You can find more than 1 million doctors in the U.S. in 2020. Doctors practice medicine. Hence, this is a field consumers will always demand.
But becoming a doctor requires getting a medical doctor degree, which takes time. So how long does it take to earn this degree?
You’ll need to know the answer to this question if you want a medical career. So check out this guide as we explain how long it takes to earn a medical doctor degree.
Earn a 4-Year Degree
Earning a medical degree requires several steps. The first step is attending an undergraduate program at a college or university. You can earn an undergraduate degree in four years.
This degree is a bachelor’s degree, and you can earn it in any field. However, most people choose a medical focus when choosing their program.
For example, you might attend a four-year program in biology or chemistry. Many undergraduate colleges consider these pre-med programs. These programs prepare students for medical school.
You can get into medical school with other undergraduate degrees. But other programs won’t prepare you like pre-med programs do.
Attend a 4-Year Medical School
After completing a four-year program, you can apply to study medicine at a medical school. Studying medicine is the focus of a four-year medical school degree.
These programs last for four years. But the first two years are different from the second two years.
Students spend the first two years in the classroom. They take courses during these two years to learn the things they need to know as doctors.
The students then spend the second two years completing clinicals. Clinicals involve going to a hospital or healthcare setting.
While there, they learn by watching doctors work. They also assist with procedures. You can click here to learn more about medical school.
So at this point, a student has dedicated eight years to becoming a medical doctor. But the student is still not finished.
Medical students must also take the state board licensing tests. Most take the first tests after completing medical school. But they take the remaining ones during their residencies.
Complete a 3 to 7-Year Residency
A residency is a paid position that doctors take before becoming fully licensed. A residency program can last up to seven years. However, some are shorter.
The length of a residency depends on the student’s medical career choices. For example, basic doctors can complete these in three years. On the flip side, brain surgeon programs last longer.
Medical training is extensive because it’s a complex career. But it’s also a career that will pay off in the long run.
Earn a Medical Doctor Degree
As you can see, it takes at least eleven years to earn a medical doctor degree. But, of course, it can take longer if you want to specialize in a specific branch of medicine.
Becoming a doctor takes time, but it’s a great career for many people.
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