Hospital doctor

A hospital doctor diagnoses and treats illness and disease in patients admitted to hospital.

Average salary (a year)

£38,000 Starter


£103,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 48 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a Hospital doctor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You'll need to complete:

  • a 5 year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • a 2 year foundation course of general training
  • a 2 to 3 year core medical training (CMT) or Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS)
  • 4 to 7 years of specialist training, depending on your chosen area of medicine

Each university sets its own entry requirements.

If you don't have qualifications in science, you may be able to join a 6 year degree course in medicine. This includes a 1 year pre-medical or foundation year.

If you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum 2:1) you could take a 4 year graduate entry programme into medicine.

When you apply for a course in medicine, you may be asked to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you'll need on the course like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels at grade A in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject
  • 7 GCSEs, including sciences, with 5 subjects at grades 9 to 7 (A* or A) and English and maths at least grade 6 to 5 (B)

More information

Volunteering and experience

Medical schools expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The British Medical Association (BMA) has information on finding a placement.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a doctor and studying medicine from the British Medical Association and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of English language
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You'll examine, diagnose and treat patients. You'll specialise in a particular area like:

  • surgery - caring for patients before, during and after an operation
  • medicine - treating general medical conditions and working in specialisms like cardiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, geriatrics and neurology
  • paediatrics - managing health conditions that affect babies, children and young people
  • pathology - investigating the cause of disease and the effect on patients
  • psychiatry - working with patients experiencing mental health problems like depression, anxiety, personality disorders and addiction
  • anaesthesia – giving anaesthetics for surgery and medical procedures
  • obstetrics and gynaecology - caring for pregnant women and their unborn children
  • oncology – treating patients with cancer

Depending on your role you might also:

  • lead a team of medical staff
  • manage a department
  • teach and supervise trainee doctors
  • write reports and keep GPs informed about the diagnosis and care of their patients

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience, you may go on to lead a team or manage a department.

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior (or consultant) roles.

You may also progress to teaching and training students, trainee doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Hospital doctor right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Science Level 3

  • Provider: Kensington and Chelsea College
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: London

Pre-Access to Science & Nursing

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: King's Lynn

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