How to Become a Doctor

How to become a doctor?

The path to becoming a doctor begins with education; medical school admissions require an undergraduate degree to be considered. Although a pre-med degree is a solid foundation to begin medical school—biology, psychology, or chemistry are also acceptable undergraduate degrees to start the road to becoming a doctor.

In addition to an undergraduate degree, those wishing to become a doctor will be required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is used in a similar fashion to the SATs as a way to evaluate applicants.

Once accepted to medical school, both classroom and clinical education takes place, in which various aspects of medicine are taught, such as psychology, internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, or obstetrics.

Upon completion of medical school, students officially become doctors, but must still pass a board test and complete a residency in their desired field, this includes exams to ensure doctors are equipped to safely practice medicine, allowing them to become practicing doctors.

What does a doctor do?

A doctor’s role is diverse and depends on their specialty. A physician of internal medicine, for example, examines adult patients to ensure proper injury care and disease prevention, as well as diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. These doctors also request necessary tests, follow-up visits, and refer their patients to specialists, as necessary. This role requires a MD degree from an accredited school and a valid state license to practice.

A physician at a family practice instead examines and treats members of a family, regardless of age or sex. Like an internal medicine doctor, a family medical practitioner ensures proper injury care and disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. They also prescribe and administer medications, perform routine vaccinations, and provide advice regarding personal health and hygiene.

How long does it take to become a doctor?

The length of time required to become a doctor depends on the field, but generally speaking undergraduate and medical school will take about eight years of full-time course and clinical work, followed by at least three years in a residency program. If a doctor wishes to pursue a medical field which is rarer or more specified, such as neurosurgery, additional years of education will be required.

To become a family practitioner or internal medical doctor, roughly 11 years of secondary education is required.

What skills do you need to become a doctor?

Certification and/or licensing in the position's specialty is the main requirement, but doctors must be able to work under pressure, often for long hours at a time. Additionally, a doctor must have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to make quick, logical decisions. Diagnosis and treatment planning are often a part of a doctor’s day-to-day responsibilities, and a knowledge of specialty technology is helpful (e.g. Medical Practice Management Software). Furthermore, as a doctor, communication with colleagues, patients, and families is crucial to ensure accurate and effective disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

If you’re looking to experience new places and meet new people while getting paid, consider a career as a flight attendant.

This is a solid median salary for someone with an associate's degree or the equivalent, and two to four years of experience. Dealing with cranky passengers and pilots, spending lots of time in airports, and living away from home a good portion of the week isn’t all fun and games, but what job is? For some, happiness is seeing the world and if you're not tied down, working in this field is a great way to do just that.

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