A day as a general practice doctor

You work in your local GP surgery, starting at 8am. You have patient appointments booked throughout the day, and your first is with a woman who's suffering from raised blood pressure. After finding out as much as you can about her and her illness, you take blood samples and send them off for analysis. Next, you see a man with persistent headaches, that you diagnose as migraine, and write a prescription for medication to prevent these attacks happening. After completing your morning surgery, you check phone messages and arrange for the surgery secretary to make consultations with a specialist for two of your patients. In the afternoon you make an emergency home-visit to an elderly patient who is having chest pains. You suspect a heart attack and call an ambulance to take the patient to hospital. It's very rewarding helping local people stay fit and healthy, and you really feel part of the community.

Real-life stories

Michael Wan

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Does this sound like you?

You're responsible, reliable and like being part of a team. You have excellent communication skills, can make quick decisions and are genuinely interested in helping others.

What's next after GCSE?

You're likely to need around nine high grade 9-6 (A*-B) GCSE grades (or the equivalent), preferably including a science subject, and be all set to take three AS/A levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need to apply for a GMC-recognised degree in medicine at university. Getting three good A level grades (or equivalent level 3 qualifications) is really important, as medicine is a very competitive area. It's important to check different university entry requirements as these vary between institutions. After university, you'll need to do further general and specialist training to work as a doctor in general practice.