How to Become a Doctor in the UK 2024: A Detailed Guide

8 min read

There have been substantial changes in the healthcare industry during the last ten years. Today, technology is essential for both diagnosing and treating patients. Conversely, there has been no change in the need for doctors. The ratio of doctors to patients remains incredibly low in most countries.

One of the many reasons for this huge gap between the demand and supply of doctors is the lack of knowledge of people on how to become a doctor. This guide has been created for all Indian students who want to know how to become a doctor in the UK, a key destination for higher education in 2024.

Steps to Become a Doctor in the UK

Here are some steps on how to become a doctor in the UK. 

  1. Getting into a medical School: Getting accepted into a medical school is the first step towards graduating. Generally speaking, a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) or an equivalent degree, certification in AS and A levels, and a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 are the primary requirements for admission to medical schools. 
  • Undergraduate: Medical schools in the UK usually set their own entrance requirements. Candidates with strong results in maths and science courses are typically accepted into UK medical schools. The majority of UK medical universities have entrance criteria that include taking an admissions test and appearing in person for an interview. It is noteworthy, therefore, that a large number of colleges in Europe provide assured admission and do not require entrance exams. 
  • Postgraduate: You can apply for Graduate Entry if you already hold a Bachelor of Science degree in a medically relevant discipline. Through this method, students who meet the requirements can enroll in the program later in life and expedite their journey to a medical degree. A lot of applicants choose graduate entry medical programs in order to advance their studies and improve their chances of landing a job.
  1. Earn a Medical Degree: You will receive a medical degree from the university after completing your coursework successfully. Your eligibility for a university program may depend on whether you hold an MB, or Bachelor of Medicine, an MBBS, or a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.
  1. Foundation Program (FP): You will have to do a two-year foundation course after receiving your medical degree.
  2. Specialty Training: You will need to enroll in specialty training after finishing the foundation course. Depending on the specialisation you select, this training could take five to eight years. 
  3. Continuous Professional Development (CPD): You will need to maintain your professional growth after completing your specialty training by going to conferences and classes, reading publications, and working on research projects.

How long does it take to become a doctor in the UK

In the UK, medical school requires five years of study before you can become a doctor. On the other hand, a doctor will complete their training 8–10 years after graduating. General practise has the shortest training pathway at 5 years after graduation, while maxillofacial surgery has the longest at 11 years.

Following graduation, students can pursue a two-year foundation programme that offers clinical experience. You can switch between various medical specialties while receiving a salary during this programme. You will go through specialised training after the foundation years, which may take an extra four to seven years.

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Top Medical Schools to Study in the UK

Here are the top 7 universities in the UK to help you become a doctor –

Top Medical SchoolsAnnual fee in EURAnnual fee in INR
Aston Medical School20,700 GBP – 57,818 GBP2,100,780 INR – 5,867,775 INR
School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge63,990 GBP6,494,153 INR
Brighton and Sussex Medical School42,000 GBP4,262,454 INR
School of Medicine, University of Liverpool38,500 GBP3,907,249 INR
Leeds School of Medicine20,700 GBP – 57,818 GBP2,100,780 INR – 5,867,775 INR
University of Bristol31,000 GBP3,146,097 INR
University of Oxford48,285 GBP4,900,299 INR
Source: Yocket

How to apply to a medical school in the UK

Here is a step-wise guide for you to easily understand the procedure of applying to a medical School in the UK. 

  1. Research: Look into UK medical colleges and see which ones have the course you’re interested in. To find out more information about the courses and universities, you can go to their websites or go to open days.
  1. Meet the Requirements: Make sure you fulfill the requirements in order to enroll in the course you wish to take. A General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) or an equivalent degree, certification in AS and A levels, and a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 are typical requirements.
  1. Apply through UCAS: Similar to applying for other UK university courses, you can submit an application to medical school through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). You can record all the information required for your submission through the user-friendly web portal at UCAS.
  1. Personal Statement: Describe yourself in a personal statement how the course will benefit you and how much you love medicine. Talk about all the accomplishments you’ve made in your life, including your interests and hobbies, athletic accomplishments, academic honours, projects you’ve worked on, and social organisations you’ve belonged to.
  1. Work Experience: Get hands-on experience in a caring capacity by volunteering at a nursing home or hospital. This will help you show how dedicated you are to medicine and provide you with a glimpse into what it’s like to work in the medical field.
  1. Admission Test: A few medical schools need entrance exams, such the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) or the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). If there are any entrance exams required, find out from the medical schools you have chosen.
  2. Interview: You will receive an interview invitation from the medical school if your application is accepted. During the interview, you will be given the chance to ask questions concerning the course and university as well as have your suitability for the course evaluated.

Top Specialisations in Medical Field

Some of the most popular and rewarding specialisations in the Medical field nowadays are listed below.

SpecialisationsSalary in EURSalary in INR
Pediatrics40,000 GBP – 1,00,000 GBP40,59,816 INR – 10,148,700 INR
Psychiatry87,760 GBP8,906,499 INR
Dermatology90,150 GBP9,149,053 INR
Neurology94,434 GBP9,583,823 INR
Ophthalmology60,000 GBP – 1,50,000 GBP6,089,220 INR – 15,223,050 INR
Source: LeapScholar

Registration with the General Medical Council in the UK

In the UK, you cannot practise medicine unless they are registered with the General Medical Council. Every application has a different set of precise registration criteria.

  • Prior to registering with the General Medical Council, it is necessary to confirm your eligibility.
  • After your eligibility has been verified, you need to fill out an online application and pay £150.
  • The GMC will then send you an email outlining the precise supporting documentation you must submit with your application.
  • After being asked to do so, you have 28 days to scan and send back your evidence files.
  • Within three months of the evidence’s acceptance, you will be required to appear for an identification check.
  • Your registration is finished as soon as your identification is verified.

Salary of Doctors in the UK

The UK medical salary is based on a number of factors, including experience, specialty, location, and employer. For example, doctors in London typically make more money than doctors in other parts of the nation; similarly, doctors who specialise in certain fields, like neurosurgery, plastic surgery, or cardiology, typically make more money than doctors in other fields; and finally, doctors who work for private hospitals or clinics may make more money than those who work for the National Health Service (NHS).

A doctor in the UK typically earns 76,300 GBP/ 7,743,458 INR  gross annually, or roughly 4,400 GBP/ 446,542 INR net per month. The highest pay scales approach 200,000 GBP/ 20,297,400 INR gross annually.

Wrapping Up

We now wrap up our in-depth advice on how to become a doctor in the United Kingdom. As a starting point for your medical career in the UK, you might refer to the list of universities and the prior indicated processes. But with the level of competition in the medical field, admission to any of these colleges is really competitive. LeapScholar can be helpful in this situation. Our organisation specialises in study abroad consulting, having assisted several students in pursuing their aspirations of studying in the nation of their choosing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the minimum time taken to become a doctor in the UK?

Ans. 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.

Q. Are there stipends for students who pursue medicine?

Ans. 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.

Q. Are there scholarships for students in medical schools?

Ans. International students are warmly welcomed in all the medical schools in the UK with a variety of scholarships. Some scholarships cover concessions in tuition fees, while some can completely waive off the tuition fee.

Q. How many hours do doctors work per week?

Ans. In the UK, a doctor’s weekly contract typically calls for 40 hours of labour. But this number fluctuates based on the doctor’s specific contract, specialty, and whether or not they are a trainee. The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) stipulates that a workweek must consist of 48 hours on average, in addition to additional rights concerning holiday and break allowance.

Q. Can an Indian become a doctor in the UK?

Ans. Doctors who have completed an internship and hold a approved main medical qualification from outside the UK may be entitled to apply immediately for full registration. Documentary proof must be submitted by a physician to bolster their application.

Q. How can I go to the UK after MBBS?

Ans. MRCP (Membership of the Royal College of Physicians) or MRCS (Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons) tests are two additional ways for an Indian MBBS graduate to pursue a postgraduate programme in the UK.

Q. Is MBBS in the UK expensive?

Ans. MBBS tuition in the UK varies according on the university and the student’s lifestyle. For Indian students, the cost of an MBBS programme in the UK ranges from 22,800 to 52,000 GBP annually. Tuition and other costs are included in this price. It is advised, therefore, to visit the university’s official website to review the specific cost schedule for the course.

Q. How much NEET score is required for MBBS in UK?

Ans. Indian students who want to pursue an MBBS in the UK require a NEET score of at least 50%. Student scores from the UKCAT, BMAT, GMSAT, and other exams can be submitted in addition to NEET.

Q. Can you go directly to medical school in the UK?

Ans. Applications are accepted for the majority of UK medical schools through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), a centralised admissions portal. However, a few universities do accept direct applications, such as the Universities of Brighton, Buckingham, Dundee, etc.

Q. What is the entrance exam for medical school in the UK?

Ans. The UCAT (previously UKCAT) is used by most medical schools. Candidates must register for it and take the UCAT before submitting a UCAS application. Usually, registration begins in May and ends in September.

Q. Is it quicker to become a doctor in the US or UK?

Ans. You can become a senior or fully qualified doctor or consultant in the USA in as little as four years, as opposed to at least ten years in the UK. Postgraduate training quality in the USA is recognised as being equal to the UK, but it is substantially shorter.

Q. How many years do doctors train in the UK?

Ans. It partially depends on your desired medical specialisation and your pre-medical school credentials. A general practitioner’s training programme, including medical school, takes about ten years, while a surgeon’s programme takes fourteen years.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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