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What is a Doctor?

A Doctor is someone who maintains or restores human health both physical and mental through the practice of medicine. He or she will diagnose and treat human disease, ailments, injuries, pain or other conditions. They focus on the patient, promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments.

Is a Doctor the right career for me?

After qualifying there are many diverse career opportunities for doctors from working with patients in a number of specialisms to working in laboratories or undertaking research.

A Doctor needs to have:

  • Good communication skills
  • A concern and an interest in people
  • Ability to work with others
  • An enquiring mind
  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • The ability to handle pressure and make decisions
  • Determination

What do Doctors do?

Doctor's tasks vary considerably by specialty, but they typically:

  • Assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, ranging from common problems to more acute situations including mental health conditions
  • Interpret results from diagnostic tests
  • Prescribe and administer treatment to people who are ill
  • Provide follow-up care of patients, referrals and laboratory results
  • Work with other healthcare professionals to the benefit of patients and their families

Where do Doctors work?

Doctors have the opportunity to work in a number of settings, including:

  • Hospitals - wards, accident + emergency and laboratories
  • GP practices
  • Community
  • Armed forces

How much do Doctors earn?

Please see our Pay and Benefits section for more information.

What career progression opportunities are available for doctors?

Once you have qualified and gained some clinical experience there are a number of training options available including:

  • Consultant in a specialty*
  • GP
  • Academic medicine

*There are a wide range of medical specialties which are split into the following categories:

How do I become Doctor?

Do I need a degree?

Yes, If you want to work as a Doctor you will need to complete a General Medical Council (GMC) approved degree.

Where can I train in Wales?

Cardiff and Swansea University.
Is there funding available? Yes, for further information about available funding and eligibility please visit Student-Services.

How do I get experience?

To find out about work experience and volunteering opportunities in NHS Wales visit our Work section.

How do I apply for a job? Vacancies for NHS Wales are advertised on NHS Jobs; visit our Work section for more information.

Useful links:

Becoming a Doctor

Studying Medicine


Medicine Career Advice