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Why study medicine at a medical college?

Medicine degrees will teach you a range of things – from the study of drugs, to diagnosis and treatment, to promoting good health and ensuring high standards of medical ethics and patient care. Essentially, choosing to study a medical degree abroad will teach you how to be a doctor and how to care for the people in your care when they are most vulnerable.

Other subjects that you are likely to cover include:

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical skills
  • Biochemistry
  • Community health
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Laboratory analysis
  • Radiology
  • Microbiology

As you will spend a large amount of time with patients when working as a doctor, you will spend a significant amount of time during your medicine degree in hospitals, observing doctors and surgeons at work.

As your course progresses, you will have the chance to specialise in certain medical areas – for example general practice, child medicine or obstetrics and gynaecology.

What will I study on a medical program?

The various stages of a medical program will prepare you for a career as a doctor. Initial medical training will be divided between clinical and pre-clinical study.

Pre-clinical study will focus on basic sciences like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, while clinical study looks at various areas of medicine, such as paediatrics, obstetrics and surgery.

Depending on the course you choose, you may be able to combine your medical study with research.

Postgraduate study focuses on giving students supervised practice work, before full registration. After this period of work, you may choose to specialise in another medical field with further training.

Length and structure

Medicine is one of the longest degree programs you can study. You will need to take an undergraduate medical degree, before passing onto a foundation school where you will combine work experience with further training, before finally specialising in a particular area of training.

Although different medical colleges can offer different parts of medical education, going through the entire process can take up to 10 years, depending on what you specialise in. 

How can a medical program help my career?

Medicine degrees will begin with general medical teaching; you will have the chance to specialise in a particular area during the later years of your degree. There are a number of different areas of medicine that you could choose to specialise in, including:

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • General practice
  • Genetics
  • Health service manager
  • Research scientist

Medicine is an extremely popular subject for students around the world, and there are hundreds of medical colleges to choose from. Depending on your chosen specialist area, you can go on to become a consultant in a hospital, a medical researcher, a GP – the options are endless.

Entry requirements

Studying medicine is a long and labour intensive process, so medical colleges have strict entry requirements and getting a place is frequently competitive.

If you choose to study in a country with a different first language to your own, you may need to take a language course/test before admitted. For example, English language programs may ask you to complete a TOEFL or IELTS test.

Individual medical schools set their own requirements, but as a  guide most medical colleges will require you to have school level qualifications in chemistry and biology. You may also be asked to demonstrate the following:

  • High level of numeracy and literacy
  • Successful interview
  • School qualifications in science based subjects

What to do next

If you would like more information on studying a medical program at a medical college, sign up for our Free Application Service. You’ll get advice, tailored programs and application advice on medical colleges around the world.