Shadowing a DoctorAugust 10, 2012
So why choose a Career in Medicine? This is a question that really can’t be answered with one simple statement. Ultimately you have to decide whether a career in medicine is right for you. Many people struggle with their career choice, and your decision will significantly influence the direction your life takes, and the opportunities that come your way. It’s one of those decisions that you try to ignore or put off, but it’s always lurking around, and some careers, like medicine, won’t wait forever. If you are an intelligent, pro-active student, with ambitions to further yourself by joining the medical industry, you will most likely fit in rather nicely.
However, the amount of students who have taken the plunge into embarking upon a career in medicine often know very little about the ups and downs of the profession. If you ask a medical student why they picked their subject, the standard answer is “Because I wanted to help people and make a difference in the world.” And to be honest, that’s not a bad answer at all. A career in medicine certainly gives you the opportunity to do that. But there are other benefits too. Firstly, your skill is in high demand. The employment rate of qualified doctors is exponentially higher than that of many other career industries. Job security is an important factor when choosing a career, as are the monetary benefits. The NHS is the biggest employer in the UK, and fifth in the world, right behind McDonalds. If you would rather make a difference in people’s lives on a day to day basis and be financially rewarded for it, rather than flipping burgers, a career in medicine might be just the thing for you. And let’s not forget the flexibility this career has. There are many sectors within the industry itself that one can pursue. Whether you go into private care, consultancy, surgery, specialisms such as dermatology or paediatrics, general practitioner etc… a career in medicine can be rewarding and satisfying on many different levels, and with its myriad of variations and options, the only hindrance is choosing which path to go down.
The Realities: Most people know this, but we’ll just go over it again. Medicine is not necessarily for everyone. It is a challenging and often gruelling process. Not only is the workload much greater than a lot of other degree disciplines, but the job itself, certainly in the early, clinical stages, is challenging on both an intellectual and psychological level. The hours are long and there are always new things to learn and keep up to date with as medical techniques and procedures evolve. It may be daunting, but many in the profession find that challenging themselves on a daily basis is one of the biggest perks of the job. If you can rise to the challenge then choosing a career in medicine could be the best decision you ever made.