What Is a Medicine Degree?
A medicine degree prepares students to become doctors. Medicine degrees arm students with the medical foundation required to enter into specialised medical studies. For example, should a student wish to become a paediatrician or a surgeon, he or she must earn his or her medicine degree prior to beginning the specialised training in paediatrics or surgery. Students cannot hope to understand specialised medicine without the medicine degree’s basic foundation to build upon.
Many students dream of becoming doctors from a very young age, and it is no wonder why. Doctors are respected in nearly every culture for their ability to cure the ill, and people are reminded every day why doctors are so important within their society. From annual check-ups to ensure a person’s overall health to emergency medicine that saves the victim of a life-threatening accident, doctors and the medicine they practice ensure a higher quality of life for the people who live within their community.
The field of medicine is also a challenging one, with scientific advancements in how medicine is practised and how illness is treated occurring nearly every day. Engineers and scientists work tirelessly to design new medical equipment and pharmaceuticals better suited to diagnose and treat patients. Medical doctors must keep up with these changes to ensure their patients are receiving the latest – and greatest – treatments available to address their medical needs.
Students wishing to earn their degree in medicine must demonstrate strength in the biological, chemical and physical sciences, as well as mathematics, psychology and social sciences. Students should also have a strong desire for continuing education and to help and care for human beings in all stages of life.
Students graduating with a medicine degree are general doctors; whether they choose to become hospital doctors and enter into a specialised field of medicine is up to them and may require further study. The most general form of practitioner, however, is a general practice doctor.
General practice doctors are also known as GPs or general practitioners, and they are what used to be considered the “family doctor.” These doctors usually open their own medical office or work within a medical group, seeing, diagnosing and treating patients of all ages. GPs are the doctors who perform the annual physical and then refer patients to specialists should the need arise. Junior GPs can expect to earn £22,400 in their first year of practice. This salary increases significantly as the doctor gains experience or enters into specialized medicine, and depending upon where he or she practices, general practitioners can earn upwards of £81,000 or more.
As their title suggests, most hospital doctors work within the public sector in medical centres or outpatient clinics. Hospital doctors practice a more specialised medicine, such as anaesthesiology, emergency medicine, OB GYN, orthopaedics, paediatrics, psychiatry, surgery or trauma. Once experienced, many hospital doctors also teach medical students and junior doctors. Starting salaries for hospital doctors are the same as for general practitioners. Hospital doctors are capable of earning more than GPs throughout their career, however, because of their specialised practice. Experienced or consulting hospital doctors can earn over £100,000.
Medicine curriculum is focused heavily in biology, chemistry, physiology and science. Students will learn all aspects of the human body, both physical and psychological. Students will also learn about the history of medicine and its impact on historical and modern societies.
Students will develop personally and professionally through coursework learned within classroom and laboratory environments. Students will also train within a variety of clinical settings in order to adequately prepare them to work within the medical field.
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