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Become a Doctor

A doctor has one of the most challenging and demanding roles you could imagine. They will see people who have injuries and illnesses ranging from the minor to the more severe. They will also deal with patients over the course of many years in some cases, and thus play an important role in their health care.

Let’s find out more about what they do and how you can become one, if this is a career that appeals to you.

What does a doctor do?

The role of a doctor is a highly important one. A doctor will work in the community and treat their patients as well as providing preventative advice and support. They will treat and prescribe medicines for minor ailments and illnesses, as well as more severe ones. They will also refer patients to the hospital or to see specialists whenever necessary.

A doctor is also known as a general practitioner or GP for short. While a doctor is not a specialist in any particular area of medicine, they must be able to understand, identify and diagnose a range of conditions and illnesses. Thus the training is very long and involved.

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What training is required in order to become a doctor?

Before you can consider going for training as a doctor, you must possess the National Senior Certificate at level 5. Medical schools in South Africa expect you to have high scores in maths, English, physical sciences and also in life sciences. This stands to reason as you will need a high degree of knowledge in these areas.

You must then get into medical school and complete six years of training. This focuses on theory; following this you will have an internship for a year and then spend a year in the community. Beyond this you can choose to study to specialise in a particular area of medicine if you wish.

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What jobs are available for doctors in South Africa today?

There are many options open to you if you wish to become a South African doctor. Firstly you can work in the community as a GP, and there is also the option to become a locum, filling in for other doctors when they are not able to attend their surgeries.

You can also work in hospitals if you wish; indeed there are plenty of opportunities to specialise in other areas. This will require more training but it can open up opportunities to work in hospitals and more specialist areas. You may also see job openings to work in more unusual places, such as in hotels and such like. Anywhere you can think of that would require an on-site doctor at all times would be a likely place of possible employment in the future.

As you can see, the role of a doctor is a very involved one and one that is highly interesting and in depth as well. If you think you are cut out for it, make sure you have the required qualifications before aiming for medical school.

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