Becoming a doctor is a very viable option for a young person leaving school and thinking about their future college and career. Being a doctor comes with a high earning potential, job satisfaction, and job security. There is actually only 10 main steps to becoming a doctor … they’re just spread over many, many years. If you’re interested in becoming a doctor, here is what you need to know.

1: Undergraduate Degree

The first step is getting into a college and completing an undergraduate degree. Theoretically speaking, it could be any degree as medical schools have no specific requirements in this regard, however these are the recommended subjects:

  • Pre-Medicine
  • Biology
  • Exercise Science
  • Chemistry

2: MCAT Exam

The Medical College Admissions Test determines your likelihood of succeeding in medical school programs and when you apply, the schools will be basing a lot of their decision on the outcome of this test.

3: Apply

There is a service called AMCAS which will help you apply for different medical schools. The AMCAS helps you create one application which they then send to your school hit list.

4: Complete Medical School

This will usually take 4 years and will be a mix of theory and practical study.


5: Pass USMLE

You’re nearing the end of medical school, but you’re only at the halfway point of this article. What gives? You now need to complete The US Medical Licensing Examination which comes in two parts at this stage. You will need this to finish medical school.

6: Residency

This is where you start thinking about you specialization and start applying for residency programs throughout the country (think about the first few series of Scrubs­).

7: Complete the Residency

By now you will have left medical school and be about to embark on your residency which will be another 3 years where you hone your talents on a specific specialization.

8: Pass USMLE … Again

Yes, like a bad 80’s slasher villain, they keep coming back for more. You did the first one, you aced the sequel … but not there’s the concluding part of the trilogy. The USMLE: Part 3 is the last examination you need to take… but you’re not a doctor yet!

9: Board Certifications

Although I said that the USMLE was the last examination you’d take, I lied, but that’s medicine for you! You will need to get certified in your chosen specialty and by doing that you will need to take a written (and sometimes oral) examination.


10: Get Licensed

The final step is to get licensed in your state, otherwise you will be practicing medicine illegally and that’s a rather major crime, if you hadn’t already have guessed.

Now that’s all done, you can start applying for jobs. Many doctors will stay on in the hospitals where they did their residency, however some will like to move around a bit. Some people may even be headhunted. There are slight variations and extra bits, as no two institutions are the same and you might even choose to undertake a Master’s in Public Health online, which could boost your earning potential — click here for more information. Whatever route you decide to take and to whatever specialty, I wish you well and hope you help as many people as possible.

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