How to become a doctor in the USA; 9 best steps

Are among those about how to how to become a doctor in the USA? Worry no more this write up is especially made for.

Is no longer news that medicine requires a lot of determination and hard work, thus the reward at last makes up with all you put in.

A young person who dreams of becoming a doctor should investigate the profession as much as possible before joining the chorus that’s why we are devoted to bring you the right information to guide you right.

The United States of America is among the countries of the world with the highest scrutiny for their healthcare practitioners which is a very important approach in upholding the standard of a quality healthcare system.

Data obtained from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicate that there are slightly more than 900,000 physicians practicing medicine in the US.

However, a 2013 report from the American Association of Medical Colleges projects there will be a national shortage of physicians by 2025.

How to become a doctor in the USA

Below is a comprehensive step on how to become a doctor in the USA everyone ought to know;

  1. Go for your Undergraduate Education
  2. Pass the MCAT Examination
  3. Seek admission into a Medical School
  4. Complete Training at Medical School
  5. Pass Parts I & II of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
  6. Match with Residency
  7. Pass Part III of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and Finish Residency
  8. Seek and acquire certification from board
  9. Go for your State License
  • Go for your Undergraduate Education

There are various undergraduate studies open for everyone who seeks to take a path to a medical career. However, there is no specific undergraduate degree recommended for all medical school hopefuls, The College Board lists pre-medicine, biology, and exercise science among potential majors.

Like other career choices, you are recommended to make your research judiciously before choosing this path.

  • Pass the MCAT Examination

This is one of the essential steps on how to become a doctor in the USA. Individuals who discover their desire to become doctors after they receive their college degree may opt to enroll in a premedical program so that they can complete all of the required premed classes.

The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice examination used by medical school admission committees to assess a candidate’s likelihood of succeeding in their premed program.

  • Seek admission into a Medical School

After completing your MCAT, students become eligible to apply for medical school admission which is mostly done through the AMCAS.

The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), is a centralized application processing service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Students select their target medical schools and submit a single application to AMCAS, which distributes the application to each institution.

Prospective med students should take extreme care when crafting their personal statements alongside other essential documents for admission.

  • Complete Training at Medical School

At this point, candidates with impressive documentation will be invited to medical school interviews for validation from recommended persons from the institution.

Furthermore, candidates have a choice between two types of medical degrees: The Medical Doctor, or M.D., degree and the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or D.O., degree.

Admission into the medical school is the prominent stage in becoming a physician in the United States o America. This stage of study takes about 4 years of full-time study beyond one’s undergraduate studies.

  • Pass the 2 parts of the Allopathic or Osteopathic National Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE)

In order to be a qualified physician and legally practice medicine in the US, students must take and receive a passing score on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), a three-part examination taken during and after medical school.

Allopathic and osteopathic medical students at U.S. medical schools typically take two of the three parts of their national licensing examinations during medical school.

The must pass the first part of the examination, which covers basic medical principles, before entering their third year of studies. During their fourth year, students must pass the second part of the exam, which covers clinical diagnosis and disease development.

  • Match with Residency

Most medical students participate in the National Resident Matching Program, though some get involved with specialty-specific matching programs. They submit an application for residency and are matched to open residency programs throughout the country.

This usually take place in the final year of medical school, when students start narrowing down their medical specialty options.

The residency program after medical school last for about 3 years and might be longer depending on specialty.

  • Pass Part III of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and Finish Residency

Residency programs are essential for medical school graduates to learn the art and science of a particular area of medicine.

The final step of the residency process is to complete Part III of USMLE. This examination covers clinical management and assesses the doctor’s ability to practice medicine safely and effectively.

Toward the beginning of their residency, medical residents take the last part of either the USMLE or the COMLEX-USA, which makes them eligible for a general medical license that allows someone to practice medicine without being supervised by another doctor.

Residents who want to develop extraordinary expertise within a particular niche of medicine, such as cardiology or hand surgery, may opt to pursue a medical fellowship within that field.

  • Seek and acquire certification from board

After completing the medical education, doctors may obtain certification in their chosen field. There are 24 specialty boards that certify physicians in hundreds of specialties and subspecialties.

  • Go for your State License

Getting your medical license is every doctor’s desire. Medical licensure is governed at the state-level by state boards of medicine, and each sets its own licensing requirements and procedures.

Trained and board-certified doctors must apply for state medical licenses before they enter the field. Obtaining your is not the end since learning never ends. However, at this level, a doctor can work independently and is qualified to practice efficiently.

There are limitless opportunities in the medical field for doctors and other health practitioners in the US. However, you have to go and seek and explore these opportunities.

Most times, getting these jobs don’t with ease but one has to be determined in the pursuit of this selfless career.

With the above steps on how to become a doctor in the USA, I am confident that you get the value you seek and success in the pursuit of your career.

Top specialties in the Medicine

  • Allergy and immunology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Medical genetics
  • Neurology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Preventive medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiation oncology
  • Surgery
  • Urology

Frequently asked questions about how to become a doctor in the USA

Below are the top answers to the most asked question on requirements to become a doctor in the United states of America;

  • How long does medical school take to complete?

The duration it takes to become a medical doctor in the US is dependent on various factors. However, it might take 7 to 11 years to complete.

  • What does a doctor do?

The duties of a doctor in the US is not limited to giving diagnoses and treatment plans to their patients.

  • What are Doctor Salaries Across the US like?

The salaries of doctors in the US are dependent on different factors like location, experience, and specialty. However, on average a doctor can earn about $300,000/year according to a Medscape Report.

  • Are there different types of medical schools?

There are two types of medical school programs in the United States namely allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO).

Top job titles for doctors in the United States of America

  1. Anesthesiologist
  2. Dentist
  3. Occupational therapist
  4. Pediatrician
  5. Physician assistant
  6. Podiatrist
  7. Radiation oncologist
  8. Speech-language pathologist

What are the qualities of a good doctor?

  • Commitment

There is no one special quality that makes a good doctor. One is made renowned by collections of outstanding character and qualities which might not be listed here.

After one might have gone through the medical school successfully, commitment remains one of the cardinal virtues to guide one through the odds that might come up in the course of the career.

  • Competence

Competence is the set of demonstrable characteristics and skills that enable and improve the efficiency in one’s profession.

  • Courage

Amidst the challenges faced by medical doctors and other health practitioners, courage is highly demanded.

  • Empathy

You stand a better ground to bring a solution to a problem when you understand the problem and the person you are offering the solution to.

Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.

  • Honesty

This quality is meant to be paramount in all walks of life. Being honest comes with many challenging circumstances, however, one ought to stand firm and strong in the truth.

  • Humanity

Humanity symbolizes human love and compassion towards each other.

  • Passion

This should be the driving force of a medical doctor since the nature of their job is more of a selfless profession. Often time one has to stay up late and work for limitless work hour.

  • Respect and Understanding

Respect paves way for many opportunities. Doctor are expected to respect, understand and be trustworthy in a manner that patients can confide in them and open up to their medical concerns.

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