Wanting to become a doctor is a noble ambition. It’s a commitment to helping others and saving lives. Actually achieving that goal is a genuine achievement and the result of years of hard work and study. If you’re considering a career as a doctor, then you’ll need to prove you have what it takes.
While, being a doctor is more than just your academic accomplishments, they are necessary as competition is fierce.
There are hundreds of easier ways to use your knowledge and make money if that’s what you’re after. Doctor’s need to be compassionate individuals who are driven by a desire to help and to heal.
The work you’ll do as a doctor will on occasion literally save a person’s life. That drive to help others is what will keep you motivated throughout your training to become fully qualified.
There are many different areas of expertise and specialisms within the medical profession. And throughout your training, you’ll explore them all before choosing the area that’s right for you.
But before that, you’ll need to gain qualifications to get into university and begin your journey to becoming a doctor. And GCSEs would be the first step on that journey.
How to become a Doctor
Becoming a doctor requires extensive training and study.
There are many steps in the academic journey to becoming a doctor. This ensures that the nation’s leading healthcare professionals really are the cream of the crop.
You’ll need a degree in medicine which has been approved by the General Medical Council (GMC).
These courses usually last 5 years and will teach you the fundamental knowledge required in medical science and clinical training. You’ll need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check too.
Once your medical degree is completed you then move onto further study with a 2-year foundation programme.
The foundation programme will require you to work in a few different specialisms such as A&E, a GP surgery and maternity. Through this, you’ll be able to practice the theory learnt in the first part of your training.
Following on from your foundation programme is a further two years of core medical training. By this point you’ll decide whether you want to specialise in primary care (GP) or secondary care (hospital). And then you’ll take the Royal Colleges of Physicians exam.
Depending on what area you choose to specialise in could be a further four – six years training. You’ll be practising by this point under the supervision of senior doctors who will assess you continually.
Once speciality training is complete you’ll gain entry to either the GMC specialist register or GP register.
After all is complete you’re able to apply for more senior positions such as a consultant and GP principal roles.
Minimum requirements to become a Doctor
There are around 6,000 places every year onto medical degree courses with roughly 24,000 hopeful applicants. Because of the amount competition for entry to these courses universities can afford to set the bar high.
Universities will ask for a minimum of 5 GCSEs to support an application. Most commonly that would mean GCSE maths, English and the three sciences.
You’ll then need to achieve 3 A/A*’s at A Level to be in with a good shot of being accepted.
This is where GCSEs come into play as they can set you up for success. Achieving high grades in your GCSEs will not only prepare you for A Level study but can also make the difference as to whether you’re accepted or not.
Obviously, your A Level results will hold more weight but because the competition is so fierce, universities will review you entire academic record.
If a university has to make the decision between two students – both with 3 A* A Levels but one has 5 As at GCSE and the other has 5 A*s at GCSE, the decision has been all but made.
Barring an outstanding personal statement, some form of relevant experience, the candidate with the lower grades will likely lose out.
That’s why it’s important to aim for high grades across the board in all your studies, starting with your GCSEs. Remember there’s only a 25% chance of getting accepted. By getting high grades it gives them no reason to not make you one of the lucky ones.
Additional GCSEs to become a Doctor
As stated the minimum requirements for GCSE qualifications would be English, maths and the three sciences. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go above and beyond.
The more academic qualifications you’re able to accumulate the better chance you will have.
Broadening your knowledge through extra GCSEs will help bulk up your application and will also prove useful in future.
For example, taking a GCSE in psychology can help you understand human emotion and behaviours. This will help when navigating challenging situations as you’ll have a better understanding of the human mind.
Or GCSE English Language can improve your communication skills as well as your analytical and critical thinking skills.
As a doctor, you’ll be working alongside a vast range of health and social care professionals. As well as dealing with patients and families from all walks of life. So you must be able to effectively and considerately communicate with everyone.
Studying GCSEs from home
Studying a GCSE through an online learning provider gives you the flexibility to work around your current schedule.
You won’t have to rearrange shifts or find a baby sitter so you can attend class because there aren’t any. You are in complete control of when and where you study. So you’re able to relax and learn whenever suits you best.
Keep in mind that you’ll still need to take exams to complete your GCSE qualification. These are usually in May/June, so make sure to give yourself enough time to get through everything.
A dedicated tutor will support you through your learning. They’ll offer constructive feedback and any extra assistance where needed.
Studying from home enables you to engage with your studies in a way that works for you. Which means you’re more likely to do better as you’re in control.
Online GCSEs aren’t just copied from a textbook and uploaded online. Thought and planning go into making sure the content is relatable to an adult audience. So you should find the course speaks to you, not down to you.
Stonebridge Associated could help fill the gaps in your knowledge and help you become a Doctor.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers. Offering a broad range of GCSEs to suit your needs.
Completing your GCSEs can help you get one step closer to realising your ambitions.
Our courses are guided by an experienced and qualified tutor and have flexible payment options to help spread the cost.