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The influence of my clinical experiences on my career decision

Read their stories below. As far as I could see, no other career offered this variety. These were all valuable experiences and helped me to better understand the nature of the job. I found the nursing home experience both motivating and frustrating, in that I wanted to help the residents, but felt thwarted by my woeful lack of expertise. It can be pretty difficult getting placements, but it really is worth your while finding out what you are going to spend the rest of your life doing before submitting that UCAS application!

Caring for patients as people really is at the heart of medicine, and it's a great privilege to be able to help people when they're at their most vulnerable. The ethos of medicine also appealed to me; I wanted an altruistic career where integrity is important.

I'm a people person, so I knew that I would enjoy working as part of a team with a host of other professionals to treat patients. Medicine's a relatively secure career, offering a multitude of different areas of work - including opportunities for working in the developing world. Caring for the infirm is rarely glamorous and patients aren't always obliging and grateful - the decision to become a doctor has to be your own.

Clinical Experience as a SRNA

I was not the kind of student at my school that was deemed academically good enough to study medicine. I enjoyed the degree but knew a career in biological research was not for me, and on completion of my thesis I started a job with a pharmaceutical company as a sales representative.

I enjoyed my job it was straight forward, social and well paid, it was a role I was able to fill well, but it was not in anyway what I saw myself doing for the rest of my working life. After much debate and advice I had nothing to lose in making a massive effort to get into medical school. The only job I knew that I wanted to do was medicine.

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I secured a place on an Access to Medicine course, which got me back up to speed and into the swing of studying again, and from there I secured a place at medical school. Getting the acceptance letter was a very emotional and life changing day.

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One I will never forget. What other career can you chose which provides constant mental stimulation, a continuous opportunity to learn and progress, flexible working and a decent salary. But most importantly, a career in medicine empowers you to help people, to be respected by others and to feel job satisfaction in a way that is impossible to feel in many other careers. The opportunities are endless, and the choice vast, however along with this comes huge responsibility to individual patients, the population as a whole and the team in which you are working.

I had to put a great deal of thought into the viability of studying medicine at the age of 27, although jobs are not guaranteed they are still readily available. At this point I would say I was academically strong but certainly not outstanding.

I started by reading a few outdated books in our library and some website resources. Becoming more interested, I decided to apply for a voluntary post at a hospital and did some work experience with my local GP surgery.

With my interest ever increasing, I eventually went to several medical school open days and took the opportunity to talk to staff and current students. This was when my desire to study medicine was confirmed.

I appreciated the role of using a scientific basis to improve the healthcare of the population. I knew from previous work and by my general personality that I was someone suited to an ever evolving job that requiring lifelong learning. I felt I had the foundation of interpersonal skills required and that I would enjoy the diversity and broad career options medicine provided, including opportunities for research. I felt confident that the positives far outweighed the negatives after considering these aspects and advice from talking to various doctors I came across.

At 17 like I was, you are very young at it is a massive decision to comprehend and make. Looking back 5 years on, I feel the only way to be sure is to get as much experience and insight into the profession as possible. Of course the influence of my clinical experiences on my career decision applies whether you are 17 and at school, or if you are 32 and working in industry.

Even then, you may leave yourself with a small leap of faith, but you are much less likely to be disappointed in the outcome than otherwise. I'm a geek; I love science, and I love a challenge.

I also really enjoy working with and understanding people. I chose medicine because it offered me the the influence of my clinical experiences on my career decision to integrate these interests and apply them in a very practical profession. From examining patients to phlebotomy to suturing, it's not just about memorising information, medicine is very much about applied skills. I'm now in my fourth year and I find it hugely rewarding to put together all the pieces of the puzzle- the history elicited with good communication skills, the knowledge of human biology and the findings from examination and investigations to suggest a diagnosis and be told it was the right one!

But it was the right one for me. When the time came to start seriously considering what I wanted to do at University I dedicated a lot of time and thought to making sure I made the right decision, whether that was to study medicine or not. Finally, a career that involved being hands on and carrying out practical tasks and procedures was something that I considered to be important.

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After some research I was confident that medicine satisfied all of the above and more. Therefore, I organised several different work experience programmes and started to work in a hospice to confirm my thoughts, which they did. Yes, without a doubt.

Clinical Experience With School Nurse Was Her Wake-Up Call

However, without careful planning and research at the beginning it is easy to choose medicine for the wrong reasons. Therefore, if you are considering a career in medicine make sure you think long and hard before you commit. I made a full recovery physically, but the psychological impact of this life-threatening illness lasted a long time. I had a poor attendance at school, a bad attitude and just about managed to scrape a few A level passes.

Psychological recovery began after school, the following year in Mexico, where I spent a gap year living and working in an inner-city orphanage. I went alone and learnt to speak Spanish fluently.

I knuckled down to work and came out with a First Class Honours Degree. I suppose I felt that I was not working to my full potential. After some serious soul searching, conversations with medical colleagues and my parents I made the decision to apply to medical school. The application process was not easy and I had to get an A grade in AS level Chemistry at night school whilst working full time as a nurse.

Real-life stories - why I chose medicine

The hard work paid off and I started medical school at the age of 28. I have not looked back.