The Three Best and Worse Things about Studying Medicine

The TOP 3 BEST and WORST Things about Studying Medicine

A Guest Post by Chidera – a lifestyle blogger and medical student studying at the University of Cambridge, in the UK.

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This blog post is about what I consider to the top 3 best and worst things about studying medicine!

So to begin, here are the worst parts of being a student doctor:

  1. No rest for the wicked! As a medical student, you will have one of the densest timetables at your university. At Cambridge, while some friends may have 2-3 hours of lectures a week, you can easily have double that in day, not to mention the supervisions, reading, and essays that also need to be completed. Even when you do set aside some personal time, it’s too easy to feel guilty when taking time off; there’s always a new disease you could look up, another practical skill you could polish.
  2. Medicine, while a science, can also be incredibly emotional. Often you are dealing with, not only sick (or even dying) patients, but their family and friends. Even outside of the hospital, often we may have lectures that may strike a chord, particularly if you are dealing with things in your personal life. Having to remain strong, in what may be an emotionally draining setting, requires a hell of a lot of resilience!
  3. Competition! While I love my medic friends, sometimes it can feel as if we are all competing against each other; for a better exam result, for a place on paper, or the attention of a consultant. This can sometimes make it hard to completely relax around these friends, and be open about times that you are struggling, or even about success!!

However, it’s not all bad news. As medical students, we have more than enough to be grateful for.

Here are my top 3 favorite things about being a medical student.

  1. First and foremost, I love the nature of the work we do. I struggle to focus unless I’m genuinely interested and excited about a topic. This means that something as ever-changing and complex as medicine is perfect for me, because I will constantly be challenged, even after I graduate and begin to practice.
  2. One of my favourite parts of my degree is getting to hang out with other medical students. ‘Work hard, play hard’ will become your lifelong motto, and, while medical students do have a huge workload, we more than make up for it when we finally take time off! I’ve made some of the most wonderful friends in medical school, and absolutely love the mixture of characters it attracts.
  3. One of the most unique and touching things about being a medical student, is the relationship you are able to form with your patients. This relationship can often be even more personal that a relationship a patient will have with their doctor, because, as a student, you are less intimidating, and also have more time to spend with each patient, allowing you to grow much closer. Our ability to have such special connections with our patients is one of the things I appreciate the most about being a medical student.

So as you can see, with the decision to study medicine, there are some negatives, but the positives far outweigh them. I hope this has given you some more insight into what life is like as a medical student.

Chidera can be reached at her blog Chidera Ota and on her YouTube channel. You can also connect with her via twitter at @OtaChidera.


Have an exciting medical story to tell or some advice to give? A unique background or path into medicine? Want to share your experience to others? #LifeofaMedStudent welcomes posts from our readers! Have your VOICE heard to all those in medical training!

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