Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Become a Doctor

Majors Overview January 24, 2013

Doctors perform the diagnosis of illnesses and treatment of injuries; to this end, they examine patients, perform procedures, take medical histories, prescribe medications and conduct tests. They also advise patients to help prevent them from getting sick; such advice focuses on aspects such as exercise and diet and health care. A patient can rely on an assessment of their overall health on a general practice doctor; however, specific health areas such as pediatrics, orthopedics, neurology and cardiology call for attention from doctors who are specialized in those areas. Those who aspire to become doctors must complete a bachelor degree program then they should apply for admission to medical school and satisfy licensure norms by taking the necessary exam.

The most common educational requirement is a medical degree followed by participation in a residency program. A state-issued medical license is mandatory in all states. These professionals need strong communication skills to augment their medical skills. They also have to bring problem-solving skills (to help in making medical diagnoses) to bear on the work that they perform. Additionally, they need manual dexterity, and as they spend most of their time on their feet; doctors need to have physical stamina (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); Monster.com (Aug 2012)). The following is a step-by-step guide that need to be followed by students who are planning to pursue a career in this field.

Stage One: Earning a Bachelor Degree

Prospective doctors are not required to pursue any specific major to become eligible to seek admission in medical school. However, students would benefit tremendously by taking many science-related courses. Such courses could focus on specialty areas such as biology, physics and chemistry. A pre-medicine track including courses in physiology and anatomy may be offered by some schools. Gaining work experience in a medical facility would benefit aspiring doctors and would give them an edge in a highly competitive field. High grade point average are essential, volunteer work in a local health facility would benefit a student even further as they are able to list it on their list of extracurricular activities on their application to medical school. Letters of recommendation are sometimes required by medical schools, but regardless of whether or not they are mandatory to seek admission to medical school; students should get them. Building relationships with pre-med professors will help students obtain positive letters of recommendation.

Stage Two: Taking the Medical College Admission Test

Taking and performing well in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a mandatory requirement for admission to medical school. This multiple-choice test focuses on areas such as writing, scientific principles, problem solving and critical thinking.

Stage Three: Enrolling in Medical School

Academic coursework and clinical training are combined in the training imparted through a four-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) program. During the first two years, students receive instruction in several subject areas such as physiology, anatomy, microbiology, and medical laws and ethics. Students get to participate in supervised clinical rotations during the last two years of medical school; these hands on opportunities give students useful exposure to areas such as obstetrics, gynecology, psychiatry, internal medicine, pediatrics and surgery. Focusing on a particular concentration area will help students get involved in a residency program. Such internship generally transpires between a student’s third and fourth years during the summer.

Stage Four: Completing a Medical Residency

Once they graduate from medical school, prospective doctors must participate in residency programs. In such programs, they get hands on training while being paid for the work they do. Depending on the concentration area; such residency supervised by an experienced doctor in a hospital setting can last between three and seven years.

Stage Five: Obtaining Licensure

Doctors must possess medical licensure by passing the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) to practice in different types of medical facilities including hospitals. The three parts of the exam focus on topic areas relating to medical and scientific concepts, and patient management and care in ambulance settings.

Specialty certification can benefit aspiring doctors who seek such certification in their area of concentration from an accredited organization. Certification will serve to underscore a candidate’s skills and knowledge in an area of medical specialization such as ophthalmology, neurological surgery, dermatology, or immunology. To obtain certification, an applicant needs to have a certain number of years of work experience within the specialty area including residency programs; additionally, they must pass the exam.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Fortis Institute , Grand Prairie
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Current RNs can choose from RN to BSN or RN to MSN online programs
  • RN-to-BSN program offers courses in Illness and Disease Management, Principles of Assessment, and Holistic Professional Nursing
  • RN to MSN specializations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology and more
  • Courses help develop students’ assessment, patient care, and community outreach skills
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
  • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
  • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
  • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
  • Online Courses

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!