Why Gradesmatch Students Choose to Study Medicine: Reasons & Ambitions | Part 5

Studying Medicine is a significant decision driven by various deep-seated motivations and aspirations. Beyond the prestige and challenging nature of the field, most Medical students enter the profession with a strong desire to positively impact lives, driven by personal experiences, altruism, and the ambition to drive societal change. This article delves into why Bridge students opt for a medical career and what they hope to achieve with their degree post-graduation.

This is what we are learning from our students

A Passion to Help and Heal Others:
Many Medical students’ primary motivation is the desire to help others. Altruism plays a crucial role in their career choice. Students like Matshepo Seneke from SMU see medicine as a means to “add value into people’s lives,” emphasising the satisfaction derived from aiding others​​. This inherent desire to contribute positively to society fuels their educational and career paths, underscoring a commitment that goes beyond personal benefit.

Influenced by Personal Health Experiences:
For some, their journey into Medicine is inspired by personal health experiences that expose them to the healthcare system at a young age. For instance, Lebogang Matentse was frequently in and out of hospitals as a child, which sparked their interest in medicine. Such personal encounters with medical professionals can transform admiration and gratitude into a lifelong career aspiration​​.

Addressing Community and Social Needs:
Many Medical students are driven by the potential to bring about change in their communities, especially those from underserved or rural areas. They aim to fill gaps in healthcare services, as articulated by students who plan to return to their communities to practice Medicine, where the need for qualified healthcare providers is acute​​​​. Their goals often include tackling broader social issues such as healthcare disparities and improving access to medical care for underprivileged populations. This is one of the reasons why Phumudzo Sathuma is studying Medicine at Stellenbosch University: watch her story below:

Pursuit of Personal and Professional Growth:
The field of medicine offers vast opportunities for personal and professional growth. Students like Lalelani Dhlamini from Stellenbosch University are not only interested in practicing medicine but also in specializing and perhaps venturing into related fields such as business to further impact their communities by creating jobs and enhancing local economies​​.

Fulfilling a Personal Calling:
For some, choosing Medicine is about fulfilling a personal calling—a profound sense that their purpose in life is to be a doctor. Tshwanelo Mokooe sees their Medical career as a destiny to use their medical knowledge to “alleviate, heal, and save lives,” demonstrating how deeply ingrained their professional aspirations are to their identity​​.

The decision to study Medicine is often rooted in a blend of deeply personal motivations and a clear-eyed view of the potential societal impact. As future doctors, these students are poised to treat illnesses and be pivotal in their communities, advocating for and implementing changes that improve healthcare access and quality. Their journey through Medical school is just the beginning of what they hope will be a lifelong commitment to healing and helping society.

#FutureDoctors #MedStudentLife #Healthcare #MedicalEducation #CommunityHealth #DoctorDreams #MedicineGoals #MedEd #HealthSciences #EducationalEquity #STEMEducation #TechForGood

Related articles: Transforming MedSchool Admissions in SA 1 – 4