This great article is about how to become a medical doctor in the USA. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the US is home to a little over 900,000 licensed medical professionals. However, there is a dire need for even more doctors behind this figure: According to a 2013 report by the American Association of Medical Colleges, the US would experience a physician shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 by 2025. To make up for this shortage, it will take a significant amount of time and effort to join the ranks of doctors. The following guide examines the steps needed to become a doctor, covers the criteria for admission to medical school, goes over the curriculum, and provides an overview of possible jobs for doctors.S
Steps on How to Become a Medical Doctor in the USA
It takes a lot of time and effort to acquire the abilities and knowledge required to practice medicine, so it’s crucial to learn about the educational requirements before enrolling. The process of becoming a doctor is described in the section that follows. The steps on how to become a medical doctor in the USA are as follows:
Step 1: Complete an Undergraduate Education
Step 2: Pass the MCAT Examination
Step 3: Apply to Medical School
Step 4: Complete Training at Medical School
Step 5: Pass Parts I & II of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
Step 6: Match with Residency
Step 7: Graduate from Medical School & Start Residency
Step 8: Pass Part III of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and Finish Residency
Step 9: Earn Board Certifications
Step 10: Get a State License
Step 11: Apply for Jobs as a Doctor
Doctor Salaries & Job Growth
Doctor Salaries Across the US
One of the best paying professions in the nation is medicine. In fact, the 20 highest-paying jobs in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include 45 percent of doctors. The typical salary easily exceeds six figures, and some surgeons and doctors can command salaries of more than $400,000. The income potential of doctors is influenced by a variety of variables, including specialization, education, and location. Learn more about doctor salaries by state using the map below.
Preparing for a Doctor Career: Medical Schools & Pre-med Programs
Pre-med Programs & Degrees
Students who are getting ready for the demands of medical school should prioritize their undergraduate courses. Most institutions do not offer a pre-medicine major explicitly since admission to medical school does not require any particular degree. The majority of students choose to major in other fields that can offer the experience admissions committees look for in eligible applicants. Biology and chemistry are two of the most popular degrees with a pre-med emphasis.
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Focus of study
The Bachelor of Science in Biology with a pre-medicine specialization consists of specialized courses that help students get an understanding of human anatomy and physiology, general and organic chemistry, the basics of biochemistry, and microbiology. Students who complete this planned four-year academic sequence are ready to take the MCAT exam at the conclusion of their junior year.
- Organic Chemistry
- Human Physiology
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
Focus of Study
The natural sciences and humanities track of the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry for pre-med students includes curriculum to help students become strong candidates for medical school. Courses like organic chemistry that satisfy the admissions standards of medical schools are prioritized in curricula. Programs in chemistry assist students in developing critical laboratory and research abilities while preparing them for the MCAT at the conclusion of their junior year.
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Polymer Chemistry
Medical School Courses & Requirements
The process of finishing medical school is a significant one that calls for commitment and diligence. Learn more about what attending medical school includes, the experiences that students have while enrolled, and what happens to them once they graduate.
Who is the ideal medical school candidate?
There is no one perfect applicant for medical school. Students that enroll in medical school come from a variety of backgrounds, but most do so right after earning their bachelor’s degrees. Their undergraduate degrees range; some major in the sciences (such as biology), while others choose to study the humanities (e.g. English).
Medical schools look for applicants who will diversify the workforce, are genuinely dedicated to serving others, and have a steadfast passion for medicine. Candidates who are appealing should be analytical thinkers with strong problem-solving abilities. Strong communicators who can build relationships with people and make difficult judgments under duress are required.
Are there different types of medical schools?
Both allopathic (MD) and osteopathic medical school programs are available in the United States (DO). Similar approaches are used in both programs’ curricula. However, osteopathic programs prioritize holistic and therapeutic approaches to treatment.
How long does medical school take to complete?
The typical length of medical school is four years, followed by at least three years of residencies for graduates (but can go upwards of 11 years). Some medical professionals may continue their education by enrolling in a fellowship.
What are the requirements in medical school?
The four-year structure of medical school curricula generally applies, but specific courses may vary by school. In the first two years, students take courses in biochemistry, gross anatomy, human organ systems, infectious illnesses, pharmacology, and the foundations of body structure and anatomy. Students study ethics, health law, patient relations, and physical examinations to get a better understanding of what a doctor does.
Students must take and pass Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination in order to advance to year three of medical school. This exam makes sure that students have acquired the key scientific concepts needed to practice medicine skillfully.
Student rotations in primary and specialized care settings take place throughout the last two years of medical school. Students have the chance to put their knowledge from the classroom to use in supervised, real-world experiences with patients during clinical rotations. Students must take and pass Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination in order to graduate and enter a residency. Step 2 evaluates the candidate’s clinical science and medical understanding.
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