Even if you already know the reason(s) behind your desire to become a doctor, you still need to be aware of the time commitment required. We're here to give you everything there is to know about this very lengthy journey. You will discover the steps you need to take to become a doctor in this article, both before enrolling in medical school and after receiving your degree.
Undergraduate (4 years)
The prerequisite for applying to medical schools is completion of an undergraduate degree, much like it is for other professional schools in North America (such as dentistry, law, and pharmacy). Undergraduate programs typically take four years, and during this time, aspiring medical students are already preparing. Even though most medical schools do not demand that applicants have a scientific major, several of their requirements do entail science curriculum. Long before you earn a bachelor's degree, you start preparing to become a doctor. Your undergraduate years are crucial for developing clinical experience, working as a doctor's assistant, joining research teams, and giving back to your neighborhood. These experiences can assist you in developing some of the abilities that aspiring doctors will need and that must be developed outside of the classroom. You must apply to medical school, get ready for interviews, and pass exams like the MCAT and CASPer before moving on to the next round. You'll start the following four years of your path to becoming a doctor as soon as you're admitted.
Medical School (4 years)
Pre-clinical or pre-clerkship, the first two years are primarily made up of coursework. The USMLE Step 1 is a one-day test that you must take after your second year of medical school to demonstrate your comprehension of the concepts and mechanisms underlying health, disease, and treatment. The following two years are more practical. The clinical rotations and learning from physicians in a hospital are part of the medical school clerkship period. The third year of medical school is made up of core rotations that introduce you to several medical specialties. You must pass USMLE Step 2, which entails a one-day exam and patient contact, before the conclusion of the fourth year.
Residency (3-7 years)
You must finish a residency program after completing medical school. Depending on the medical specialization you pick, you may have to complete an additional six years of training after your first year as an intern. For instance, pediatric, internal medicine, and family medicine residencies all last three years. Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pathology, and Psychiatry residencies last four years each. Neurosurgery takes seven years, whereas plastic surgery takes around six. If you're applying for a residency program in the US or Canada, you must do it through ERAS for matching or CaRMS. When making your list of preferences, you should be aware of which residencies are the most competitive and realistic about your chances of being accepted.
During this time, be sure to have malpractice insurance. A medical malpractice lawyer represents patients or the patients' surviving family members in court proceedings. These patients are bringing malpractice claims against the doctors. Fortunately, hospitals require that medical students have their own malpractice insurance. Typically, those who stand to lose the most as a result of a malpractice claim are medical students. As a result, covering may be essential for their own security.