Which medical profession is right for you?
No matter your skills or qualifications, there are a wide range of jobs available withinhealthcare – so whatever your credentials or background, there should be a role perfectly suited to you!
Entry qualifications vary depending on the type of role you’re going for. Some might require an undergraduate degree, while others might go one step further and require an additional training programme, or even a masters/doctorate.
Before you go into your desired field, you should check what the entry requirements are for degree courses and other training programmes.
A doctor is a medical practitioner who works across different specialties and fields. Some might choose to practice general medicine, while others might want to study a specific branch of medicine – this can include dermatology, radiology, orthopaedics,sports medicine, oncology, paediatrics, and many, many more.
It can take up to 10 years to train as a general practitioner, and many more years on top of that if you decide to specialise in a certain area.
Don’t fret if you’re unsure of what field you want to get into. You’ll have the opportunity to explore all the various fields during your medical training. Some of the main specialties are:
This covers any and all maladies that one might encounter in hospital. Roles range from general medicine to emergency. Doctors in the medical field tend to focus on different organs, diseases, and injuries.
Surgeons basically operate on the body, as well as address injuries and degenerative diseases where surgery might be required. Surgery is a huge area in itself, and boasts its own set of specialties, including neurosurgery, maxillofacial surgery, orthopaedic surgery, urology, and so on.
- General practice
General practitioners are the doctors in primary care who we speak with initially. They provide us with standard care, and are the ones who refer us to a specialist if necessary. They typically deal with acute and chronic illnesses, and also provide preventive care and health education to patients. They tend to have a wide berth of knowledge when it comes to diseases, and are the ones who will usually decide the best course of action.
- Paediatrics and child health
Paediatricians are primary care doctors who work exclusively with children. They diagnose and provide treatment for infants all the way up to adolescents and are experts in child growth, development and feeding.
- Obstetrics and gynaecology
Obstetrics and gynaecology pertains to the care and health of pregnant women, and their unborn child. OBGYNs are experts on the female reproductive system, and often have a wide range of sub-specialties such as materno-fetal medicine, gynaecologic oncology, gynaecological urology, reproductive medicine and community gynaecology. They provide advice and support to the mother at every stage, and assist in the health and development of the fetus.
Psychiatrists specialise in mental illness, and diagnose and treat psychological disorders. There are many sub-specialties including forensic psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, hospice and palliative medicine, and pain management.
To become a nurse you first must get a degree in pre-registration nursing. This means you’ll be registered on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), allowing you to practice. There are also no minimum academic entry requirements into nursing courses within the UK, so each higher education institution can set its own standards.
There are a wide range of roles in nursing, including district, practice, neonatal, andoccupational nurse, in addition to community matron and high intensity therapist.
Pre-registration nursing degrees are offered in four branches:
- Learning disability
- Mental health
Before you apply to a programme, you’ll need to decide which of the above areas you’d like to train for. That said, there are some universities that allow you to choose your specialty after having already started.
Some universities also offer the opportunity to specialise in multiple branches for your pre-registration course, as well as combining social work, children’s nursing, therapy, and more. It is highly advised that you get in touch with the university beforehand to see what your options are, and how much flexibility can be offered with your degree.
If you’re looking for your next role in health & social care, be sure to search our hundreds of listings featured here.