A doctor examines sick and injured patients, diagnoses and treats illnesses, and provides medical advice and reassurance.
Extensive training is required to work as a doctor. Following obtaining a degree in medicine, doctors must complete a two-year foundation programme before embarking on a speciality training programme. Doctors may find employment in general practice or in one of the 60 different specialities of medicine. Regardless of the area in which they work, doctors must have a concern for people of all ages, an enquiring mind, a rational approach to problem solving, patience and an ability to handle pressure. Doctors seeking to practice in the UK must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).
The NHS is the UK's largest employer of trained doctors. Job openings are also readily available in the private sector. Doctors can either be salaried members of staff or self-employed. The majority of general practitioners (GP's) are self-employed, with their salaries being dependent on the services they provide. Recruitment agencies offer a valuable source of work for self-employed doctors.
GP's who are employed directly by a healthcare facility can earn between £50,000 and £80,000 a year while consultants can earn between £75,000 and £100,000. Salaries are dependent upon the number of hours a doctor is contracted to work, the intensity of the work performed and whether or not they are required to work unsociable hours such as weekends and bank holidays. Length of service, experience and the type of healthcare facility in which a doctor works also impacts salary ranges.