Between law and medicine which is harder to study?

by John Archambault

The simple answer to this question probably depends on who you are.

I’ve seen a lot of people, like my Asian friends, assume things — one of which being that medical school is as hard for everybody as it is for them.

News flash: It’s not, so these are highly ethnocentric opinions. But let’s back up.

If the blood is going to drain from your head if you have to stand up without warning, recite the facts of the case and make an argument, in front a big room full of people, while the professor throws bizarre questions at you, you’re not going to have a great time in law school, and possibly beyond.

If you are not fluent in English and are not understandable, or just don’t sound convincing (or look convincing), you are not going to have the confidence of a lot of clients, and will have a hard time in hearings or meetings anyway.

There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of foreign-born Indian or Asian attorneys, even though any particular person, from whatever country, may be brilliant.

There is no contesting that for some of my Asian friends (I’ve had a lot, including girlfriends), for example, medical school is much easier than law. Many don’t really speak fluent English, so the question is sort of moot.

Some of the best litigators I have seen, by the way, have been black males with great, theatrical voices and dramatic performances in court. If you are mumbling your way through a summation, and he’s doing Shakespeare in the courtroom, you have a problem — and so does your client.

If you are a creative writer, you are not going to like first-year in law school. You are taught formulas in order to do “legal writing,” and if you show any flair for normal writing at all, they will pound it out of you.

The worst writers in the world are law professors, and they want you to be as awful as them. If you don’t like endless reading of stodgy opinions and endless soul-less writing at times, maybe 4 hours or more on tests, it’s going to be tough.

The science in med school may seem harder to grasp, but at this point the idea of taking tests where all you have to do is give a numerical answer, or a identify a formula, seems to me like a remarkably easy life.

In fairness though, I was never really even pre-med, and dropped out of Chemistry when I was doing well, because it was too gorgeous a day out to be trapped in a Chemistry lab.

Bio 101 seemed pretty easy in a school that turned out future doctors like a machine, so were Calculus and Statistics. 40 years after seeing any Bio material, I took a Bio 101 test and passed easily.

I think one thing that creates the perception that med school is harder, is that you could have gotten a B.A. in basket weaving, and still go to law school. If you haven’t been working and studying at least 4 years specifically to go to med school, you just don’t speak that language, and the material might be impossible to understand.

So ask yourself who you are, and what you want. You can go to med school and still write novels, like Michael Crichton, or, rarely, even find yourself in Congress, like Congressman Ralph Abraham.

But the greater the likelihood you will be in a position where you deal with political and societal problems — and find yourself in demand in business, education, law, administration, and leadership roles in general, the more law school is the path (of the two) for you.

Then there’s still nothing wrong with being an accountant, or a plumber, auto mechanic, or UPS deliverer, for that matter!


John Archambault is a Juris Doctor (LLM) with an M.S. in Computer Science.
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6 Comments on “Between law and medicine which is harder to study?”

  1. Am a lawyer and believe me it's hard, I am also an accountant and that's is also hard. Every course is as hard as the other. Happy New Year DNB crew.

  2. I would say law because it is such a boring course to study.
    Medicine is also hard but it is a bit more interesting than law

  3. It is difficult to complete a demonstration without content getting under way a progression of outcomes or responses. These are the normal laws of life and living. They were genuine a large number of years back, they are genuine now, and they will keep on being valid in ages to come.

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