How to Become a Doctor

How to Become a Doctor

Are you a high school science student surfing the internet on how to become a medical doctor? Do you have dreams of choosing the medical profession as a career and you're faced with the question, "how do you become a doctor?" You are sure to be in the right place with your search as we provide answers to your questions in this article.

A doctor or physician is a medical practitioner that is responsible for maintaining the health of their patients, producing a diagnosis based on their health and provides a treatment that helps them get healthy.

In this article, we explore the step-by-step process on how to become a doctor, alongside with a list of different types of doctors, and the qualities needed to be a skilled and successful medical professional. Read on to find out!

Article Guide:

  1. What Does A Doctor Do?

  2. How to become a doctor

  3. How Long Does It Take To Become A Doctor

  4. Types Of Doctors

  • Dermatologist

  • Cardiologist

  • Gynecologist

  • Plastic Surgeon

  • Podiatrist

  • General Practitioner

  • Orthopedic Surgeon

  • Veterinary Doctor

  • General Surgeon

  • Endocrinologist

  • Pediatrician

  • Homeopathic Doctor

  • Oral Surgeon

  • Physiatrist

  1. Skills Needed To Be A Doctor

  2. Conclusion


Read: 44 Best Medical Schools In The World 2022


What Does A Doctor Do?

A doctor is a skilled medical professional that interacts with patients and reviews symptoms. Once the doctor has a comprehensive list of all their symptoms, they review potential diagnoses and render one based on their judgment of the patient's symptoms.

Doctors also work with other medical assistants to manage practice operations by ensuring accurate documentation of patient appointments and medical information.

If a patient needs further consultation, then a doctor can write a referral to another doctor or pharmacist, or can even prescribe medication that treats their medical condition. It is also important for doctors to keep up with recent developments of medical technology and research to formulate the best diagnoses and treatments for their patients.


How to Become a Doctor

How do i become a doctor? If this is the question you've asked yourself several times, or even searched for onine, we have the answer to your question in these 10 simple steps:

  1. Graduate from High School

The first step towards becoming a doctor is getting a high school diploma with a focus on science and math classes to prepare you for future studies.

  1. Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program

A bachelor’s degree is required in order to apply to most medical schools. You can choose from a number of majors, including biology, biochemistry, and even psychology. Many medical schools have prerequisite coursework requirements, so you should ensure you take the appropriate classes for the school you want to attend.

  1. Pass the Medical College Admission Exam

This is a standardized exam required for admission to many medical schools. Without passing this exam, you may not be able to apply for medical school.

  1. Apply for Medical School

Applications to medical schools are highly competitive, so you should ensure you have the best recommendations, extracurriculars, and personal statement or letter of motivation for this.

Read: How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation for Students (10 PDF Sample Examples)

  1. Attend Medical School

It takes at least four years to complete medical school. During this time, you will participate in lecture classes, labs, and clinical rotations.

  1. Apply for a Medical Residency

During your final year of medical school, you will be required to chose a special medical field, and would need to apply for residency to be trained in your chosen specialty.

  1. Fulfill Residency Requirements

During residency, doctors will learn all the necessary skills to become a professional in their chosen specialty.

  1. Sit for the National Licensing Exams

Doctors must pass a national exam in order to practice medicine. These exams evaluate skills and education from both medical school and residency.

  1. Obtain State Licensure

In addition to a national licensing exam, doctors must also apply for and receive a license to practice medicine in their state.

  1. Become Board Certified

At this point, all specialized doctors must receive board certification in their chosen specialty.


Read also: 20 Best Medical Colleges In The World 2022


How Long Does it Take To Become a Doctor

A lot of young scholars ask themselves, "how can I become a doctor, and how many years does it take to become a doctor?"

To answer this questions, you need to know that doctors must complete a four-year undergraduate program, along with four years in medical school and three to seven years in a residency program to learn the specialty they choose to pursue.

This means that it takes between 10 to 14 years to become a fully licensed doctor. Once you finish your medical education, including your residency program, you need to take an exam for the state you plan to practice medicine in.

Oops! This sounds like a lot of time to spend studying yeah? Don't worry! It's going to be worth your time as long as you are passionate about saving lives and giving back to the community.


Types of Doctors

This section of this article will expose you to 14 different types of medical specialists and how to become any of your chosen specialty.

1. Dermatologist

Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating medical conditions related to skin, hair, and nails.

How to Become a Dermatologist

  1. Earn a medically related bachelor’s degree

  2. Pass the medical school admissions examination

  3. Go to medical school

  4. Complete a dermatology internship

  5. Complete a dermatology residency program

  6. Get a medical license

  7. Earn board certification


2. Cardiologist

Cardiology is a specialization within the medical field that focuses on medical conditions of the heart and cardiovascular system.

How to Become a Cardiologist

  1. Complete a health related bachelor’s degree program

  2. Pass the medical college admission exam

  3. Attend medical school

  4. Obtain a medical license

  5. Complete a cardiology residency program.

  6. Get board-certified in your primary specialty.

  7. Complete a fellowship program


3. Gynecologist

A Gynecologist is a specialist in reproductive and women's health. They care for a women's medical needs during the stages of pregnancy, including assisting while in labor and the delivery of a child. Also, they address women's health concerns such as contraception and infertility.

How to Become a Gynecologist

  1. Earn a medically related bachelor’s degree

  2. Gain additional experience such as the Post-baccalaureate premedical program (optional)

  3. Pass the medical school admissions examination

  4. Earn a medical degree

  5. Obtain a license

  6. Complete a residency in Gynecology

  7. Earn board certification

  8. Complete a Fellowship (optional)

  9. Maintain All Certifications and Licenses


4. Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgeons often serve high-profile clients or people recovering from illnesses and accidents. They also help individuals who want or need to change the shape of a part of their body.

How to Become a Plastic Surgeon

  1. Obtain a medical related bachelor's degree

  2. Complete a four-year doctor of medicine degree

  3. Obtain a medical license

  4. Complete residency in plastic surgery

  5. Complete a fellowship in a subspecialty

  6. Obtain certification

  7. Apply for jobs


5. Podiatrist

Podiatry is a unique field of medicine that exclusively deals with the lower extremities, meaning the lower leg, ankle, and foot. Doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM) have completed four years of podiatric school and a three-year residency to ensure they have the training and education to practice in this specialized field.

How to Become a Podiatrist

  1. Complete a health related bachelor’s degree program

  2. Pass the medical college exam

  3. Apply for podiatric school

  4. Attend podiatric school

  5. Apply for a podiatric residency (during podiatric school)

  6. Fulfill residency requirements (three years)

  7. Sit for the national licensing exams

  8. Obtain state licensure

  9. Become board certified


6. General Practitioner

A general practitioner, also called a primary care physician, is a family medicine doctor who specializes in a wide variety of medical issues for patients of all ages.

How to Become a General Practitioner

  1. Obtain a medical related bachelor's degree

  2. Pass the medical school admissions exam

  3. Complete a four-year doctor of medicine degree

  4. Complete a medical residency program

  5. Obtain a medical license

  6. Obtain certification in family medicine


7. Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic surgeons are medical specialists who focus on the structural systems of the human body.

How to Become an Orthopedic Surgeon

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree

  2. Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

  3. Complete medical school as doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO)

  4. Complete residency

  5. Complete fellowship

  6. Earn national and/or state license

  7. Become board certified


8. Veterinary Doctor

A veterinarian, or a veterinary doctor, is a doctor for animals. They treat illnesses and provide preventative care for domestic or wild animals.

How to Become a Veterinary Doctor

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree in fields like animal science, or zoology

  2. Apply for veterinary school

  3. Complete veterinary school

  4. Earn a veterinary medicine license

  5. Gain residency experience

  6. Choose a veterinary specialty

  7. Join a professional organization


9. General Surgeon

A surgeon operates on patients to remove damaged organs and harmful tissues. They plan the process of the procedure to ensure its success. The role of the surgeon requires over a decade of experience in medicine before performing surgeries on patients.

How to Become a General Surgeon

  1. Complete a health related bachelor’s degree program

  2. Pass the medical college admission exam

  3. Apply for medical school

  4. Attend medical school

  5. Apply for a surgical residency (during medical school)

  6. Fulfill residency requirements (five years)

  7. Sit for the national licensing exams

  8. Obtain state licensure

  9. Become board certified


10. Endocrinologist

An endocrinologist is a type of specialized medical doctor that work with patients who have endocrine diseases like Hashimoto's Disease, Graves' Disease, Diabetes mellitus, Addison's Disease and other autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalance conditions. They diagnose patients, treat patients and provide them with tips on dieting and exercising.

How to Become an Endocrinologist

  1. Earn a health related bachelor's degree like Physiology or Anatomy

  2. Attend and complete medical school

  3. Earn a medical license

  4. Complete a residency program

  5. Complete an endocrinology fellowship

  6. Become a board certified endocrinologist


11. Pediatrician

A pediatrician cares for the medical needs of children. They provide annual checkups, vaccinations and care for minor conditions like a sore throat or the flu.

How to Become a Pediatrician

  1. Complete a health related bachelor’s degree program

  2. Pass the medical college exam

  3. Apply for medical school

  4. Attend medical school

  5. Apply for a pediatric residency (during medical school)

  6. Fulfill residency requirements (three to five years)

  7. Sit for the national licensing exams

  8. Obtain state licensure

  9. Become board certified


12. Homeopathic Doctor

A homeopathic doctor uses pills or liquid mixtures (solutions) containing only a little of an active ingredient for treatment of disease.

How to Become a Homeopathic Doctor

  1. Complete a related bachelor’s degree program

  2. Apply to homeopathic medical schools

  3. Complete a residency for clinical experience

  4. Apply for state licensure

  5. Join local and national homeopathy associations


13. Oral Surgeon

Oral surgeons are medical and dental professionals that evaluate, diagnose and provide treatment for a variety of conditions that can affect the bones in the face, including the cheekbones, forehead and the soft connective tissues in these areas.

How to Become an Oral Surgeon

  1. Earn your bachelor's degree in pre-med studies or any focus on biology, physiology, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry.

  2. Apply for and pass the dental admissions Test

  3. Complete dental school

  4. Complete an approved surgical residency

  5. Apply for state licensure


14. Physiatrist

A physiatrist is a licensed physician who specializes in overseeing diagnoses, treatment and rehabilitation plans for individuals who damage parts of their body like their spinal cord, and individuals with bone fractures or breaks, ligament or muscle tears.

How to Become a Physiatrist

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree in an area like pre-medicine, biology, biochemistry or anatomy.

  2. Attend medical school

  3. Complete a residency program(three to four years)

  4. Consider taking a fellowship program

  5. Become board certified


Skills Needed to Be a Doctor

Are you hoping to pursue a career in the medical field? If so, having these essential skills is a must!

To find out what it takes to become a successful doctor, here is a list of 10 qualities of a good doctor:

  • Professionalism

  • Communication skills

  • Decision-making skills

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Teamwork skills

  • Natural curiosity

  • Being able to pay attention to details when handling patients

  • Leadership skills

  • Open to learning



Although the medical profession takes some time to complete, it is definitely a very sought after profession for noble-minded people with the required passion to become a doctor. Being a doctor also has several benefits like respectability, a high paying profession, and so many other advantages you will discover as you go into the profession. Take action by applying to that medical school of your choice, and you won't regret it.


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