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Medical Career


Points to consider when deciding whether to study medicine

This is a guide for those who are considering medicine as a career. This information will be relevant whether you are still at school and thinking of applying to do a degree in medicine or if you are a graduate in another subject and are considering applying for the accelerated graduate entry programme to medicine.


Your personal qualities and ability

● Medicine is a science, therefore you will need to be have strong scientific ability (or the skills to develop this ability – this is particularly relevant to entrants who are selected from a non-science/traditional background).

● You must also possess the capacity to learn and to retain large amounts of information.

● You will need good analytical and reasoning skills.

● Much of the work is patient-focused and involves teamwork with other healthcare professionals. Therefore you are required to have good people skills.

● Medical practice requires lifelong learning and the work can be challenging. Therefore you must be highly motivated by a strong interest in medicine.

● Other skills required are time-management, leadership and an enquiring and critical mind (these are skills that you will learn as you progress through medical school).


Positive aspects

● Medicine is one of the most highly respected professions and the majority of doctors find their work highly rewarding and enjoyable.

● After graduation from university, if you choose to work as a doctor, you will be paid a reasonable salary during your training which will increase as you become more experienced.

● There are over 60 different specialties in medicine, and there are many differences between each specialty so there is a high likelihood that you will find a role which is suited to your particular personality and interests.

● In addition there are also opportunities to get involved with teaching, management and research if you are interested in any of these areas.

Medical Ethics


Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology. Six of the values that commonly apply to medical ethics discussions are:

● autonomy - the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment.

● beneficence - a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient.

● justice - concerns the distribution of scarce health resources, and the decision of who gets what treatment.

● non-maleficence - "first, do no harm"

● respect for persons - the patient (and the person treating the patient) have the right to be treated with dignity.

● truthfulness and honesty


When moral values are in conflict, the result may be an ethical dilemma or crisis. Sometimes, no good solution to a dilemma in medical ethics exists, and occasionally, the values of the medical community (i.e., the hospital and its staff) conflict with the values of the individual patient, family, or larger non-medical community. Conflicts can also arise between health care providers, or among family members.