How Long Does Medical Training Take?

How Long Does Medical Training Take? Posted On
Posted By Steffy Alen

Before becoming a doctor in the UK, you are required to get a medical degree from a university that is accredited by the British Medical Association. Most courses are five years long, though some graduate-entry programmes only last for four years. Once graduation is complete, this is followed by two years of further training on a foundation programme.

Understanding Foundation Prog rammes And Further Study

Foundation Programmes are designed to provide a link between the theoretical study completed during a medical degree and general practice – they aim to provide the student doctor with the competencies required, such as defined practical skills, along with a developed knowledge of the manner in which acutely ill patients should be treated.

Once a foundation programme has been successfully completed, doctors can then choose to complete further study in a specific medical field. For example, in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a further seven years’ study is required before it is possible for a doctor to practice that specific medical discipline. If the particular doctor does not wish to continue with such specified exploration of a medical field, they are always free at this point to go into general practice.

There are over 60 specialities that doctors can choose from – the length of the training will be dependent on which of these they choose. They can last anywhere from three to seven years. Once one of these higher speciality training programmes has been completed, the doctor is awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training, meaning they can be registered as a GMC specialist.

What Is Medical Indemnity?

The NHS is directly responsible for any financial consequences of negligence or malpractice carried out by its doctors, and so it is a professional and legal requirement that all doctors working in the United Kingdom have comprehensive indemnity cover. This is sometimes arranged privately or as part of said doctor’s membership to their NHS Trust or Health Board. Any work carried out by the doctor outside of the scope of their Trust or Health Board must be insured separately.

For example, indemnity from the doctor’s Trust or Health Board will not cover any good samaritan acts not listed in said doctor’s contract; for example, stopping on the side of the road to assist with an accident or assisting someone who is not well on a plane. Any work carried out overseas or for voluntary or charitable organisations will also not be covered, so at the end of the day, it’s always a good idea to have extra personal indemnity cover beyond that provided by your employer or the NHS. Here is some more information regarding this type of cover.