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Top tips for switching a career into medicine

  • April 27, 2021
Top tips for switching a career into medicine

A career in medicine is rewarding, fulfilling and challenging in the best way possible. However, for some a career in medicine might become your calling slightly later in life than expected. If you’re considering a change of career but you are unsure where to start, this blog aims to provide you with the guidance you need to transition your career into medicine smoothly.


  1. Give it plenty of thought

Switching career paths isn’t a decision that you should take lightly. Make sure you thoroughly consider all the options before making a decision.

It can be very beneficial to jot down the pros and cons of switching careers, as well as talking to friends and family about your decision to see what they think.

It may be a dream to make a big career change but going into medicine requires a significant commitment of time and resources. Make sure you have accurate information on which to base your decision. It is important to be as well informed as you can about the medical school application process, and how your prior academic record and work experience may affect you.

  1. Understand what draws you to medicine

Begin by exploring what aspects of the field appeal to you and assessing how well informed you are about careers in the health sciences. In addition to thinking about the qualities needed in individuals to be successful, you should also consider the aspects of medicine that appeal to you.

When planning a career switch, it’s vital that you have an accurate impression of what the sector looks like and what it would be like to practice medicine on a daily basis.

It can be helpful to have conversations with those that are already in the field, to gain a better understanding of what the career is like. If you really want to go one step further, you can try interview and shadow some physicians or GPs in different specialities and settings.

The internet can be a great tool for you. Try and network on social media, which can not only help connect to professionals in medicine but also help you stay up to date with current trends in the industry.

  1. Assess your experience and prior education

Assess your prior education and consider how this record could affect your new goal. Reflect on what work experience or skills you have that will be relevant or transferrable.

If you’re transitioning to a career in medicine from another role, you should have picked up valuable experience that you can bring to your new career. How can the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired be applied to the healthcare sector?

Many students wonder, “Is it too late for me to do this?” Applicant pools are becoming more diverse in many ways. Medical schools routinely admit students who have not come straight from college. Many are in their late 20's or 30’s. Some are in their 40’s and even 50's. Your real-world experience is important, and it likely has given you useful skills that will be transferrable to medicine. 

  1. Enjoy the process

It’s no secret that the path that leads to a career in medicine isn’t a straightforward one. Medical school is challenging and requires grit and determination to succeed, but the rewards far outweigh the hard work required.

In the midst of all the exams, coursework and preparation, it is important to remember to enjoy the process and soak up the experience.

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