5 steps to take to become a doctor
People often say that working in the healthcare sector is a calling. It does take a lot of work and dedication, which can feel a little overwhelming when you first have a look at all of the requirements – but when you put things down as a step-by-step process – it can make it seem much more achievable. We’ve listed out the actions needed to become a doctor below.
Get your Bachelor’s Degree
In order to get into medical school, you will need a bachelor’s degree. A broad educational background. Although there isn’t a specific major that is required – a foundation in the sciences is usually what works best. You will need to complete undergrad coursework on subjects such as biology, chemistry, maths etc. You will also be able to get experience by volunteering in healthcare environments before you fully commit yourself to go to medical school.
Take your MCAT
MCATs (Medical College Admissions Test) – are needed by pretty much every medical school – and the top medical schools look for great scores. You will be tested on the core subjects we mentioned such as: biology, chemistry and physics. You can actually take your MCAT’s up to 3 times in one year. This review will help guide you about some of the study options and materials available for MCAT’s as they are crucial for getting into medical school.
Get your Medical Degree
The first 2 years at medical school usually will be more classroom and lab work – whereas, in the last 2 years, you can work with patients whilst being supervised by more senior Doctors. Topics covered in medical school are usually: pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, and biochemistry. You will also learn about some of the legal aspects that are linked to healthcare. You will cover specialist areas at your 3rd year such as neurology or cardiology – so you can gain a better idea of where you would like to specialize after you graduate.
Undertake a Residency Program
A residency program is where you will get to work with patients that are within your specialty of medicine. You will be given a bit more responsibility at this stage due to the experience you will have picked up. You will be able to do things such as perform physical exams, create problem lists – and creating medical history files. Residencies usually last from 3-7 years.
Get your License
In order to full practice medicine – physicians need to be licensed. In order to do this, you need to have graduated from medical school, complete your residency – and pass exams. There are different exams required for M.D’s, and D.O’s – and you need to get your license renewed on a regular basis. When getting renewed, you normally would need to complete another 50 hours of further education before taking a renewal exam.
Should you wish to start your career as a Doctor – hopefully, you will now have a much better idea of the work involved.