What is a physician?
A physician, or doctor, is an individual who assists with diagnosing and treating medical illnesses, diseases, and injuries. During their day to day life, they examine patients, perform tests, and relay those test results to their patients. Within the field, physicians often have a preferred area, in which they are specialized.
How do I become one?
To become a physician as an undergraduate, your first step is to be accepted into medical school. You’ll want to have experience in mathematics and science, and be able to show this through your previous grades. You’ll also want to gain as much knowledge as possible by completing work at hospitals and physicians’ offices.
If you hold a degree that is related to a medical field, you can apply for graduate entry, which allows you to fast track through programs.
After medical school, you’ll be on your way to obtaining your medical license. In the UK, you will have to pass specific exams and register with the GMC (General Medical Council). After this, you’ll spend two years training in different specialty areas.
To become a general GP, you’ll be required to spend three years specialist training in an area that is approved by the GMC. If you want to work in a particular area, you may be required to complete a further 5-8 years of specialty training.
What skills do they require?
Do be a physician; you have to possess a variety of skills, including advanced communication, time-management, attention to detail, incredible memory, advanced listening, critical thinking, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. You’ll also want to know how to be empathetic but professional when speaking to patients and be able to organize your day to day activities.
What’s the difference between being an employee or an independent contractor?
If you’ve completed all your training, and are now a fully licensed physician, you may be asked to choose between working as an independent contractor or an employee when applying for a job.
Being an independent contractor means that you ultimately work for yourself while being an employee means your work directly with the company that hires you. You can learn more about being an employee or an independent contractor by clicking here.
And there you have it! This was a guide to becoming a physician in the UK. Although the process may be lengthy and require a large amount of studying, always remember the reason why you want to become a qualified physician. It can be considered one of the most rewarding jobs, and you genuinely get to help and connect with people.