The United States for a while has been suffering from a shortage of doctors as it is estimated that in 13-15 years the USA will have a shortage of doctors. So if you are a medical graduate outside the US you can consider helping them bridge the gap in the number of doctors and since you are here it means you are giving it quite some thought. Nevertheless, it would be wrong if we at CanadaQBank did not tell you the truth about the process and about how long and convoluted the process is. You should also know that it takes about 10-11 years for the entire process to be done.
Still, it is not all bad because medicine in the US can be financially rewarding depending on your definition of what financially rewarding is. It is also always in demand so you will most likely not be stuck in the job market without a job. If you decide to take that leap, here are 10 steps to help you become a full-blown doctor.
1. Get your bachelor’s degree and finish your undergraduate studies.
This is the first step that you have to complete because you cannot go to medical school without having an undergraduate qualification. You should know that there are no specific degrees you should have before you can be accepted. However, the US College Board has stated pre-medicine, exercise, and biology as majors that could potentially help you get it better.
Also, you should note that the application is not just about academic qualification as there are a lot of other things taken into consideration like experience and attributes. So, you should make sure you have a strong application from every angle.
2. Passing the MCAT
To become a doctor in the US, there are many exams that you have to pass and the MCAT is one of them. It stands for Medical College Admission Test and it is a very rigorous examination that requires serious prep time. The exam takes 7 and a half hours to complete.
The best thing to do for this exam is to choose a date that best suits you, take prep courses and be disciplined. You can take the exam 3 times a year if you fall short.
Practicing for this exam with CanadaQBank can help you pass. So take advantage of our resources.
3. Apply for medical school
When you pass your MCAT it is time for you to start applying to your medical school of choice but do not be pressured to do it as quickly as possible as there is no specific timeline to these applications. You can start applying in your junior year of college or after you are done with your undergrad studies.
Choosing the right school is also an important thing because that school will be your home for at least 4 years. You could consider speaking to students of your prospective school to get real-life experiences that will inform your choice. You should also consider your support system as medical school is very stressful. So, you have to go through the school’s requirements to know what they offer and what they do not.
4. Finish med school
This goes without saying because you will not be able to be a doctor without first finishing your med school studies. It is a long road full of countless clinical rotations, lectures, tests, and a whole lot more so be prepared.
Be sure you have a good support system because this part is one of the most strenuous. Remember to have fun no matter what.
5. Apply for the USMLE Part 1 and Part 2
The USMLE is an important exam that medical students have to pass before they can practice medicine in the US. Step 1 of the exam must be passed before they reach the third year of medical school and Step 2 must be passed before the fourth year of medical school.
CanadaQBank can help you prepare for this exam with over 3,000 multiple choice questions to help you prepare with detailed explanations.
6. Send your residency application
Here you have to make a choice to know what specialty you want to pursue. To do this, you have to know what part of medicine interests you, what the pay is like and if the pay and work lifestyle align with the type of life you want to live. After you have carefully considered all you want, the next thing to do is to apply for any residency program that you want.
7. Graduate from medical school
Before you can get into your residency program, you have to graduate from medical school and then start yet another training.
At this stage, you should know that you are very close to the end even though you will have at least 3 years to do your residency training to learn more about your specialty of choice. Note that this could be longer depending on your specialty and where you do the residency training.
8. Apply and Pass the USMLE Stage 3
You will have to pass step 3 of the USMLE by our third year of residency to be able to be certified by the board and get your state license.
9. Board certification and state license
For your board certification, you will have completed your residency training before you can get it. This certification is voluntary but most employers will need it to validate your expertise in your specialty. You will write a board exam and pay an average of $2000 to get it and note that each specialty has its requirements.
For your state license, any state you want to practice medicine in must issue you a special license before you can work there. You will have to have passed all three parts of the USMLE and have successfully passed through all the steps above. Furthermore, you should expect your license at most 60 days from your application date.
10. Find a job
The final step is to find a job and luckily for you, that will not be hard at all. There are a lot of opportunities to choose from. Where you did your residency program may retain you or even recruiters may scout you,
Congrats on getting to this part of this article and as you can see becoming a doctor is not for the faint of heart. However, we at CanadaQBank are here to make that journey easier by helping you pass all your exams with ease.