Ah, student life - it's so cold in my room that I can't even bring myself to get out of bed to turn on some sort of heating! I do love this weather though - cold and crisp is much better than wet and windy, just hoping we get some snow soon :-D
I'm afraid todays blog is going to be a bit of a brain dump - much of this was whirling around my head in the small hours of the morning so out it all comes!
First of all, its come up a few times in the last week or so, why do I want to go into medicine?
I had to think quite hard to come up with a real answer for this. I'm most definitely not in the slightly cliched "because I want to help people, it's a calling" camp. Medicine has interested me since I was very small - presumably sparked by my Grandad's tales of when he was a porter (which was apparently a very different role then!), and I know it's nothing like the real world but again, ever since I was little I've watched programs like Casualty (a Saturday night tradition with my Grandad) and it always fascinated me (still does, don't remember the last time I missed an episode!).
As I went through school science became my "thing" and I toyed with the idea of various doctoring roles, although once I was reasonably into my teens I didn't want to be a traditional doctor; I think it was a self-confidence thing, I'd never be good enough to do that. So I flirted with the idea of being a pathologist and decided my A-levels based on a desire to do radiography at university, when UCAS came around I did briefly look at medicine, but I wouldn't get good enough grades would I? and even if I did I'd make a rubbish doctor, right?
So, skip forward a few years and here I am, final year of my chemistry degree. Don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed most of it, and, despite feeling that the Christmas holidays can't come soon enough, I still am. But I don't think it's for me, I spent much of last year trying to convince myself it was. There's nothing stopping me from continuing with chemistry, my tutor certainly seems to think I'm good enough to carry on and do a PhD etc. but if I'm good enough to do that then surely I am also good enough to do almost anything that I want to do? So after some sort of epiphany I decided to chase my dreams, to paraphrase from a Killers song I need to learn how to fly, but I want to go for it. I am under no illusions that medicine is an easy path to take, ands it not a decision to be made lightly, but I don't want to spend my life regretting not doing it while I had the chance (I know there's the option to do it even later on but then I really will be old by the time I qualify!).
That explains how I got here, but I guess doesn't answer the question I asked. Medicine to me, is a career based around a subject that I'm actually interested in, and not just a little interested, enough that I read a lot about it and really want to know more. It goes further than that though - whichever branch of medicine I might end up in I know that each day will provide me with a new challenge, and new problems to solve based around that subject - that's the main attraction for me - the fact than in doing that, I will also get to help people, and hopefully make a difference to the world is more of a happy by-product for me rather than the bread and butter of why i want to do it. I think that's probably a good thing - obviously the ability to care for and interact with people is important but without the fundamental desire to solve the problems an cure them it wouldn't be much use.
There we go, I've answered question 1! I guess the next question is do I think I'll make it?
There's a lot of hurdles to cross between now and becoming a doctor, in fact, there's quite a lot to overcome before I start medical school! First off, I need to graduate, I see this a relatively small hurdle, I've done well up to this point and I know that if I work hard I can do it, hopefully with a 1st. The next hurdle (considerably bigger) is getting on to a GEM course - each of the courses is different and has a slightly different focus so I need to make sure I apply to the right places. Leicester for example, want the slightly more "mature" students - one of their course requirements is that you have a years paid employment in a caring role. All of the courses require some experience, but not usually that much! I've got less than 6 months after graduating to pack in as much experience as I can (whilst working to try and earn some money!) before the application deadline. Even if experience wasn't a requirement I'd be trying to do it anyway as I want to have as much information as I can before applying to make sure I'm 100% positive before applying!
So I've got my degree, and I've got my experience and I've sent off my application - hopefully the next step is interviews (otherwise it's just straight off rejection!), as with many people interviews scare me, but I've got over that a bit and I think I'll be fine. The next bit is now based on lots of assumptions, because assuming I get into medical school the next step is starting out! This bit terrifies me. The starting learning and the course side of things doesn't scare me all that much but the thought of effectively starting out at uni again does. The choosing somewhere to live, and that initial meeting of all my new course mates and making friends who I'll undoubtedly need to get me through the next few years. That's the big one for me, when I started this course I came in all determined that I'd use it as a chance to make a fresh start, be a new me, but I found it really difficult - it took me a long time to settle in and by the time I had people had already formed their groups of friends and I was always to quiet to really make myself known. That said, I've been through it all once now - the last time we really had to do anything like that was starting primary school and things were very different when you were that young, now I've done the whole uni thing it might be a bit easier the second time round - fingers crossed eh?
I've no doubt in myself that however hard studying medicine might be I'll get through the academic side of things. I always do, I work hard and it usually pays off. Hopefully the practical side of medicine will be OK for me, that's one of those things that you just won't know how you'll cope until you're there but again - fingers crossed!
Having just written all that, it justifies the decision to myself and I hope from the outside it looks like I'm doing the right thing! For now, it's back to trying to get some experience, I've got a couple of things lined up so far, but it's not enough. Unfortunately everyone seems to ignore me, but I've got time, hopefully persistence will pay off and I'll get at least 1 more thing sorted out. It's back to work too, I had a much needed work free day yesterday, that gave both my arm and my brain a nice rest! Shall take it easy today too, only have a couple of things that I *need* to get done and I want to feel fresh for the new week to avoid the carnage that was the middle of last week!
If anyone has got this far reading this - I applaud you, I didn't think I'd make it to the end and I'm the one writing it!
For anyone that skipped that big bit of writing in the middle, in summary: I want to be a doctor but the inside of my head is a little bit crazy sometimes!