There are only two things people seem ask you about in sixth year: those big exams in June and what you want to do when they’re over. It’s a stressful and busy year with plenty of studying to be done. The constant questioning can be annoying, but it’s really important that you take the time to really look at what it is you are going to do next year. For anyone considering applying to sit the HPAT and putting medicine down on your CAO, here are just a few of the reasons why you should study medicine.
Unlike a lot of university courses, medicine is more of a vocation and the course is very full on from the get go. A career in medicine is one of the most rewarding careers a person can have. Medicine is definitely the right path if you are a sociable and approachable person. One of the great things about medicine is the patient contact aspect of the job. Not everyone has the privilege to be given the opportunity to help people and make a positive impact during their most vulnerable times. You are given the chance to improve people’s lives on a daily basis, which is not something everyone can say.
A practical aspect of studying medicine is the job security. Doctors are always needed both at home and abroad, so a medical degree comes with good certainty of a job. The starting salary of Irish doctors is well above the average starting earnings of most university graduates.
Many believe that a medical degree restricts you to a life as a surgeon or a general practitioner, but a medical degree in fact opens the door to an abundance of career opportunities. Many people go on to work in public health and are involved in health policy making. Others who prefer a more solitary approach to their working life end up working in medical research, helping us to further our understanding of the human body and uncover cures for the disease that inflict us. Some end up in medical education and others even step away completely from the medical world and make use of their much coveted critical thinking skills in other realms of work.
A medical degree transcends borders. While working as a doctor in other countries often requires supplemental exams following or during your degree, an Irish medical degree is extremely transferable across the globe and opens doors to both paid work abroad and voluntary work overseas.
A career in medicine is exciting and you’ll be sure to never be faced with the same day twice. The medical world is constantly changing and adapting and you’ll spend your whole life upskilling. The end of your medical degree doesn’t signify the end of your learning; a medical career involves lifelong learning as the realm of medicine changes with the times and constant new discoveries.
With all that in mind I’d seriously recommend considering putting medicine down on your CAO before February.
Blog post written Anna, a 100th percentile student in the HPAT, who is studying medicine at Trinity College Dublin.