Doctors provide patients with many useful services. A doctor can diagnose illness, treat immediate problems and provide help managing chronic medical conditions. From vaccinations to chemotherapy, doctors are the first professionals people turn to when they need medical assistance. Becoming a doctor is a dream come true for many people. There are many steps and hurdles that must be completed. The road to becoming a doctor is long and hard but, as many doctors have found, it is well worth it for those who have a calling for the profession.
A College Degree
Anyone who is going to become a doctor will need to get a college degree. While it is possible to major in any subject, many medical schools prefer to see an applicant with a background in the sciences. It’s also hugely important to have a degree with the highest possible grades. Applicants who hope to get into medical school should ideally be able to demonstrate their ability to handle lots of advanced information and absorb it fast.
As the potential doctor starts to apply to medical schools, they will need to take the MCATs. These tests are designed to see if the candidate has what it takes to do well in medical school. Preparing for the MCATs is a must. MCAT test prep can help. Companies can offer test taking skills that enable people to review materials likely to come up on the test, brush up on their knowledge base and make sure they understand the structure of the exam.
Attend Medical School
After an applicant is admitted to medical school, they will need to spend four years completing a basic medical degree. Medical school can be challenging mentally and physically. Doctors need to master huge amounts of information. During this time, the doctor will need to choose a medical specialty. Part of becoming a doctor means learning basic information about various aspects of medicine. This allows potential doctors to determine what particular fields of medicine capture their interests best.
Once a doctor finishes medical school, they need to do a residency. Residents spend time working with another doctor in a medical setting. Residents work on cases directly under the close supervision of a senior doctor. As a resident, the doctor can expect to spend many hours on call with shifts that may extend past twenty-four hours at a time. This grueling time frame is designed to test that a doctor can demonstrate the skills necessary to make effective decisions even under pressure.
All states require doctors to pass licensing exams. A doctor needs to demonstrate to state officials that they have mastered a body of information and acquired direct skills they need to be a doctor such as being able to diagnose and correctly treat certain medical conditions. Licensing exams can take place over the course of several days. Doctors who wish to continue to practice will need to take periodic licensing exams in the field.
Some doctors decide to become general practitioners who work with many conditions and see lots of different patients during the course of their working days. Many doctors, however, chose to specialize in a specific field of medicine such as pediatric oncology. This requires them to complete additional training and pass additional medical exams.