**I've decided to introduce some guest posters/bloggers to the site to try and see things through a different perspective. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce Mat, who I first met through Admissions Forum, with his views on 'Why Medicine?'**
"Hello, I'm Mat. I'm 19 and posting on a blog about a 120 (it's coming up close to that isn't it Merys?) year old’s attempt to get into Medicine. What can I possibly add to the discussion?
Well, hopefully a little bit. I considered writing about Student life, but Merys would be hugely more experienced to talk about that. I'm going to talk about something I end up talking a lot about.
Some of us decide at 7, some at 17 and others at 27. But ultimately everyone at a Medicine course has decided, not only "I'm willing to study Medicine for 5 years" but also, I'm willing to be a doctor for most of my life. I'm going to work for the organisation that’s probably criticised most in the UK press, The NHS. I'm willing to join a profession famous for archaicism, and bullying, and inflexible working hours.
Some programs show Medicine as being about Caring done by superhumans. Others, such as ER make it seem dramatic beyond any level of realism. But why did a real person - for example me - choose to do medicine. I'm not a hugely caring person; in fact, some of my friends would describe me as closer to callous than caring. I'm a good communicator, but more in the arguing than the consoling sense. And I'm a great scientist, but more in theory than in practise. I probably sound like I’ll be an awful doctor, but I don’t think I will be – why?
A doctor doesn’t have to care about all of their patients; in fact it would be impossible to do so. A news flash to applicants who want to care about everyone – some of your patients will be rapists and murderers, others will just be wankers. Hence there will be some who frankly you don’t care about, that doesn’t mean you get out of treating them. So the old line in the personal statement about “Caring about people” is simply a meaningless cliché.
A doctor communicates in a different way than most applicants ever have. You communicate with your peers, which is frankly easy. But you also have to communicate daily with people at their most vulnerable, the ill, the dying, and the relatives of those who are either ill, dying or dead. I hardly thinking having done public speaking in year 10 qualifies you for this.
What about being good at practical science? Well I am good at practical science, but I don’t think being able to make methylate benzene qualifies you to cauterise a wound.
So why should you go into Medicine?
Well not for money!
I’d say because you want to make a difference but also because you like the field. If your not actually interested in Medicine, don’t go into it .You have to be interested in disease and the human body or you’ll never make it far in medicine. After all, that’s what it is about.
I’m sure people will disagree with me, hell most people do most of the time. I hope I’ve been interesting. If anyone want to contact me, feel free at firstname.lastname@example.org