how to become a doctor

How to become a doctor- Before medical school

The question of how to become a doctor on the face of it seems fairly simplistic. This however is where things get tricky. If you’re in the UK, then you’ll need to get at least 5 A’s in your A levels, or at least 5 A’s in your Highers if you’re in Scotland. The next step for students in the UK is to undertake the UKCAT test. This test itself is rather in-depth and rather than speak about it here, we’ve set aside a separate page for it which you can find by clicking here. We should warn you that Googling ‘how to become a doctor’ will give you a lot of pretty awful results. However we feel our approach is the best.

 

If you’re outside of the UK, you’ll still need to be at the top of your class, and get as many A’s as possible in your final exams at school. In the case of those from the USA, before entering medical school, you’ll need to spend some time at college taking the relevant classes that will be the foundation for your medical school career. You’ll also need to undertake the MCAT test.

One thing to note is that entering into medicine is one of the most competitive courses you can apply for. Whilst many students will only apply for one or two Universities to attend, we strongly recommend that you apply for as many as possible, depending on the country you’ll be studying in. In the UK, the maximum number of medical schools you can apply for is six, and the USA it is ten. By not applying for the maximum number of courses you are strongly diluting your chances of having a career in medicine. During your time as a doctor you’ll be expected to travel around the country anyway to supplement your learning to secure a job.

By being flexible to move across the country at an early age, you’ll be much more likely to move later on in your career to secure your dream job. It’ll also look good during your interview for medical school that you’re flexible to travelling further afield. We’ve included some things that you may encounter during your interview and it can be found here. At this point, you should be starting to get a grasp of the commitments needed when you’re wondering about how to become a doctor.

 

How to become a doctor-during medical school

After you’ve passed the relevant exams, you’re then going to have to attend medical school itself. This alone is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face since the evolving nature of medicine means that what you learn one day might be superseded by a new theory or approach a few weeks later. We’ve included a list of literature that will aid you during medical school which can be found here. During this time, your time is going to be severely stretched between the time spent in lectures, the time spent in the library, your social commitments and also any part time jobs that you may have. For those that are lucky enough to have come from a privileged background, we would recommend that you don’t actively take on employment during your time at medical school.

 

One thing you have in your favour though when you’re becoming a doctor is that you’ll have a wide support group around you. Not only will your parents be there behind you (it’s an added bonus if they’re doctors as well since they’ll have went through this ordeal previously), but you’ll also have a wide network of staff members, not only in the faculty where you are studying, but also in the hospital that you will spend some time in as part of a placement. Bear and mind that you’ve also got one more group that you can call on for support; the other students that are wondering how become a doctor. They are in effect your biggest safety net since they’re in the exact same position as you.

Due to this, we highly recommend that you seek support from your classmates whenever necessary as well as giving out the proper support when they require it. This could even be in the form of study groups a few times as week to strengthen not only your team work skills, but also the fact that it’ll help to iron out any knowledge issues you may have. We should note that at all times, try and maintain the required skills to be a doctor which can be found here.

Remember that whilst you’re on your quest of how to become a doctor, this team bonding with other students can aid you in finding a job thereafter. By being actively interested in others and doing a small amount of volunteer work you’ll be aiding your career in the long term. Whilst we did mention that having a part time job can be detrimental, it would be of use to speak to your course leader about seeing more of the hospital. This will allow you to see procedures before your class mates and will put you in good stead when it comes to receiving a reference. No other site gives this handy titbit when talking about how to become a doctor.

How to become a doctor after-medical school

So, you’ve finally graduated from medical school and you’re well on your way to becoming a doctor. Whilst some medical faculties may have a program involved where you will be moved into a job, in many instances you’ll have to look for and apply for a job on your own. This in itself is a challenge since there just isn’t enough positions available to accommodate the number of fresh medical graduates that are wanting to become a doctor. At this point you may feel that you know now how to become a doctor.

In this situation, you’re really going to have to bring your ‘A’ game to make sure you impress the interview panel before they see your (through your application form), and also during the interview proper. It is crucial that you in your application form you accentuate the positives and hide the negatives to really make yourself shine. At this point, leave the panel wanting to know more about you insofar as they actually give you an interview. Here, you need to dangling a carrot in front of their head with a stick. Just give them enough information so that they go ‘yep, we want to interview this doctor’ and then when you arrive at the interview lay¬† it all on the line to them and show off your abilities without being over-confident, making it clear that you know how to become a doctor. Remember, you’re at the interview to sell yourself and not to massage your own ego and sound like an egotistical nightmare. It would be beneficial to remember the skills you have used during your years of medical school to become a doctor.

Once you secure your dream job as a doctor, you’ll then have the ability to specialise in a certain field, be it cardiology, orthopaedics, dermatology, psychology etc. It’s not uncommon for qualified doctors to now carry on and undertake a PhD so that they can further progress in their career and carry out clinical trials and research studies. Similarly, many doctors are now opting to undertake a Masters degree in Clinical Pharmacology and also in Genetics.

Further, if you live in the United Kingdom you’ll need to register as a doctor with the General Medical Council. This is a regulatory body that keeps a record of all registered doctors and ensures that they are keeping up to date with their fitness to practise. If you’re in the USA, you’ll need to undertake a final exam to get your license to practise as a physician. As with the GMC, this is heavily regulated but in this instance it is controlled by the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners. This test is the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

 

How to become a doctor- Finished!

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