Medical and Dental Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

Contents :
If you are looking for a challenging and dynamic career that will really make a difference in society, then becoming a doctor can be a very fulfilling profession. But it’s a popular career choice and competition for training and jobs can be fierce, so be prepared to put in a lot of hard work and try to gain as much practical experience as possible.

There are many different career paths within medicine, so once you have completed a medical degree there are numerous options open to you. It’s a good idea to consider your specific attributes and interests before you decide which direction to go in.

If you enjoy the research side of medicine more than the idea of looking after patients, you may be more suited to a career as a medical researcher. On the other hand, if you are a people person who enjoys interacting with patients, then working as a GP could be perfect for you. No matter which direction you decide to take, you will need to pursue further training.

Like doctors, dentists also perform a vital role in society by improving community health. There are around 21,000 dentists currently practising in the UK, but there is a shortage of NHS dentists meaning they are in high demand. The British Dental Association website is a good resource for graduates interested in a career in dentistry.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

A degree in a medical subject is vital if you want to become a doctor or dentist. Most medicine graduates undertake a two-year foundation programme after completing their degree in order to practice medicine in the UK. After completing the foundation course, many graduates go straight into further training in order to specialise in a particular type of medicine.

The number of extra years of training depends on what graduate medicine or dentistry job you want. A GP will train for around three years, while a surgeon may train for up to seven years.

The degrees that will allow you to get a graduate medicine or dentistry job include:
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Pharmacy
If you have a good degree in a science-based subject then it is possible to join a four-year graduate entry programme to study medicine. Some universities may also accept non-science graduates. For both medicine and dentistry you will need to register with the appropriate industry body - either the General Medical Council or the General Dental Council.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

As medicine is a vocational degree, the skills you learn on your degree will be all about teaching you how to diagnose, treat and care for patients with various illnesses and ailments. However, you will also need to develop personal and professional skills that will be necessary for a career in medicine. Excellent communication skills are vital in medical roles, as you will be dealing with nervous and potentially upset patients.

Some skills that would be useful for a graduate medicine or dentistry role include:
As a medical professional you will be constantly updating your skills and knowledge as new medical developments take place. Working in medicine and dentistry is about dedicating yourself to lifelong learning.

What graduate medicine and dentistry jobs can I do? TOP ^

Although the majority of medicine and dentistry graduates go on to become doctors or dentists, there are other fields where your degree will be useful. The medical field is full of different specialisms, so you can develop your skills to best suit your interests.

Some jobs include:
  • General practice nurse
  • Hospital doctor
  • Nursing
  • Dentist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Research scientist
There are more than 60 different specialist roles in medicine, from general practice to brain surgeon. You can find out more about the roles available and how to develop your career in them through the NHS Medical Careers website.

Average medicine and dentistry salariesTOP ^

Doctors and dentists are renowned for their large salaries, but that pay packet comes at a cost. Medical professionals work long hours and are under constant pressure to make the right decision. Get it wrong, and you could be endangering someone’s life.
  • General practice doctor: £22,500 - £81,000
  • Dentist: £30,000 - £100,000
  • Hospital doctor: £22,500 - £100,000
  • Adult nurse: £22,000 - £100,000
  • Physiotherapist: £22,000 - £40,000
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