Doctors are specialists who work in medical centers, hospitals, clinics, or private practices. They treat patients for injuries and illnesses. Doctors also record patient information, diagnose ailments, order diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications. If your dream is to become a medical doctor, learn about the preparation and education required to become one with the information below.
What You Need to Qualify as a Medical Doctor
To become a medical doctor, it will take you eight or more years of higher learning if you’ll choose to pursue your undergraduate degree full-time. During your course of study, you’ll also need to sit for several intense exams and finish a residency training program.
Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
Most medical schools require students looking to pursue medicine to undertake a bachelor’s degree before applying to medical school. Though medical schools don’t require you to have specific majors to be eligible for an undergraduate program, you should ensure that your course heavily focuses on science subjects like chemistry and biology.
Some of the undergraduate programs include subjects such as physics, anatomy, human genetics, and biological studies. Ensure to look at the undergraduate courses that every school provides so you can choose the right major. That is vital in putting you on the right route to successfully becoming a medical doctor.
Take the MCAT
You must pass the Medical College Admission Test to become eligible to apply to any medical school of choice. The MCAT is a standard exam that tests your potential capacity to qualify in a medical training program. It is a 7.5 hours test that needs adequate preparation and time. There are several ways to prepare for the MCAT, including:
*Taking MCAT prep courses
*Looking for an MCAT private tutor
However, the best and most reliable way to improve your chances of passing this test is to look for a highly skilled MCAT tutor to guide you through.
Applying to Medical School
Once you complete your bachelor’s degree program and pass the MCAT, you can now apply to any medical school of choice. You need to study for four years in a medical school to become a doctor. During your first two years in medical school, your focus will be on laboratory work and book study. The training you get during this period will prepare you to be a pro at treating and diagnosing illnesses. After your second year of medical school, you’ll take your first licensing test.
The second and last two years will require you to start your clinical experience journey. During that period you’ll go through rotations at hospitals and clinics. You’ll work under attending medical physicians during your practical training period. During your fourth year, you’ll get your second portion of the medical licensing exam. The exam will determine if you qualify for residency training.
Complete a Residency
You will choose a residency program based on your career interests. Depending on your specialization, your residency can last up to eight years. The residency programs cover specific medical specialties and general medical principles. A residency program will require you to perform several extensive duties like taking patient history, conducting physical exams, and interpreting lab information, among others.
Licensing requirements for medical doctors vary in different areas. However, most places require you to complete a minimum of a one-year residency program and pass a board certification test in the specialty you choose. Once you meet these requirements, you are now a fully licensed doctor, which means you can legally start practicing in your respective medical field.
To increase your chance of getting employment, you must obtain specialty certification. Specialty certification is voluntary. It involves a comprehensive procedure of assessments and evaluations. To keep your certification you need to continue your education before you receive a renewal test.
In a Nutshell
Becoming a medical doctor is undeniably not for every person. It is a complex process to get into medical school, and you still require completing a lot of training even after graduating. But if you choose you want to be a medical specialist, you can become one and be a valuable asset to the community. If you’re an aspiring medical doctor, you now have all the information you require to start your education and career journey.