Medicine is an intense field of study, but it results in a rewarding long-term career. You help people heal and improve their quality of life. The satisfaction that you feel after making a difference in people’s lives is unmatched. That’s why doctors are one of the most respected professions in the United States. You also get to be at the forefront of advanced technology that can cure disease and provide treatment for chronic conditions. But studying medicine also involves a number of steps and years of commitment. Learn about what you need to study medicine below.
Passion and Dedication
Think about whether this is something you really want to do. Studying medicine involves years of dedication and commitment. As soon as your first year of high school, you’ll need to start obtaining good grades to get into a top college. Then, you’ll have to apply for a rigorous medical program and complete a residency. This isn’t just a few years of your life. It can take well over 10 years to become a doctor. So, it’s important to determine whether your passion equates to a 10-year commitment.
A Bachelor’s Degree From a Good College
To study medicine, you need to prioritize getting into a good college. Your dedication should start as early as high school. That’s why finding college counseling firms to ensure you get the best education moving forward. The college admissions process is competitive. And with every appointment at Empowerly, a professional counselor can provide valuable insight into the college admissions process. This involves discussions on personal essays, test prep, financial aid, acceptance rates, and how to get into a top university. Most medical students earn biology, biomedical science, chemistry, or biochemistry degrees.
Competitive MCAT Scores and Firsthand Experience
To study medicine, you’ll need to get into medical school. So, in your junior year of college, you’ll take the MCAT exam. This is the Medical College Admission Test, which determines your likelihood of success in studying medicine. The highest score for the MCAT is 528. It’s best to aim for a score of 509 or higher to remain competitive with other applicants. Medical programs also require firsthand experience in some kind of clinical or hospital setting. Perhaps you’ll shadow or observe a doctor at a clinic or health facility.
Knowledge and Training From a Medical School and Residency Program
Medical school is where you spend four years learning about anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, and more. You’ll dedicate hours to learning in classrooms and labs. You get to dissect animals or cadavers to know the human body and complete some clinical rotations. Then, in your final year, you apply for residency and get matched to a program. In residency, you get to use your textbook knowledge in real-life situations. It takes around three to seven years to finish your residency, depending on the program and the medical specialty you’ve chosen to pursue.
Licensing and Board Certification
Once you graduate from med school, pass your licensing examinations, and finish your residency program, it’s time to consider certification. You need to get certification from your chosen field, then apply for a state medical license where you’re planning to practice medicine. Finally, once you’ve had your education and licensing taken care of, you can find a job as a doctor. Many medical students tend to obtain jobs through their residency program, but there’s a lot of flexibility in pursuing a career.
Studying medicine requires a lot of hard work and dedication. And apart from the educational requirements, you’ll also need a passion for health sciences and the human body. It’s a stimulating career that allows you to help people. Hopefully, these carefully laid-out steps have given you some idea of what to expect.