It’s time someone said it: Medics are the worst people at uni
‘You wouldn’t understand, you’re not one of us’
Becoming a medic is hard. Not only do you have to try and get work experience with one of your dad’s mates, you have the UKCAT, interviews and the small feat of getting AAA in genuinely difficult subjects just to make it to Freshers’.
You have to wax lyrical about your “genuine desire to heal the world”, demonstrate every single time you’ve ever been compassionate in your entire life and maybe even throw in a generic voluntourism experience in Tanzania to really look the part.
There’s infinite hurdles to jump and it’s one of the most competitive courses out there, these things are indisputable. But there’s a reason medicine is so competitive, there’s an explanation for the fact that parents will stop at nothing to get their precious little ones through the doors of med school, it’s because it’s one of the cushiest degrees out there.
Can you name another course which will guarantee you a job at nearly five times the national average salary straight out of uni? Can you give an example of another career path which is as well-respected, as lauded, as universally praised as Medicine?
When there’s a cock-up in the NHS, it’s never the doctors who take the flack. The blame is, often rightly, passed along to primary care trusts, faceless civil servants and dark bureaucratic forces, it’s never put on the individual physicians.
Med students know all this, that’s why they’re so smug all the time. They’ll never shut up about the struggles of their course and how demanding it is, but spend 20 hours designing a replica aeroplane costume for their medics’ ball. As you read this, while trying not to listen to your bang-average philosophy lecture wondering what the fuck you’re going to do with your life, imagine the satisfaction which would come from knowing you could get 40 per cent for your entire degree and coast into a job which will not only make you one of the most eligible fish in the sea, but also has an earning potential well into six-figures.
But they work so hard at uni I hear you cry, they deserve this light at the end of the long, horrible tunnel don’t they? That’s not how I remember it, watching my medic friends get queue-jump at the busiest club in Nottingham, seeing their “Elective in Barbados” pics, coconut drink clutched in their clammy palms pop onto my newsfeed. Medics parties’ are legendary, they put more effort in getting shit-faced in costume than any other tribe at uni. They take pride in their wild nights, bonding over the fact they can’t tell anyone on the outside, for fear of the dreaded “Fitness to practise” disciplinary.
None of the other baller occupations enjoy a similar cushy deal. No one likes bankers or lawyers. To most, they’re bloodsuckers, leeching all that is good from our fragile world. But doctors are different. Light shines out of their every orifice, they heal, they care, they make the world a better place.
And I’m not saying this reputation is undeserved, it definitely is. Who doesn’t wish they could deliver babies, heal wounds, be one of the biggest forces for good in someone’s life?
It’s also wrong to suggest medics are paid too much, they are paid a premium because they deliver a service not everyone can do and they deserve most of the money they get.
But what is wrong, is the collective lie all medics cling to every time their employment terms are slightly shifted. That no part of them wants to do it for the money. Med students claim they have nothing but selfless motivations, but how many of them would want to heal the world if they would only ever make minimum wage?
Medics at uni work harder than most, have longer hours than all but the most hardcore engineers, and probably need to be a bit more careful with their conduct than your average psychology second year. As a reward for this, the most minor of sacrifices, they will be rewarded with huge paychecks. It may not be from the off and it may take them a few years to be hitting £50,000, but when the majority of normal students with normal degrees can’t even get jobs paying £15,000, it’s time for medics to realise how lucky they really are.