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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 study at University.

You'll usually need:

  • at least 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 7 (A* or A), including English maths and sciences
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry


You'll need to complete:

  • a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation course of general training
  • 2 to 3 years of core medical training (CMT) or Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) programme
  • 4 to 7 years of specialist training, depending on your chosen area of medicine

If you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum upper second), you could take a 4-year graduate entry programme into medicine.

You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you have no science qualifications. This includes a one-year pre-medical or foundation year.

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. 

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to pass an enhanced background check.

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

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

Salary Range

£27,689 to £74,661

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