Do you have a passion for medicine? , Would you want to be referred to as a medical doctor in the nearest future ? or do you want information on the steps to take in becoming a medical doctor in South Africa?
Not to worry, I would be giving you a detailed guide on the practical steps to take to become a medical doctor in South Africa.
How to Become a Medical Doctor in South Africa
- attending to patients by carrying out physical examinations when necessary
- performing surgical procedures if needed
- attending to casualties and emergencies swiftly
- follow up with patients in after treatment or surgery
- monitoring and administering medication
- assessing and planning treatment requirements
- Communicating effectively with other healthcare professionals for effective patient care and management
- writing reports and maintaining records
- promoting health education by giving public lectures at community or in educational institutions
Now that you have an idea of what a medical doctor does here are some steps you should take in realizing your dreams of becoming a medical doctor.
Take Related Courses in High School
Becoming a doctor requires effort, time, attention, and perseverance while in medical school. The best way for you to know if you would be fit for medical school is by enrolling in the science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and passing excellently in these subjects at every stage in school.
Good background knowledge in these courses makes it good for you to understand the medical courses to be introduced into your learning curriculum when admitted into the university.
Get a Degree from an Accredited Medical School in South Africa
Once you have a good NSE certificate, the next step would be for you to make sure to get a medical degree from an accredited medical school in a recognized South African university.
These schools have their specific requirements used to screen prospective candidates looking to study at their university. But I would advise that check the requirements of your desired school months before the entrance examination date, this gives you time to make adequate preparation ahead.
It takes five years to successfully complete the training requirements for one to become a medical doctor from any university in South Africa. But after this period, you would be required to undergo a two-year clinical internship training program in a recognized university for more experience in the clinical aspects of your course.
You should also undergo a compulsory one-year community service in any location where you may be posted to for a good understanding of how community medicine is practiced in South Africa.
Obtain a License to Practise
Medical doctors all over the world are required to have a license approved by the medical council in their country before being allowed to practice in their country.
This is also obtainable in South Africa as well, you would need to obtain a license from the Health Professions Council in South Africa before working with any health organization.
I would recommend you get your license a few weeks before your graduation or immediately after graduating as employers would require your license as one of the documents for submission during interviews and documentation stages in the recruitment process.
Get Additional Qualifications
The few steps I explained above only give you a knowledge of what steps to take in becoming a type of medical doctor often referred to as a general practitioner.
As you progress in your career either for prestige, more knowledge, or more money you would need to go back to school for additional qualifications in the different areas of medicine to be referred to as a specialist.
But the thing about specializing in medicine is that the places where many people run tend to be overpopulated and have lower pay when compared to the other areas of specialty which have a low number of practicing specialists thus making them earn higher than the rest of their colleagues in other fields.
Would I make a Good Doctor?
If you have good communication skills, are detail-oriented, a good team player with an interest to stay updated on the recent medical practices and procedures then your career as a medical doctor would be a great and excellent one.