July 31st, 2012
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As you can imagine, training to be a doctor is not done in five minutes. There is a lot to learn and you can expect to go through many years of training before you can properly call yourself a qualified doctor.
So let’s find out what you can expect.
Can anyone get into medical school and go through doctor training?
No – you must first display a good knowledge of some important topics, including maths, English, and physical sciences. Life sciences will also help you, so make sure you have a National Senior Certificate that is up to the required standards.
However with that said, it is worth noting that competition to get into medical school is high. This means the schools are able to choose only the very best candidates to complete medical training. So there may be situations when people have the National Senior Certificate that is required, but other people have higher pass marks than them. This could mean they aren’t chosen even though they have the certificate.
How long does the degree course last for?
You will have to devote six years to your degree. This focuses mainly on theory work so you have the basis on which to develop a strong career. However this is not where the learning experience ends, as you will see. There are two more years to complete after the course ends, so there is a lot more yet to come.
What happens after you have gone through the degree course?
The next stage is to complete one year as a student on an internship. This will help develop what you have learned thus far, and help to develop you as a person who will become a doctor in the community.
After this you will then need to work in the community for another year, further developing your skills and allowing you to use them to help ready you for your time as a doctor.
When you have completed these seven years, what happens next?
You must then register with the HPCSA. This stands for the Health Professionals Council of South Africa. It is only upon registration that you will be able to work as a doctor and apply for any doctor vacancies you find.
This is where the bulk of the training ends for those who want to become GPs. However there are many more specialised areas you could consider going into, each of which would require further training before you can enter into that area. You would typically have to train for approximately four years in order to become a specialist in your chosen area.
As you can see this is a career that involves many years of training before you can fill even the role of a general practitioner. It should come as no surprise to learn that much more training is required in order to fill any other roles. If you want to become a doctor you have a lot to learn, but you can also be very well rewarded for your efforts.