A career in medicine is like no other; it is not just a full-time job, it is a lifestyle, mindset and a lifelong commitment. Medicine will be your life. Considering to apply to medical school is a serious decision and a decision only you can make. If you have any doubts about entering the medical field, this blog post is well worth a read to help you make up your mind.
Here, we have collected the best advice to banish those doubts. The following includes aspects to think about and activities to try to build more of a firm opinion as to whether medicine is for you or not. Have a read through, consider each point and attempt each suggested activity and we promise by the end of it you will have a better idea about whether a career in medicine is right for you.
Medical school is a very long journey. Depending on which area of medicine you would like to specialise in, it can take up to or over 7 years to qualify. Once qualified, the learning and examinations do not end there, as doctors are required to revalidate their skills and knowledge and to keep up-to-date with all the new research and technology that is continuously developing to improve lives. Are you willing to commit to studying and revising for life?
Even as a student/junior doctor you will be expected to take on a lot of responsibility, a lot more than your age group would normally be expected to take on. The decisions you would be making involve other people’s lives and at times be forced to be made on the spot. The responsibility of life or death decisions would be in your hands. Are you confident enough in your decision making? And willing to take on the responsibility of others?
A career in medicine is not just time-consuming, it is life-consuming. You will have time for your family, friends and hobbies but it will be very limited and would have to be well organised and planned.
Being a doctor involves long hours including antisocial hours and due to the caring nature required for the role, you may find it difficult to separate work from home and leisure. Are you willing to give medicine this much of your life?
The medical service is all about teamwork - it just would not save lives otherwise. You have to possess the ability to get along with everyone from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures, putting aside your own personal beliefs and accepting people as they are as colleagues and patients.
The sense of team spirit is strong within medicine which makes it a very special team and experience to be a part of but consider the following questions: How well do you integrate with different social groups? How well do you handle confrontation?
Being a great doctor requires the ability to communicate effectively by understanding your patients’ needs and concerns whilst reflecting your emotional connections to them within your spoken words and positive, welcoming and approachable body language.
Do you possess these qualities? Would you be willing to work on improving them? How caring and empathetic are you?
Whilst the UCAT ANZ is an aptitude test on your acquired capacity and quickness in learning, all five of the UCAT ANZ sections reflect and simulate the situations faced daily by doctors. Practising with the UCAT ANZ exam material and gaining insight into how well you would do in the real exam would give you a great opportunity to see how your mental aptitude will be tested in the medical field. Our Online UCAT ANZ Course is perfect for this. We also provide detailed feedback on each section, mock question and exam taken.
Not only will you get a feel for the field, you will receive scores that will represent your innate suitability to medicine. If you really enjoy practising the UCAT ANZ but your score could do with some improvement, our course will help you.
Work experience and volunteering are perfect for testing the water of whether you would like a career in medicine or not. You could try volunteering within a care home for the elderly or a hospice for the terminally ill. Both work experience and volunteering within the medical/care sector will help confirm if you have what it takes and the strength required to cope with the emotional responsibility, capacity and impact to patients and yourself.
If you have answered positively to all of the above questions, attempted the latter suggested activities (taking the UCAT ANZ and applying for work experience) and you are still considering a career in medicine, it is highly likely you are making the correct decision. Especially if you have enjoyed practising with our UCAT ANZ material and you cannot get enough of your volunteer work. If you are still unsure after completing all of the above, consider what you would do instead and apply similar questions and activities to it.
We provide you with extensive video tutorials, a huge bank of 20,000+ questions, 21 unique full mock exams, 40+ mini-mock exams and question walkthroughs, as well as performance feedback.
We’ve been lending a successful helping hand since 2009. Medify is here to support you, just reach out to us.