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how difficult is taking career pathway?

how hard is it to become a physician and how long will it take me because I am 16 years and in 10th grade

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Subject: Career question for you

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Martin’s Answer

I acknowledge your apprehensions, but quick fixes are rare. The typical journey to becoming a doctor involves completing a four-year college degree, followed by four years of medical school, and then at least a three-year residency depending on your chosen specialty. It might seem like a long haul, but given the wealth of knowledge you need to acquire, coupled with your years of practice, time will fly by. The only potential way to trim down this training period is by excelling as a student and securing a spot in a combined six-year program, which allows you to attend college during the summer and then transition into a specialized medical school curriculum. This doesn't reduce the medical school years, but it does enable you to merge the initial years of medical school with the final years of your college.

Regardless of the path you choose, it will demand a significant amount of effort as you study and evolve into a practicing physician. However, if this is your chosen profession, the time will pass rather swiftly. After all, would you want someone who took shortcuts in their training to operate on you? Despite the hard work involved, if this is your genuine aspiration, the satisfaction upon completion will make it all worthwhile.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Angelina
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Faarina’s Answer

Hello Angelina. If you decide to pursue medical training in the US, once you finish high school, then you will need to:
- go to college (4 years)
- prep for and take the MCAT exam
- apply for medical school
- complete medical school (4 years)
- take the USMLE Step 1 and 2 exams while in medical school
- apply for medical residency training programs
- complete residency (minimum 3 years, but this can be longer depending on what type of medicine you want to do)
- complete the USMLE step 3 exam during residency
- complete your specialty board exam either at the end of residency or several months after you graduate residency
- if you are interested in specializing in a particular aspect of a field of medicine, then you have to apply for fellowship training programs (but this is not necessary)
- complete fellowship training (usually 1-2 years)
Thank you comment icon Thank you very much.This information means a lot to me because I have been having doubts lately if I will ever be able to pursue my dreams Angelina
Thank you comment icon You're welcome Angelina. The path ahead may seem overwhelming right now and you may have doubts but remind yourself that you got yourself this far and you will continue to set yourself up for success if you put in the effort and have a positive growth mindset. :) Faarina Khan
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Gina’s Answer

Becoming a physician is a challenging and demanding career path that requires dedication, hard work, and a significant time commitment. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Length of Education: The path to becoming a physician typically involves completing a bachelor's degree (4 years), followed by medical school (4 years), and then residency training (3-7 years, depending on the specialty). This means it can take around 11-15 years of education and training after high school to become a fully licensed physician.

2. Academic Rigor: The journey to becoming a physician requires a strong academic foundation. You will need to excel in science-related subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Medical school admission is highly competitive, so maintaining a high GPA and performing well on standardized tests like the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is crucial.

3. Medical School Admission: Getting into medical school is highly competitive. In addition to a strong academic record, medical schools also consider extracurricular activities, research experience, clinical exposure, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. It's important to start building a well-rounded profile early on by participating in relevant activities and gaining exposure to the medical field.

4. Residency Training: After completing medical school, physicians must undergo residency training in their chosen specialty. Residency programs are highly competitive, and the length of training varies depending on the specialty. During residency, physicians work long hours, including nights and weekends, and face significant challenges in terms of workload and responsibility.

5. Licensing and Board Certification: After completing residency, physicians must obtain a medical license to practice independently. This involves passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or a similar licensing exam. Some physicians may also choose to pursue board certification in their specialty, which involves additional exams and requirements.

It's important to note that the journey to becoming a physician is not just about the length of time or the difficulty of the coursework. It also requires a genuine passion for medicine, a commitment to lifelong learning, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle high-pressure situations.

If you're considering a career in medicine, it's advisable to start exploring the field early on. Seek opportunities for shadowing physicians, volunteering in healthcare settings, and engaging in extracurricular activities related to medicine. This will help you gain a better understanding of the profession and confirm your interest in pursuing a medical career.

Remember, the path to becoming a physician is a long and challenging one, but it can also be incredibly rewarding for those who are passionate about healthcare and helping others.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Angelina
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Aimee’s Answer

I know your question was related to medical school. But there are other healthcare areas where you can get a doctorate degree, such as pharmacy or physical therapy. These are typically 8 years in length. My recommendation is to start with small goals. Start with your generals and obtaining your 4 year degree. Then, you may have a better idea of what you would like to do after that, such as medical school or an alternate path. If you think about going to college for 8-12 years, then it seems too overwhelming, and sometimes it's just easier to take small steps and make smaller goals, with a variable end goal in mind. There are many avenues to pursue in healthcare. Good for you for thinking about your future!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for this piece of advice Angelina
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Kenneth’s Answer

The duration required to finish a physician's medical training has been thoroughly discussed in previous responses. Osteopathic (DO) school and Medical school are, for all intents and purposes, comparable in terms of the extent of training and the challenge of securing admission. There's a significant shortage of physicians in the US, however, the size of medical school classes is restricted by the number of available residency positions for post-medical school training. Consequently, gaining admission to medical school is tough, the training within medical school is rigorous, and the demands of postgraduate training are high. The financial burden of this journey is substantial, potentially resulting in debt amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The decision to become a physician should stem from a deep-seated desire to assist others, a commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement, and a readiness to make personal sacrifices. If your motivations are driven by ego, wealth, prestige, power, or family expectations, there's a high probability that you'll end up feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned.

However, it's worth noting that being a physician can be an incredibly fulfilling career.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Angelina
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Karissa’s Answer

You have 4 years to get a Bachelors of Science. After that you have 4 years of Medical School. Then you can be a family medicine doctor. If you want to be any other kind of doctor it could be 1-5 years in residency and 1-3 in a fellowship after your residency.

It is very difficult. You can go to a DO school and be a family medicine doctor if you want the easy path. This is not really an answer though. Going to a DO school in San Diego is a competitive program. Being a family medicine doctor in Manhattan is hard. If you are okay with difficult take as many AP classes in high school as possible. This can reduce the time needed by 1-1/2 years.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking your time to advice me. I really appreciate this advice Angelina
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Reham’s Answer

It can take you 10 years to be a recognizable physician; it will depend on your self-motivation, dedication, and hard working- yes the journey is very long but it deserve; I will not tell you what to do ; but the only advice I can give you is to take your time to think about this step and see if you really want it then you will be dedicated till the end of the journey for your goal, and if yourself hesitant about and that you will not be to finish what you began , then start thinking about alternatives from now. as it will be very hard to return back from the middle of the road. wish you the best of luck.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Angelina
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