Saturday, 10 March 2007

I'm a Medical Student, Get Me Out of Here

If there is one thing that I regret about my time at Medical School its that I applied to the wrong universities. The most important piece of advice I give to anyone who is thinking of applying is to consider very carefully where to apply. I applied naively and based my choices mainly on where I thought I was most likely to get in rather than where I actually thought would be good - what a stupid idea that was. I ended up doing better than I thought I was capable of at A-Level and feasibly could have applied anywhere and stood a chance of getting in. I'd never even visited the medical school I finally accepted other than for my interview, I'd not even been to any of the cities I applied to apart from the one closest to home.

Looking back at least 2 of my 4 choices would have been different, probably 3 or perhaps even all 4! Don't get me wrong, I really like the city where my medical school is based but then they fucked me over and sent me somewhere else for 3 years so that backfired. I would still have applied to this university but knowing what I know now about how they treat their medical students I think my first choice would have been somewhat different.

For a while I even considered applying to Cambridge, one of the only reasons I didn't was because I didn't have the confidence that I could get the likely offer of 3A's. However I don't think the Cambridge course would have suited me at all, especially hearing what Angry Medic has to say but I feel a bit stupid looking back and realising how silly I was 4 years ago. [I still ended up visiting Cambridge every weekend for the best part of 2 years to spend time with my girlfriend who was at uni there.]

Perhaps regret isn't the right way to describe how I feel but I'm looking forward to being able to get the fuck out of the place I'm stuck in now. Were it not for the fact that the hospital is OK and some of the people are quite nice I'd probably have dropped out ages ago.

In other news:

  • Obs and Gynae isn't quite the disaster I expected it to be although I don't really like it and I've managed to avoid a lot of it so far.
  • Its no longer dark when I set off in the morning which is spiffing!


HospitalPhoenix said...

I see an MTAS analogy here...

The advice sheets for MTAS all said 'DON'T APPLY FOR JOBS YOU WOULD NOT BE WILLING TO TAKE' and such gems of wisdom. There was a general piece of advice that applicants should decide whether specialty or location was more important to them, long-term.

But as obvious as it sounds, applicants seem not to have heeded this advice. Over on DNUK there are loads of people bemoaning the fact that they don't really want their 3rd and 4th choices, and are considering withdrawing and applying to the second round.

I haven't made perfect decisions by any means, but I read the application advice, chose my specialty above my location, and by the time the shortlists were announced, I'd already come to terms with the fact that I'd have to uproot and move house in the summer.

I can't understand why anyone applied to posts they 'thought they might get' as opposed to ones they would be willing to take.

Yes, it's a gamble to only go for things you really want, but it's also a gamble to sacrifice your priorities and happiness in the name of safety.

The only sensible thing here is that choosing between perfect, ideal 'I REALLY WANT THIS' and second-best 'Oh, it'll do' futures is a decision which should be made very, very carefully. Because the outcome might affect the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

No, probably best to get the idealistic Cambridge picture out of your head. The place is great, and the course isn't too bad, but the tosspots who run it are just as capable as fucking you over as the ones in Manchester. Obviously I am anticipating my departure...