Shaping a career in medicine

From a very young age I knew that I wanted to be a doctor, but I was aware that training was no small commitment. In order to succeed, I felt it was a good idea to get a taste of the 'real medicine' before I applied to University. I arranged work experience and voluntary work in hospitals, and it soon became apparent that a career in medicine had been glamorised by TV programmes such as Casualty, Scrubs, House and ER! However, this didn't put me off. The excitement of being at the forefront of medical intervention whilst working with people was an opportunity too great to pass up, and I was fortunate enough to be offered a place at The University of Sheffield. 

One of the first placements I did on my course was in A&E and, despite exploring other specialities, this is still my favourite. I wish to pursue a career in emergency medicine and to achieve this I have taken many steps. Firstly, I joined the Acute Care and Trauma Society (ACTSoc) which holds regular training sessions on managing the acute emergency patient through Sim Man Simulation Sessions. I'm attending the Oxford Trauma Conference where I will learn lots of new practical skills, like managing blast injuries, and inserting emergency airways. I have also joined the Wilderness Medicine Society, as this opens a door into Search and Rescue opportunities. 

I am now in my fourth year of study and I have opted to take a year out of the core medical course. This year I am doing research into emergency medicine, specifically the management of patients with acute abdominal pain, for which I will get an extra degree upon completion. I am working for the first ever female Professor of Emergency Medicine and she is extremely helpful in guiding me along the way in pursuing this line of medicine as a career.

In the future, I plan to do an 8 week placement abroad in an ER department, and I am going to go for a committee position for ACTSoc. I will continue to build my CV and hopefully will one day qualify as an ER doctor. There is always something extra you can do to achieve your goals when in medical training. The key is to spot these opportunities and grab hold of them!

Chris (Student Ambassador for Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health)
Careers Service

Careers Service

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