Studying Medicine in South Africa: Requirements & steps

Medicine is the foremost choice for most high school students. However, becoming a doctor requires a lot of hard work, effort, consistent preparation, and perseverance.

However, securing a medical seat in one of the best medical universities in South Africa is challenging, as the requirements to study medicine over there are huge. However, it is challenging but not impossible.

South Africa has numerous world-class institutions offering rigorous medical training to its students. With these intuitions, one is guaranteed of graduating with impeccable skills needed in the field.

If you are a South African student aspiring to become a doctor, this is for you to learn more in detail about the requirements to study medicine in South Africa.

Essential facts about studying medical courses in SA

These facts include the requirements, best institutions, length of studying, salaries earned by doctors, among many other facts.

Requirements to study medicine

Below are some of the requirements you ought to meet before being allowed to any medical school in the country:

What subjects are needed to become a doctor in South Africa?

The subjects a student picks while in high school largely determine their future careers. In addition to the other compulsory subjects, a student must pass the following selected subjects: Mathematics, Physics, and Life Science.

Marks needed to become a doctor in South Africa

Often, most institutions have different entrance requirements for medicine programs. However, the difference in those grades is slight. Again, the selection board does not depend on academic grades alone. A student must also perform exemplary in their National Benchmark Tests (NBTS). The grades are split into three sub-categories as follows in three of the largest medical universities in South Africa:

Wits University

  • NSC Results: 40%
  • NBT Results: 40%
  • Non-academic Performance: 20%

University of Stellenbosch

  • NSC Results: 45%
  • NBT Results: 30%
  • Non-academic Performance: 25%

University of Cape Town

  • NSC Results: 60%
  • NBT Results: 30%
  • Non-academic Performance: 10%

Where can I study medicine in South Africa?

Many accredited medical universities in South Africa offer medical training. They are spread across the country for easy accessibility by students from different backgrounds. Here is the list of medical schools in South Africa:

  • University of Witwatersrand
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of KwaZulu- Natal
  • University of the Free State
  • Walter Sisulu University
  • University of Johannesburg
  • Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • Northwest University – South Africa
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • University of Western Cape

Many students choose to study medicine in South Africa to gain first-class skills equal to those students travelling abroad for the same purpose. Be it a Bachelor of medicine and surgery degree or a diploma course, they are all offered in the country.

The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA)

Medicine is a vast field. Thus, if you cannot make it to the university, you can also get your place in the college of your choice. Besides, the college of medicine South Africa qualifications has also proven to be effective for many people out there. Here is a list of some CMSAs available under this category:

  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Anaesthetists
  • College of Clinical Pharmacologists
  • College of Neurologists
  • College Medical Genetics
  • College of Surgeons
  • College of Radiologists
  • College of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • College of Dermatologists
  • College of Family Physicians
  • College of Ophthalmologists
  • College of Psychiatrists etc

How long does it take to study medicine in South Africa?

Most medicine courses, unlike others, take the longest period to complete. Overall, they may take six to ten years, depending on the area one wants to specialize in. Currently, an MBChB degree takes six years.

How much does a degree cost in South Africa?

The costs of studying medicine in SA vary from one university to another. You can check out this fee handbook of the University of Cape Town to have an estimate of the fees for 2020.

How to become a doctor in South Africa

After graduating, one is required to go for an internship for a period of not less than two years. Also, they have to offer a one-year community service period before they start to practice as required by the law under the HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa).

How much do doctors earn in South Africa?

At the moment, the salary of a doctor in South Africa ranges between 32,800 ZAR and 124,000 ZAR. However, most of them earn an average salary of R520,366 on a monthly basis.

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