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what is it like being a doctor

Earn a Medical Degree. Complete a Residency Program...Obtain Licensure..Get Certified to Advance Career. #doctor #doctor #doctor #doctor #doctor #doctor #doctor #career #career #career #career #career #career #career #career #career #career-choice #career-counseling #career-path #career-development

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Subject: Career question for you


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Nate’s Answer

Depends on your specialty. You may work days only, possibly 24 hr shifts, possibly weekends. Expect sacrificing time with family and friends especially during your training years. It can be very rewarding at times when caring for patients and seeing improvements in their lives. It can be very frustrating at times when losing a patient or when interacting with hospital administrators. Loan payoffs often continue for 20 To 30 years after Med school unless in a loan forgiveness program. I should add ultimately you will likely be afforded a lifestyle unmatched by many careers.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Dr. Polite for your insights. A loan forgiveness program is definitely one way to pay off loans. Sheila Jordan
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Estelle’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.

During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.

Medical school takes 4 years to complete.

After medical school physicians complete a residency for additional training. These can last 3-6 years and are sometimes followed by an additional year or two of fellowship subspecialty training.

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Angel,

Embarking on a journey to become a doctor is an exciting adventure filled with rewards and challenges. Doctors are the backbone of the healthcare system, diagnosing and treating illnesses, providing preventive care, and enhancing the overall health of their patients. Let's dive into the path to becoming a doctor, the responsibilities and challenges they encounter, and the gratifying aspects of this profession.

The first step to becoming a doctor is earning a medical degree. This journey begins with an undergraduate program focused on science subjects like biology, chemistry, and physics. After earning a bachelor's degree, the next step is applying to medical school. Getting into medical school is tough, with admission requirements varying across institutions. Applicants are assessed on their academic performance, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Once in medical school, students undertake a rigorous four-year program that blends classroom learning with clinical rotations. The initial two years are typically spent gaining foundational knowledge of medicine in classrooms and labs. Students delve into subjects like anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and medical ethics.

The last two years of medical school are dedicated to clinical rotations. Here, students get hands-on experience in various medical specialties under the guidance of seasoned physicians. They rotate through departments such as internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and more. This practical experience helps students hone their clinical skills and decide on their future specialty.

After medical school, graduates undertake a residency program in their chosen specialty. Residency is a supervised training period that lasts between three to seven years, depending on the specialty. During this time, doctors work long hours in hospitals or clinics under the mentorship of attending physicians, gaining practical experience, honing their clinical skills, and taking on more patient care responsibilities.

Another vital step in becoming a doctor is obtaining licensure. After completing their residency, doctors must pass a licensing examination, like the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in the U.S. This exam tests a doctor's knowledge and ability to apply medical principles in practice. Once licensed, doctors can legally practice medicine independently.

Many doctors opt to further their careers by seeking board certification in their specialty. This voluntary process involves passing another exam administered by a professional medical board. It showcases a doctor's expertise and commitment to staying current with advancements in their field. Board-certified doctors often enjoy better job opportunities and higher salaries.

Being a doctor comes with significant responsibilities and challenges. Doctors need excellent communication skills to interact effectively with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals. They must listen attentively, empathize with patients' concerns, and explain complex medical information in an easily understandable way.

Doctors also experience high levels of stress and pressure due to their demanding work. They often work long hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. They have to make crucial decisions quickly and accurately, sometimes under intense time constraints. Dealing with life-threatening illnesses, patient suffering, and difficult outcomes can take a significant emotional toll.

However, the challenges of being a doctor are balanced by its rewards. Doctors have the chance to positively impact people's lives daily. They help patients recover from illnesses, manage chronic conditions, deliver babies, perform life-saving surgeries, and provide comfort during challenging times. The gratitude and trust expressed by patients can provide deep fulfillment for doctors.

Additionally, being a doctor opens up a wide range of career options and opportunities for specialization. Doctors can work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practice, research institutions, academia, or public health organizations. They can specialize in areas like cardiology, oncology, neurology, pediatrics, dermatology, and many more. This variety allows doctors to find a niche that aligns with their interests and passions.

In summary, being a doctor is a demanding yet fulfilling career path that requires years of education, training, and dedication. From earning a medical degree to completing a residency program and obtaining licensure, the path to becoming a doctor is rigorous. Doctors face numerous responsibilities and challenges but also have the opportunity to positively impact people's lives. The satisfaction of helping patients, the diversity of career options, and the continuous learning and advancement in medicine are some of the rewards of being a doctor.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications or Domain Names Used:

1. American Medical Association (AMA) -
2. Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) -
3. National Institutes of Health (NIH) -