FAQs about a career as a doctor

This page has some frequently asked questions about a career as a doctor.

What different types of doctor are there?

There are many different specialties, ranging from psychiatry, surgery, anaesthesia and pathology, through to radiology, general practice, obstetrics and gynaecology. Visit our explore roles section for further information.

How do I train to be a doctor?

The training is in three stages, medical school/university, foundation training and then specialty training.

Find out more about studying to be a doctor.

What qualifications do I need to become a doctor?

A range of qualifications may be acceptable for entry into medical school. However, each medical school sets its own requirements, so you must check before making any applications.

Find out more about studying to be a doctor.

Use our course finder to search for the medical schools/universities approved to run degree courses in medicine.

How long is the training to become a doctor?

It partly depends on the qualifications you have before going to medical school, and the type of doctor you want to be. For example as a guide, it'll take around 10 years to train as a GP (including medical school) and 14 years to train as a surgeon.

Find out more about the different roles for doctors.

When do I receive a salary as a doctor?

Have a look at our information about pay for doctors.

Is an Access course enough for medical school?

Some medical schools may accept specific Access to medicine courses, but you should always check with the medical school before embarking on an Access course.

You can get a list of medical schools approved to run degrees in medicine by using our course finder.

Is there financial help to support while I’m training to be a doctor?

You may be eligible to receive some financial support during your degree in medicine. More general information can be found on our financial support for medical and dental students page

Find more detailed information about the financial support available to medical students from the NHS Business Services Authority website

After medical school, you will usually be salaried during the foundation and specialty training stages.

Where can I find more information about a career as a doctor?

You can find more information about a career as a doctor by visiting our explore roles section

Can I train to be a doctor if I have a disability?

Having a disability will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a doctor, in fact your experiences can mean you can offer patients greater understanding. If you're thinking about applying for medical school via UCAS, it is a good idea to contact medical schools to ask for advice about your individual circumstances. The medical school should make reasonable adjustments but also consider the impact of a disability on your fitness to practise medicine.  The GMC has guidance about individuals with disabilities studying for and practising medicine, you can find out more here. And the BMA offers employment advice for its members: call 0300 123 1233 or email [email protected].

You may also wish to get in touch with the Disabled Doctors Network, an independent support network. 

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