10 Reasons Why You Should Study Medicine

Medicine is a rewarding career in many ways, however, the journey to become a doctor is long and hard so it’s important to make sure that you are getting into it for the right reasons. Our guide looks at the ten most common reasons why people decide to study medicine.

Everyone will have their own unique motivations for becoming a doctor. These may be a result of personal experience or deeply-held values. Having an awareness of your motivations will help you to maintain purpose and drive throughout all the highs and lows of your career. What’s more, it will also give you an advantage in the university application process as spots are more likely to be awarded to goal-oriented students who show their passion for the field.

What Do You Want from a Job?

Before reflecting on why you want to study medicine, it’s a good idea to think about you’re you want from your career in a more general sense. Having a clear idea about your work values will help you find an occupation or employer within the medical field that will best enable you to find satisfaction and meaning in what you do. Some common examples of work values include:

  • Achievement
  • Independence
  • Recognition
  • Relationships
  • Working Conditions
  • Helping Others
  • Advancement
  • Job Security
  • Collaboration
  • Helping Society
  • Compensation
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Variety
  • Challenge
  • Leisure

10 Reasons to Study Medicine & Become A Doctor

Reason 1: Make A Positive Impact on the World

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and writer of the Hippocratic Oath, once said that “Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.” Most people who choose to pursue a career in medicine do so because they want to help people and save lives. Medicine is a highly rewarding career as you can be sure that others will benefit from your knowledge and expertise. It is an ideal career choice if you have a strong sense of compassion for others and are excited by the prospect of making a positive impact on society.

via GIPHY

Reason 2: Wide Range of Career Options

Many people think that having a medical degree must lead to a career as a GP or as a hospital doctor. However, there are in fact a wide range of career opportunities that are open to medical graduates. For example, those with a taste for travel and adventure may choose to work in the armed forces or with an international charity. Graduates with an interest in scientific research may decide to go for an academic or lab-based role. If you have strong communication skills, then a career in medical journalism or public health could be for you.

Learn more about the different types of doctors here.

Reason 3: Varied Day-To-Day Work

If sitting down in front of a computer all day is your worst nightmare, then medicine could be a great option for you. As a doctor, no two days will be the same. You will get to meet lots of new people while also diagnosing different symptoms and ailments. What’s more, throughout your training you will get the chance to study a wide variety of fields so you will constantly be stimulated by new things.

Reason 4: A Stimulating & Challenging Career

The co-founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Sir William Osler once described medicine as “a calling which offers a combination of intellectual and moral interests found in no other profession.” As a doctor, you will never stop learning. As such, it is an ideal career for keen learners and the naturally curious. The work will require you to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills as you try to diagnose patients. If you enjoyed studying science subjects in school, then you may find medicine to be an intellectually fulfilling and stimulating career path.

Reason 5: Travel Opportunities

Medicine is a globally recognised field, so your degree will be valued in countries across the world. The global need for doctors means that you will find it easy to find exciting career opportunities abroad. This will allow you to get paid while throwing yourself into a new culture. It is important to note however that you may have to apply for a license to practice depending on your chosen destination. Click here to find out more about how Study Medicine Europe can help you apply for a license to practice in the UK and the US.

Learn more about studying medicine abroad in Europe.

Reason 6: Reputation and Status

There is a certain degree of honour that comes with the title “Doctor”. As such, medical professionals are generally considered to be trusted and respected members of society. Doctors are typically regarded as symbols of integrity, responsibility and service towards the community. When doctors speak, they are listened to… especially on matters relating to the health and well-being of the community.

Reason 7: Job Stability

In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there was a global shortage of 4.3 million physicians, nurses and other health workers. It’s clear that there will always be a need for doctors. As a medical professional, you will have valuable, in-demand skills so you will not have to worry as much about the changing job market as those who work in other sectors.

Reason 8: Excellent Salary

According to BDI Consulting, medical professionals are one of the top five highest-paid professions in the UK. Once you qualify as a doctor, you will enjoy a very good salary. Your compensation will continue to grow as you gain more experience and expertise in your field. See the table below to get a better idea of doctor’s salaries in the UK:

LevelAverage Salary
Foundation Year 1£27,146
Foundation Year 2£31,422
GPs£56,525 – £103,490
Specialist Training£37,191 – £47,132
Speciality Doctors£39,060 – £72,840
Consultants£77,913 – £105,042

*Figures from the NHS Careers

Reason 9: Meet Lots of Interesting People

“[As a doctor] people will trust you, confide in you, and appreciate your efforts. You can do amazing things for people …”

– Wes Fischer, MD via Kevin MD

A career in medicine is ideal for extroverts who relish the opportunity to meet new people. In your day-to-day work as a doctor, you will encounter people from all walks of life. Over the years you will have many memorable encounters that may be inspiring, funny, insightful and thought-provoking. What’s more, you will also get the chance to team up and collaborate with skilled professionals across a wide range of specialties.

Reason 10: Climb Up the Career Ladder

You can apply to study graduate entry medicine if you already have a Bachelor of Science in a related field. This pathway is ideal if you decide you want to make a transition from a career in nursing or biomedical science to pursue your dream of becoming a doctor.

Doctor taking the blood pressure of a patient

How to Figure Out if a Career in Medicine is Right for You?

Are you interested in studying medicine, but are not 100% if it is the right career for you? If so, then the most important thing is to get as much information as possible. You can do this by:

  • Conducting online research
  • Watching videos and documentaries
  • Talking to working medical professionals
  • Speaking with your school’s career counsellor
  • Keeping up-to-date with medical news

Take some time to weigh up your skills and try to objectively consider if they would make for a good doctor. It may be helpful to take a personality test such as the Meyer’s Briggs or to ask the opinion of your friends and family.