How Long Does It Take To Become a Doctor in the UK


How Long Does It Take To Become a Doctor in the UK?

Becoming a doctor is a noble and rewarding career choice that requires dedication, hard work, and a significant investment of time and effort. In the United Kingdom, the journey to becoming a doctor is a lengthy one, involving several years of education, training, and practical experience. This article aims to provide an overview of the process and answer some frequently asked questions about the timeline involved in becoming a doctor in the UK.

To become a doctor in the UK, one must complete a medical degree, which typically takes five to six years. This includes both theoretical learning and clinical placements. After obtaining a medical degree, graduates must complete a two-year foundation program, followed by specialty training, which can take an additional three to eight years, depending on the chosen specialty. Overall, it takes a minimum of ten years of study and training to become a fully qualified doctor in the UK.


1. How long does it take to complete a medical degree in the UK?
– A medical degree generally takes five to six years to complete.

2. What are the entry requirements for medical school in the UK?
– Entry requirements vary between universities, but most medical schools require excellent grades in science subjects at A-level or equivalent, along with a strong aptitude for problem-solving, communication skills, and a passion for medicine.

3. Do I need to complete a foundation program after medical school?
– Yes, after completing medical school, graduates must complete a two-year foundation program, which provides supervised practical training in various medical specialties.

See also  How Long Does It Take To Refill a Prescription

4. How long is the foundation program?
– The foundation program lasts for two years and is divided into two stages, each lasting one year.

5. Can I choose my specialty during the foundation program?
– The foundation program allows graduates to gain exposure to different specialties, but the final decision on which specialty to pursue is typically made during the specialty training period.

6. How long does specialty training take after the foundation program?
– Specialty training can take three to eight years, depending on the chosen specialty. Some specialties, such as general practice, have a shorter training period, while others, like surgery or neurology, require more years of training.

7. Is it possible to work as a doctor after completing the foundation program?
– Yes, after completing the foundation program, doctors are eligible to apply for general practice or other non-training posts. However, to progress in a chosen specialty, further specialty training is necessary.

8. Can international medical graduates work as doctors in the UK?
– Yes, international medical graduates can work in the UK, but they must meet specific requirements and pass relevant exams to obtain registration with the General Medical Council (GMC).

9. Are there any opportunities for specialization beyond specialty training?
– Yes, after completing specialty training, doctors can choose to pursue further sub-specialization through fellowships or additional training programs.

10. Can I work as a doctor in the UK with a foreign medical degree?
– Doctors with foreign medical degrees must go through a process called “GMC registration with a license to practice” to work in the UK. This involves demonstrating language proficiency and passing the necessary exams.

See also  When Will Doctor Induce Labor

11. Are there any accelerated programs available for medical degrees in the UK?
– Yes, some universities offer accelerated graduate entry programs for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. These programs typically last four years, including pre-clinical and clinical training.

In conclusion, becoming a doctor in the UK is a long and challenging journey that requires a significant investment of time and effort. From completing a medical degree to specialty training, the process can take a minimum of ten years. However, the rewards of a career in medicine are immeasurable, as doctors have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others and contribute to the advancement of healthcare.