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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Studying Health and Medicine abroad

Why should you study Health and Medicine abroad? Learn everything you need to know about one of the most popular fields for international students to study...

Studying Health and Medicine abroad

What is health and medicine?

Health and medicine refers to the field of diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of ailments and conditions which affect and harm our health and wellbeing.


Why study health and medicine?

Studying an area like health and medicine which helps others when they’re at their weakest and most vulnerable is an incredibly respected and sought-after profession. Knowing at the end of a day that you’ve improved the quality of life for various individuals is a wonderful thing. While not every scenario works out happily, those that do can affirm your belief in humanity and life itself.


The human body is the same wherever you go and (unfortunately) everyone gets sick, so those in the medical profession are always in demand, all around the world. This provides great flexibility as to where your career can take you; plus, you’re safe in the knowledge that wherever life takes you, you can find a job. Individuals have the opportunity to move abroad to practice as well as pursue charitable endeavours such as ‘Doctors Without Borders’ to enrich their lives as well as the lives of countless others who they treat.


The human body is a complex system made up of many different organs, bones and processes. So, in addition to working in the general field, you can find a focus as a specialist in a particular area such as Cardiology. This can be an area which really interests you or one you have prior experience dealing with, and around which you can build a fulfilling career.


Some roles like doctors and surgeons can pay very, very well, particularly if you move into private practice or you become head of a department at a hospital. It’s common for many doctors and dentists to be earning six figures before they retire.


Who would be good at studying health and medicine?

Those with a desire to make a real difference in actual lives will find their calling in the health and medicine field. Similarly, because they are likely to engage with individuals when they are at their lowest, a gentle and kind demeanour is important. Treating a condition and treating a patient are two very different things; with the former, you can learn everything you need from a book while the latter requires honing your interpersonal skills to bring comfort and reassurance to a patient when they are scared, anxious or have many questions.


There is a vast amount of knowledge to learn and retain as part of a health and medicine course. Therefore, you’ll be required to study extremely hard throughout your course in order to pass the necessary assignments and exams – you’ll be treating real people who’ll be putting their lives in your hands so you can’t make a mistake which means knowing your stuff!


However, you need to be able to apply this knowledge in real world scenarios which are likely to occur. Therefore, the practical skills to apply what you know are as important as the theoretical knowledge you retain (especially if you’re a surgeon or in a role where you provide practical treatment). Proving capable under pressure is vital if you plan to work in an area where emergency treatment is required at a moment’s notice, especially when every second counts or with mitigating circumstances.


Those in the health and medicine field are often required to work long hours which are far from conventional. Many can be ‘on call’ which might require dropping everything to see to an emergency or if there is a lack of staff. Therefore, juggling a personal life with work can be very difficult, especially in the first few years of your career. This is something which students should consider before pursuing a particular path.


What is the criteria for studying a health and medicine course?

Usually a high school qualification in biology will benefit those who wish to pursue a health and medicine qualification. Depending on the university you’re applying to, you may be required to sit an admissions test which is specifically for medicine applicants such as the BMAT or UKCAT.


You should always check the entry requirements for a course with the university themselves.


What specific courses can I study?


What can you do with a health and medicine qualification?

This depends on the course you study. Based on the courses listed above, here are a few possible career options in the health and medicine field, all of which are highly respected:


  • Doctor
  • Surgeon
  • Consultant
  • Physiotherapist
  • Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Nutritionist
  • Pharmacist
  • Psychologist

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About Author

Studying Health and Medicine abroad

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.