If you have your sights on becoming a doctor, it is a rewarding but challenging path to take.

Doctors can be involved in a lot of areas of health care, and you should think about which area you would like to go into. You have time to think about this, and may change your mind several times during the early stages of your studies.

Types of Doctor can include:

  • Paediatrics: looking after sick and injured children

  • Psychiatry: treating mental health problems

  • Radiology: diagnosing illnesses and injuries using X-rays and other radiography equipment

  • Obstetrics and gynaecology: looking after women who are pregnant and giving birth

  • Emergency medicine: treating people who have been admitted to the accident and emergency department (A&E)

  • Anaesthetics: pain treatment and anaesthetising people (putting people to sleep for operations)

  • Medicine: a range of hospital specialities from sports medicine to dermatology (the treatment of skin conditions)

  • Surgery – conducting operations

You will need excellent communication skills, as well as an excellent bed-side manner, as you'll be dealing with a wide variety of patients.

Medicine is a highly competitive career choice, and you will be expected to achieve top grades in order to advance to medical school.

What do I need to do to become a doctor?

To become a doctor you need to complete a five-year degree in medicine. Entry requirements vary, but to get on a medical degree you normally need at least five GCSEs at grades A* or A, including English and maths and at least grade B in science. You also need a minimum of three A levels at grades AAA or AAB in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject.

After completing a medical degree, you then need to complete two years of foundation training, followed by three to seven years of specialist training. The length of your training will depend on which speciality you have chosen. You will also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Other relevant skills:

Administration, Analytics, Attention to detail, Communication, Customer service, Discipline, Interpersonal skills, Leadership, Organisation, Patience, People management, Problem solving, Teamwork, Time management

Where can I find out more information?

General Medical Council (GMC) -

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