Medical School Myths

There are tons of medical school myths out there, no doubt you have heard some already. Learn the truth about medical schools and the misconceptions about doctors. Don't believe all you hear on forums.

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There are tons of medical school myths out there, no doubt you have heard of some already. Today we are going to reveal the truth about medical schools and the misconceptions about doctors. Don’t believe all you read on forums! Let’s get myth-busting. 

Myth 1: You Have To Love Science To Be A Doctor

There’s this misconception that medicine is all about science – perhaps it has to do with the fact that headlines are always talking about ‘new’ cures and ‘exciting’ research, and promoting ‘wonder drugs’ for a myriad of conditions.

The truth is that yes, much of medicine is built upon science and biology in particular. But what surprised me was how little the typical idea of ‘science’ came into the actual act of doctoring. 

By doctoring, I’m referring to seeing patients and trying to solve their problems.

I realised that doctors (perhaps junior doctors especially) spend more time than anything else focused on communication (and administrative work!), and that ‘good doctors’ tended to be synonymous with ‘good communicators’.

That’s not to say that science isn’t important, as it provides the rationale for most of what doctor’s do. But it definitely isn’t all that medicine is about.

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Myth 2: All doctors do the same thing

I mean, they all do the same degree right so they have the same job title, and most of them work in the hospital or in primary care? Correct?

Nope – it turns out that the further you go, the more varied the work gets. Some see patients all day every day, and some don’t see patients at all!

The point here is that many people who graduate with a medical degree don’t all go on to become your stereotypical hospital doctor – and even in the hospital, setting different jobs within the field can result in very different day-to-day work, even if the end result is the same (that is, helping a patient get better).

For example, some jobs might involve a lot of procedures that may be more technically demanding, such as that of an anaesthetic or surgical trainee. Other jobs might have much less patient contact or none at all, such as a job in radiology or histopathology. 

So although most doctors start off doing similar jobs as juniors, it definitely gets more varied over time.

Myth 3: Medical School students study 12 hours a day

The stereotypical medical student is your typical overachiever, who does nothing but study in the library and exercise at the gym. However, most students lead pretty balanced lives, and there’s definitely the time in medical school to do a lot of fun things outside of medicine.

Medical students and doctors don’t work harder than anyone else trying to do their best at something. Perhaps one thing that drives doctors to the limit more is the knowledge that someone else’s life is in their hands, or it could be due to the fact that medicine tends to attract a lot of perfectionists, type-A personalities.

However, it would be a generalisation to state that the profession works harder than any other, so don’t be put off or intimidated by the stereotype if it’s something you really want to do.

Myth 4: Getting into medical school is impossible

It’s true that applying to study Medicine at medical schools is relatively competitive compared to other degrees, but don’t be put off by the statistics. It’s a funny one – many of us current medical students may have been offered a place at our dream university but rejected by another one that was lower down on our list. 

There will be some things you can control, and some that you can’t – so try to stand out in those that you can, e.g. your personal statement, BMAT or UCAT and interviews. Everyone else you will be up against will have met the entry requirements, so think about what sets you apart and capitalise on that, such as work experience or wider reading. 

In terms of interviews, it helps to keep in mind that everyone is as nervous as you are and that interviewers aren’t out to get you – most of them will try and help you as much as possible. 

In the event that you don’t get offered a place, sometimes applying again is an option. For a lot of people, medicine is a lifelong career and it does not make a massive difference to enter via another route such as after a gap year or through a graduate programme. However, the bottom line is not to get discouraged by the statistics.

Hopefully, we have cleared up some of the myths you have read online. The main point here is to not let these things put you off from applying.

If your dream is to become a doctor and look after patients and you are on track to achieve the grades and perform well on admissions tests and interviews, you would be crazy not to still go for it, even if you have read on Student Room that someone’s mate’s mate studies 16 hours a day. He probably doesn’t and if he does, that’s on him, not the general consensus! 

The 6med Complete Bundle puts all of our bundles together. It’s the bundle of all bundles! You’ll get a place on five of our Crash Courses, Personal Statement re-drafts, mock interviews, Personal Statement, BMAT, UCAT and Interview Online Courses, access to BMAT & UCAT.Ninja™, BMAT essay marking and all of our critically acclaimed workbooks as e-books. This massive bundle is quite literally all you need for your Medicine application…

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