Being a doctor is the most exciting, manic, scary yet satisfying job imaginable

Lloyd Evans, Medical Sciences graduate

Current student Francesca Saleh spoke to Lloyd Evans, now a GP Registrar, about the Medical Sciences course, his career and how to succeed at graduate entry medicine.

How did the Medical Sciences course help you succeed in your career?
I may not have ever been able to become a doctor if it wasn’t for this route. Medical Sciences at USW was the perfect preparation for life as a doctor. It was just as intense as a medical degree but the support and personalised feel made it a more enjoyable experience.

In hindsight, the course also provided me with in-depth knowledge of areas that aren't covered on a medical degree, such as tropical medicine and immunology, which made life much easier for me later on.

What is a typical day for a doctor? 
Wow, the hardest question! No day is the same. When in a hospital post, you could be working any number of different types of shifts such as 8-4, 9-5, twilight shifts or nights. Your role may be to cover the wards, admissions, A&E, or covering it all!

At the moment, I spend my days in General Practice which is more structured in terms of shifts but I see so many different patients with huge variation in presentations - it keeps me on my toes!

It is not always as glamorous as the TV programmes make out. Often your day is spent conducting routine but essential tasks. Chasing bloods, ordering scans and writing medication charts form a large part of the day, especially as a junior doctor. That said, being a doctor is the most exciting, manic, scary, satisfying job imaginable.

What are your tips for applying for Graduate Entry Medicine?

  • Ask lots of questions at the interview. Make sure you read relevant documents such as GMC Good Medical Practice and Tomorrow’s Doctors; know about the Mental Capacity Act and generally show that you have the ‘medical mindset’.
  • Be aware of the key figures who influence the medical school and local hospitals i.e. the Dean, the Chief Exec, the local AM, the Health Minister etc.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. I was asked a lot of challenging and unpredictable questions during my interview. Just stay calm, unruffled and show you can think on your feet.
  • On placement, take it all in. Ask yourself, could I do this for a living? This is your one time to really get to know what it’s like to be a doctor. Once you’re qualified, this flexible time disappears! Take every opportunity you can, observe and ask questions.
  • Be disciplined. Medicine is a little different to many other degrees. It’s pretty flat-out all day every day. My advice is to treat your studies like a full-time job. I worked from 8-6pm every day, regardless of whether there were lectures, free periods etc and this seemed to help me, both in my studies and now in my career. That said, do make the most of being a student!