How to become a doctor in the UK – 7 Steps

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Written By Dr Shane McKeown

To become a doctor in the UK in 2023, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Get into Medical School: UK medical schools typically create their own admissions criteria. Generally speaking, to be eligible for undergraduate entry into a medicine program, candidates will need a combination of GCSEs, AS levels, and A levels. Medical schools in the UK generally accept candidates who have high grades in science subjects3.
  2. Earn a Medical Degree: Before you become a doctor in the UK, you need to obtain a degree in medicine from a medical school recognized by the General Medical Council. This step usually involves 2 years doing pre-clinical work, followed by 2 to 3 years of clinical experience at a teaching hospital or in the community23.
  3. Obtain Licensure: If you have received a medical degree abroad and would like to work in the UK, you must first register with the General Medical Council (GMC). As part of this, you must pass certain exams and meet other requirements3.
  4. Foundation Programme (FP): After completing your medical degree, you will need to complete a two-year Foundation Programme (FP) in the UK. This programme is designed to provide you with the skills and experience you need to work as a doctor in the UK3.
  5. Specialisation: After completing the FP, you can choose to specialize in a particular area of medicine. This involves further training and exams3.

It is important to note that the road to becoming a medical doctor in the UK is lengthy and complex, and everyone’s journey is different. The length of medical programs in the UK varies from school to school, but students can expect to follow the general timeline outlined above2.

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