Are you comfortable being around people who are sick and injured or do you go pale at the sight of blood? Do you care about health and wellbeing? We ask these questions because too many people choose medicine without realising that they are also choosing to be doctors (almost all medical graduates go on to work as doctors). And if they do think about their future occupation, they tend to concentrate on social status and money, rather than the long hours and huge workload that doctors undertake.

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Many seem to choose medicine because they have attained the high marks it requires, without thinking about whether they are really passionate about it. If you’re thinking about medicine, talk to some doctors and find out about their working lives. Ask them about the future of the profession, as well as about their daily work. It’s not always an adrenalin-fuelled life-saving exercise in the emergency room, as some TV programs would have you believe. Many GPs are battling away in the suburbs like any other small business person in a competitive industry. If you want to be a specialist, the financial rewards are greater but you have to study for many years.

To find out more about training as a medical practitioner, refer to the Australian Medical Council website.

If you are interested in medicine, you should also consider other health-related courses. Look into dentistry , nursing , veterinary science and perhaps psychology . You may also like to consider the increasing number of courses available in alternative medicine, including Chinese medicine, herbal medicine or naturopathy. Consult the health services and support field of study profile for more information about related options.