Your brothers and sisters studied medicine. Your parents studied medicine. Your parents want you to study medicine. So you’re going to study medicine, right?

Not necessarily. Medicine degrees are extremely competitive and require a huge amount of time, effort and commitment. You should only apply to study this course if it is something you are truly passionate about, not because other people think you should. Even if you’re not fanatical about Medicine and you still apply, this will be apparent during the gruelling application procedures and it is likely that you won’t be offered a place on the course anyway.

But don’t worry; this doesn’t signify the end of your medical career and you can still make your parents proud by choosing a degree in the Allied Medical Sciences. These degrees basically refer to anything in the medical field which are distinct from medicine, pharmacy, and nursing and the list of career options in this industry is endless. Here is a list of ‘alternative to Medicine’ courses; one of which might be the right one for you:

1) Occupational Therapy

A popular reason for students wanting to study medicine is because they want to become a doctor so that they can help people. But lots of other health professions give you the opportunity to do this. A degree in Occupational Therapy will give you the skills and knowledge required to become a practicing Occupational Therapist, where you will help people facing physical and mental challenges on a day-to-day basis. You will help them overcome these barriers and slowly regain their independence.

2) Nutrition / Dietetics

Some students often confuse these two degree courses, but the careers they lead on to are actually quite different. Nutritionists advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle, whereas Dieticians work towards the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, food allergies or intolerances, cancers and gastro-intestinal diseases. Still, both degree courses will give you the practical experience required to work in clinical settings after you graduate.

3) Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences is a really flexible degree course and gives you the opportunity to specialise in a number of different areas including human biology, micro and molecular biology, and physiology and pharmacology. Students have a variety of career options after completion of this course, but many choose to go on to do a Master’s programme in order to specialise further in their chosen subject area.

4) Healthcare Administration

This degree course has more of a business focus compared with the others as it will teach you all you need to know about management, policy, and research within the health sector; preparing you for a career in a management position within the health sector.

Regardless of which degree you choose, they all require effort and commitment from you to succeed. Think about your future career in the health sector and what role you would like to be doing – that way you can start to think about the course that will allow you to get there. 

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