There are many more prospective Medicine applicants every year than there are course places available, but Medicine is a more demanding career than many people realise. Life as a junior doctor is tough, not to mention the years of study before you even reach that point. But if you’re set on Medicine, it can be one of the most rewarding careers possible. Here’s what you can do to work out if Medicine is right for you.
Read This Is Going to Hurt
Comedy writer Adam Kay originally trained as a doctor, and wrote diary entries during that time. This book is a collection of those diary entries – an eye-opening account of life as a junior doctor, by turns distressing, enlightening and hilarious.
Volunteer in an Old People’s Home
Being a doctor isn’t all glamour; a lot of it is about caring for people at some of the most challenging times of their lives. Gain an insight into what it’s like to look after vulnerable people in our society by volunteering with the elderly.
Attend a Death Cafe
In the UK, as in many parts of the world, people find it difficult to talk about death. Death Cafes were established to combat this stigma, giving people the chance to talk about what they want for their deaths without judgment or stigma. As a doctor, you might be faced with life or death decisions, so attending a Death Cafe can help you feel more comfortable with these challenging topics.
Attend Lectures & Debates on Ethics
Depending on where you live, you might be able to attend lectures or even debates on topics relating to medical ethics, such as assisted suicide, abortion, or the use of stem cells in medical research – all of which will be valuable in shaping your own beliefs, and for discussion at a university interview.
Read Bad Pharma
The follow-up to Ben Goldacre’s bestselling Bad Science, Bad Pharma explores the pharmaceutical company, its relationship with doctors, and how the end result affects outcomes for patients. It’s a fascinating insight into the process of drug development, and how financial pressures can cause it to go awry.
Visit Medical Museums
Many cities have museums including sections on the history of Medicine, and London has a remarkable number of Medicine-themed museums, from the Bethlem Museum of the Mind to the BDA Dental Museum. Visiting museums is a great way to explore the past, present and future of Medicine.