The Hippocratic oath, to ‘do no harm’, was first developed in ancient Greece, associated with the physician Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’. It is still taken in a revised form by modern-day medical practitioners, underlining the ancient roots of medical practice. Throughout history, the medical vocation has provided a unique opportunity to devote a career to the lives and health of others. Developments in medicine can have a huge impact on countless lives: the careers of figures such as Joseph Lister (1827–1912), who drove the use of antiseptics in surgery, or Dr Robert Grant, who more recently led research into preventative treatment for HIV, are a testament to this.
A career in medicine combines a role of patient care with scientific and problem-solving thinking. Practitioners have spoken about the unique rewards of helping people at their most vulnerable and trying times (see for example Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery (2014)). Yet it is also a practice that can pose distinct intellectual challenges, as recorded in accounts such as Lisa Sanders’ Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries (2019). Healthcare is a sector at the forefront of new technologies and their practical application: recent years, for instance, are seeing the fast development of surgical robotics, and the application of genome editing technologies for treatment. This variety of applications, driving intellectual endeavour and personal empathy, can make a career in medicine immensely rewarding.
What will you study?
Medical students are taught by a combination of lecture teaching and clinical years. The degree usually lasts five or six years for undergraduates, and four years for graduate entry. There is sometimes an option to intercalate for another year of related study in five-year medical courses, in order to develop a breadth of skills and experience. Examples of courses you might study include:
- medical ethics
- genetics, development and cancer
- medical anthropology
- human reproduction
- molecules in medical science
- clinical practice
The structure of the course varies between different universities, so it is worth going to individual course pages to find out what kind of teaching you feel is right for you. All of them will include plenty of contact hours and time on placement in clinics.
What can you do?
Medical graduates have a wealth of opportunities once qualified. The variety of specialisms for practising doctors is vast: you could become a General Practitioner (GP), paediatrician, gynaecologist, surgeon, psychiatrist, anaesthetist, or radiologist among many other choices. Although the degree is specifically designed for the vocational practice of medicine, it also provides a scientific grounding that could be translated to a career in areas such as scientific research, public health, health journalism, teaching, NHS management, or medical relief work.
GCSE, A-level and Degree-level tutoring
The odds of getting a place at a top-ranking British university to read Medicine can be as low as 10%. Therefore, it is crucial that prospective undergraduates seeking to read Medicine get the right support and encouragement at the right time.
Mayfair Consultants offers private tuition for students studying Medicine or preparing to take medical aptitude tests such as the UCAT, BMAT & GAMSAT. We will help with medical applications both in the UK (UCAS), USA & other countries. We also guide the student through medical interviews, suggest suitable work experience, internships and placement options as well. If you are studying for undergraduate Medical exams, or for advanced qualifications, our tutors can also assist. We further offer private tuition for younger students with a budding interest in Science or Medicine, including those studying natural sciences at GCSE, AS and A-Level. Many of our fully-qualified tutors have direct experience of the medical sector and hold advanced postgraduate degrees (Master’s and PhD).
If you’d like arrange private lessons or have any questions about our tuition services please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.
NHS Medical School Guidance https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/doctors/applying-medical-school/medical-school-courses
Medical School Entry Guidance from the Medical Schools Council https://www.medschools.ac.uk/studying-medicine/making-an-application/entry-requirements
British Medical association https://www.bma.org.uk/
Royal College of Surgeons of England https://www.rcseng.ac.uk
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh https://www.rcsed.ac.uk
Royal Academy of Medical Sciences https://acmedsci.ac.uk
Royal Society https://royalsociety.org
Royal College of GPs https://www.rcgp.org.uk
https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/becoming-a-doctor-in-the-uk – General Medical Council (GMC) , advice on qualifying in the UK
https://www.medschools.ac.uk/studying-medicine/outreach-and-support/resources-for-teachers-and-students – Medical Schools Council resources for medical school applicants, includes guides to routes into medicine, A-Z list of UK medical schools and more
https://msf.org.uk/ – Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), in international humanitarian organisation focused on medical care
https://wellcome.org/ – The Wellcome Trust, charitable foundation funding medical research, includes news on recent medical research
https://www.rsm.ac.uk/ – the Royal Society of Medicine
https://www.ucas.com/explore/subjects/medicine-and-allied-subjects – UCAS page on the study of medical and allied subjects
https://www.ukri.org/councils/mrc/ – the Medical Research Counsel’s page, including articles on the latest cutting-edge medical research
https://www.themedicportal.com/application-guide/choosing-a-medical-school/comparisontool/ – The Medic Portal comparison tool for different medical schools
https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/subjects/medicine – The Uni Guide page on medicine, includes information on different University’s courses, and student testimonials
https://home.onlinemeded.org/ – OnlineMedEd free video resources for medical students
https://litfl.com/ – Life in the Fast Lane, resources on emergency medicine for students and practising doctors, includes a blog and several podcasts series
https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/introb.html – Neuroscience for Kids, platform for students and teachers about the science of the nervous system, its history and its modern developments
http://www.ministryofethics.co.uk/ – Ministry of Ethics page information about medical ethics
https://www.bartleby.com/107/ – online revised edition of Henry Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body (1918)
http://www.freebookcentre.net/medical_text_books_journals/medical_text_books_online.html – Free Book Centre, includes free online editions of medical books