Becoming a doctor isn't an easy option, it takes years of study and hard work. As you learn the skills you need, you will also learn a great deal about yourself. If you like helping people there are few more rewarding or respected careers. You'll be part of a team of professionals and non-medical staff delivering care to the highest standards in the NHS.
Medicine is about helping people - treating illness, providing advice and reassurance, and seeing the effects of both ill health and good health from the patient's point of view. You have to examine the symptoms presented by a patient, and consider a range of possible diagnoses.
You must test your diagnosis, decide on the best course of treatment, and monitor progress. This demands an enquiring mind, the capacity to acquire and maintain high levels of knowledge which have to be constantly up-to-date, and the ability to relate to people as individuals, each with their own health needs.
If you have the passion to improve people's lives and the determination to reach the highest standards, you will have a wide range of career opportunities open to you. You can follow a path to one of many specialties, from working in a hospital as a surgeon to being based in the community as a GP. The training and support available to you in the NHS can help you get to the very top of your chosen career.
NHS Medical Careers can help refine your choices and decide what is best for you. This is especially important when moving from the foundation programme into specialty and GP training, which is set out by the Medical Specialty Training team's timetable.
Read some of our real life stories of doctors talking about their work.