Qualifying as an A&E consultant is a relatively long process. After studying science A-levels at school (particularly Biology and Chemistry), the next step is a basic medical degree (the MBBS).
This is followed by a two-year foundation programme to consolidate what you have learned at medical school, followed by another six-year programme in emergency medicine.
During this time the new doctor undertakes a series of exams, which are overseen by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. Once they pass these exams, doctors can take a post as an A&E consultant.
As well as these qualifications, it is important for A&E consulants to have strong management skills, be able to work well under pressure and have a significant degree of interpersonal and teamwork skills.
If you’re considering a career in emergency medicine, the first step is to work hard on your science GCSEs and A-levels so you can get the grades needed to get into medical school.
At the same time, try to engage in the process of care by volunteering in hospices or care homes or getting work experience in emergency departments.
It’s also a good idea to talk to people who are currently working in emergency medicine, whether they are doctors or other members of the emergency team such as paramedics, nurses, healthcare assistants or dietitians. This will give you an idea about whether working in emergency medicine is right career path for you.