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Length of training-


medical timeline

Medical School (4 to 6 years):

If you go straight from a secondary school/6th form college or a college of further education to study at medical school, then your medical degree will generally be five years in length, although some students study an intercalated degree which will mean that they study for an extra year.

If you are on the accelerated graduate degree programme then your studies will be four years in length (plus one year if you study for the intercalated degree).

Foundation School (2 years):

After medical school you will apply to complete a 2 year foundation programme. This is a generic medical training programme, where you combine work experience with training. During the foundation years you will rotate around different medical specialities. Half-way through the 2nd year you will be asked to make a choice in which specialty training you would like to embark on in subsequent years.

At this stage you will be paid a reasonable salary. The NHS Careers website has up-to-date information on remuneration.

Specialty Training (3 years at present for GP, and for other specialties 5 – 8 years):

GP specialty training is currently three years in length, although this is under review and may be extended to four or five years in the future (see: the Royal College of GPs). For other specialty training pathways, the length of training varies from between five to eight years according to specialty.

If you do make the decision to apply to medical school we hope that you will find this website useful throughout your medical career. We have pages aimed at medical students to help them make the most of their years at medical school as well as information for those at foundation school and in specialty training.

For an idea about all specialties in which you can train in medicine, you can view the specialty pages. There are over 60 different specialties in medicine!

Interactive Medical Careers Map

Wales Deanery have produced an extremely useful interactive tool which explains the links between different stages in the medical careers pathway post medical school. Click on the image below to view the map:

Interactive medical careers map

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