If you’re considering becoming a doctor in the UK as an international student but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place! In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about the process, including what to do, how to apply, and what support is available to you.
Why study to become a doctor in the UK?
Have you ever wondered if you should study medicine abroad? Studying medicine abroad can be extremely beneficial for your career in the long run as each country has a code of practice that aligns with different career goals. It’s worth doing your research to find out what benefits different countries can offer to you.
If you’re one of the thousands each year who want to come to the UK to study medicine, you’ll already know that the UK is well known for having an outstanding medical training reputation. UK medical degrees are widely recognised and respected around the world.
Studying medicine in the UK will give you the opportunity to experience working with the NHS, which will be invaluable to your development. The NHS is the world’s largest publicly funded health service, created so that everyone could receive good healthcare regardless of wealth.
Most UK medical degrees give their students the opportunity to begin practicing in a clinical placement right away, therefore providing you with ample practical experience over the course of your 5 or 6-year medical degree.
In addition to this, training in the UK increases your chances of obtaining a medical position in the UK afterward. The average UK doctor’s salary varies depending on the field you choose to specialise in but the UK offers an appealing salary for medical professionals.
Is it worth studying medicine abroad? Yes! Not only does it open more opportunities for you but it allows you to travel to a different part of the world and gain more life experience, learn new cultures, and meet new people.
How to become a UK doctor
International students make excellent doctors and we at The Future Medic are here to support you every step of the way. We’re here to tell you how to study medicine abroad, the steps you need to take, and what we can do to help you get accepted onto your chosen course at the right medical university for you.
Make a plan
The first step is to make a plan and find out what you need to do to move to a different country for medical studies. For example, you may need a student visa so make sure you know what the requirements are and that you can meet those requirements.
Secondly, find out what you need to do in order to get into medical school. For example, international students can only study medicine in the USA if they have graduated, so many students choose to pass their degrees in their home country before moving to study abroad and specialise in a certain area. To study in the UK, students are expected to have completed their A-levels, International Baccalaureate or equivalent.
Medical school in the UK is very competitive, and even more so for international students so it is vital that you achieve top results in your A-levels or IB to be considered.
Research your options
Next, find out which are the best UK medical universities, particularly ones that have a good reputation for accepting and accommodating international students. Top UK universities include Cambridge, Oxford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Bristol, amongst many others. All of which require top grades and an excellent application to be considered.
In addition, studying medicine in a different country isn’t only academically advantageous but it can be a great way to travel and explore a different part of the world and meet new people. Not only should you consider what university you would like to attend but what the city is like that you have chosen.
Do you want to be in the capital city of England to explore Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben or would you prefer to be in a more rural area in Scotland or Wales? There are plenty of excellent universities and great cities to choose from across the UK.
Get work experience
One of the most important things you can do to enhance your chances of studying medicine in the UK as an international student is to get work experience within the medical field. Some prospective students find it valuable to shadow a clinician but any work with the public or in a medical setting would be accepted.
Volunteering with children or the elderly is a good start, sports clubs or part-time customer service based jobs may not be medically related but it shows you have experience in dealing with the public and that you have taken initiative.
Prepare your application
Once you understand the requirements to study in the UK as an international student and you have chosen 3 or 4 universities that you’d like to apply to, it’s time to focus on your application. Applications for universities in the UK go through UCAS and these open in May of the year you wish to study.
As part of your application, you will demonstrate the grades you received from your A-Levels or equivalent, and if you’re waiting on results you may be asked to provide predicted grades and this will result in a conditional offer pending results. You will need to prepare a personal statement, take the UCAT exam, and if you’re successful in getting noticed, you will be invited for an interview, which you will need to prepare for.
A personal statement will form part of your application and provide the universities you’re applying to additional information about yourself. Your personal statement should be well-written and include certain elements in order to get noticed.
In your personal statement you will need to include:
- A strong opening and introduction
- Reasons why you want to study medicine and why you have chosen that particular university
- Your experience and personal attributes that make you suitable for a career in medicine
- Your aspirations and hope for the future, such as specialisms you would like to focus on
- A strong conclusion and final statement.
UCAT is a test that many UK universities require as part of your application. Despite what many think, the UCAT doesn’t test scientific knowledge but rather the skills and attributes needed to study medicine and become a doctor. The UCAT is designed to be challenging and we recommend preparing for the test at least 3 months in advance, but most students start even easier.
The test will be unlike any other test you have taken before. The test is made up of 5 sub-sections, these include:
- Verbal reasoning
- Decision making
- Quantitative reasoning
- Abstract reasoning
- Situational judgement.
If you manage to put together a strong application and get noticed by the admissions board, you will be invited for an interview. You will need to prepare for your interview in advance by making yourself familiar with the most common interview questions, to make sure your answers are strong.
The Future Medic: Specialists in International Students
We know this information may all seem overwhelming. It isn’t easy getting into medical school in the UK, in fact international students have a success rate of between 5% to 10%, but with our help those figures increase dramatically.
The Future Medic: how we can help. We have helped thousands of students get into their chosen medical school and we specialise in helping international students. We are here to support you through your whole application process, from your personal statement to coaching you through the UCAT exam as well as interview preparation.
We know that English is likely to be your second language, so we also help to support you through the language barriers. So, how can an international student become a doctor in the UK? With the support of our experienced and highly-trained doctors at The Future Medic!