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Hospital Doctor

by Staff Reporter
If you have an interest in science, a curious nature and enjoy engaging with people then a career as a Hospital Doctor could be for you.

Career Overview

To be a doctor working in a hospital, you need to be a conscientious scientist with excellent communication skills who is fascinated by the workings of the human body.

Required School Subjects

You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:

  • English Home Language or First Additional Language (matric level)
  • Mathematics (matric level)
  • Physical Sciences (matric level)

Recommended subjects:

  • Life Sciences

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for students wanting to study medicine:

  • University of Free State – APS of 36
  • University of Cape Town (UCT) – APS of 450 (See how to calculate your APS for UCT)
  • University of Stellenbosch – No APS required (the higher your marks the better)
  • University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 35
  • University of Witwatersrand (Wits) – No APS required (the higher your marks the better)
  • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) – No APS required (the higher your marks the better)
  • Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University – APS of 32
  • Walter Sisulu University – APS of 20

Be aware that most of these universities require you to do NBTs to qualify for entrance to the degree.

Required Qualification/s

To practice as a Hospital Doctor, you have to have a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree (MBChB) and have a valid registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Surgeons, specialists and general practitioners all start by graduating with an MBChB. This degree includes a two-year internship and one year of community service, after which you can practice as a general practitioner, or medical officer in a public hospital. Postgraduate studies are necessary to become a specialist doctor (a pediatrician, physician, cardiologist, etc.)

Required Skills

You will need to show:

    • good communication and listening skills
    • determination and endurance
    • the emotional capacity to deal with tough cases
    • compassion towards people
    • passion for science

Where you can work

As a Hospital Doctor, you will be working in a hospital.  You can specialise in one of the following areas:

  • Cardiology
  • Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Palliative Care
  • Neurology
  • Gynecology
  • General Practice
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • And more…

Working Hours

Depending on what medical field you choose to go into, your hours can range from working a couple of hours a day to working five days a week and also being on call at night and over the weekend. Being a specialist can often involve early starts and very late finishes.

Expected Salary

Salary can range depending on whether you choose to specialise or not. According to PayScale, the average pay for a physician/doctor in general practice ranges between R251k – R1m per year, depending on experience.

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Hospital Doctor:

  • Being a doctor is a lifelong journey of learning – every day, you will be challenged and tested.
  • Medicine is an exciting career with a vast array of specialist opportunities from patient-based clinical practice, to laboratory work, to research.

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