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Training to become a doctor

Medical education comprises several related stages, which are:

  • Undergraduate medical education - a period of study at medical school (attached to a university) with clinical placements in hospital and community settings.
  • Foundation programme - a two-year period which all UK medical graduates must undertake before moving on to further training (although there are some options after foundation training to leave training and apply for a locally recruited post, such as a trust post). For further information on foundation training, please visit the Foundation Programme website.
  • Specialty,GP and run-through training - when doctors train to specialise in either general practice or a specialty. The length of and nature of the training will depend upon the career area/specialty in which the doctor wishes to work. Some specialties are "run-through" programmes, others begin with "core training". Further information on these models can be found on the Medical Specialty Training (England) website

An addition to these stages, doctors are expected to keep abreast of advances in their specialty through ongoing continuing professional development.