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Help me make a choice between law or medicine as a career

I'm really passionate about human rights, women's rights, climate change and socio economic issues but I also really like biology and the idea of helping people everyday, please help me decide! #career #law #help #rights #medicine

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Thomas’s Answer

"It depends a lot on where in the world you are and what your real interests are.

In Medicine

You can help people, and eventually save their lives, but it is an extremely long and consuming career.
Many patients will be grateful, but some will not, and they will make your life a living hell.
You will need very strong skills in science, including math, physics and chemistry, just to go through the basic science curriculum.
You will have very mean and demanding teachers, that will hurt your self esteem more than once.
You will have to like people and many times put the patient’s interests before yours.
In Law

You won’t need much science, but will need an excellent analytic memory to correlate your client’s needs within the law framework.
There are many different specialization fields that might suit you, criminal law is not the only one, you can do corporate law, international law, financial, etc.
You need to have high moral resilience and be prepared to defend your clients even if you know they are guilty (this is a moral dilemma I could not live with)
You will have to be extremely organized.
Talk to a lawyer, talk to your doctor, get opinions from as many as you can, ask them if they would study the same again, and take your own decision.

Even if you have invested years and thousands of dollars in studies, if at some point you realise you don’t feel comfortable with your studies just change as soon as possible."

Thanks a lot for this answer, it's very helpful! Does the moral dilemma situation always happen with every lawyer because I dont think I'd be able to live with that Navya A.

No, some lawyers only choose to defend clients if they believe they are not guilty. It just depends on your work situation. If you work for a large legal firm you might not have the option to pick your clients. Thomas Sutherland

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Peter’s Answer

Hey Navya,

These are super different career paths, but I can understand how both could be appealing to you. Neither is my field, but I think you would be well advised to learn a little more about the day-in-the-life of both professions, and understand what success feels like in both.

My impulse is that, if you enjoy uncertainty and argument (if the process of convincing others that your stance is correct based on research and logic appeals to you), you may enjoy law (and a variety of other fields, like my own, strategy). Medicine would typically require this skillset (and give you the opportunity to exercise it) a good deal less.


Yes i do enjoy debates and thrill of uncertainty, I think im more drawn towards law since those subjects/topics are relatively more appealing to me buti need to think about it more. Thanks a lot for your answer, its really helpful!😊 Navya A.

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Marisa’s Answer

Have you ever thought about pursuing Medical Law? You could get an undergrad in any topic that interests you, maybe biology or woman’s studies or something of that nature. Then you’d go to law school, so at least 7 years of schooling all together. Med Law covers a lot of topics as well like discrimination, malpractice, patient confidentiality violations, etc.

Wow! I wasn't even aware of this field. Thanks a lot for sharing. Could you tell me what exactly they do in their jobs later on? Navya A.

There are a ton of different specific pathways that a medical lawyer can focus on but it generally will consist of patient rights, healthcare rights, making sure medical facilities are complying with healthcare regulations/privacy laws, health insurance problems and so on. They aren’t necessarily the ones you would see in a courtroom, the main purpose is for them to help healthcare workers stay out of the courtroom by making sure they comply with laws. This means that you’re not constricted to working in one area. Many places need these lawyers such as hospitals, insurance companies, medical device manufacturers, and anything that could require following medical regulations. Marisa Onofrio

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Jonathan’s Answer

Medicine. Getting into medical school is hard and so is residency. I would imagine being a doctor is hard but so is law. The top lawyers make more than the top doctors. But would you rather work 50 hours a week and make 250-300k? Or would want to work 80 hours a week to make the same amount. Big firm equity partner can make over seven figures and have flexibility over their lives but that is hard to get.