Law or Medicine?

Okay, so this is another personal post. In case you’ve not figured out I read Law at University. I enjoy it and I’m genuinely passionate about it. However, Law is not what I have always wanted to do.

During my junior years at secondary school my dream was to study Medicine and to become an A+E Doctor or a Psychiatrist (if you’ve seen the blogs I link to the vast majority are medical orientated). However, during my Standard Grade years I had severe problems with my Asthma (which have now cleared up) and I missed a lot of school as a result. I was studying Chemistry at Standard Grade (with the intention of crashing Biology at Higher) and it was this, along with mathematics, which suffered most. As a result I only managed to achieve a grade 3 in both (meaning I was unable to take them at Higher in S5). With medicine requiring 5 passes at Higher (usually 4 grade A’s and a grade B as a minimum) and with Chemistry forming a part of this I saw my career plans disappear before me.

At this time I my schooling I understood very little about applying for university (let’s face it what 14/15 year old does) and I thought this was the end. My Guidance Teacher (who told me in my final year at school hat I wasn’t smart enough to go to University) neglected to inform me of all the other options that were available. One option would have been for me to do the Intermediate 2 Chemistry course in S5 and the Higher in S6 with the School using their reference to mention the health problems that held me back (I’m pretty sure that the Universities would have taken this into account). She also neglected to tell me about pre-medicine courses which could have been an option as well.

As time went on I stared to look at the Social Sciences and considered (even applied for) Politics and History before settling on Law. However, while at university I have found myself investigating Medicine frequently and have noticed that I could possibly gain entry to a university on a 6 year course when I graduate from my current degree. I have begun to give this serious thought over the past eight or nine months and I’m now at a stage where I really don’t know what to do.

One major concern is finance. I would need to finance my medical degree myself, and as it is six years that is a lot of money! However, I see this as my only major concern. Talking over with some of my colleagues today the overwhelming consensus was that I should go for my dream as it would be so much easier while I’m still young. Some were even suggesting to give the financial concerns little weight as in the grand scheme of things the debt I’d accumulate is much less than what many adults have (Mortgage, Credit Cards, Overdrafts etc.).

Of course I am building up a debt at the moment, but so far I’ve been managed to confine this to a student loan (no overdraft, no credit cards, no bank loans etc.) which is not too bad. I won have to pay this back until I start earning more than £15,000 (which I am not likely to do while studying Medicine) and the rate of interest is only set at the rate of inflation.

It is a very big decision, it feels even bigger than the decision I made just over two years ago when I was deciding what courses and at which universities I should apply for.

Lots to think about!

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