Quickest Way To Become A Doctor UK

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

This article will talk about the shortest time to become a doctor. It goes without saying that becoming a doctor is one of the highest and most prestigious career aspirations many can have. This is because we all understand what doctors do and what they stand for. But have you ever wondered how long it takes to be a full-fledged doctor?

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Shortest Time To Become A Doctor, Quickest Way To Become A Doctor UK. We at infolearners .com have all the information that you need about shortest time to become a surgeon. Read on to learn more. I would recommend you save time and effort by visiting our website as soon as possible for the answer to  can i become a doctor at 30.

Medical Students - Fellows' Career Development

Quickest Way To Become A Doctor UK

One of the most significant parts of your training when becoming a doctor in the UK is obtaining your medical degree. 

Typically, medicine degrees in the UK take five years to complete, or four years for those on a graduate entry programme. The course involves a combination of basic medical science training, as well as clinical experience in real hospital wards. 

Once you’ve graduated, you’ll still need to undertake further training in the form of a two-year-long Foundation Programme. This is completed in a formal hospital environment, where you will be issued a provisional licence to practise as a junior doctor.

What kinds of Medical degrees are there?

In the UK, medical degrees don’t differ too much in what they offer. Medicine is a pretty universal subject, and hospitals need doctors from all different universities to share a similar understanding of content in order to treat patients effectively. 

With that being said, there are often a variety of different named courses which usually fit one of four types, These are:

  • Standard Entry Medicine: Usually five-years long, the Standard Entry Medicine Course leads to a bachelor’s degree in Medicine. It can have different names and abbreviations, with some of the most common including; MBBS or MBChB.
  • Graduate Entry Medicine: A Graduate Entry Medicine course is designed for those who have a previous bachelor’s degree but who wish to convert to Medicine. Most medical schools require students to have achieved a minimum of a 2:1 degree, and usually ask for a science or other health-related degree. This degree is usually a four-year accelerated programme. 
  • Medicine with a Preliminary Year: Also referred to as ‘Medicine with a Foundation Year,’ this course takes the form of a five-year Standard Entry Medicine degree, but with an additional introductory year at the start, making it a total of six-years of study. This course is designed for students who may have achieved high A-Level grades but who did not take the required science subjects and therefore require the necessary catch-up training.
  • Medicine with a Gateway Year: For students who are of high ability but have had challenging circumstances during their learning, Medicine with a Gateway Year courses offer a unique entry into Medicine. The courses may differ in what their entry criteria are, changing the entry requirements for applicants who have the potential to do well, but have faced barriers during their education.

Which university is best for Medicine in the UK?

There are lots of university league tables available which can help you to understand which universities in the UK offer the best Medicine degrees. 

These measure universities against each other based on a range of factors, including; student satisfaction, graduate prospects, and the type and quality of research they carry out.

Below, we are going to outline the top 10 universities in the UK for Medicine. These results are taken from The Complete University Guide [last updated July 2021].

  1. Swansea University
  2. University of Oxford
  3. University of Dundee
  4. University of Cambridge
  5. University of Edinburgh
  6. University of Glasgow
  7. University of Aberdeen
  8. Queen Mary University of London
  9. Keele University
  10. University of Exeter

Shortest Time To Become A Doctor

The American Medical Association lists the most competitive medical specialty fields (in order) as integrated interventional radiology, orthopedic surgery, integrated plastic surgery, radiation oncology, neurological surgery and otolaryngology. The team at International Medical Aid advises that family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology, pediatrics and psychiatry are the least competitive. So, this list encompasses the quickest doctors to become.

The reasons why some fields are more competitive than others include the time needed to get the degrees, subject matter difficulty and pay. A general practice doctor is probably the easiest doctor to become. Even though students must complete four years of medical school and one or two years of a residency, this is the minimum amount of education required for medical doctors. Internal medicine and pathology are other less complex areas of medicine worth considering.

When course difficulty is not as big a concern as the amount of time it takes to complete the program, potential doctors may look into one of the medical schools that offer options to fast-track their degrees, explains the team at The Nest. This option condenses the four years of medical school into three, but it may leave out specialty options. Fast-tracking means no time off and intense studying and training. Before applying, be sure that you fully understand the implications of a fast-track medical school.

What’s the Easiest Surgeon to Be?

Neurosurgeons work through long surgeries that can take up to 12 hours and operate inside skulls. Orthopedic surgeons work on entire musculoskeletal systems and perform complicated procedures such as repairing nerves in limbs. Cardiac and thoracic surgeons focus on pathological conditions inside patients’ chests relating to lung cancers, heart valves and coronary arteries. These and other more difficult fields require in-depth, specialized knowledge and proven expertise.

The easiest surgeon to be is a general surgeon. These physicians treat many kinds of ailments that require surgeries that are usually less complicated than specialty surgeries. They spend their days performing appendectomies, removing gallbladders, and other routine procedures. It is not unusual for a general surgeon to switch over to a specialty after a while.

Doctor and Surgeon Salaries

The experts at Weatherby Healthcare post that the highest-paid physician specialties for 2020 are specialists in plastic surgery at ​$526,00​, followed by orthopedics/orthopedic surgery at ​$511,000​ and cardiology at ​$459,000​. These were the same three highest in 2019. At the lower end were public health and preventative medicine physicians at ​$237,000​, family medicine at ​$236,000​, and pediatrics at ​$221,000​.

This source also reported that self-employed physicians earned more than those who did not have their own practices. Self-employed doctors earned ​$352,000​ annually compared to ​$300,000​ yearly salaries earned by other doctors. There was also a disparity in pay according to gender: Male primary physicians made 27 percent more than females at ​$269,000​ versus ​$211,000​, respectively.

UK college offers medical students $13,700 to defer their degree

can i become a doctor at 30


While 22 would be considered the typical age for an incoming medical student, the annual Matriculating Student Questionnaire from Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), shows that 68 percent of students who began their medical studies in 2020 were 23 or older. Also bear in mind that certain programs will average an older entering class. At St. George’s University (SGU), for instance, the average age of incoming MD students is 27.

Medical schools are also changing their attitudes about candidates’ undergraduate majors. Strong grades in courses like biology, chemistry, and physics are still important for gaining acceptance to a program, but AAMC data shows that nearly nine percentof matriculants beginning medical school during the 2020–2021 school year graduated from college with a social sciences degree.

Additionally, some of today’s students are married and also parenting while attending medical school. It’s absolutely possible to succeed as an older medical student—even if that means becoming a doctor at 30 or older—with a supportive partner and other loved ones.


Every doctor has a slightly different purpose for pursuing the path they ultimately chose. We asked some physicians to reflect on their reasons for starting their medical education journeys a little later on.


Not everyone realizes they’re destined to be a doctor at a young age. Dr. Margaret Russell, a SGU grad and family physician, spent more than 20 years as a teacher. It wasn’t until a neighbor’s young child died of pneumonia in a rural area lacking adequate health care that she decided to change course.

“I thought to myself, ‘I am going to fix this situation. I am going to be a doctor in a rural town that needs me,’” Dr. Russell recalls.

“I thought to myself, ‘I am going to fix this situation.'”

Dr. Russel’s diverse experiences at SGU and in rural medicine helped her teach many residents and further hone her skills. She’s also developed an acute sense of what individuals need. “I’ve been told I don’t miss much in terms of my evaluation of a patient,” she says.


For Dr. Bernard Remakus, an internist and author of Keystone, taking a four-year break between college and medical school was an opportunity to seek valuable life experiences. He obtained a master’s degree, tried his hand at teaching, and coached a few high school sports teams before enrolling in medical school.

“Because I was older, my motivation was obvious,” Dr. Remakus says. This meant his instructors were happy to help him develop the requisite skills.

“I feel I had many advantages attending medical school as an older student.”

Some students worry taking a break between college and medical school will result in a difficult transition, but that doesn’t have to be the case. “I feel I had many advantages attending medical school as an older student,” Dr. Remakus says.

In addition to having a clear direction for his life, Dr. Remakus also mentions he was more comfortable with diverse social interactions, was better prepared financially, and had a greater understanding of patient needs. He hopes he can help other nontraditional students make the transition through his writing.


Taking time to grow as an adult before entering medical school was critical for Dr. Edward Haas, a psychiatrist and founder of the Institute for Transformative Parenting. Prior to completing his medical school applications, he found himself occasionally passing out while assisting with procedures as an attendant in the ER.

In the years that followed, he gained experience as a stockbroker, financial analyst, computer programmer and consultant, and an outreach worker helping with HIV prevention before setting his sights on medicine again. “I felt I was ready to confront my fears and try once again to be a doctor,” Dr. Haas says.

Dr. Haas completed a post-baccalaureate program to prepare for the MCAT and the application process, completed medical school, and eventually opened up his own psychiatry practice. He believes taking all of those pit stops ended up being an asset.

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.

Leave a Comment