so involved in the health/medical side of things when my one of family members had umbilical hernia complications as I would assist the community nurse and send reports to the surgeon.

    In a way like Pi said it is not a calling, but more so health/medicine finds you and you tend to know what feels right from there! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  9. Benjamin

    Benjamin Intern (JCU MBBS) Administrar

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    I completely agree that I'll get sick of it eventually, I mentioned that earlier in the post ... but the reality is that it's likely I'll have to stay at an RMO level for at the least a few more years before I even have the opportunity to progress to registrar training. Some people see this as a massive negative, at the moment I see it as relatively good pay for relatively little stress. If I was 35 or had kids/family/debt it might be a different story but at 24 the lifestyle is fairly good.
     
  10. chinaski

    chinaski Regular Member

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    Without knowing what pathway you wish to pursue, staying at RMO level may be seen as attractive if you can handle the boredom and drudgery in exchange for "no stress". Conversely, stepping into an unaccredited SRMO position (or similar) offers more professional/cerebral challenges, without the stress of a registrar position, and looks infinitely better on paper - so is often seen as the better compromise by most, rather than staying in an RMO job.
     
  11. Surgical Bounce

    Surgical Bounce Member

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    Thanks for your response and the others afterwards. Much appreciated :)
     
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  12. Zoidberg7

    Zoidberg7 Member

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    So, kinda like marrying a person eh? But, despite those uncertainties, why did you still choose to make a commitment to it? I think this question will unravel the reason and motivation (one that has more gravitas) for pursuing such a vocation.

    I am in the processing of drafting my personal statement for UNDS, and the best justification I could come up with is: because I want to. It sounds superficial, I know, but is it? I could argue that desire is the essential component of every commitment and of love -- that without which, is not. But, where does the desire come from? And how strong is this desire? Considering all the negative aspects of medicine, would you still pursue it?
     

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