One of the most respected and sought after professions is a doctor.
So, how do you get there? The key is to prepare, work hard, and go above and beyond.
Being a doctor isn’t easy, and neither is getting there.
Be sure to look to the future and take the appropriate steps to becoming a doctor so you don’t catch any surprises along the way.
Steps To Becoming A Doctor
Needless to say, but becoming a doctor is a lot of hard work. Knowing where you need to go next on your path can take some of the pressure off.
Follow these steps to become a doctor. If only it were that simple, we’d all be making an average salary of $237,000.
1. Start Early
If you’re serious about becoming a doctor, start your process as early as you decide your path.
Figure out you want to be a doctor while you’re still in high school? Take the appropriate classes to set you up best for your undergraduate career.
Want to be uber prepared? Take biology, calculus, chemistry, and other life sciences so when the time comes to take the class in college, you ace it.
Starting to prepare for becoming a doctor early can also help get you into a good undergraduate college to earn your bachelor’s degree. The sooner you begin getting serious about becoming a doctor, the better.
2. Earn A Bachelors
The first requirement for becoming a doctor is going to a four-year undergraduate program and receiving a bachelor’s degree.
What should you major in? That is actually up to you. There are certain requirements you need when applying to schools, like biology or anatomy, but as long as you have taken the necessary classes, you can do any major you want.
There are some recommended studies and majors from medical schools like pre-med, biology, and exercise science.
While in undergrad you should make yourself a competitive candidate by being involved in clubs and activities, especially life science-oriented ones. You should also consider volunteering or working in the medical field, just make sure you keep your grades up.
Earning your bachelor’s degree, following these tips, and taking the required classes will set you up for success when it comes to taking the MCAT and applying to medical school.
3. Take The MCAT
During your junior year of college, you should take the Medical College Admission Test, known as the MCAT.
You’ll need to prepare heavily to take the MCAT. It is a challenging multiple-choice standardized test that admission committees will use to determine if you’re a good candidate for their medical school.
4. Apply To Medical School
After you take and pass the MCAT, you should apply to medical schools.
How many should you apply to depends on how competitive a candidate you are. Due to low acceptance rates, the average number of schools a medical school candidate applies to is 15!
It may seem excessive, but you’ll want to be better safe than sorry.
5. Complete Studies At Medical School
You’ll spend four more years going to school and completing your studies within the medical school. During this time you will get a lot of lectures as well as hands-on experience in the form of clinical rotations.
6. Parts One And Two Of The USMLE
To become a doctor in America, you’ll have to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
The USMLE is a three-part exam that is taken during and after graduation from medical school. Part one of the exam is taken before the third year. Part two is taken during the last year of medical school.
These two parts will cover the studies you took in medical school, like basic medical concepts, clinical diagnosis, and disease development.
7. Graduate From Medical School
After you finish all of the medical school requirements it is time to graduate.
Once you graduate, you’ll move on to your residency.
8. Residency And Part Three USMLE
Your residency is when you get to apply all of your education and experience from rotations to hands-on patient work.
The final part of your residency is to pass the third part of the USMLE. Once you complete the residency and part III of the USMLE you will be done with your formal education and can start pursuing actually becoming a doctor!
9. Get License And Certifications
You’ll want to figure out which state you want to work for. Medical licenses are given from a state level.
Before you can legally practice medicine you’ll need to get your medical license from the state.
Certain certifications and specialties have more money associated with them. There are 24 different specialties to get certified in if you choose.
10. Find A Job
Not that any part has been easy, but finding a job in the medical career is one of the more challenging aspects of becoming a doctor.
You’ll use all of your experiences in undergraduate, medical school, residency, and examinations to help you achieve your dream and apply to become a doctor.
Where Are You On Your Path To Becoming A Doctor?
Wherever you are on your path, you’ll achieve your dream of becoming a doctor as long as you follow the appropriate steps and work hard.
Are you a little intimidated and not sure becoming a doctor is for you? It is a lot of challenging work, that is for sure, but if you break down these steps to becoming a doctor it is doable.
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