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To study medicine, you must have some sort of drive or reason, since the journey is quite arduous and borderline punishing.
In the very least you must have a good reason to want to study medicine when asked by an admissions officer in an interview.
Let’s cover some good, and bad reasons to want to study medicine.
Job prospects – while it sounds selfish, being a doctor for job security isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as it is paired with the right drive and motivations.
Balance between theoretical and practical learning – This is a sound reason to study medicine as you get to use your knowledge of the human body to cure bodily disorders.
It would be a bad thing for this to be the sole reason because you can do the same if you study nursing or biomedical engineering so make sure there is a reason why you think medicine is your best option.
This is where knowledge and insights into the career itself, and the day to day roles of doctor come in handy.
Diverse career opportunities – as a doctor you have an array of specialties and subspecialties you can choose to practice in.
You may even decide to go the research route. Having options in your profession isn’t a bad thing so long as you have an idea what each of these options entail.
No admissions officer expects you to have your medical career planned out for the next 40 years so being open to different disciplines and opportunities is always welcome.
Alleviate pain and suffering – Used in a majority of personal statements, this reason can often be seen as a cliche, but for good reason.
Doctors and healthcare professionals in general must be compassionate and driven to alleviate pain and suffering to some degree.
The issue comes when you claim you have these qualities but no experiences to back up your claims.
High demand and shortage crisis – There is a massive shortage of doctors facing the UK and other parts of the world right now, and this is being tackled by the increase in physician associates being trained and deployed.
As someone wanting to be a doctor, you must be aware of this and understand the certain stresses you will face knowing that the ratio of doctors to patients is low and dropping.
Money – When you start training as a doctor, you are overworked and underpaid. If money is your only drive you will get pretty disappointed, pretty quick.
Prestige – most doctors won’t tell you their profession is prestigious, partly because there are many unprestigious aspects to being a doctor, but also because most doctors are humble and simply want to practice medicine to better the lives of others.
Respect – Sitting in on many doctors consultation, i saw many disrespectful patients who addressed the doctor in a coarse manner.
If the doctor i was shadowing was only thinking about being respected, he wouldn’t continue being in that room trying to calm the patient down.
Everyone loves the good things in life. It’s not necessarily bad to want money, job security and prestige in your profession because these are important aspects of life. You should take pride in your job.
The issue is if these things are the sole reasons you want to study medicine.
If these are the best reasons you can come up with, having not even enrolled on a medical program yet, you probably shouldn’t be trying to be a doctor. In the very least you should keep your personal motivations to yourself.
Get your reasons straight because at some point you’ll have to explain yourself in detail to an admissions officer, fellow student, or even future patient.
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