Becoming a doctor is a dream for millions of students (and their parents) around the world. Studying medicine can lead to a career as a doctor of course, but it doesn’t have to be this cut and dry.
Many graduates of medical studies programs at top universities around the world pursue careers as specialist consultants whether it be as psychiatrists, podiatrists, dermatologists, sports medicine professionals, or another specialist on the long list of other possibilities that a university degree in medical studies can help you prepare for.
Some graduates go on to the research field, utilizing their expertise to research medicine’s many facets, including possible cures for illnesses like cancer and AIDS.
Medicine is learning to help the human race through advances in medical technology and methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Is a medical degree for me?
You know if you want to study within a top university’s Life Sciences department, and you will probably know whether medicine is for you. You will be inquisitive, analytical, good at science (particularly biology and chemistry) and maths, and like to communicate with people.
Becoming a doctor requires great dedication, as does the undergraduate degree you may study as the first stepping-stone to becoming a medical professional. You will have no aversion to putting extra hours into your studies and will want to help people. And of course, if you want to be a doctor you will not be afraid of blood and guts!
What medical degrees are available?
Medical studies and related fields are extremely competitive, as the discipline attracts the best and brightest, particularly if you are seeking admission to the most highly ranked universities for life sciences (Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Imperial, and Stanford according to the 2009 THES-QS World University Rankings).
Be ready to study hard for your entrance exams. If you are considering studying abroad, it is essential that you make sure the country in which you intend to work following graduation will acknowledge the qualification you obtain.
“Medical studies” is a broad term. It is used loosely to refer to the branch of life sciences relating to medicine. In the UK, the first three years of what many call medical school is referred to as Pre-Clinical Studies and prepares you for further studies in medicine, while often awarding a Bachelor’s degree.
The MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in the UK (Australia, China, South Africa, New Zealand and a variety of other countries also use this system) is equivalent to the MD (Doctor of Medicine) awarded in the US and Canada.
In the US, you are required to achieve a Bachelor’s degree (which takes four years) before applying to medical school, while in the UK the medical degree is considered to be an undergraduate degree, even though you have to study medicine for six years before beginning an internship in the medical world.
While many medical school applicants to top universities in the US have undergraduate degrees in a scientific field, some have studied completely different disciplines like sociology or English for instance.
What are the career prospects for graduates of medicine?
Graduates of medical programs have such a great number of options it would be almost impossible to list them all! Doctors, dentists, academics, researchers, pharmacologists the list goes on.
A huge field is of course research. Many doctors become researchers who dedicate their career to developing new treatments to ailments or preventative methods we can use to better our health.
Biotechnology is also a very common career area for graduates of medical programs. Biotechnology utilizes cells, genes, and bacteria to create new food and drugs, and to prevent the spread of disease. Biotech engineers are responsible for creating artificial limbs and solving crimes through DNA analysis.
Careers in the biotechnology field usually fall under manufacturing or research. Specialities include molecular biology, genetic research, physical science, and chemical analysis, amongst others, and technicians are employed at a wide range of outlets from hospital laboratories to pharmaceutical companies.
You have a lot of options and doors that are open for medical students and it’s up to them to choose which one to pursue, I am sure the bottom line will be making the world a better place.