Every profession has its rewards. For doctors, it’s the ability to help patients get well from their illnesses. Doctors could either work for an organization such as a hospital or could choose to have a private practice. This job has attracted many individuals who have always dreamt of serving their fellow citizens through medical practices but it can’t be denied that this has also gained attraction because of the possible high pay-outs. Are you planning to enter into this type of job? Here’s a guide on how to become a doctor.
Step-by-step Guide to become a doctor
- Get a bachelor’s degree. While there is no specific requirement with regard to the degree that you should take up in college, a course geared towards science will give you better knowledge should you choose to pursue a degree in medicine in the future. Courses like physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology will give you an edge in medicine school. Many would recommend that you earn your bachelor’s degree from a reputable school.
- Pass the Medical Admission Test. Not everybody will be qualified to take a medicine course. Most schools will require you to take the medical admission test. Additional requirements may vary depending on the school. Although it is already expected that you should have a high GPA and MSAT score, other factors such as experience in working in healthcare industries and leadership skills could also be taken into account.
- Finish Medical School. A medical course will transpire for 4 years. The first two years will be concerned about theoretical practices. The last two years will be mostly spent in clinical rotation where the student will learn practical knowledge from real doctors. This is considered one of the hardest programs to get into with only 10% of applicants able to enter into these courses.
- Enter into a Residency Program. There are several fields of specialization in medicine. Some of these are dermatology, pediatrics, radiology, psychiatry and anaesthesiology. A residency program will hone your skills in your chosen field of specialization. This could take 3 to 7 years to finish depending on field of specialization. For example, radiology will dictate that you to take a residency program of 4 years.
- Get licensed. After residency, you will need to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam before you can be allowed to practice your trade. Additional certification is required in chosen field of specialty.
Job Outlook and Salary Rates of Physicians
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicians and surgeons have an average salary of $166, 400 annually or an equivalent hourly rate of $80. Number of jobs in 2010 is 691,000 and this is expected to change faster than the average with the rate of 24%. BLS predicts that 168,300 jobs will be created from 2010 to 2020. Compare salaries of physicians with any medical speciality.
Additional requirements to become a doctor
Working as a doctor will require you to have excellent communication skills since you will be talking to patients and healthcare support staff alike. Attention to detail is required, taking into account corresponding medications for several patients. If you are a surgeon, you need to have a certain amount of dexterity to ensure that you handle tools properly. You also ought to have real passion about helping other people and are able to empathize with patients regarding their condition. For more specific description about the journey of those who want to become a doctor is here: How long does it take to become a doctor ?