Update: This is one of the most popular posts on my blog. I assume that it is mainly potential medicine applicants looking at it for ideas for their personal statement and blog. To help my knowledge and yours I thought I would update it with a better understanding.
- Doctors gain trust very easy in comparison to other caring professions.
- The combination of an mental challenging job with daily interaction with patients and staff is rare in other roles. While I'm not saying that a nurse's job is not challenging, there is only so much they can progress and even specialised they follow protocols.
- Teaching and research play a key role in the job. While nurses are involved in research, it is common for the doctor to take the lead and a nurse be involved in the practical execution.
- By studying medicine, you have the choice of being a GP, hospital, surgeon or a lab doctor. This level of variety is not afforded by a career in nursing. This initial training is very general so you can literally do anything. When a patient's management exceeds a specialty, they have this knowledge to rely on. This knowledge is also developed through clinical skills that must be tested by Royal College exams
- Also doctors are financially rewarded for their work and with clear pay grades that can exceed higher than a nurse.
This is in no way a dig at nurse or any attempt to insult doctors. A question that rises in most interviews which I could be expected to answer one day is "Why do you want to be a doctor?" or "Why a doctor instead of a nurse?". This post will incorporate my feelings and career knowledge so I can answer that question myself. I know I want to be a doctor, but I want to be able to explain it fully and here's my chance.
Above are print screens taken from the NHS website describing the careers of the two areas. To me there is an immediate difference. Nursing is described as a more caring and supporting job, while Doctors are more scientific and diagnostic. Yet I know that many nurses can prescribe, create treatment plans and are independent. Both aim to cure the patient but have different means and procedures. Also Doctors are not just leaders, they are dependent on the team (Nurses and co.) for support and help. It is a group effort.
Many people would beg me not to say these in an interview (People on TSR :P) but I feel they are honest answers to the question. I would of course phrase them differently but money, status and job certainty (in the world not necessarily the UK) are also reasons for medicine. Anyone who is doing it purely to repay the world or help others is kidding themselves. I've done enough work experience and read enough blogs to know this is simply not true. People abuse and use the NHS. Not every patients will want to be saved. You may have a kind heart but unless you are completely dedicated to medicine other reasons must drive.