How long does it take to become a Doctor will always come to the mind of all who dream of having this well paying job and well cherished profession.
As a person interested in being a Doctor, you must be ready to take the challenges accompanying this very import jobs.
The number of years it will take you to become a Doctor varies depending on the specialty you choose, that is the residency period.
This specialty you choose will determine how long it will take you to become a Doctor after your undergraduates degree program and the medical school.
So let us also see the educational requirements for becoming a Doctor and what or who the doctors are. Firstly, who is a Doctor.
Who is a Doctor
According to Wikipedia “doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments.
Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice”
A doctor, who may also be referred to as a physician, is mainly responsible for giving diagnoses and treatment plans to their patients. They also speak with patients about the symptoms they have as a result of their diagnosis, administer exams, order further tests, write prescriptions and make referrals to specialists if necessary.
Also doctors work with and train assistants doctors who work within their practice to ensure they uphold administrative standards and are in compliance with regulations regarding
Now we have seen who they are and what doctors do, let get to how long does it take to be a Doctor.
How long does it take to become a Doctor
To be a qualified doctor, you must complete your 4 years undergraduates program in health related courses, then spend another 4 years in the medical school studying medicine and finally study for about 2 to 5 years with trained medical professionals in your choosen specialty during your residency period.
So to be a Doctor you will spend about 10 to 14 years studying. But a very interesting part of the medical profession though challenging and very stressful is that it pays well after completing your studies.
The long number of years it take to become a qualified doctor will help in in saving life an other related works physicians do as part of their job.
Let us now see in details what it takes to be a Doctor.
Steps to become a Doctor
There are certain educational requirements one must pass through to become a Doctor, this is what we will go through now. There are
- Undergraduate degree program
- Medical College Admission Test
- Medical school
- Residency program
- Medical license
Undergraduate Degree program (4 years)
The four years in undergraduates degree program is aimed at preparing the students for the level of study in the medical school. In the undergraduate degree program, there are no specific major that all “pre-maid” (those who want to go to medical school) must pass through before going to the medical school.
Still, the major you must take must be related to science subjects if not science itself. Majority of students who are becoming doctors mostly major in a medical-related subject since the subject matter interests them enough to want to go to medical school.
Aspiring doctors major in biology, chemistry, psychology, nursing, medical technology or exercise science. Some of these undergraduate courses include subjects like anatomy, physics, biological studies and human genetics.
Note: It is advisable for all those willing to attained any medical school first have knowledge of the undergraduates degree program that the school accepts and the relevant courses or subjects in becoming a Doctor to be on a saver side.
The 4 years undergraduate degree program gives you the opportunity to network with doctors operating in your specialty by scheduling an a job shadowing opportunity, which can give you full exposure to the daily responsibilities of a doctor in you specialization.
It also serve as an opportunity to ask key questions about the career path they took and get personalized tips about your education and professional career.
Medical Collage Admission Test
The Medical Collage Admission Test (MCAT) is taken during the final year in your undergraduates studies to enable you move to medical school.
The MCAT last for five-hours, with multiple-choice exam taken on a computer that displays if you possess valuable knowledge to proceed in enrolling to a top medical school.
Also you will be tested on subjects like biology, critical thinking and physical science. Scoring high will give you he chance of getting into the medical school to study medicine. The MCAT Test has an average score of 500.
After you are done with your medical undergraduates degree program and passing the MCAT, you will head to the medical school which is four years.
Your 4 years at medical school will be challenging and more stressful than the undergraduate program. This involves long hours of studying and practicals .
Medical schools supply you with four years of medical training to help you excel as a doctor. The first two years involves studying inside a classroom and working on labs to treat patient conditions.
The first two years are mostly excruciating study hours with information beyond what you thought existed and you must grab them to move on.
Advanced concepts related to biology and chemistry will also be taught at this level.
The last two years of medical schools pertain to earning clinical experience, where you can evaluate how you apply medical knowledge outside of the classroom by completing rotations at hospitals or clinics.
Though the medical school come with what did not expect initially but as time goes on, with the interesting knowledge you are getting as you go further will make you want to continue.
You will come to remember the reason why you choose to become a Doctor and also with the benefit ahead, you will push harder untill the end.
In your third and fourth year, you will have the opportunity to work in the field (hospital or clinic) with experienced and qualified doctors as they trat patients. At this time you learn what it takes to be a Doctor and work with real humans in hospitals.
In your finals, you have to go through the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is a three-step exam that shows your competency of medical terminology.
The first two steps will be taken while at the medical school which the result is used to test your progress inbyour medical education.
Read also: How long does it take to become a lawyer
The residency training you will get in the hospital is for your specialty. Because you have passed the tests and earned your license for becoming a doctor, more hands-on training is required before you can officially become autonomous and take responsibility for the patient.
At the residency program is where you will finally able to do what you have been dreaming of, which is to be a Doctor.
A residency program is equivalent to an internship for a doctor, and they take 3 to 7 years to complete. At this stage you are called a resident.
One good thing in residency program is that you will be paid fully for your job there as a resident.
This last stage is seen as some people as the most challenging stage in becoming a Doctor because you will have to spend long hours at work.
At times most of the physician you work with might be very demanding and hard to cope with. This will be difficult to cope with but you must take it, this because the end is near.
After you are down with the residency program, then the stage in becoming a Doctor have ended. You are now a qualified doctor.
In summary of how long does it take to become a Doctor, you will have 4 years undergraduates program, 4 years in medical school and 3 to 7 years as a resident. So it will take you from 10 to 14 years.