10 Reasons Why You Should Study Medicine

20 Apr, 2023 | Medicine

OxBright student at her laptop studying

Studying medicine empowers you to have an immediate, positive impact on people’s lives and society. We’ve put together 10 reasons why you should study medicine, and pursue a career in the medical field.

‘People’ is perhaps the most important word in medicine.

If you are in the process of writing your personal statement for UCAS, make sure you’ve got a focus on people, because that’s what medicine is really all about. Doctors have the enormous power and privilege to impact the course of many people’s lives for the better. Remember that a career in medicine won’t look like a TV show, and caring for the sick and ill can be far from charming at times.

However, I personally believe that there is nothing more heart-warming, satisfying, and meaningful than when patient tells you: “Thank you doctor, you really made a difference.” And that will happen. This reason alone should be enough to convince you that medicine is an enormous privilege, as well as an amazing career. 

“‘People’ is perhaps the most important word in medicine.”

2) Doctors offer important support in the community 


Doctors are some of the most important individuals in a community. They are reference figures and trusted professionals. Doctors, and general practitioners (GPs) in particular, get to know their regular patients closely, and become confidants and figures of support.

As a doctor, you will be an important part of your community, and you’ll have the opportunity to give back to society more than you can imagine. There are lots of resources out there to learn more and begin to really appreciate how much a physician impacts patients’ lives and networks.

3) Medicine enables lifelong learning

‘Constancy’ is another keyword in medicine.

Studying medicine will entail constant learning. Doctors need to be up to date, renew their licences, and continue to pass exams in order to progress in their career. Clinicians also face constant challenges. Challenges assume all sorts of shapes in medicine: emotional challenges, skillset challenges, legal challenges. It is extremely likely that you will encounter lots of challenges in a clinical work environment, and being able to deal with them professionally and ethically is a challenge itself. The constant nature of medicine is therefore stressful in essence, but will surely give you great satisfaction once you will learn to master it (and you will). 

4) Being a doctor is not a 9 to 5 job

Medicine doesn’t obey schedules. Some people may find this appealing, others may find it horrifying. I personally find the unexpected nature of medicine and the ever-changing working field fascinating; it keeps me interested in the job and ready for the next challenge.

It is, of course, a life choice. You may well be woken up in the middle of the night and summoned to the hospital for an emergency aortic dissection. This can sometimes seem to get in the way of other aspects of your life, but a medical career is all about balance; you’ll find your equilibrium eventually. 

5) You’ll have a wide range of career options 

Contrary to popular belief, studying medicine will keep your options open after graduation. Medical graduates go onto all sorts of careers. Most of them will, of course, seek membership with the Royal College of Physicians or the Royal College of Surgeons and practice in a traditional sense.

However, a medicine degree also offers a wide range of other options. A good proportion of doctors will go into academia and complete research alongside their clinical practice. Being a clinician in research offers advantages, such as being able to collect samples from patients for use in experiments and clinical trials.

In addition, many qualified doctors go on to enjoy careers that are quite far from science. Politics and public health, law, business and administration are all possible options. A recent example is that of Dr Anthony Fauci, chief scientific advisor to the United States cabinet during the COVID pandemic. Medicine really is a wildcard, and how you play it is up to you.

6) Medicine is constantly evolving

Medicine is an ever-changing and evolving career; not only is biomedical research constantly developing and offering new treatments, but medical engineering and robotics are too.

Being a doctor will require you to always be on top of the latest technological advancements, and you will never get bored, I can assure you of that. In addition, you may well be the driver of that progress and contribute even further to the greater good. 

7) It’s an art and a science

Medicine is perhaps the best example of the Arts and Sciences blending together. You will soon realise that two patients are rarely comparable, even if they’re affected by the same illness. Don’t get me wrong, textbook biological knowledge is essential for medicine, but it’s better to regard textbooks as a sailing chart – exactly  what the ocean will throw at you is still an unknown. 

That’s why medicine is a craft, an art. The word art comes from the Latin ars, artis, meaning skilled work, and medicine fits this definition perfectly. I personally find this fascinating, and it’s perhaps one of the strongest reasons I was drawn to a career in medicine. 

8) It’s an adventure!

A medical degree is an amazing passport if you want to pursue adventure in the future. There are countless humanitarian relief associations out there, constantly looking for physicians (for example, Médecins sans Frontières and CARE, to name some of the most famous).

If you’re hungry for adventure, medicine can serve you well. You will be able to travel the world and contribute to a greater good at the same time, simply by applying your knowledge. If you are a compassionate person, willing to bring more good into the world, then medicine is absolutely the right career for you.

9) Practical benefits

Depending on where you’re practising, and which level you progress to, being a medical professional often means earning a good salary. It’s very important to note that financial incentives should never be the primary reason you pursue medicine – the hours are long, the work is difficult, and your paycheck won’t be enough to get you through if you’re not invested in the job.

That said, it’s important to acknowledge the practical benefits of the career, and financial stability is definitely a big one.

10) Is there a doctor onboard?

If you ever dreamed of standing up from your seat when someone in the aeroplane shouts: ‘is there a doctor on board?’, then studying medicine will allow you to realise that fantasy, which is pretty cool too.
Medicine is, undoubtedly, an incredible career, and I hope that this article has helped to crystallise your reasoning for wanting to pursue it.

It’s important to note that admissions officers will be looking for an awareness of the realities of the field in your medical school applications – studying medicine and working as a doctor are incredibly rewarding, but it’s also an emotionally and physically challenging job. It’s important to appreciate the positives, while also making sure you’re not viewing it through rose tinted glasses. 

If you’re conscientious, empathetic and caring, and you’re up for the challenge, then I have no doubt you’ll be well-suited to the medical field. It will give you the chance to shine and bring out the best version of yourself. These are my 10 top reasons why, but I am sure that you will find a thousand more. 


By Diego Balassini

Diego is a final year medical student at Cambridge University. He graduated in Biomedical Sciences from Barts and The London School of Medicine, with a research thesis on cancer biology and therapeutics.

He is planning a career in reconstructive and plastic surgery, hoping to draw together innovations from tissue bioengineering, regenerative and stem cell research.