Becoming a doctor is not an easy task, but it is possible. You'll certainly have to put in a lot of work and be dedicated.
Since many people are not familiar about how to become a doctor I am going to outline the four steps to become a doctor. Please keep in mind that this is just an outline of the process.
As you learn more and more about becoming a doctor you'll realize it is years of education and training that can be a downright grind. Let's begin by starting with...
At the end of your college years you will take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT is designed to test your reasoning ability and determine if you have the knowledge base to be successful in medical school.
Getting into medical is not easy because you also need to have extracurricular activities that show you understand what it means to be a physician, most individuals will volunteer in a hospital or nursing home to get some health care experience. Others will conduct research because medicine is science, so being comfortable in a laboratory environment is a plus.
Finally, you actually need to apply to medical school if you want to become a doctor. The application process for medical school is anywhere from four to nine months, but can vary depending on a number of situations.
Traditionally, the first two years of medical school curriculum are classroom based and involve learning the basic sciences. The first year of medical school is devoted to learning about normal/healthy body systems, while the second year of medical school covers pathophysiology and everything that can go wrong with the human body.
Once years one and two are completed you will take the USMLE Step I, for our purposes we'll say it is equivalent to the MCAT in regards to the fact it will test your comprehension of the first two years of medical school and your score will be used to evaluate you when applying to residencies.
The last two years of medical school are devoted to your clinical rotations/clerkships. This is where you spend time in the hospital and health clinics learning and observing from physicians on how to become a doctor. You will rotate through a number of medical specialties which include:
During your fourth year of medical school you will go on interviews in the specialty area that you want to practice. You are interviewing with program directors to see if you will be matched to their residency program to continue working towards becoming a doctor.
You will find out where you are matched for your residency in the spring of your fourth year of medical school and all the announcements are made on the same day.
Finally, you will graduate from medical school in late spring/early summer and have your Medical Doctor degree.
Your first year of residency is referred to as an internship. The length of your residency will vary depending on your medical specialty.
Residencies can range anywhere from three years upto six years. The shorter residencies include:
Once residency is completed you can take the boards and become certified by a national organization of your medical specialty and licensed by the state to practice medicine on your own.
Many general surgeons will sub-specialize for one to three years to be recognized as: thoracic surgeons, colon & rectal surgeons, etc. Also an ob/gyn can receive a three-year fellowship in pelvic surgery. As you can see there is a lot of training which goes into becoming a doctor.