'I No Longer Want to Be a Doctor. What Should I Do?'

By McCormack, Steve | The Independent (London, England), February 11, 2010 | Go to article overview
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'I No Longer Want to Be a Doctor. What Should I Do?'

McCormack, Steve, The Independent (London, England)

Postgrad Queries

I've finished the first three years of my five-year medicine degree, but now feel that I don't want to be a doctor. However, I am attracted to working in the healthcare system somewhere. What Masters and/or PhD options could you suggest that might take me down a related career path?

Congratulations on completing three demanding years of study. You say that you don't want to be a doctor any longer, so I wonder what has made you change your mind? Perhaps length of study comes into it, or maybe you've realised your interests and skills are concerned more with research or management than patient contact.

The reasons for your change of mind are crucial in deciding on an alternative career, and you need to think about these before talking to your tutor or careers adviser and finding out if your medical school credits are transferable. Give a lot of thought to the implications of leaving your course without going the distance. Talk to young doctors to see if they had similar feelings at the same stage. You might opt to soldier on and consider other options once you've qualified.

I'm in my second year of a history degree, and like the academic atmosphere so much that I want to continue to study after I finish, but have no idea about the funding arrangements for Masters and PhD courses. Can you give me a few pointers please?

It's a good idea to start thinking about further study early, so you'll be ready to apply in the autumn of your final year.

Generally, there are more sources of funding for PhDs than Masters, and all potential funding channels require applicants to explain their choice of course, outline their research ideas and present good academic reasons why they should receive financial assistance.

For both types of course, some money is likely to be available in the university department, and this is awarded on a competitive basis. So when it's gone, it's gone. Beyond the universities, the research councils also give out a limited amount of funds on an annual basis. Closing dates vary, but are usually between February and May of the year you intend to start your course.

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