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Medical profession peculiarities

Studying medicine comes with a certain expectation to work harder on average than most other students. There are generally more contact hours than other subjects with practicals and lectures taking up a great deal of time. Of course it’s not just the contact hours when you are working: lecture notes need to be read over, essays have to be written, practicals should be prepared for and keeping on top of it all can be a challenge. This is especially the case as your work load will vary from week to week, sometimes being set a great deal of work and sometimes having a whole week with very little to do. Therefore it’s important to be flexible with how you work and appreciate that sometimes you will have to put in a long stint of work in order to have the time off when you need it. There’s also a reasonable amount of pressure on to pass exams. In most subjects other than medicine what you are really studying and aiming for is the best grade possible. Obviously this is true to an extent in medicine, but there is an additional challenge, which is the very high pass marks for the “2nd MB” exams, the ones you have to pass in order to become a doctor. By being passed in these you are essentially being certified as competent enough in a subject area to continue towards a professional medical career. Passing these exams can often require cramming a great deal of knowledge in a small space of time and this can be stressful, but the reward after exams is a long summer to enjoy. Medicine can be challenging, but…

Don’t panic, medicine can be challenging but you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy being an undergraduate, an experience that many people say is the best time of their life. The level of work in the course is such that you will have time to make the most out of other activities at university, such as sports, music and the huge range of other societies that are on offer at university. All that you need to do in order to manage these other activities is be efficient with the time you spend working; don’t spend a whole afternoon watching YouTube videos if you know you have a music rehearsal that evening. University is about a lot more than simply gaining a degree, you will learn a lot about yourself and other people and hopefully build yourself into someone who is capable of being a good doctor.

All these activities that you can do in your spare time aren’t just about having fun, however. While the main reason you do them is to enjoy yourself and take your mind off work they are actually very important in your “personal development”. This is, as mentioned above, working on skills that are outside the scope of academic study but are still vital to being an effective doctor. For example, by taking part in music or theatre you will become accustomed to performing in front of a large crowd of people and as a consequence if you ever have to present at a conference or even to a team of your colleagues, you will be able to stand up with confidence and say what you need to. Equally, playing in a sports team will help you function with other people, some of whom you may have a personality clash with or strongly differ in opinions. You become used to a position of responsibility, with other people relying on you to perform your role, sometimes under pressure. Sports and societies also provide an opportunity to take a leadership and organizational role, which once again will become very important in a clinical context, whether it is organizing ward staff or running a practice as a GP. Medicine is a career in which it is vital to emerge from university as a functional person who is capable of interacting well with others. This will not be achieved by sitting in your room every evening and studying the lecture notes: there is an important balance to be struck between working and having a life.



 


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 709


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