Medical Doctor

When a person decides to be a doctor, there are 2 ways to achieve this. You can either become a medical doctor with an MD or a DO (doctor of osteopathy). The difference lies in the philosophy on how medicine is to be practiced. The course pathways are similar except that a DO receives more training in the skeletal and muscular system. They tend to evaluate the health status of a person by viewing the body as a whole complex network. An MD however, evaluates the disease in how it will affect particular body parts.

Medical Doctor Education Requirements

To earn your medical doctor degree , you must graduate from high school with advanced classes in math or science and the highest grade point averages like a 3.5 or a 4.0. This will help you a lot in getting into a good college for pre-medical education. Prior to medical school, you have to complete 4 years of pre-medical school or any 4 year bachelors degree program. Biology is the most preferred course and it assures you a good foundation into getting in medical school. Although other science related courses will also be very helpful.

After completing 4 years of pre-medical school, the student is required to take the MCAT or Medical College Admissions Test which is given by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Once the student passes the exam, they undergo an interview before being accepted into medical school.

Medical school is another 4 year of studies wherein the first 2 years are spent learning the foundations of medicine in a classroom and lecture setting. On the 3rd and 4th year, students experience clinical rotations in various fields of medicine. This is good exposure to the students and will help them decide which specialty in the medical field they would want to take.

After the completion of the 2nd year, the students are made to take Part 1 of the USMLE-1 (United States Medical Licensing Examination) to be given by National Board of Medical Examiners. This is part of the medical doctor requirements in completing their education to test their knowledge in basic medical sciences. Part 2 of the exam is given on their 4th year of their medical school while part 3 of the exam is taken during their first year in residency. Passing the examinations determines whether the doctor will be issued a license to practice or not. Take note that each state has their own rules and only issues its license. There are no national licenses in practicing medicine.

Once you have completed medical school you are required to take your internship for 1 year and a residency training program of your choice of specialty in 3 to 5 years.

If you desire additional medical doctor certifications and certificates, you must pursue fellowship training as part of your continuing education. This involves acquiring more medical doctor certification and certificates.

What courses count toward Medical Doctor education requirements

The common courses taken to complete a medical doctor required education prepares you for a lifelong of learning in the medical field. In high school, courses like biology, chemistry, physics and math prepares you for pre-medical education. To be able to enter medical school, the typical courses taken in pre-medical school are 1 year of biology, 1 year each of organic and inorganic chemistry, 1 year English, 1 year college math or calculus and biochemistry.

In medical school, you will be trained in both Osteopathic and Allopathic medicine. You will take courses like anatomy, histology, physiology, biochemistry, neuroanatomy, embryology, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, and immunology.

What levels of degrees are available for Medical Doctor

  • Initially, students have to complete a 4 year pre-medical course or a bachelor’s degree in a science course most preferably biology or chemistry.
  • Students must take and pass the MCAT before admission into medical school. Medical school is taken for 4 years with an accredited medical institution. During medical school, students are made to take parts 1 and 2 of the USMLE-1 exams.
  • After completion of medical school, graduates undertake 1 year of internship and 3-5 years of medical school. The last part of the USMLE-1 exams is taken on the first year of residency. Passing the exam gives them the license to practice medicine.
  • After residency, the doctor has the option to pursue continuing education with a fellowship training in a specialization that he desires. This may take another 1 or 3 years depending on the specialty he chooses.

What are the financial requirements to become a Medical Doctor

According to Association of American Medical Colleges, the average tuition cost to complete a Medical Doctor education requirements ranges from $28,685 (in public institutions) to $46,899 (with private institutions). This does not include the cost of books, and other fees like laboratory fees. In total, the average cost of attendance would be at $49,298 to $66,984, for the public and the private universities, respectively.

What are the continuing education requirements for Medical Doctor

The choice to take additional medical doctor continuing education is at the discrepancy of the doctor. They may want to specialize in a particular medical field and that will entail at least one to three more years of fellowship studies depending on the specialty. They can choose specialties like gastroentorology or cardiology which are sub-specialties also of internal medicine. Then graduates must take the board exam given by the American Board of Medical Specialties respective of their specialization. This may consist of a written and oral exam.

In addition to the US medical license, the student also has to pass the state licensure examination where they plan to practice. This make around 3 to 9 months depending on which state they choose.

What are the skills necessary to become a Medical Doctor

The strongest Medical Doctor qualifications one should have are the following:

  1. Must love learning in general. To be smart and do well in science is an important part of becoming a successful medical doctor
  2. Must have a genuine intellectual curiosity in the field of medicine. The medical field is filled with a lot of career choices. You can even teach while you practice your profession.
  3. Must have a strong desire in helping others. Being a doctor gives you the opportunity in helping others. If you have the strong need to help others and enjoy doing this then you have the necessary attributes of a great doctor.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

How many years does it take in complete year to be a full medicine doctor June 9, 2012 at 6:20 am

How many years does it take in complete year to be a full medicine doctor? Thank you !


abigail daley June 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm

i am 15 years of age and im in jamaica. i want to become a medical doctor in the future.. i do well in math and the sciences IN CLASS but tend to reach through failure when its test. i strongly think its because of nervousness and anxiety because i study but not study alot but i know how to do my work. i like helping people especially my relatives/family members (mom) if she is sick i give assistance in what ever she needs. i know about the cells in both biology and chemistry but what i need is to know them fully so i could tell about it fluently and about the financial requirements i think its good the money helps through years of education but its a little bit too much


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