Being a Doctor is a uniquely rewarding career. It is also extremely challenging. Unlike other courses you might apply to, Medicine leads you directly into a specific career path.
If you’re deciding on Medicine, you’ll need to 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 that you weigh up the good and the bad aspects of life as a Doctor. For example, many love that Medicine combines scientific challenge with human interaction. It also offers a genuine chance to make a difference to 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 have the following traits:
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’s important that you understand what Medical School is going to be like. However, Medicine courses can be quite different at different universities.
To learn more about what to expect, you should read up on the different course types: traditional courses, integrated courses and problem-based learning.
If you want to get a taster of what being a medical student is like this summer, learn more about Medicine summer school.
Yes – many people look into Medicine initially, but then decide they would be more suited to a career in Dentistry or Allied Health. Remember that becoming a Doctor isn’t the be-all and end-all of working in healthcare and there are many other careers which you may find just as rewarding.
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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