Doctors are licensed medical practitioners who have gone through 11-15 years of training to get licensed. Doctors have to complete four years of undergraduate school followed by another four years in medical school and 3-7 years of residency programs before gaining a license.
Here is an overview of the education needed to become a doctor.
Earn a bachelor’s degree
The education to becoming a doctor begins with an undergraduate degree program. Potential are required to choose an education program focusing on pre-med which covers science based core curriculum units including biology physics, chemistry, human genetics as well as English courses in preparation for medical school.
Pass the Medical College Admission test (MCAT)
This is a computerized multiple choice exam that is taken before admission to medical school. It test’s a candidate knowledge on writing skills, verbal reasoning, biological and physical sciences. The test takes about five hours to complete.
Join medical school
The first two years in medical school are spent in laboratories and classrooms where students study courses to equip them with the necessary knowledge required to treat patients as well as diagnose. In the second year, a student should pass the first series of board exam referred to as United States Medical Licensing Examinations administered by the National Board of Medical examinations.
During the last two years in medical school, students practice medicine but under the supervision of a qualified physician to familiarize themselves with diagnosis and treatements. In the fourth year and just before joining residency training, students take the last series of board exam.
Medical residency training.
This is a potential doctor’s internship period that takes 3-7 years depending on the specialization. In a medical residency training, students work under the supervision of physician and it mainly focuses on practical training in the chosen specialty.
Post residency may also be beneficial as a potential doctor can choose to sub specialize in other areas such as vascular or geriatric medicine.
For one to become a doctor, you need to get licensed whose requirements vary from one state to another. Most states require at least a year of residency training and a board certification in the medical specialty chosen.
Once all the requirements have been met, a doctor is considered fully licensed and can legally practice medicine in their chosen field.
A career in medicine is one of the most lucrative occupation though it depends on the specialization. According to labor statistics, the annual salary of a primary care is almost $221,000 while that of a specialty doctor is more than $396,000.