How long does medical school take?
Being one of the oldest and one of the most dangerous professions in the world, the path to becoming a physician isn’t easy. Holding the lives of patients in your hands is a big responsibility and not everyone is fit for the task. As such, doctors have to undergo the hardest and longest times when it comes to their education. And if you’re one looking to someday becoming a doctor, read more to know how long does medical school take and what it takes to get there.
Typically, one is expected to spend 4 years in college for a bachelor’s degree (or pre-med). After graduating, they need to pass the MCAT to get into medical school, so how long does medical school take? An additional four years but it doesn’t stop there. Once passing the licensure exams for doctors, they still have around 3 to 8 years of residency or internships to fulfill.
It’s a grueling task. Apart from having to complete undergraduate work in mathematics, English, biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, and physics, they still need to finish social sciences and humanities courses. And although the minimum educational requirement for getting into medical school is 3 years of college, most applicants have taken it upon themselves to at least have a bachelor’s degree or advanced degrees – the better to help prep them for the medical legwork ahead.
Before even having the right to ask themselves how long does medical school take, applicants are subjected to the highly demanding Medical College Admission test. Acceptance is highly competitive that’s why some medical schools require impressive transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other medical schools even require applicants to go through an interview with the admissions committee.
The four years of medical school is divided into two. The first two years are for spending times in classrooms and laboratories, taking anatomy courses, microbiology courses, pathology courses, pharmacology, biology, physiology, and more. It is in these two years that students are being prepped for the couple of years ahead. The last two years are spent interacting with patients, working with patients under the supervision of their respective physician-professors. These last two years of a medical student’s life in med school actually helps give them an idea to what type of medical field they are inclined to take on later on. Their hospital duties include rotations in family practice, pediatrics, surgery, internal medicine, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology.
After medical school, MDs enter an on-the-job training or residency, usually in a hospital. This can last from 2 up to 6 years. However, board certification for a specialty can take up to 7 years, and that even depends on what specialty the MD is aiming for.
To be a licensed physician, one must have graduated from an accredited medical school, pass the exam and complete up to a 7-year residency.
Again, there is no easy path to becoming a physician. From having the desire to help others, aspiring physicians must also be able to mentally and physically take the long hours, stress, and pressure of a medical education.