Being a Doctor is a uniquely rewarding career. It is also extremely challenging. Unlike other courses you might apply to, medicine ties you directly into a specific career path. In the UK, it also binds you to a particular employer: the National Health Service (NHS).
If you’re deciding on Medicine, it’s very important that you understand the realities of being a Doctor as well as you can before committing to the pathway. This includes being clued-up on the NHS and current NHS hot topics.
It’s important you weigh up the good and the bad aspects of life as a Doctor. For example, many love that Medicine binds scientific challenge with human interaction. It also offers a genuine chance to make a difference to peoples’ lives. On the other hand, being a Doctor is highly stressful. There are times when you won’t be able to help and will be breaking bad news — often after long hours and working nights.
There are certain key qualities that make a good medical student and, ultimately, a good doctor.
If you’re deciding on medicine, it helps if you possess the following traits:
You can read more about what makes a good doctor in the General Medical Council’s report: Tomorrow’s Doctors.
The key pathways to Medicine are:
Applying to study Medicine is a long and challenging process. You need to:
Learn more about this in our guide on how to get into Medical School.
Before deciding on medicine, it is important that you understand what medical school is going to be like. However, medicine courses in the UK can be quite different.
After you finish Medical School, it’s time to begin your career as a Junior Doctor. Foundation training is the first step along the postgraduate training pathway, and will last for two years.
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