Medicine appeals to me because it incorporates lifelong learning with the opportunity to improve and potentially save lives. The diverse opportunities within medicine and its integrating of research, lifelong learning, clinical learning and disease diagnosis are some of the reasons why a career in medicine would be the most fulfilling career for me. I was fortunate enough to shadow a great variety of doctors during my hospital work experience placements. These experiences have highlighted to me the sides of medicine that people don’t immediately see as well as the fascinating and gratifying career that medicine can lead to.
While I was shadowing a consultant at the elderly care unit in Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, I was able to observe two doctors doing their ward rounds and team meetings as well as a speech and language therapy session. Most of the patients in the ward had a form of dementia.I paid specific attention to the emotionally difficult situations doctor experience; such as when patients would explain that they feel afraid and the doctor is limited to what they can do to help or when patients refuse to cooperate and often say abusive comments to doctors. Working in Medicine has its own emotional hardships. However most of the patients were delightful and kind. Watching the doctors talk and help patients whom they have developed strong caring relationships with was an experienced I valued massively. I found that as a caring individual, I’d relish a career where I could create and grow these significant relationships with my patients and would treasure the rewarding moments such as even the little things like receiving a smile from a patient.I shadowed a Junior doctor at the Christie- a cancer treatment centre. I followed and observed the doctor as she did her ward rounds, paperwork and talking to patients. Although the hours were very long and her roles were varied, it was seeing how she could make patients feel calm and at ease in a hospital environment that had stood out to me and I found more important.
This experience has demonstrated the hours of dedication above normal routine that a good doctor is expected to deliver. But it has also shown me what a truly rewarding career it is and that I would enjoy carrying out a variety of different roles rather than one specific job. As many patients travel from all around the UK to The Christie, there were a huge variety of cases- many being unique and fascinating ones. Whilst Shadowing a pharmacist at the Christie, she would speak to me about many of the cases and drugs patients were receiving. This experience was valuable to me as I understood a career in medicine requires consistent reading and learning. To me this was a massive advantage as although I am a social individual who would enjoy the communication aspect of being a doctor, I also appreciate a career that will develop my understandings and grow my knowledge. I found I enjoyed doing further reading about some of the cases I found interesting later on in the day such as the different drugs being used and some of the diseases and their treatments.
One of the most unforgettable experiences at The Christie was during a workshop in which a cancer patient, Mark, shared his experience through his journey to recovery. The patient expressed how cancer affected him and his family, but also how the impact of the caring and supportive nature that many of the doctors and nurses had on his decision to not give up. Speaking to mark has allowed me to see the emotional impacts a doctor has on their patient and the significance of treating a patient with the respect and dignity that they deserve at all times.
Doctors have an incredible role in a patients lives – they are able to help people like Mark. That, to me, outweighs any disadvantages to medicine and makes it worthwhile.