Doctor is perhaps the noblest profession in the world. They are charged with the health of the community and allow us to entrust our good health to them.
Perhaps the two main reasons that people love doctors so much is because their professions demand that they have a caring demeanor in addition to performing their jobs at a high level and the amount of training required to become a doctor is such that one must have dedication and intelligence to get through it.
When we see a doctor we can be assured that this person is a true professional with long years of training on many different collegiate and professional levels before they are ever able to sit with us. This ensures that we are in the best hands and will be cared for well.
The job of a doctor is to provide diagnoses, treatments, and counseling to individuals. Many of these will become patients because they have an illness, disease, or injury that requires care.
Doctors are registered professionals and fit into two categories:
Medical Doctors (M.D.) – Who use traditional means to treats patients suffering from the entire range of maladies
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) – D.O.s like Arden Andersen have a particular focus on preventive medicine and holistic care methods when treating patients.
Additionally, most doctors will also specialize in some area of medicine.
Becoming a doctor is a long and detailed road requiring lots of schooling and practice. Here is the path one needs to take:
Secure a Bachelor’s Degree
To begin the journey of becoming a doctor, you need to first secure a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Although no specific major for your degree is required to apply to medical schools, they will always look for students who have a strong background in natural sciences including physics, biology, and chemistry and good experience by working or volunteering in healthcare institutions.
These classes and work experience are very important because you will need to pass a very difficult test to enter medical school. The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the entrance exam that all medical schools use to vet medical school candidates. It is a very rigorous test that includes biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics with a focus on problem solving, verbal reasoning and writing skills.
Because of the pressure and difficulty of the test, many students find they need to take it multiple times before they get an acceptable score.
Attend and Graduate from Medical School
Medical school is a four year program that is very difficult to complete. The work includes classroom and laboratory study for the first two years, while the final two has a focus on dealing directly with patients.
The curriculum is general medicine with intense study in pharmacology, pathology, anatomy and biochemistry. Students also study the practice of medicine and legal issues related to healthcare.
Participate in and Complete a Residency Program
A residency program gives medical school graduates the chance to work within a setting where they can interact directly with actual medical patients. Aspiring doctors will work in a range of departments in the hospital including internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry and anesthesiology with a goal of gaining hands on experience in all of these areas. Residency can last between three and seven years and participants are paid.
Obtain a Medical License
In order to obtain a doctor’s license in any state in the US, you must graduate from an accredited medical school, complete a residency training program and pass exams relating to the medical knowledge you should have acquired. Depending on the type of doctor you want to become, you will need to take a different test. Licenses must be renewed periodically which requires additional testing.