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How long do I need to go to school to be a doctor?

I am interested in being a doctor but I need to know how long I will have to go to college. #college #doctor #medicine #medicine-school

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James’s Answer

hi lonnell,


i graduated med school in 1993.


there are differences depending on where you go and what you specialize in. generally, you need a college degree, usually 4-5 years. some of that is your pre-med requirements such as chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, etc.


then there's med school. that's another 4+ years. the first two years are advanced science courses. the last 2 years are clinical rotations.


then there's residency. this is highly variable depending on your chosen specialty. it could be as little as one year if you want to be a general practitioner. but could be 7 or more years in certain subspecialities. i chose family medicine which was 3 years of residency.


some people chose to do a fellowship after residency which can be another 1+ years.


then you become a practicing doctor.


sounds simple, right?


some advice: speak with a whole lot of medical professionals. find out their personal experiences with medical education and the medical profession in general. it's demanding and takes a high level of commitment. ask if you can shadow some of those medical professionals in their jobs. that can be a real eye-opener and help with some of your career decisions.


also, it would be wise to research the costs involved. most US docs carry over $100,000 in student loan debt. however, there are some strategies around that.


lastly, you might also look into related fields such as optometry, pharmacy, nursing, podiatry, dentistry, audiology, etc.


good luck!

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R’s Answer

12 years of school in USA; Kindergarten through 12th grade. 4 years of Bachelor of Science; 2 years of PreMed and then Residency at a hospital- usually. You can go into similar industries such as: MRI; X-ray Tech; etc with Less # of years of schooling.

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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree which takes between three and five years depending on the major. Then four years of medical school. After that several years of training in residency before you can enter practice.

So typically it takes 12-15 years after high school.
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Estelle’s Answer

To become a doctor: you need a college degree with the MCAT and premed requirements. Medical school is four years, then you need to do a residency which can be three years or more---it depends on the specialty you pick how long your residency will be. Good luck!
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Ken’s Answer

Hi Lonnell!


Here is some information that might help!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9c7EClFNYw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhLgtTMTklQ
http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Doctor
http://www.learnhowtobecome.org/doctor/


Best of luck! Talk to your doctor to get more info. Talk to your school counselor about coop and intern programs that might help you to learn more about the inside view of the medical field.


Please keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress!

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Rachel’s Answer

To become a general surgeon, you will have to complete college with a bachelor’s degree as well as all of the Pre-med requirements (1 year biology, 1 year inorganic chemistry, 1 year organic chemistry + labs, physics, calculus, and biochemistry). GPA should probably be 3.5 or better (preferably >3.8). You will also have to score well on the MCAT. Once accepted to medical school, as long as you pass your classes and perform reasonably well during your four years of medical training, you can apply for a general surgery 5 year residency. Following that, you will likely apply for a 1-3 year fellowship. This career path requires 13+ years of school after high school but is very fulfilling and challenging work.
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