The healthcare industry has changed considerably in the past decade. Today, technology plays a very important role in diagnosing and treating patients. However, if there is one thing that has not changed, it is the demand for doctors. Even today, the number of doctors per 1000 patients is abysmally low in most countries.
One of the many reasons for this huge gap between the demand and supply of doctors is the lack of sufficient knowledge for people on how to become a doctor. This guide has been specifically created for all such people who do not know how to become a doctor in UK, a key destination for higher education in 2023.
Why Study Medicine in the UK?
Here are some reasons why the UK is considered one of the top destinations for becoming a doctor –
- You will study at some of the top-ranked medical universities in the world. More than 70 universities in the country are ranked at the top in the QS World University Rankings.
- The salaries of UK doctors are one of the highest in the world. The average salary is around 76,300 GBP. This can easily compensate for the high cost of living in this country.
- Most universities offer diverse specializations, including psychiatry, radiology, surgery, cardiology and neurology.
- You get to study with some of the brightest minds both from within the country and abroad.
How to Become a Doctor in UK?
The following are the steps to becoming a doctor in the UK.
Step 1 – Getting into a medical school
The first step is to gain admission into a medical school for graduation. Thankfully, there is no shortage of good colleges in the UK that offer high-quality medical education to international applicants. In most case, the basic eligibility criteria to get into a medical school is to –
- A General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) or an equivalent degree.
- A qualification in AS and A levels subjects.
- A minimum score of 7.5 in IELTS.
If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can also apply for the master’s and doctorate programmes offered by the same universities in various specializations. Some of the best medical schools in the UK include the Brighton & Sussex Medical School, the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, and the University of Southampton.
Step 2 – Earning a medical degree
After entering medical school, the next step is to complete the course successfully and earn a medical degree. Most universities offer both part-time and full-time degree programmes. Students can select a model based on their convenience. Based on the programme you choose, you will either be awarded an MB (Bachelor of Medicine) or an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree. If you opt for a master’s programme, you will be awarded the M.Med (Master of Medicine) degree.
Step 3 – Start a foundation programme
Once you get a doctor’s degree, your journey to becoming a doctor in the UK is half completed. After graduation, you will have to take up a two-year foundation training programme mandated by the GMC (General Medical Council. You will be granted the license to become a doctor in the UK only after successfully completing the foundation programme. Students will be given a provisional license by the General Medical Council during the foundation programme that authorizes them to practice medicine in various hospitals in the UK. To enter the foundation programme, students need to complete the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), an assessment that checks the capability of candidates to become good doctors in the future.
Step 4 – Enter the specialty training
The next step is to enter the specialty training. Specialty training or core training is a programme where you will be exclusively taught subjects related to your chosen specialization. Some of the top specializations in the UK include oncology, orthopedics, pediatrics, clinical medicine, neurology, and cancer treatment. This training also covers emergency medical care and intensive care training. The duration of the specialty training ranges from 3 to 8 years. If you want to become a General Practitioner, you will be given special training to master the nuances involved in treating acute and chronic diseases. GPs are as important as specialized doctors as they are the ones patients consult in times of emergency. GPs, in turn, refer patients to specialist doctors for more intensive treatment. The average salary of a general practitioner is around £62,000.
Step 5 – Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
List of Universities in the UK to Become a Doctor
Here are the top 5 universities in the UK to help you become a doctor –
School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge University
Cambridge University offers a variety of programmes in medical science. This university is also well-known for its research and thesis-based courses. To get into this school, you need to have A levels in Chemistry and either one of these subjects: Biology, Physics, Mathematics. You are also expected to take the Biomedical Admission Test to be considered for admission. Average tuition fee – Around £60,000 per year.
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The university offers undergraduate, post-graduate, and research programmes in a wide array of specializations, including clinical medicine, anesthesia, surgery, etc. For the undergraduate programmes, you need to have high school graduation along with the GCSE certification. For international students, along with the above criteria, you have an additional requirement of English language proficiency. You need to have a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS. Students should also submit a personal statement along with the application form. Average tuition fee – Around £40,000 per year
School of Medicine, University of Liverpool
The School of Medicine at the University of Liverpool helps the students to have a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. The courses offered by the University of Liverpool are in line with the curriculum set by the National Health Service (NHS). Entry requirements include clearing the admission test conducted by the university. Good problem-solving capabilities and a good score on the aptitude test are also important for getting admission. Average tuition fee – Around £40,000 per year
Leeds School of Medicine
Situated in West Yorkshire, this institution is well known for its undergraduate programmes in medical science. Some of the top courses include cardiac physiology, radiography, and general medicine. You need a high school certificate and a score of 6.0 in IELTS to be considered for admission to this school. Average tuition fee – Around £182,000 for the entire duration of the programme.
Aston Medical School
Aston Medical School is well known for its student-friendly staff and dynamic learning culture. Students pursuing their GP training can attend Aston to complete their specialty training. To be eligible for admission, the students need to have a bachelor’s degree from a reputed institution and should have completed their foundation programme in the UK. Average tuition fee – Around £44,000 per year.
With that, we conclude our detailed guide on how to become a doctor in UK. The above-mentioned steps and the list of universities can be used as a reference to kick start your career as a doctor in the UK. However, getting into any of these institutes is not easy, considering how difficult the competition is in the medical industry. This is where LeapScholar can help. We are a study abroad consultant who has helped thousands of students pursue their dream courses in the country of their choice. To know more about us, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the minimum time taken to become a doctor in the UK?
Like any other country, the time taken to become a doctor in the United Kingdom is quite long. The average time it takes to become a doctor in the UK is around 16 years. This includes your medical degree, foundation programme, and specialty training.
Are there stipends for students who pursue medicine?
There are no stipend facilities for medical students in the UK. However, upon completion of the course, the graduates or junior doctors can expect salary packages of around 50,000 GBP, which is one of the highest in the world.