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Law vs Medicine: Which is truly harder? 

Personally it’s challenging to determine, complexity and difficulty are idiosyncratic for every one of us; MBBS students may declare that Medical School is much more arduous due to its gruelling hours of practical hands-on training and remarkable period of study exclusive of residency training, whereas Law students might argue (“it’s what we do best… and the only thing we do”) that Law School is much more strenuous due to the profound overburden of analytical memorisation and legislative readings, all while having to justly apply the ambiguous law. Truly a controversy worth looking into!

So, it depends.” 

Now, I can just end the article right here and be a menace to all, but I know you’re not here to receive an enigmatic, subjective response as an answer, thus, I dived deeper and interviewed a few MBBS and Law students for their opinions regarding the silent rivalry between Law and Medicine! But before anything, let’s look at the differences between pursuing a degree in law and a medicine degree. Medical school takes many, many more years to complete a degree as compared to law school. At Taylor’s University, the regular MBBS degree takes up to 5 years to complete, excluding the years of residency training, whilst a Law degree only takes up to 3 years, excluding the Certificate in Legal Practice training or the Bar Training Program course. This may or may not immediately entrench a stereotypical image that the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery is the more ambitious degree amongst the two, which is not entirely wrong. Besides that, academic competition in medical school is appreciably more apprehensive and straining. This is because a medical degree requires far more demanding prerequisites and entry requirements. Take the medical degree courses at Taylor’s University as an example, where a student is required to score such as 5 Bs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics/ Additional Mathematics, and English in IGCSE or SPM to qualify in applying for the degree, whereas Taylor’s Law School  requires an equivalent of any 5 credits in IGCSE or SPM, inclusive of English. It is unambiguous that the medical schools primarily  centralises subjects related to the Sciences and Mathematics, while law schools focus exclusively on students meeting the requirements of an English-centred curriculum 

Nonetheless, as I write this article from the perspective of a law student, , I can provide the inside scoop on how the Bachelor of Laws programme at Taylor’s University operates. Typically, in a long semester, we have about three to four core law modules, while the MBBS degree has about six to eight core medicine modules depending on the year of study. Further taking into account the distinct grading systems between the 2 faculties/schools, it is evident that there is a strong disparity between the way a lecturer would grade their students. . Customarily, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students go through written and practical midterms every four to six weeks into the semester, susceptible to their block system, whereas Law students have 60% of their grade percentage relying on a single final examination at the end of each semester, while 30% stems from group/ individual projects and the remaining 10% emanates from tutorial participation, this illustrates that most of the heavy load in law school comes towards the end of each semester, whilst medicine student face a consistent level of hardship throughout the midweeks. 

“This means that our entire semester's worth of studying will only be determined and tested on a single exam paper.” Candidly, as a law student, I would say that the Law School functions akin to IGCSE, where a heavy chunk of the grade morphs solely from final examinations alone; in short, this means that if you screw up your final exams, it is exceedingly strenuous to pass the module with whatever left you have. 

Furthermore, being two of the most academically stringent degrees (Asians, am I right? It’s either to become a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, or a failure. So! Who opted for the last option? They must truly be the happiest amongst the four), both medical and law school leave no room for procrastination and cramming. It’s physically futile to skim through and memorise all the facts in an 80-page worth of a Constitutional and Administrative Law case a few days before the finals, similar to how it’s physically unthinkable to mug up an entire textbook on the Endocrine and Reproductive System Block. Generally, both medical and law students study a few hours every day, excluding class times. 

“I spend around 2-3 hours studying but there are times where I just slack too. I do spend sufficient amounts of time studying and doing my hobbies to balance my work life, but usually, I lean more towards studying. Got to study hard if I want to achieve good results.” 

- Anon Taylor’s MBBS Student

“I'd say my schedule is not too packed as I am only on campus 3 days a week. However, I do find it crucial to spend my free time studying whenever I can. I do try to balance my time by resting but honestly, I study more than I find myself resting. (I am unsure how long I rest, let’s be honest, what is rest?)” 

- Anon Taylor’s Law Student

Thus, I asked an MBBS student on their take towards law school, and their students , and did the same to a Law student towards medical school.  Now folks, this is where the climax of the story kicks it, as I unravel the juicy, tea-spilling answers from their interviews!. 


Question #1: What do you think of law school as a medical student or the whole law school vs med school controversy? 

“I don’t know much about law, but I imagine having to memorise so many words and stuff with multiple pages of case study, that lost me already. But I do feel like the law is doable even if you don’t have passion for it, as opposed to MBBS. If passion is not there when studying medicine, you’ll simply just fail miserably as common sense is not applicable if the knowledge is not present. I feel like law is just very hard and overall, kind of boring to study. The law seems improbable to memorise and the case studies are just crazy. I always think that law students are very good at memorising.”

- Anon Taylor’s MBBS student

“I do not understand the whole point of the debate. They're both privileged professions and are different in their way. Lawyers and doctors help people in their way and both degrees are hard to study for, why is there even some sort of silent competition going on? Am I lost?”

-Anon Taylor’s Law Student

Question #2: In the most unbiased sense, which do you think is harder; law or medicine? And why?

“Probably medicine as there are so many things to learn and it’s never-ending learning. With new drugs, diseases, and patients every day, it’s just impossible to know everything. And why medicine is so difficult is because of memorisation, even professional doctors can’t memorise everything, and there will always be something that you forget. As for the law, it’s fixed, and the rights and wrongs have already been written down (I could be wrong though) as much as I like talking to clients, the law is just not worth studying, it’s kind of boring in my opinion.”  

- Anon Taylor’s MBBS student

“Medicine, for sure. I feel like the entry requirement for medicine is harder and it's a super long process to get one's degree. After you earn your degree, you have to wait for placements. I've heard from friends that that process takes a long (a couple of months at least if you’re LUCKY). Not only that, but you have to deal with life and death almost every single day of your life.”

-Anon Taylor’s Law Student

Question #3: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the hardest. How hard would you think your MBBS/ Law experience has been so far for you?

“Around 7-8, but I do enjoy every moment of it. It wouldn’t be satisfying if it were easy.”

 - Anon Taylor’s MBBS student

“I'd say 7?  I’m not even going to deny that it has been hard, but with good time management, I'd say everything is pretty manageable. Time management is the most essential, not just in law but in… everything.”

 - Anon Taylor’s Law Student

At the end of the day, it’s all about comparing apples with oranges.

After reading through the inside-scoops, what is your take on this? 

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