Training to become a doctor is a long process, but it can offer a rewarding career. Doctors have the responsibility of not only caring for sick people, but advising patients on how to stay healthy, not to mention conducting research to help find treatments and cures for various diseases. While it is possible to complete the schooling to become a doctor inside of six years, it takes the average student 11 years to complete undergraduate and medical schooling plus residency. Very rarely, the task can be completed in nine years.
Obtain an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. This can take anywhere from three to four years depending on course load taken each semester. Students interested in becoming a doctor should follow a pre-med track in undergrad where they focus on math, biology, and physics. Students that are eager to join the profession should target colleges that offer a six year medical track. Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rush Medical College, and University of Miami School of Medicine are a few schools that offer this option. These types of programs and hard to get into and have a rigorous curriculum to follow.
Consider going abroad if attending a U.S. six-year program is not an option. Schools around the globe attempt to attract students' right out of high school to join their medical programs. Medical schools in countries like Poland, Hungary, England, and even as far away as India and China are options if your goal is to become a doctor in a short period of time.
Prepare for and take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) if you plan to take the traditional route. You can prepare for the test alone but experts recommend taking a MCAT prep course online or at a participating university.
Enroll in an accredited medical school where you will take classes in advanced sciences and anatomy. During this time you should also be completing clerkships in different areas of the medical field to find a specialty like gynecology, cardiology, etc. Your ability to complete medical school inside your allotted time frame will depend heavily on the course load you are capable of carrying.
Complete a residency at a hospital or clinic to get hands on experience working under a supervising physician. A resident can treat patients and prescribe medicine while gaining experience working in various parts of the hospital or clinic.
Pass the medical licensing exam for obtaining a medical license in the state of your choice.
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