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.
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.
So typically it takes 12-15 years after high school.
Here is some information that might help!
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!