If you wanted to become a doctor but didn’t secure a place on a medical degree, it’s not too late. There is a graduate entry route to medical school and although some institutions require a health or science related degree, some consider graduates from any degree discipline. University of Warwick 3rd year Chemistry student Kayvon Taee here recalls his motivation and the experiences that influenced him in his decision to pursue a career that he is passionate about.
Hello everyone. I would like to share my “origin story” with you for my passion for medicine. I hope that it not only will it inspire you to pursue a medical career but also that it may motivate you to work on your career aspirations too (Also, bonus points if you get the chemistry references!)
When I was 9, I remember watching a bunch of different animations with my father and one of them was titled “The fight for life” which detailed how the body reacts to crisis using really cool schematics and real life case studies (with slight dramatization for added effect). One particular scene from the “The Final Years” showed a blood clot and how it forms. Seeing all of the imagery amazed me, especially how platelets are so sticky! At the same time, it would not clot under ‘normal conditions’. It made me want to read more about how the body works.
That same year, I received two books as a Christmas presents: “The Human Body” and “Open Me Up” The first one was very difficult for 9-year-old me to understand but I could pick up some bits based on the diagrams. However, the other one was very accessible and I got immediately hooked! Some of the science was more geared to secondary school (like translation and transcription of DNA for example) but I was in constant awe of the body’s delicate machinery. It also depicted how everything was connected in the body’s networks and I only had scratched the surface – I became enthused with a strong passion for human anatomy!
Fast forward to this summer, where I began to question myself and doubt my passion. Many people put me down with statements like “You will never become a doctor”. It was then I decided to undertake some work experience. It was extremely difficult due to the lack of connections (alas, a story for another day!) but ultimately I secured three placements to gain experience: 3 days shadowing in cardiology at George Eliot Hospital, 2 months (paid) as a dementia care assistant and 1 day shadowing in radiology.
Working in a care home was, without a doubt, one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. The added responsibility for well-being and personal care of the residents was quite daunting at first, especially when communication can be an issue. However, even when it was busy, it was also one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever done. Interestingly, my shadowing placements demonstrated that that the skills I had gained in the care sector were being used by doctors! It was very inspiring to see that the additional responsibility, the amount of tenacity you need and teamwork skills that I was using as a care assistant were directly applicable to a medical career. Furthermore, the technology and thought processes the doctors used on my placements were similar to my degree. For instance, seeing a MRI scan in action reminded me when I analysed compounds using NMR, the same concepts as MRI were utilised but in different contexts. The thought process of piecing information together that I had to do when determining structure was also being used by the doctors, such as when diagnosing a patient – it confirmed that my passion was not misplaced.
The chain termination.
The skills I have developed throughout my degree, the work experience I have gain combined with my passion for science, has really given me very strong motivation to keep pursing my dream to be a doctor. Despite the minor setback before summer, my interest and motivation were sparked once again. My passion for medicine has continued to increase and I am certain that when I (eventually) reach medical school it shall grow even more so!
I hope that, even if it is just a little, I have inspired you – to pursue your dreams that you may or not thought possible or perhaps like me, a career in medicine.