Becoming a medical doctor can be a rewarding career choice, allowing you to work in a hospital, medical center, or private practice. As a doctor, your main focus will be to treat patients’ medical conditions by prescribing medications, diagnosing ailments, ordering diagnostic tests, and recording patient information. Earning a degree in the medical field requires you to complete undergraduate coursework, earn your medical degree from an accredited medical college, and finish your residency program.
Bachelor of Science in Biology
You will need to earn a Bachelors of Science in Biology before enrolling into medical school. Some medical schools offer pre-med programs you can pass that will give you the necessary classes to enroll into medical school and prepare you for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). Common coursework needed to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree includes:
- Biology studies
- Human genetics
In order to become a doctor, you can choose to major in various undergraduate studies, but you will need to take a significant number of classes in science studies. Most accredited programs will require you to successfully complete undergraduate coursework in English, mathematics, and social sciences.
Medical College Admission Test
Before you can enroll into a medical school, you will need to pass the MCAT, which is a multiple-choice test that covers biology, physical science, verbal skills, writing abilities, and critical thinking skills. Most medical universities utilize your scoring to determine your acceptance for admission.
Doctor of Medicine
Medical schools require you to undergo both classroom education and clinical training, which takes approximately four years to complete. In your first two years of schooling, you will devote your time to laboratory experience and book study, which will prepare you to successfully diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. Upon completion of your second year, you will need to pass the first section of the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) through the National Board of Medical Examiners.
During your last two years in medical school, you will obtain your clinical experience and practical training by working under an attending physician at hospitals and clinics. Upon completion of your fourth year of schooling, you will take the second licensing test through the National Board of Medical Examiners, which will allow you to begin your residency training.
Taking between three to seven years, medical residency focuses on completing your practical training and experience in the medical environment. You can choose to undergo a post-residency fellowship if you have sub-specialized in a specific sector, such as geriatric, vascular, or internal medicine.
Each state holds its own licensing requirements, but most require you to complete a minimum of one year in a residency program and the completion of your board certification. Once you have met your state’s licensing requirements, you can obtain your medical licensure and can legally practice as a medical doctor.