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Madicine as a Career

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MEDICINE AS A CAREER

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Research topic: Medicine As A Career

Guiding question: What training do I need to do and what personal skills do I need to have to become a doctor?

A. INTRODUCTION

Medicine is the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Today, many people choose medicine as a career which is exciting and rewarding. This report will define the duties and tasks, personal requirements and the education and training needed to become a doctor.

B. DUTIES AND TASKS

I. Duties of doctors in general

Doctors need to maintain the highest standard of professional knowledge and skills to show respect for human life. They should research and be careful when they decide to introduce any new techniques of treatment. It is unethical if doctors advertise themselves, cooperate with any medical service which is not legally certified or receive any money other than examining and treatment fees from patients, even with their acknowledgement (Code of Medical Ethics of the World Medical Association, 1949).

II. Duties of doctors to the patients

Doctors must treat patients politely as individuals and respect their dignity and confidential information. They also have to form a relationship with patients by listening to them, respecting their views and responding to their concerns; give them information they need in a way they can understand and support them in caring for their health. Whenever an examination or treatment is out of the doctors' capability, they should send for other doctors who have the necessary ability. Besides this, doctors need to make sure that their personal beliefs do not prejudice their patients' care.

III. Duties of doctors with colleagues

Doctors have to work with colleagues effectively to give patients the best service. They must not entice patients from their colleagues.

C. PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

The is no single set of characteristics that makes a good doctor, because medicine contains a wide range of different jobs, working with different types of people in varied conditions.

Communication skills are the most important personal requirements of doctors. They are necessary for interaction between doctors and patients, as well as within the healthcare team. Effective communication can result in meaningful and trusting working relationships and increased patient satisfaction (G.P interview, 2011). It also helps doctors identify their patients' problems more accurately and helps patients have a clear understanding of treatment options and so leads to improved health. Evidence of good communication skills are clearly speaking - talking to others to convey information effectively; active listening - giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand and ask questions as appropriate; a high level of reading comprehension - reading information in different formats, including hand written, printed text, on-line information, graphs and diagrams and excellent writing skills - communicating effectively in recording problems and writing prescriptions.

Doctors need to have a concern for people. This means that they have to be curious about how other people think and feel and take an interest in what they say and do. This plays an important role in the success of doctors as they will work more enthusiastically if they care and enjoy working with people. A study based on nearly 200 patients at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Minnesota in 2006 stated that most patients believed that doctors there were interested in them more than just as patients, interacted with them and remembered them as individuals, so they felt assured and more confident (Hitti, 2006).

In addition, observational skills (vision, hearing, smell and touch); integrative and numerical abilities; behavioural and social skills are other essential skills of doctors.

D. EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Table 1: pathways to medical school

Source: AMA

I. Undergraduate medication education

In Australia, in order to enter undergraduate Medical degrees, students need to complete their high school education, sit the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test) and attend an interview.

In the final year of secondary schooling, students are expected to study at least one science subject (Biology, Chemistry or Physics), which is considered as assumed knowledge at the university. Students also have to complete their year 12 successfully and achieve a very high Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of about 90 or above.

The UMAT, which is designed by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER), is required for medical study in most universities in Australia. The purpose of the test is to assess personal qualities and aptitudes people need to be able to study and practise medicine, which include critical thinking and problem solving, an ability to understand people and abstract non-verbal reasoning (ACER, 2011). People registering for UMAT must have already completed or plan to complete their final year of secondary education.

The top UMAT performers will go a further step which is the interview. The interview is conducted at the university which students apply to and mainly concentrates on the personal qualities of students, such as conscientiousness and compassion towards others (medical student interview, 2011).

In South Australia, the University of Adelaide offers an undergraduate Medical degree. It is called The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of 6 years duration (The University of Adelaide, 2011).

II. Graduate medication education

Firstly, the graduate medical program requires students to hold an approved undergraduate degree in any major. Students then need to pass the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test), which was also developed by ACER. This assessment includes 3 components: written communication, reasoning in the humanities and social sciences and reasoning in the biological and physical sciences. Students who pass the GAMSAT, they will have an interview, just like students in undergraduate medical degree. Annually, there are approximately 2500 graduates from Australian Medical School (Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, 2008).

In South Australia,

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