How to Become a Doctor

If you are interested in working in the medical field, you may be wondering how to become a doctor. This profession is challenging and rewarding, both personally and financially. The road to obtaining a license to practice medicine is a long one, and it takes a high level of motivation to achieve this goal.

Someone who is thinking of making medicine his or her career can start preparing in high school by taking math and science courses. It’s important to take English as well, since doctors need a high level of verbal and written skills to communicate with colleagues, staff members, patients and their families.

Education Required to Become a Doctor

The first step to becoming a doctor is to complete an undergraduate degree. Many people choose to major in biology, chemistry or physics but graduates from other programs are admitted to medical school. People who are interested in providing primary care to patients may want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in the humanities, since this will give them an educational background which focuses on the human condition.

Medical school admissions committees are looking for well-rounded applicants. While getting good grades (a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher is recommended), it’s not the only factor which is considered when deciding who will be accepted into a program.

Students applying to a medical school are required to provide the results of their MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). This test measures a candidate’s knowledge of physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal reasoning and writing skills. Other than the writing section, each section is scored out of 15 points. The writing section is given a letter from J–T.

The next step to becoming a doctor is to complete four years of medical school. This program includes a clinical component, as well as lectures and assignments. After completing this graduate degree, new MDs complete a residency program. During this time, they receive training under the supervision of senior physicians.

The residency can last between three and seven years, depending on the specialty. A doctor who wishes to go into pediatrics, family practice internal medicine would complete a three-year residency. General surgeons receive five years of training after obtaining their doctor of medicine credentials.

Fellowships are periods of additional training in a subspecialty. Lasting between one and three years, they provide training to doctors who wish to specialize in a specific area, such as child and adolescent psychiatry or pediatric neurology.

After graduating from medical school and completing a residency program, a new doctor must still pass a series of exams to obtain his or her license to practice medicine. Licensing is required for each state or jurisdiction in the U.S. where the doctor intends to practice.

Doctors don’t stop learning once they obtain their license to practice. Some states require that doctors obtain a certain number of continuing medical education credits each year to keep their skills and knowledge current. The process and how to become a doctor has multiple steps, but each one is essential to providing the best training for these highly skilled healthcare professionals. Now that you have this information about how to become a doctor, you’re well on your way to establishing your desired career.

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