Looking to Start Your Medical Career?
Choosing to become a doctor is a huge commitment. Only a minority of people have the compassion and drive to do the necessary work. You will spend many years studying and going training, and once you start working, you will be spending every moment that you are at work making efforts to help people. The positive impact that you will make on people’s lives will be well worth it.
If you think that becoming a doctor is right for, you will need to be informed about every step of the way to make the right decisions and be sure that the career is really for you.
1 Start Doing the Work in High School
Since becoming a doctor is highly selective, you will need to do the necessary work in high school to look appealing to a pre-med program. You should make an effort to get the highest grades possible in all school subjects. Enrolling in advanced-level courses will make you look more appealing on your college applications. Even though you may not be required to take four years of science and math courses, you should take four years of them. You should fill up your electives with science-related courses, preferably those that are biology-related.
2 Apply to an Undergraduate Program
You should take the SAT or the ACT during your junior year of high school. These tests take about six months to prepare for. You should take both tests and use the better score of the two. If you are not satisfied with your scores during the first time, feel free to take them a second or third time. For your undergraduate college or university, you should pick a school that is reputable for their pre-med or science programs to look appealing to medical school.
3 Study for and Take the MCATs
The MCATs are the admissions exams for medical school. They are in multiple-choice format. You should start preparing for them during your junior and senior year of undergrad. There are many free online resources to help you in passing the MCAT. The cost to take the MCATs is 315 dollars. As you imagine, the test is rigorous to assess your ability of succeeding in medical school.
4 Apply to Medical School
Upon passing the MCAT, you will start applying to medical schools. You do not need to start applying to medical schools right after undergrad. You can take a year off to prepare for the rigor of medical school. Most medical schools use the same application, which is from the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
5 Complete Medical School
Medical school takes approximately four years of full-time study. The amount of studying required makes it almost impossible to hold a part-time job, let alone a full-time job. You should financially prepare for this.
6 Pass Both Parts of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
The first part of the USMLE is taken before your third year of medical school. The content is on basic medical concepts. The second part is taken before your fourth year. The content is on diseases and diagnosis.
7 Graduate Medical School and Get a Residency
You will need to choose a specialization by your fourth year of medical school in order to be matched with a residency. Upon graduation, you will start your residency, which provides hands-on training in your specialization. Residencies take about three year, depending on your specialization. If you are going into surgery, expect it to be more.
8 Pass Part Three of the USMLE
Before completing your residency, you will pass part three of the USMLE. The content is on clinical management and your ability to practice properly.
9 Earn Board Certifications
You will need to earn board certifications in the specializations and sub-specializations. You may have to pass an oral as well as a written exam.
10 Get Licensed
You will have to apply for licensure in your state. Each state has its own requirements. You should be informed on your state’s requirements early on.
11 Apply for Jobs
Finally, after many years of school, hours of studying, years of training, and passing multiple tests, you are a licensed physician. You can start applying for jobs at hospitals or outpatient practices. There is a doctor shortage in this country, so finding a job should not be difficult.