Become a Doctor

We understand how confused and anxious students can be as they consider a career in medicine. Right now, you’re probably being swamped with well-intentioned advice and overwhelmed by detailed resources. Sometimes the best place to start is a simple, linear path that provides all the key checkpoints.

Let’s focus on the major decisions and events, so you can manage your time and resources, always ensuring you have the best preparation for each stage of the journey.

As parents, we understand how anxious you must be. The UCAT exam, university applications and interview process put students and parents under enormous pressure. MedEntry’s goal is to remove that pressure by preparing students and parents.

You can help your son or daughter through this process in many ways. The information on this page will help you cut through the jargon to quickly gain an understanding of a doctor’s typical career path. Once you’re confident with the basics of medical entry, we welcome you to access our Free Resources and learn how MedEntry guides students to a successful career in medicine.

Steps to becoming a doctor

Choose the right subjects

In addition to your academic score, UCAT score and university interviews, some medical schools require (or ‘highly recommend’) studying specific subjects at sixth form. Every university has its own set of requirements, so you’ll need to thoroughly read and understand the admissions guidelines.

Every university expects at least a grade B or 6 in English Language and Mathematics at GCSE. While no set rule applies for A levels/Highers/IB, you can expect most universities to require a science based A level at grade ‘A’ or above.

MedEntry publishes the basic admissions guidelines of most UK universities.

Read about the prerequisites for medicine & dentistry

Learn about the career

Is medicine right for you? If you're reading this, you probably already have the ability to score well in exams and gain admission to a medical school. But before you make one of the most important decisions of your life, you need to have a realistic idea of what to expect.


The entry criteria for medicine are designed to ensure students possess the right qualities. Your academic score will measure your academic abilities and proficiency in core subjects. The UCAT tests cognitive and emotional reasoning skills, as well as your ability to perform under extreme pressure. Interviews assess your ability to demonstrate the NHS values: working together for patients, respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, improving lives and everyone counts. These are all skills that doctors require.


Few people succeed in any career without passion. Yes, medicine is an incredibly interesting subject to study, but you also need a genuine interest. There’s no better way to develop your passion than to research the careers of medical practitioners and read about their journey. Our own Head of Education, Dr Ray Boyapati shares some of his experiences and passion in our free Bootcamp video.


Be realistic about the commitment you’ll be making. Medicine is a career that involves lifelong learning. In addition to 5-6 years of university studies, it can take up to ten years to independently practice some forms of medicine after university.

Then the real commitment begins. Most people understand the rewards but it’s difficult to get a realistic idea of the challenges of medicine. Being responsible for people’s health requires commitment and sacrifice.


Before you make a decision to study medicine, we highly recommend that you speak to as many practicing physicians as possible, read case studies, and carefully research the medical entry process.

Our Head of Education, Dr Ray Boyapati, provides virtual work experience through his Doctor Chats with Dr Ray series on Instagram TV.

Sit the UCAT and/or BMAT

Most students with their eye on a career in medicine understand the hard work, dedication and practice required to succeed in exams. They understand how to answer technical questions based on lessons and texts.

But the UCAT is nothing like the exams you’re accustomed to. That’s why many overconfident students who sit for the test unprepared not only fail the exam but also fail to finish it. The UCAT is designed by universities to find the students who possess specific mental abilities considered important in medicine. The unorthodox questioning and time pressure make it one of the most difficult obstacles on the path to a career in medicine.

But with the right preparation, strategy and practice, students can ace the UCAT. They can enter their dream course with ease, and sometimes even gain scholarships. Smart students begin their preparation well in advance of the UCAT, which occurs in July-September each year. With regular practice, most MedEntry students excel in the 228-question exam.

Need information on registration, types of questions and preparation?

Visit the UCAT page

The BMAT is used by a small number of universities in the UK for entry into medicine. It is made up of three parts: problem solving, applying scientific knowledge, and an essay question. The exam takes place at the start of November of each year, after submission of your UCAS form.

Apply to Universities

You should already have an understanding of university requirements from the first step in your journey - choosing the right subjects. Now it’s time to apply. You’ll need to be sure you have the required academic and UCAT scores and have achieved minimum scores in the right subjects.

Each university will apply its own weight to each requirement (academic score, UCAT and interviews), so make sure you understand how that affects your eligibility. Before applying, make sure you have the most up-to-date information by contacting the admissions officer of each course you’re interested in.

You will need to apply via UCAS and applications close on October 16th each year, so make sure you are organized and submit your four medical school choices early.

In order to maximise your chances of gaining a place in medicine, you should use your UCAT score strategically when applying.

MedEntry provides information on most university health science courses.

Read Our Free University Admission Guide

Succeed in the Interview

Universities look for ideal personal qualities in each prospective student. In many cases, the university will consider the interview to be more important than academic and UCAT scores.

It’s important to understand that your interview is not a casual chat or a general ‘getting to know you’ process. You cannot ‘wing it’ or rely on charm. You are competing against other applicants, and just like any other competition, those who prepare and train for the event are generally the winners.

Given the huge amount of work required to get to this point of the journey, it’s understandable that students can feel particularly anxious about a face-to-face interview. Fortunately, there are specific and effective ways to prepare. With the right techniques and strategy, students can walk into their interview feeling relaxed and confident.

MedEntry provides the resources, training, strategies and personal guidance to help students impress universities and gain admission into their dream course. We also provide free basic information that answers many frequently asked questions about interviews.

Medical Interviews & MMI

Choose the Right Medical School

You've navigated through the difficult application process including the UCAT, UCAS, and interviews. But now comes the ultimate decision: which medical school should you put as your firm and insurance choices?

Speaking to those closest to you including family and friends is always important but ultimately it is a very personal decision. There is a lot of misinformation out there, a classic one being that prestige or rank of the medical school is an important factor in career progression.

However, there are a number of important factors to consider including location, cost of living, clinical placements, course structure, teaching style and student life. It's not an easy task, but we've prepared a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right medical school for you.

Choosing Your Medical School: A Comprehensive Guide

Become A Doctor

Medicine requires the highest levels of due diligence by all governing bodies. That’s why it takes at least five additional years before you can practice medicine independently. The early years of a graduate’s career are spent practicing medicine as foundation year doctor (FY1 or FY2), then Senior House Officer (SHO) and then as a Registrar in their chosen area of specialty.

If you’re sitting at your laptop considering the daunting years of study, training and learning ahead of you, there’s plenty of upside. Few doctors will talk in anything less than glowing terms of their career in medicine. It’s a stressful and challenging career but one that offers unique benefits.

Medicine is intellectually stimulating, offers very high job security, an excellent salary and the experience of improving lives every day. It’s a life of constant learning, tight regulations, late nights, early mornings and personal sacrifices. But the number of students applying for medical schools each year is proof that medicine is, and will continue to be, one of the most desirable careers in the UK.

View this year's entry timeline

View entry timeline
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