Doctor - GP

general practitioner

Career outlook for doctor - GP

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would provide medical care for people in the local community. The patients will trust you to help them by quickly diagnosing and treating their illness.

You’d be the first point of contact for patients, seeing them either in your surgery or visiting them at home. You would need to listen to them and put them at ease.

You’d ask the person questions about their health and do physical checks if necessary. You’d make a diagnosis, explain the options for treatment to the patient and decide what action to take.

You would:

  • Give general advice
  • Prescribe medicine
  • Recommend treatment
  • carry out minor surgery
  • Refer them to a specialist consultant for tests and further diagnosis

You could also run the GP practice, either alone or in partnership with other GPs. You’d do administration like writing letters and reports, and keeping records of patient’s visits and treatments.

You might arrange support from other health professionals such as physiotherapists and nurses. You could organise clinics and health education for groups of patients such as pregnant women, smokers and people with diabetes.

You’d probably take further training to develop skills in specialist areas such as minor surgery or mental health.

You would often work in a team that includes practice nurses, health visitors, midwives, counsellors and administrative support staff.

You can see more about this role on the general practice page of the NHS careers website and see more about the salaries on the pay for general practitioners page on the British Medical Association website.

The NHSScotland Careers website has information about training as a doctor in Scotland.

Working conditions


You would work up to 50 hours a week for a full-time post. This will include some evening and weekend work. Many GP surgeries are open from 8:30am to 6:30pm. You may also be on a rota for out-of-hours emergency work. Part-time hours are often available for GPs.


You would work in a practice, where you would have your own treatment room.


You may spend some time making home visits, and if you work in a rural practice you may have to travel long distances.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Resilience
  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Researching
  • Empathising
  • Social conscience
  • Developing a plan
  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


You need an honours degree in medicine (SCQF level 10) recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) and a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

Entry to a medical degree (SCQF level 10) requires National 5 qualifications and at least five Highers at AAAAB or above, usually achieved at one sitting; Advanced Highers in science subjects are recommended.

Glasgow Kelvin College offers an Access to Medical Studies (SWAP) for adults who do not have the required qualifications.

The University of Highlands and Islands offer a Higher National Certificate (SCFQ level 7) Pathways to Medicine course requiring National 5 qualifications and at least one Higher.

If you have five good Highers but do not have all the science subjects, Dundee University runs a six-year course which includes a pre-medical year (SCQF level 10). 

A course is available at the universities of Dundee and St Andrews for those with an arts or science degree (at least 2:1). The Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine Programme (ScotGEM) is 4 years and leads to the MB ChB. There is a focus on rural health and it offers opportunities to train in remote and rural areas.

For the ScotGEM course you are required to sit both the UCAT Situational Judgement Test for Admission to Clinical Education (SJTace) and the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

In addition to the entrance requirements, international students who wish to study medicine must be able to demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence. Various language qualifications are accepted such as IELTS, TOEFL and Trinity ISE – please contact individual universities for specific details and scores required.



Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Chemistry (required by most courses)
  • Biology (required by most courses)
  • Physics (required by most courses)
  • Human biology (required by some courses)
  • English
  • Care
  • Social subjects such as psychology

You will also need

Before applying to medical school you must sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).

You will need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.