Specific tasks depend on the specialty - a surgeon's daily tasks are significantly different from those of a doctor working in accident and emergency (A&E) or a general physician.
However, the following responsibilities are likely to be carried out on a daily or weekly basis, regardless of the doctor's specialty:
Undertaking patient consultations and physical examinations
Performing surgical procedures
Providing general pre- and post-operative care
Monitoring and administering medication
Assessing and planning treatment requirements
Liaising daily with staff including other doctors, non-medical management staff and healthcare professionals
Writing reports and maintaining records
Promoting health education.
Bonuses are paid for work outside the hours of 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday or if more than 40 hours are worked per week. The amount varies according to the situation but it is typically 20% to 50% of the basic salary.
Doctors often work very long and unsocial hours, including weekends and nights (usually on a rota basis), although working hours vary according to specialty. Many roles also involve being on-call for certain periods.
To become a hospital doctor, you must complete:
A degree in medicine, recognized by the General Medical Council (GMC);
A two-year foundation programme of general training;
Specialist training in a chosen area of medicine.
You will need to show evidence of the following:
Personal qualities such as commitment to caring for others, resourcefulness and stamina.
A willingness to accept responsibility.
The ability to prioritise workload and work under pressure.
Motivation and perseverance.
The ability to communicate well with people, demonstrating empathy and reflection.
Team working and leadership skills.
You will be required to have related experience in a caring or health environment before applying for the degree course. This is to show that you have an understanding of what working in medicine is like and that you appreciate the emotional and physicals demands, as well as the skills required.
Relevant work experience can be carried out in hospitals and GP practices, hospices and care homes or any other environment that involves caring for people. Work shadowing or observing doctors can also be helpful to get an idea of what the work involves.