I personally think intercalation is highly beneficial. I think the positives of undertaking an intercalation outweigh the potential negatives by far. I’m just going to think out loud below and list some positives and negatives that come to my mind when it comes to thinking about intercalation.

Positives
  • You get the opportunity to spend a year studying another subject and gain other qualification (which is so unique)
  • You could even choose to experience a different university or city if you wanted to intercalate at a different institution
  • The intercalation itself will increase your knowledge in a specific area and you’ll learn lots of new skills
  • Undertaking an intercalation often offers the opportunity to work on some form of research which you could then work to try and get published
  • It’s break from Medicine which I know a lot of people do appreciate because medicine can get a little intense once you start your clinical years.
  • You can get up to 4 extra points towards your foundation application
  • It’ll probably come in use to say you have that extra qualification if you go on to apply for competitive specialities in the future
Negatives
  • A break from Medicine can also be a bad thing and you’ll probably have to make sure you’re keeping the Medicine fresh in some way throughout the year
  • You’ll graduate a year later which some people may see as a negative, I’m personally in no rush to graduate as I’m enjoying each year at a time so this isn’t particularly a negative for me.
  • You leave the cohort of students you started medical school with if they’re not also intercalating.
  • If you’re not sure what you want to specialise in further along the line it might seem like a wasted year to complete a Master’s at this stage when you could do it after obtaining your medical degree and choose a relevant subject.

The more I think about intercalation and the more I debate it, the more I realise that it really is only a positive and beneficial experience. There aren’t any substantial negatives of intercalating and in someway or another the intercalation will benefit you in the future. Even though the benefits are obvious, it’s still a personal choice and you don’t really need a reason to want to just continue with Medicine if that’s what you choose because sometimes it’s about just going with what feels right.


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Posted by:Life of a Medic

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