Step by step guide to becoming a doctor

Becoming a doctor involves years of extensive education and training. Depending on whether you plan to work as a general physician or as another type of doctor, training can take between eleven and sixteen years. Most doctors complete at least four years of undergraduate school, followed by four years of medical school and then three-to-eight years of residency programs. Fellowships can last an additional one-to-three years.

What does a doctor do?

Doctors can choose to work in primary care or to specialize in a certain area, such as pediatrics or surgery. Regardless of the field, however, a doctor’s main responsibilities are to diagnose and treat ailments by examining patients, formulating a treatment plan and prescribing medication. It’s important that physicians keep detailed medical histories of their patients. They may also analyze test results or perform operations.

Doctors of all specializations often work long hours and can have hectic schedules. Even when not working, they may be on call.

What kind of skills are required?

Doctors must possess a variety of interpersonal and academic skills, along with a desire to help others. The profession also requires extensive schooling and on-the-job training, so dedication is essential. Other relevant skills include thorough understanding of anatomy, attention to detail, an ability to work under pressure and, of course, compassion. Doctors utilize a number of other skills day-to-day in their work, but many of those will be mastered during medical school and working in the field.

The steps to becoming a doctor

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  3. Complete Medical School (4 Years)
  4. Earn a license
  5. Complete a residency