In order to become a doctor, a candidate will undergo years of education and practical training. Many times, the candidate will wonder if all the effort is worth the reward at the end. Most of the time, the answer is a resounding yes, in both job satisfaction as well as pay and benefits. For anyone who wishes to know how to become a doctor, review the outline listed below:
- Enroll in an accredited pre-med program: While it is not imperative that your undergraduate degree be in pre-med, it is helpful. The focus will keep you on target to get into medical school in the least amount of time. To earn an undergraduate degree, a candidate has several options. Firstly, he or she can enroll in a two year community college that has an articulation agreement with local universities. The agreement allows any credits that the candidate has earned to be transferred and applied to the requirements of the bachelor's degree. This route is preferable for many students, both new to college and returning, as the tuition is generally much less expensive than a traditional four year university, and the entrance requirements are more lax. The second option is to enroll in a four year pre-med program. This is the most direct method in obtaining a degree. The candidate can also enroll in an accredited online program offered by many traditional and online only universities. This approach is more convenient for the student, allowing the attendance of classes to be based on the availability of the student, but is usually more expensive than traditional college, and the student must be highly self-motivated to be successful.
- Take the MCAT: The MCAT, or Medical College Admissions Test. This is the entrance exam for medical school and is very similar in nature to the SAT or ACT the candidate took in order to be accepted into the undergraduate program. Since competition for open seats in every medical program across the country is fierce, it is imperative the candidate score well on the MCAT exam in order to ensure the best possibility for being accepted into medical school.
- Apply to medical school: Apply to many medical programs, as there is a very good chance that you will be rejected by many before being accepted by one. In order to make sure that you do not miss any application deadlines, it will be necessary to complete and submit many applications at once.
- Graduate from Medical School: This seems like it should be a given, but what may not be readily apparent is the need to participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible. This will enhance your employability once you graduate.
- Take licensing exams and enroll in residency: This is the final step. Once you are a licensed physician and have completed any residency programs in order to become board certified as a specialist, you are a doctor and free to practice anywhere you are licensed.