The musings of a final year medical student

Thursday, 22 December 2016


I wasn't intentionally taking a break from blogging, it just happened.

I've had a fantastic time at uni. I've now finished my first term of my third year of medical school, so I am almost half way through my degree! I've had placements at General Practice, Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

During this term I have been reflecting a lot. I have been thinking about what I really want from this degree. Of course, my dream is to be a doctor. However, like many vocations, it is fiercely competitive from day one. As an inherently lazy person who has no interest in competition, I sometimes struggle with motivation to work. It isn't that I'm not interested, far from it, but I usually need a bit of prodding to get started on revision. My passion is not fuelled with a need to be the best, but to do something that I love. And frankly, some medical specialities are more competitive than others. The problem is that I don't know what speciality I want to do. For example, I thought I had ruled out surgery and O&G, but then I was fascinated during a morning in a gynae-oncology theatre; now I'm reconsidering it. 

As well as becoming a doctor, my dream has also been to live in London. However, to practice medicine or study it there is very competitive. Although I've always been an ambitious person, I have lost a lot of that gusto since coming to medical school. I am now a very average student compared to my cohort, and I really doubt that I'm clever enough to get a training post in London. As much as I want it more than anything, part of me wonders what the point is in trying. I just don't think I'm good enough.

I'm torn between the ballsy Kate who goes for what she wants, and the crippling fear in the back of my head that says I'm foolish to even think I could do it. Realistically, to get into a London deanery for my FY1 jobs would involve me doing an intercalated degree, publication of some research I've done, and top marks in my written exams. That is a hell of a mountain to climb, and I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I'll end up driving myself mad in the process. 

I think I should try, though. I think I would regret not trying rather than never knowing if I could do it.

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