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Eight Reasons to Study Medicine
Why study medicine? you may ask. The course comes with near-impossible entry requirements, difficult content, a hefty amount of contact hours, at least five years of study (expensive!), and you’ll be moving on to an extremely demanding profession. But if you think you’ve got the ability and the dedication, or just need some gentle persuasion, here’s eight reasons to study medicine.
1. Excellent graduate prospects
A quick glance at our Medicine subject league table tells you that students at the majority of universities all find themselves in professional-level employment within six months of leaving. Provided you pass the degree, you’re almost guaranteed a place as a foundation doctor, firmly cementing your position on the first rung of the doctor career ladder.
2. Doctor’s salaries
It’s no secret that medical professionals are fairly well remunerated. The average starting salary is over £30,000. Stay in the profession and you may well be earning six figures by the time it comes to retirement – now there's a compelling reason to study medicine.
3. Practical & theoretical
Universities aim to equip their medical students with the skills required to become practitioners, so it makes sense that the course involves a large proportion of practical work. Students spend most of their time on placement in teaching campus hospitals. Placements are designed to expose students to a variety of medical specialities and gives them the opportunity to interact with patients.
But it’s not just hospitals, hospitals, hospitals – there’s a lot of complicated theory behind it all, hence the demanding entry requirements. For those who seek a balance between theory and getting their hands dirty, medicine may be for you.
The Complete University Guide certainly isn’t one for perpetuating the status quo but there’s no denying the fact that doctors are traditionally held in high esteem. A tradition which still applies to some extent today.
5. Transferable skills
A medicine degree may appear to be one in which its participants are resigned to a career as a doctor. The reality is that medical graduates are highly regarded in almost all walks of life. So if you decide to pursue other avenues you shouldn’t be in too much trouble. A medicine degree will develop your professionalism, communication skills, time management, ability to work as part of a team, research skills.....the list goes on.
6. Giving back to society
As a student and later in your career you’ll be having a direct impact on people’s lives, and for the better more often than not. If you’re a conscientious person a career in medicine will certainly satisfy your sense of duty. Most doctors will cite this as being a major reason for choosing a career in medicine.
7. International elective
All UK medicine courses comprise a 6–12 week elective period, the chance for students to study away from their home medical school. Most students use this opportunity for travel, experiencing a different culture, partaking in relief work and seeing how medicine is practiced in another country.
8. Career and course variety
There are many different branches of medicine – this will be reflected in your course, and later in your career. One day you may be studying neurosurgery and the next learning about chiropody – quite literally looking at the human body from head to toe.
Have we whet your appetite? Read on to maximise your chances of getting into medicine.
Next page: What is it Like to Study Medicine?