Doctors diagnose, treat and care for patients while earning a decent income. For these reasons, many undergraduates want to learn how to become a doctor. As an aspiring doctor, you can decide to pursue different specialties in your healthcare career.
Pre-med students graduate and go on to become pediatricians, cardiologists, neurologists and dermatologists among other specialties. If you want to discover which specialty is for you and fulfill your medical dreams, continue reading to learn how to become a doctor in the USA.
Get Your Bachelor’s Degree
To begin your journey to becoming a doctor, get your bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Look into medical schools in the U.S. and abroad prior to scheduling your classes. Find out what the common requirements are and get those classes over with early on in your pre-med education.
Most medical schools require a certain amount of science lab hours and mathematics courses. For this reason, most pre-med students choose to major in science. If you major in biology or chemistry, you can complete your major’s requirements and meet the pre-med standards to qualify for medical school simultaneously.
The first step of learning how to become a doctor in the USA is to get your bachelor’s degree.
Take The MCAT
After you earn a pre-med undergraduate degree from a U.S. school, take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). As you likely already know, the MCAT is a very serious and difficult test to pass. It is challenging for good reason.
If anyone could pass the test to get into medical school and earn their doctorate, the United States’ general medical practices would not be as high quality. The test is based on biology, general chemistry, physics and organic chemistry.
However, it also tests prospective doctors’ abilities to solve problems, write, and reason verbally. If you study hard, take the MCAT and pass it with a good score, you will be able to get into a reputable medical school. Then, you will be one step closer to becoming a doctor.
Apply To Medical Schools
Once you receive your MCAT test results, apply to medical schools to continue working toward your goal of becoming a doctor. While you do not have to apply to medical schools immediately after obtaining your test scores, it is advised.
After all, med school is a four year program. If you want to expedite your journey and become a doctor fast, apply to schools as soon as you receive your MCAT scores. To do so, apply via the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
Or, if you decide to apply internationally, you can fill out an application directly. According to Saint James School of Medicine, “It only takes five minutes to complete your application form online.
Your admissions advisor will then support you every step of the way through the application process.” This makes the application process very straightforward. Of course, you need to apply to medical school in order to become a doctor, making this step crucial to reach your dreams.
Find Your Residency Match
When you attend medical school, you will have to find your residency match to become a doctor. Your residency match entails the department of medicine you wish to specialize in. Prepare for this step before your last year of medical school since that is when it will take place.
That way, you can narrow down your options before you have to find your residency match. Based on your preferred specialty options, you will undergo interviews with various residency programs. Then, order the programs starting with the ones you would like to pursue the most.
At the same time, the interviewers will rank the students they interviewed based on their preferences. Once all rankings are in, authorities conduct a match run to pair students with residency programs efficiently. To learn how to become a doctor who can accurately treat patients in your desired medical department, you need to find the right residency match.
Complete A Residency Program
Finally, complete a residency program that you matched with to become a doctor. These programs typically last between three to seven years, depending on your specialty and work ethic.
Most prospective doctors leave med school to complete a residency program at a teaching hospital, but programs can vary in the USA. Professionals supervise aspiring doctors during their years of residency and provide hands-on training.
This type of training provides future doctors with the mental tools to strategize and perform procedures effectively. Once you complete your residency program, you can get board certified and earn your license as a doctor.
Future MD’s need to learn how to become a doctor in order to meet their career goals and help patients. To begin the journey, first get your bachelor’s degree and consider majoring in biology or chemistry to simplify the schedule making process.
Then, take the standardized test based on a variety of science topics and reasoning skills known as the MCAT. If you earn a high score, apply to medical schools via the AMCAS. During your years at medical school, find your residency match to begin specializing in the area of your choice.
Additionally, complete the residency program that you matched with so you can earn your doctor license and practice medicine in the USA. Follow these steps and you will learn how to become a doctor in the USA.