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STUDY ABROAD : Career Prospects - Must read

Top 10 benefits of becoming a doctor

Why is medicine such a popular course for international students? We look into the top benefits of following this career path and becoming a doctor.

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Being a doctor is one of the most sought after and well-respected professions and, while it’s highly competitive, it is arguably worth the commitment. If you have an aptitude for science and a desire to care for others, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to explore why so many students around the world decide to pursue medicine, focusing solely on the benefits of becoming a doctor.


How to become a doctor


In countries like the UK and Australia, you can study medicine as an undergraduate degree at university. This typically takes between five and six years to complete. However, in Canada and the USA, medicine must be studied as a graduate degree at a specific medical school. You will first need to complete four years of pre-med at the undergraduate level.


There may be additional requirements for each of these countries when applying to study medicine such as passing the MCAT or GAMSAT tests, depending on the destination. Before you start to fret about admission tests, here are the top ten reasons for becoming a doctor to help your research:


1. High salaries


One particularly attractive element of becoming a doctor is the salary. Although junior doctors may not immediately see a financial benefit, consultants and general practitioners can earn three-figure salaries with experience. While medicine requires a lot of dedication and years of studying, you’ll be rewarded with your earnings and quality of life.


These are the average salaries for doctors in the UK, Canada and Australia:


  • (UK) Foundation training with the National Health System (NHS) – GBP 28,243 to GBP 32,691

  • (UK) Consultants – GBP 79,860  to GBP 107,668

  • (Canada) Starting positions – CAD 35,100

  • (Canada) Experienced/senior positions – CAD 250,000

  • (Australia) Starting positions – AUD 45,000

  • (Australia) Resident doctor AUD 60,000 to AUD 80,000


2. High graduate employment rate


In the UK, 99 per cent of medicine graduates find employment within six months of graduating (What Do Graduates Do? 18/19). That is an extremely high employment rate compared to other degrees. As the job market can be competitive, a degree in medicine is a safe, vocational option as medical practitioners are always in need.


Check out some of the top institutions in the UK at which to study medicine:




3. Opportunities for travel


While you may not have the option to choose exactly which town or city to practice medicine in, you are usually given the option of ranking your most desirable locations.


If you want to travel and work, you could use your skills and knowledge to help people in less developed countries where resources and supplies are limited. This would enable you to experience new cultures, while still caring for others and developing your experience.


Although a doctor’s routine is generally pretty busy, you do still have the option of exploring the world on the job. For example, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) is an international humanitarian organisation that employs doctors and dispatches them in more than 60 countries around the world.

Doctors are needed all over the world, meaning there is always somewhere that you can go and use your much-needed skills.


4. Positive impact


Improving the lives of patients can be hugely rewarding and satisfying. As a doctor, you get to see the direct impact of your work and how this benefits others. Although you won’t always see the results you hoped for, the work of doctors is highly valued in society.


5. Job security


In addition to a high graduate employment rate, doctors also rarely struggle to hold onto their jobs. Unlike other professions where employees might worry about staying relevant, doctors often don’t face this challenge. People will always grow old and get sick which means constant work for doctors and other medical staff.


6. Continual learning


New methods and breakthroughs are uncovered all the time within the medical field. This means continual learning and the opportunity to develop your existing knowledge as a doctor. If you study medicine at university, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy and relish this opportunity to expand your mind. 


7. Earn trust and respect


As a doctor, you are in a position of authority when at work and people will trust your opinions and respect your decisions. This leads to feeling fulfilled and confident in your abilities, knowing that you can have a positive influence on current ways of working or with particular patients.


8. Stimulating work


While it does depend on which area of medicine you choose to specialise in, doctors tend to find their days full of engaging and interesting cases. Although shifts are long, the work tends to be varied and often unpredictable, particularly in the field of emergency medicine. There are so many different conditions, symptoms and medicines to consider which means staying focused and making decisions in sometimes stressful environments. Put it this way, you’ll never be bored.


Check out our comprehensive guide to health and medicine degrees.


9. Career progression


The great thing about studying medicine is that it opens many doors. If you try being a GP or physician for a while and decide it’s not for you, your qualifications will enable you to try out different fields. For example, you might be interested in applying your knowledge and experience to other professions such as midwifery, public health, clinical research or public policy. These types of roles would benefit from a doctor’s insights.


10. Unique experiences


Being a doctor and helping those in need can be daunting but you can also gain many wonderful experiences. For example, the feeling of saving someone’s life or receiving gratitude from family members because you helped their relative. Not everyone will get to experience that incredible feeling and it can happen on a daily basis.

Now that you’re feeling inspired to study medicine, start searching for courses, universities and destinations with our handy course matcher tool.

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