If you’ve been a paramedic for some time and you are very competent in pre-hospital care you will find yourself identifying trends in your patient’s conditions and complications that you often find emergency doctors at time may overlook. It is about this time that you start to ask yourself the question, why couldn’t I be an emergency doctor?
So, what do you have to do to become an emergency doctor after being a paramedic?
To become an Emergency Doctor you should:
1. Have an excellent understanding of science, including advanced mathematics, chemistry and physics;
2. If you’ve been a paramedic for more than 3 years, chances are that you either have a degree in paramedics or at least an advanced diploma in ambulance practice. This means that you should be able to apply to study medicine as a postgraduate. This means only 4 years of study as opposed to 6 years!
3. Get some practice sitting the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT), which includes testing in mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics and English comprehension. This can be quite a hard test if you don’t have a strong background in sciences. You have to remember that you are competing against many people who have just completed a bachelor of medical science. However, where they will have a stronger science background, you have life experience and much more clinical experience as a paramedic.
4. Complete your medical degree. Amazingly enough, medical school is much easier to complete than the GAMSAT and the long build up of study towards getting into medcial school.
5. Complete a 12 month Medical Internship;
6. Complete a Medical Residency (like an internship, but more responsibility) for 2 years;
6. Choose an emergency specialty and apply for a training position;
7, Study a Registrar period in emergency (this can take up to 7 years)
8. Pass your Consultancy exams
9. Sit before a fellowship of peers in your chosen Medical Specialty and await their approval/ recommendation for you to become a Consultant in that area.
10. Continue to work and enjoy being a great emergency doctor!
Many paramedics go through this route and become excellent doctors. Many other paramedics have no desire to become doctors and this has no reference ability as paramedics.
If you would like more information about job prospects and careers as a doctor here is a link to more information about becoming a doctor.