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how does doctors get there degree?

how hard is it to get a degree?

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Subject: Career question for you


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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Estrella,

Obtaining a Medical Degree

To become a doctor, individuals typically follow these steps to obtain their medical degree:

Undergraduate Education: Aspiring doctors usually start by completing a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field. While specific pre-medical majors are not required, students must complete certain prerequisite courses in subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): After completing their undergraduate studies, individuals must take the MCAT, a standardized exam that assesses their knowledge of scientific concepts, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities. High scores on the MCAT are essential for gaining admission to medical school.

Medical School: Once accepted into medical school, students undergo four years of rigorous academic and clinical training. The curriculum typically includes classroom instruction in basic sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology, as well as hands-on clinical rotations in various specialties.

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE): During or after medical school, students must pass the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exams to obtain a medical license to practice medicine in the United States.

Residency Training: After graduating from medical school, aspiring doctors enter residency programs where they receive specialized training in their chosen field of medicine. Residencies can last anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the specialty.

Board Certification: Upon completing residency training, doctors have the option to become board-certified in their specialty by passing additional exams administered by the relevant medical board.

Continuing Medical Education (CME): Throughout their careers, doctors are required to participate in ongoing CME activities to maintain their medical licenses and stay current with advancements in medicine.

Difficulty of Obtaining a Medical Degree

Obtaining a medical degree is widely regarded as one of the most challenging educational paths due to its rigorous academic requirements, intense competition for admission to medical school, demanding coursework and clinical training, and the need for continuous learning throughout one’s career as a physician. The journey to becoming a doctor requires dedication, perseverance, intellectual aptitude, strong study habits, effective time management skills, and a genuine passion for helping others through healthcare.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC): The AAMC is a reliable source for information on medical education and provides data on medical school admissions, curriculum requirements, licensing exams, and other aspects of the medical training process.

American Medical Association (AMA): The AMA is a reputable organization that offers insights into the medical profession, including resources on physician education and training pathways.

U.S. National Library of Medicine - MedlinePlus: MedlinePlus is a trusted resource for health information maintained by the National Library of Medicine. It offers valuable insights into the educational requirements and career paths for healthcare professionals like doctors.

These sources were instrumental in providing accurate and up-to-date information on how doctors obtain their degrees and the challenges associated with pursuing a career in medicine.

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Godfrey’s Answer

Medical degree are earned through college and had work,one needs to go through pre medicine degree in some countries while other u get direct entry to medicine if you are eligible from your senior grade...
Then after pre-med degreeyou get enrolled into medicine that takes a minimum of 6years,then proceed to internship for one year then residency.
Basically it requires had work, passion and commitment..
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Beatrice’s Answer

The pre-med track typically lasts four years, as you'll need a bachelor's degree to apply to medical school. That being said, some students choose to enroll in accelerated BS/MD combined degree programs that allow them to finish their pre-med courses in three years. I heard that it would be possible to take the pre-med courses at a community college to save you money.

Here is a link where it is explained what you do in the four (4) years of medical school after you get your pre-med degree:,from%20first%20year%20to%20graduation. The following summary appears on this site:

First Year (M1)
• Pre-clinical: learn about the body, diseases, and how to treat them.
• Comparatively lower stress
• Adjust to the volume of study material
• Hone your study strategies and build routines
• Optimize your efficiency

Second Year (M2)
• Finish the remainder of pre-clinical.
• Complete USMLE Step 1 exam
• Time management is critical
• More time spent studying and less time socializing
• Many schools are shifting to a one and a half year preclinical curriculum

Third Year (M3)
• The beginning of your clinical years with a series of core rotations
• Complete Shelf exams for those rotations
• Most of your waking hours are spent in the hospital or clinic
• Still need to study when you are home from rotations
• A balance between tiring and rewarding
• Complete USMLE Step 2CK exam

Fourth Year (M4)
• Difficult, but easier than previous years.
• Especially difficult for those pursuing a competitive subspecialty
• Complete sub-internships (also known as audition rotations)
• Prepare your residency application (ERAS)
• Residency matching on “Match Day”

The medical school journey is indeed challenging. You'll face trials and tribulations, but also experience some of the most rewarding years of your life. The friendships you'll forge, the wealth of knowledge you'll acquire, and the sense of achievement from completing one of the world's most demanding professional degrees will be unforgettable.

Keep in mind that at the end of these demanding years of study and training, you'll possess the power to alleviate others' suffering.

Wishing you all the best on this noble journey!
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Jonathan’s Answer

It depends on which type of doctor you are asking about - the typical degrees for medical doctors/physicians are either allopathic medical doctors (typical MD and longer standing Doctor of Medicine degree) or osteopathic medical doctors (DO or Doctor of Osteopathy). The traditional course is completing 4 years of undergraduate college work and then 4 years of medical school (MD or DO) to obtain your provisional degree. After that there are at least 3 years of residency/training for you to get a full license to practice on your own (initially out of medical school you are practicing as a trainee). I would say that generally once you are accepted and in a medical school, they are very invested in helping to ensure you graduate and can succeed, unless you decide it is not the right fit.

So in terms of difficulties there are:
- the time commitment for training up front (and ongoing keeping up with knowledge/certification);
- the cost of training (any professional degree is expensive but the graduate/medical school piece typically costs at least $160K though there are up front scholarships or after the fact loan repayment and incentives to help depending on where and what you practice);
- the intellectual and technical demands of the work (keeping up with knowledge/certification, patient cases and situations presenting challenges to diagnose or work up appropriately)
- the emotional and social demands of the work (interacting with patients and caregivers at difficult/vulnerable times, set up of our healthcare system where ability for folks to get care and pay for it may be limited and create inequities, tendency to be asked to work and do more)

The piece that is more important is against those difficulties, what benefits you find to how you view and want to interact in the world and if going through the initial and ongoing difficulties balances out or is workable because you want to
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Jacob’s Answer

Becoming a doctor is a rigorous and demanding process that requires several years of education and training. Here's an overview of how doctors earn their degrees and the challenges they may face:

1. **Bachelor's Degree:** The journey typically begins with a bachelor's degree. While there is no specific undergraduate major required for medical school, most aspiring doctors choose a science-related field like biology, chemistry, or pre-medical studies. Maintaining a high GPA is crucial during this stage.

2. **Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):** Before applying to medical school, candidates must take the MCAT, a standardized test that assesses their knowledge of natural sciences, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. High MCAT scores are essential for competitive medical school admission.

3. **Medical School (M.D. or D.O.):** Medical school is a four-year program that leads to either a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. Students learn about anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and clinical skills through a combination of classroom lectures and clinical rotations.

4. **Residency:** After medical school, doctors enter a residency program, which can last anywhere from three to seven years or longer, depending on the specialty. During residency, doctors gain hands-on experience in a specific medical field, such as surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, or radiology.

5. **Licensing Exams:** Doctors must pass licensing exams, such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) for M.D. graduates or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) for D.O. graduates, to practice medicine legally.

6. **Fellowship (Optional):** Some doctors choose to pursue additional training through fellowships to become specialists in areas like cardiology, oncology, or neurosurgery. Fellowships typically last one to three years.

7. **Board Certification (Optional):** Doctors can seek board certification in their specialty through exams administered by professional organizations. Board certification is optional but demonstrates expertise in a specific area of medicine.

**Challenges in Earning a Medical Degree:**

1. **Academic Rigor:** Medical school is academically challenging, with a heavy workload and demanding coursework.

2. **Financial Investment:** The cost of medical education can be significant, often resulting in substantial student loan debt.

3. **Long Duration:** The journey to becoming a doctor is lengthy, typically taking at least a decade from undergraduate studies to medical practice.

4. **Competitive Admissions:** Medical school admissions are highly competitive, and many applicants face rejection.

5. **Emotional and Physical Stress:** The demands of medical training can be emotionally and physically taxing, with long hours, high-pressure situations, and patient care responsibilities.

6. **Licensing and Certification Exams:** Passing licensing and certification exams requires extensive preparation and dedication.

While the path to becoming a doctor is challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding for those who are passionate about healthcare and patient care. Aspiring doctors should be prepared for a rigorous journey but can find fulfillment in making a positive impact on patients' lives.