2 answers

What is the least amount of time you can spend in college to become a doctor? (ie. dentist, anesthesiologist, small time doctors)

Asked Kansas City, Missouri

I honestly do not want to spend another 10 years after high school going back to school and spending insane amounts of money to become a doctor. I'm not necessarily looking for a cheat to become a legit brain-surgeon. I just know that biology and anything of the sort intrigues me. I have a scholarship that pays for everything (room & board, tuition, books, etc.) up until a master's degree. But, to become a doctor or anything related to that you need a masters, right? So, is there anything like the above that only requires a bachelors? if not, what would be the shortest amount of time it would take to do something like this?

Year: Junior

ACT: 1st Composite (no writing): 25 2nd Composite (no writing): 30

GPA: Not exactly sure, last time I checked it was around a 3.0 (I didnt take freshman and sophomore year as seriously as I should have)

IB Classes: IB English, IB Statistics, Functions, etc...

Planned IB Classes for next year: IB English, IB Discrete, IB Biology, IB Physics

other classes that may help: Honors Algebra 1 & 2 Geometry Trigonometry Biology 1 Physics Earth Science

#doctor #college-major #biology #pediatrics #veterinarian #dental

2 answers

Alice’s Answer

Updated McAllen, Texas

Congratulations on your scholarship- that opens a lot of doors and options for you! Secondly, good job on thinking about this carefully- as a bio major, I knew a lot of pre-meds who didn't really think about what being a doctor meant.

Straight facts first: The usual path to becoming a doctor is 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and at least 4 years of post-MD training (1 year internship, 3 - 6 years of residency depending on your specialty). It doesn't matter if you're going into general practice or brain surgery, those years are pretty much required. Dentists go through something similar (4 years of college, 4 years of dental school, and then some post-doctoral training if you want to specialize in a harder field like orthodontics or pediatric denistry) but it's a different school.

(You don't need a master's degree to become a doctor or dentist. However, a master's degree or something like it is usually required to become a nurse, dental hygienist, medical technician, medical administrator, etc.)

That's a lot of years of school, and you're right to be cautious before committing to it. The good news is that you don't have to decide right now. What I suggest is to talk to your high school's career office or the local hospital and see if you can volunteer at a hospital or talk to a doctor about what the job is really like. You may find that this is what you really want to do, or you may find that you can't stand the sight of blood.

If you can see the job being done and decide it's for you, then the years of school will be ok because it gets you to your goal. If not, then keep on looking for jobs that do suit you, and work towards that. :)

Good luck!

Thank you!

Richard’s Answer

Updated Wilmette, Illinois

Usually, you will need to complete college with a degree, preferably in the science field. Having said that, I graduated college in 4 years with a degree in Business Management (BSC) and a minor in Chemistry (I was a Chemistry major the first 2 years of college). Once you are in dental school, it is usually a 4 year program. However, there are some schools that have 5 year programs for obtaining your DDS or DMD degree (I received a DMD degree). After finishing dental school, I went out and hung my shingle and started practicing dentistry, My business degree in undergrad helped me set up and run a dental practice as a business. Nowadays, many dental school graduates go on to Residencies in a particular field, or a general field. If you want to specialize, it will take another 2-4 years after dental school, depending on what kind of specialty you are pursuing. To sum it up: 4 years of college, 4-5 years of dental school, then a year of residency if you choose, and if you want to specialize (orthodontist, endodontist, oral surgeon, etc.) that could take from 2-4 years more.