What 5 Subjects Do You Need To Become A Doctor?

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What 5 Subjects Do You Need To Become A Doctor?

What 5 Subjects Do You Need To Become A Doctor? Which subject is best for a doctor in high school?

Becoming a doctor is a noble and rewarding pursuit, but it demands rigorous education and training. One of the critical steps on this journey is the selection of the right subjects during your pre-medical education. This includes Your matric academic results for five subjects: English HL or FAL, Mathematics, the best of Physical Sciences/Life Sciences and the best two other subjects. We consider the percentage achieved, not the symbol. National Benchmark Test (NBT) scores.

Life Sciences: Which subject is best for a doctor in high school?

Life Sciences, previously referred to as Biology, is the cornerstone for any aspiring doctor. The subject involves the study of life and living organisms, from their physical structure to chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development, and evolution. A profound understanding of Life Sciences assists future doctors in comprehending human body functions and reactions to various treatments. As per South African university requirements, a minimum achievement of 70% (level 6) in Life Sciences is often a prerequisite for medical school.

Physical Sciences

Physical Sciences, comprising Physics and Chemistry, is a mandatory subject for potential doctors. Chemistry provides insight into the composition of matter, investigating properties and reactions, and how these reactions can form new substances. Doctors need robust Chemistry knowledge to comprehend how different medications interact with the body at the molecular level. Physics, on the other hand, underpins various medical technologies such as X-rays, MRIs, ultrasound, and radiation therapy. Understanding physics helps future doctors utilise these tools for improved diagnosis and treatment. A minimum achievement of 70% (level 6) is typically required in Physical Sciences.


Mathematics, particularly statistics, forms an integral part of a doctor’s education. It aids in understanding and conducting medical research, interpreting data, and applying it to patient care. Furthermore, knowledge of statistics is critical when understanding studies about new treatments or drugs and evaluating their effectiveness. South African medical schools often require a minimum achievement of 70% (level 6) in Mathematics.

English Language and Communication

Effective communication is a fundamental skill for a doctor. The ability to convey intricate medical information to patients in a comprehensible way necessitates a solid grasp of the English language. Therefore, proficiency in English as a First Additional Language with a minimum achievement of 60% (level 5) is generally required for prospective medical students.

Life Orientation

Life Orientation, as part of the CAPS curriculum, covers topics like psychology, sociology, and health, providing a critical understanding of behavioural, cultural, and social factors impacting health. This knowledge enables doctors to deliver more holistic and patient-centric care. Achieving a minimum of 70% (level 6) in Life Orientation can be beneficial for those looking to apply to medical schools.

Computer Applications Technology (CAT)

With the digital age upon us, a basic understanding of Computer Applications Technology, including the use of electronic health records, telemedicine, and digital diagnostic tools, can be invaluable. Although not a strict requirement, achieving a good score in CAT can enhance a student’s readiness for the modern medical world.

Physical Education

While not academically focused, Physical Education is important for future doctors. It accentuates the importance of physical health and well-being, in addition to the preventative aspects of medicine. A strong performance in Physical Education can contribute to a balanced educational profile. To summarise, aspiring doctors should aim to excel in these subjects during their high school years under the CAPS curriculum to increase their chances of securing a spot in medical school. Here, they’ll delve deeper into advanced subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, medical ethics, and more.

Required Subjects (marks/results needed) for medicine in South African Universities

  1. English Home Language OR First Additional Language 70% – 100%
  2. Mathematics 70% – 100%
  3. Life Sciences AND/OR Physical Science 60% -100%

Aspiring doctors must excel in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and communication to lay a strong foundation for their medical education. While these subjects are essential, it’s important to check the specific admission requirements of the medical schools you plan to apply to, as some institutions may have additional prerequisites or variations in their prerequisites. Remember that becoming a doctor is a long and challenging journey, but a thorough understanding of these subjects will prepare you for success in the medical profession.


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