In the United Kingdom, the process of becoming a doctor is not an easy one. A career as a doctor carries with it a high level of prestige and remuneration and as such, there is a strong demand every year for places to study Medicine at university.
Furthermore, since the job of being a doctor has an unusually high level of responsibility built into it, with the health and lives of the UK’s citizens being directly affected, the government has put in place a very stringent set of academic achievements which must be met to proceed in this field.
Getting Into A Medicine Course
The first step on the journey to becoming a doctor is to attain the required set of qualifications and extracurricular achievements needed to be accepted onto a Medicine course at a UK university. In England and Wales, this normally means achieving 3 A or A-star grades at A Level, with at least one of them being in Chemistry.
In Scotland, the minimum requirement for consideration is usually, AAAAB at Scottish Higher level, with at least one of those subjects being in Chemistry. All candidates are normally also required to have passed Biology at either GCSE or Standard Grade level.
Even though achieving the above grades is not an easy task, for many candidates who attain them there is still no guarantee of automatic acceptance onto a Medicine undergraduate course. All UK universities require potential Medical students to come in and be interviewed.
Given how crucial it is to only allow suitable people who have the required compassion, personality and professionalism to become doctors, this interview process is far more thorough than it is for almost other subjects. Sometimes extremely able and academically gifted applicants are declined by universities as the faculty do not think they would be appropriate for the unique role of being a doctor.
Another requirement to becoming a doctor is that you need to sit and pass the UKCAT test in your final year of high school. This is a specially designed test which has been created to cognitively rigorously test potential Medical school students to determine if they are up to the task of taking on this challenging yet rewarding profession as their career. Students need to register and then book a time to sit the test at the various locations where it is offered.
After successfully completing the steps above to actually get into a Medicine course, the next step is to follow through and successfully pass the 5 year course. Medicine is one of the most intensive and rigorous courses on any campus. It requires hard work and sacrifice. After graduation, the career as a doctor awaits!