Doctor – GP

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General practitioner doctors (GPs) work in a local surgery with residents of the local area. They identify and treat a full range of illnesses and sometimes injuries from which their patients suffer. If necessary, they refer patients to a specialist or arrange for a stay in hospital.

The Work

You could be:


As of April 2021, in most junior posts (Foundation Year 1) the basic salary is £28,114 a year. This increases to £34,969 in Foundation Year 2. Salaried GPs earn between £61,346 and £91,564 a year, depending on amongst other things, length of service and experience.

Self-employed GPs can choose between two different systems of funding for their practices: the traditional General Medical Services contract or the Primary Medical Services which lets the GP adapt the practice to local needs. The income for a full time self-employed GP is around £80,000 to £130,000 a year.


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Getting In

To qualify as a GP you need a degree in medicine and surgery (SCQF Level 10) which is recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Other requirements:

After your degree you do a 2-year foundation training programme, which gives you registration with the GMC, which you need to work as a doctor (see 'Training' below). Most GPs work for the National Health Service (NHS), but you might work in private practice. You could be a medical adviser to a company or the Department for Work and Pensions, or a medical officer for the police and prison service.

What Does it Take?

You should be:


Getting On

More Information

The Medical Careers NHS website is useful, there is a section on 'Choosing a medical school'.

If you want a taste of what it is like to be a doctor have a look at the Medic Insight programme. This is a week long programme aimed at fourth and fifth year pupils in Scotland who are interested in becoming doctors. It is run by Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee universities. See the university website for details.

For more information have a look at the You can be a Doctor website which will give you all sorts of information about how to get into medicine.


Courtesy of Scottish Government


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Medical Association (BMA) (Scotland)
Tel: 0131 247 3000
Twitter: @TheBMA

General Medical Council (GMC)
Twitter: @gmcuk

Medical Schools Council
Tel: 020 7419 5494
Website (2):

The Council's 'Entry Requirements' publication contains information on entry requirements for all of the UK’s publicly funded bachelor’s degrees in medicine. It is updated yearly from information passed directly from the medical schools.

NHS Scotland Careers
Website (2):
Twitter: @NHSScotCareers

Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)
Tel: 020 3188 7400
Twitter: @rcgp

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)
Tel: 0161 855 7409
Twitter: @UCATofficial

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Career Area

Health and Medicine

Career Sectors

Alternative Medicine

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