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Is medicine a good choice?
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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 20:47

It seems the bright kids at schools drift to medicine as my dd is being steered towards and has an interest in. But doctor friends are so negative about the career at the moment saying they wish they had chosen a different path if they had really realised what a life commitment to stress and studying it was. I would love to hear others views as there is no arguing with an idealistic teen.

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SunshinePie · 11/03/2022 21:10

Nooooo don’t do it! I have 2 close GP friends and they hate it. I was an NHS nurse for 3 years but left, working 12.5 hour shifts, nights, weekends, Christmas Day, it’s miserable Sad Mostly left for PTSD reasons after working paediatrics oncology. It’s a tough career.

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welshweasel · 11/03/2022 21:15

I’m a consultant surgeon. I love my job. I am paid well for doing something I enjoy and I have a good work life balance. But it’s a long old slog to get to this point. You’ve got to really want to do it. I think it’s the best job in the world and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 21:16

Yeah that's exactly what I mean Sunshinepie - it's just I think schools encourage bright kids to go down this road without getting them to think about what it might mean for lifestyles along the way and 16-18 year olds get caught up in the glamour of it all.

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Totalwasteofpaper · 11/03/2022 21:18

@welshweasel

I’m a consultant surgeon. I love my job. I am paid well for doing something I enjoy and I have a good work life balance. But it’s a long old slog to get to this point. You’ve got to really want to do it. I think it’s the best job in the world and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

This is about the size of it.
I have a gp friend he loves it. Early 30s and makes 100k pa for part time work.
I think it depends what you want and where you specialise.

Tech is another great option if taking stem subjects especially for women. I work in tech sector and there is a strong diversity push
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mumsneedwine · 11/03/2022 21:24

791 applicants for F1 positions been put on the reserve list this week. So finished degree but no F1 job to go to. Hopefully all will eventually be employed but it's been so horrible for them. Mine's a 4th year, I'm dreading next year. She thought, do medicine and become a doctor. Seems that is no longer guaranteed. V v sad.

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FancyAFlapjack · 11/03/2022 21:28

I’m a doctor. On balance, I’m pleased that I am, but it’s hard. Your DD should not do it unless she really, really wants to do it. I know lots of unhappy doctors (the suicide rate is 4-5 times higher than the general population), and they are mainly people who got steered into it just because they were academic. I cringe when I see all the MN threads by mothers obsessing about getting their DC into med school, with no understanding of what they are letting them in for. Well done for focusing on what’s really right for your DD, OP.

What about engineering? It’s incredibly varied; there are many ways to help people through engineering, if that’s one of her drivers, and, while you need reasonable maths, not all engineering courses are highly mathematical - some are aimed more at people who will use engineering principles in business, rather than being technical engineers.

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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 21:34

@FancyAFlapjack I know from my own work life there are some really intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding jobs in other STEM subjects but I do feel that sixth forms thrive on the the academic top sets feeling medicine is quite glamourous and they do in reality get very limited and edited experience on work experience.

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FancyAFlapjack · 11/03/2022 21:42

Early 30s and makes 100k pa for part time work

Obviously that’s great money by any normal standards, and I am very happy with what I earn. But it’s peanuts, compared to what someone who is bright enough to do medicine could earn in consultancy (800k - 1 million and up, if you make partner), or in one of the big City accountancy, banking or law firms. You work **ing hard for it, but you can retire in your 40s. The NHS retirement age is now 67 and, while many doctors can afford to retire earlier, I don’t know any who could do what a lot of my friends in other professions have done - retire from the big job in their 40s, and do something relaxed and worthwhile that they love (one is running a donkey sanctuary 😀).

I’m not saying doctors should be paid more. I’m just saying that it’s worth thinking about whether she might want the option of two careers, rather than one long slog.

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FancyAFlapjack · 11/03/2022 21:46

sixth forms thrive on the the academic top sets feeling medicine is quite glamourous and they do in reality get very limited and edited experience on work experience

Completely agree. Lots of the most interesting jobs are really dull as work experience. I’ve got a friend who works in patents, for example. It’s really fascinating - intellectually stimulating and varied - but it would be the world’s most boring work experience placement for a teenager.

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mumsneedwine · 11/03/2022 21:47

But a medicine degree no longer means you become a doctor. 5 years at Uni and there are not enough jobs to go round. No idea how this can be in our over stretched NHS, but it is. Look at medtwitter - some v angry and stressed students.

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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 21:50

@FancyAFlapjack bizarrely I have a lot of contact with patent lawyers working in the pharma/life sciences space and it is a hugely intellectually rewarding career with great pay and largely 9-5.

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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 21:51

@mumsneedwine I had no idea - I assumed it was a job for life and that was one of the positives

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LizzieMacQueen · 11/03/2022 21:57

My dad, a consultant surgeon, had 5 kids and he did not encourage any of us to go into medicine. Actively advised against it in fact so we became architects, accountants and lawyers instead. He was happy with that.

But I agree, schools like the kudos of having their pupils get into medical school.

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mumsneedwine · 11/03/2022 22:04

@Runninghat so did we. This year it's awful. Nearly 800 hard working young people with no job to go to. They are hoping to sort it but it's never been so many. And only going to get worse as medical schools increased places but no increase in F1 jobs. Totally stupid.

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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 22:08

@mumsneedwine can't imagine putting all that effort in with no job at the end. Around our way there are a few new medical schools opened or opening up so sounds like this has not been coordinated.

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mumsneedwine · 11/03/2022 22:12

@Runninghat it's causing so much stress for the students involved. And the 4th years who can see what's coming for them. Totally stupid and avoidable. Some still have final exams to sit with no idea if and when they'll be able to become a doctor. No F1, no qualification.
And if do get matched (maybe as late as June) it could be anywhere in the country. They are expected to just move, find a home while knowing no one. Wish mine had done something else. No glamour !

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Iamsodonewith2020 · 11/03/2022 22:31

Massive assumption here that you can even get a place. My exceptionally bright child was massively encouraged to pursue medicine and the process nearly broke her. With 4 interviews and almost full marks in her UKCAT she got 0 offers late may after starting the application process 13 months earlier. She was heartbroken and combined with covid I thought she may give up entirely. Once left with no offers for medical school her school tossed her aside to sort out what todo next. Luckily she was offered a place on a Chemistry degree by one of the universities and is loving it.

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Runninghat · 11/03/2022 22:38

@Iamsodonewith2020 I’m really sorry to hear that but sadly not surprised. I do really feel a lot of 16-18 year olds are being played here. Chemistry is a great choice for a degree and she may well have a better work life balance with this.

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ScarletTulips · 11/03/2022 22:52

Too many peers of my DC were directed towards medicine because it was what their (non medic) parents wanted and what the school thought looked good for them.
It has to be a vocation and young people have to go into it with their eyes wide open to the challenges involved.
The obsession with extra curricular activities whether it’s Grade 10 Piccolo or running, jumping, rowing for The County does not a good doctor make.

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Notagardener · 12/03/2022 08:06

"791 applicants for F1 positions been put on the reserve list this week"
Bizarre as in our department paying locum rate for someone in this position as not able to fill post otherwise. Recruiting middle grade doctors from abroad as no other candidates.
"Early 30s and makes 100k pa for part time work" I wish....double the age and not earning at all this amount. GP are selfemployed, the practice may recieve a high profit but expenses need to be paid out of it. So paing a gardenener or even buying a new fridge will come out of the "profits".

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Notagardener · 12/03/2022 08:06

More importantly, yes do go to medical school if you feel you have a real passion for it, otherwise NO

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elliesmummy19 · 12/03/2022 08:09

My husband's a doctor. He does enjoy what he does but often wishes he had chosen a different career. He also hopes our daughter doesn't want to follow in his footsteps but wouldn't steer her in a different direction if that was definitely what she wanted to do.

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DriedBeanKibble · 12/03/2022 08:14

[quote Runninghat]@FancyAFlapjack I know from my own work life there are some really intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding jobs in other STEM subjects but I do feel that sixth forms thrive on the the academic top sets feeling medicine is quite glamourous and they do in reality get very limited and edited experience on work experience.[/quote]
I have never heard this, is your dd at a private school? I know 2 mums at school who are GPs, they both hate it. One has started doing botox as it pays well and less stress. She works 2 days as a GP and 2 doing botox at some treatment centre.

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LunaTheCat · 12/03/2022 08:22

I am a doctor. I was always driven to do medicine and had a strong sense of “this is what I am meant to do”.
I bloody love my job at times - the magic of connecting with another human and helping is still for me wonderful. However it is very very hard. The training is hard and long - both pre grad and post grad.
The hours are long and physically and emotionally exhausting.
The responsibility is frightening.
It is not a job to do if you do not absolutely want to do it.

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TizerorFizz · 12/03/2022 08:56

I think it’s fair to say that most trainee doctors get jobs. Maybe a few are not wanting to mine for the jobs. That’s different. Doctors are also among the best paid recent grads when compared to all degrees. They also have high employability and can easily work abroad.

Many doctors retire way before 67 at the moment. Lots work part time. Pensions are generous when compared to other workers.
Doctors must really want this job though. Schools shouldn’t push pupils into it. The success rate isn’t high anyway.

However I think “wanting it” applies to lots of jobs. Highly paid jobs are never 9-5. Few people warn over £500,000 too. That type of job, eg city solicitor and banker will demand very long hours and intellect too. Anyone with a stem background should very much consider it though. Doctors tend to be heard. Often whinging. However like most jobs, there’s good bits and bad bits. Private consultants seem happy. Choose what area of medicine you want to do. Whatever it is, the pension will be better then nearly everyone else’s.

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