Moving on from clinical practice
- By: Rebecca Ghani
- Published: 06 June 2012
- DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e2551
- Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e2551
Non-vocational degrees are broad enough for graduates to ponder on which way their careers might develop as they meander through undergraduate life. English, maths, and the humanities, to name a few, allow graduates breathing space to consider their options. Some would see this as a benefit: there is no burden of expectation; things remain flexible. And some would view this as a disadvantage with no clear career path or likelihood of employment in a definite sector.
Medicine, on the other hand, leads graduates down a structured path into their chosen career, on the basis of a choice that was usually made—in most of Europe, Asia, and Australia—at around age 17. Medical graduates are signposted through the next steps of training to full qualification. Although there are choices to be made within medicine, the broad direction is set.
Should medical graduates feel obliged to follow this set path? If medical school