Becoming a Professional Doctor

  • Kirsty Foster
Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 16)


The chapter begins with a brief historical overview of medical education. This is followed by an examination of the current sociocultural climate in which medical practitioners work. This is a climate which has seen rapid change in the public perception of the medical profession as a result of high-profile cases of ‘bad doctors’, better educated patients as a result of information via the Internet, self-regulation successes and failures and the changing status of doctors. The chapter then highlights the key stages in the journey from a lay person to becoming a medical practitioner. The author identifies seven key stages in becoming a doctor: selection, medical studies, junior doctor, the hidden curriculum, mentors, working in a team and professional maturity. In a detailed examination of each of the stages, the author highlights issues such as medical elitism, theory and practice tensions and junior doctor status.


Medical Student Medical Education Professional Identity Junior Doctor Clinical Teacher 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sydney Medical SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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