Hospital doctor

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Hospital doctors diagnose and treat patients who have been admitted to hospital.
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What does a hospital doctor do?

Hospital doctors diagnose and treat patients who have been admitted to hospital. You could be working in a number of different specialities, including:

  • paediatrics – looking after sick and injured children
  • psychiatry – treating mental health problems
  • radiology – diagnosing illnesses and injuries using X-rays and other radiography equipment
  • obstetrics and gynaecology – looking after women who are pregnant and giving birth
  • emergency medicine – treating people who have been admitted to the accident and emergency department (A&E)
  • anaesthetics – pain treatment and anaesthetising people (putting people to sleep for operations)
  • medicine – a range of hospital specialities from sports medicine to dermatology (the treatment of skin conditions)
  • surgery – conducting operations

You’ll need excellent communication skills and an excellent bedside manner as you’ll be dealing with variety of patients.

Medicine is a highly competitive career choice and you’ll be expected to have top grades in order to get into medical school.


What do I need to do to become a hospital doctor?

To become a doctor you need to complete a five-year degree in medicine. Entry requirements vary, but to get on a medical degree you normally need at least five GCSEs at grades A* or A, including English and maths and at least grade B in science. You also need a minimum of three A levels at grades AAA or AAB in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject. If your medical degree is your second undergraduate degree, it will be four years long.

After completing a medical degree, you then need to complete two years of foundation training, followed by three to seven years of specialist training. The length of your training will depend on which speciality you have chosen. You will also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.


Related skills

  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Patience
  • People management
  • Time management
  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Administration
  • Analytics
  • Customer service
  • Discipline
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills

Academic route

  • Minimum of three A levels at grades AAA or AAB in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Religious studies

Essential qualifications

  • Medical degree
  • Two years of foundation training
  • Three to seven years of specialist training
  • DBS check

Desirable qualifications

  • A level biology
  • A level chemistry

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You will be working indoors in a hospital, and could be a self-employed consultant, or working for a small or large company.

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