Consultants, on the other hand, are doctors who specialised in a particular medical field.
There are various specialist fields within that consultants can choose to practice in. All of these specialities come under the following overarching categories:
- Surgery: treating medical conditions using invasive procedures
- Medicine: studying the effects of different medications and how they interact with each other
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology: dealing with female reproduction and pregnancy
- Anaesthetics: using medicine to anaesthetise patients before any type of invasive surgical or medical procedure
- Paediatrics: treating children
- Ophthalmology: treating eye conditions
- Radiology: using imaging techniques (e.g. x-rays and ultrasounds)
- Oncology: treating tumours and cancer
- Psychology: treating mental disorders
- Pathology: studying diseases and their effects on the human body
Consultant vs. doctor – Education and training
To being your journey to becoming a doctor in the Gambia, you must first get into a medical school that is approved by the Gambia Medical and Dental Council (GMDC). The GMDC is the regulatory body for doctors in the Gambia, and all doctors must be registered with it. Most medical degree programs last 4 to 6 years. After completing your medical degree it will take you another 5 years of interning and residency training to become a fully qualified doctor, licensed to practice.
Consultants in the Gambia go through the same training as doctors and then spend a few more years getting additional education and training in their chosen specialty. After completing your medical degree it will take you another 7 to 9 years at the minimum to be able to practice as a hospital consultant.