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Job Description

A Hospital Doctor will examine patients, diagnose illnesses and treat injuries and other medical conditions. They will prescribe appropriate treatment or medication or they may refer the patient to a specialist for further treatment.

Entry Requirements

To become a hospital doctor you'll need to complete:

  • a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • 2-year core medical training (CMT) or Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS)  
  • specialist training - the length of this stage depends on the area of medicine you choose, but will usually take between 4 and 6 years

If you don't have qualifications in science, you may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine. This includes a one-year pre-medical or foundation year.

If you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum 2:1) you could take a 4-year graduate entry programme into medicine. 

When you apply for a course in medicine, you may be asked to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). This is used to check your suitability for a career in medicine by testing your mental abilities and behavioural characteristics, rather than your academic achievements.

You may be able to get NHS funding to pay for your course fees and help with your living expenses.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has more information about becoming a hospital doctor.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you may go on to lead a team or manage a department.

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior (or consultant) roles.

You may also progress to teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Anaesthetist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Surgeon
  • Pathologist
  • Coroner

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • Excellent communication skills
  • The ability to understand and have empathy with your patients
  • A caring approach and the ability to put people at ease
  • Good analytical skills to diagnose illnesses and the best course of treatment 
  • Good IT skills

Starting Salary

£26,350 to £102,500

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