The traditional expectation about a medical degree is that you leave school, complete a degree and go straight into the career itself.

However, sometimes the path isn’t always so straightforward. If you don’t leave school with the grades you’d quite hoped for, or you get into the profession and want to progress beyond your current role, then you may have to take up some more education or training.

Basic experience

Before you apply for your medical degree, it’s important to show that you have a keen interest in the field.

The best way to demonstrate this to universities is to get plenty of experience out in the field. Shadowing a doctor or volunteering in nursing homes will show universities that you are not simply applying for a medical degree for the financial pay-off.

It will also clearly prove that you have the interpersonal skills that you have claimed to have on your application; a bedside manner must come from a genuine place.

Tailor your resume

Your resume needs to be the best it can be when it comes to such a demanding career. For that reason, each section needs to be clear and concise: a ‘best of’ regarding what you are capable.

It is advised that you are as specific as possible when it comes to experience and positive feedback. Try and give relevant examples of how you succeeded and what your supervisors said about you.


During the course of your medical degree, you will find yourself starting to specialize in particular areas of medicine. If you want to excel in particular areas, it is important that you continue with this devotion to focusing on a particular specialism.

Specializing will see you become an expert which is perfect for those who want to be a consultant in a particular area.

Extended degrees

Once you have qualified, you will start working in the field, whether that’s as a Junior Doctor, Pharmacist, Nurse or otherwise. However, you may decide that once you get there, you want to expand beyond your current position.

Something like a DNP, for example, could see you go from being just a nurse to someone who provides leadership and guidance within the ward. You will go from providing care to deciding how to deliver the best form of care.


Once you’re in the field of medicine, you might want to contribute to the industry in a more academic capacity.

It could be incredibly useful for your resume in later life to have citations of medical journals that you’ve contributed to.

You may even wish to make this the main focus of your career later; branching into more specific areas of research instead of a more patient-based approach to medicine.

While progressing in medicine may not be too similar to advancing through a corporate job, the attitude and devotion it takes is certainly the same.

You may naturally find areas of medicine you are passionate about, or you might just want to take more of a leadership role in your particular department.