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How to become a Doctor

avg. starting salary

Are you fascinated by healthcare? Do you love the idea of helping people each and every day of your career? Then why not become a doctor? Medicine remains one of the most popular job choices for students in the UK and it's easy to see why - it's fulfilling, varied and offers the chance for plenty of progression. There is also a wide scope for specialisation, with doctors able to practise in the community, in hospitals and in research facilities. For the purposes of this article, we'll concentrate on general practitioners (GPs). Day-to-day tasks will vary, but a GP's role will typically be to:
  • Respond to medical queries presented by patients in appointments
  • Investigate possible causes of illnesses
  • Prescribe medication or refer the patient to a specialist if necessary
  • Develop individual treatment plans for patients with long-term illnesses
  • Liaise with other medical professionals to provide the best possible service at the practice
  • Keep on top of paperwork that arises as a result of each case and new legal developments

First of all, let's ascertain that this job isn't for you if you hate studying and looking at potentially revolting body parts, because you'll undoubtedly end up doing a lot of both as a doctor. However, if you love a challenge, possess an enquiring mind and pride yourself on your interpersonal skills, then this may be your ideal career. A good Doctor should be:
  • Passionate about medicine
  • Determined
  • Compassionate
  • Willing to persevere with difficult cases
  • Excellent at communication
  • Trustworthy
  • Good at making decisions under pressure

"Being a GP can be hard. It involves working long hours and trying to get to the bottom of a lot of difficult cases - not to mention the paperwork. But I still get a warm glow inside when a patient thanks me for helping them through an illness, or a young mum's face shows utter relief when I tell her I can make her baby better. Add to this the fact that I'm always learning, and you'll see why I wouldn't want to do anything else."

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