How Long Does It Take To Become A Doctor?

Depending on the speciality you pick, the time it takes to become a doctor may vary. 

When you graduate from college and complete medical school, the sort of specialty you choose will determine how long you will spend in a resident program. 

Take some time to decide if you’re willing to enhance your medical profession by earning a degree that requires more study than a four-year undergraduate program before deciding to pursue becoming a doctor. 

Therefore, we shall discuss how long it takes to become a doctor and how to meet the prerequisites for this line of employment in this writeup.

Check out: How Long Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist?

What is a Medical School like?

Around 15-20 hours of lectures per week, or two to four hours per day, are typical of a medical school course program. 

You are free to study, work out, socialize, etc. for the remainder of the day. 

The majority of medical schools also mandate three days per week of required clinical and basic science labs.

All medical schools are obligated to follow the requirements for national accreditation and have the same objective of educating their students for residency training and working as doctors. 

Each institution, however, has its own mission, curriculum, course structure, and academic calendar. 

Check the mission statement of a school before you apply to determine whether it matches your personal objectives. 

Review the graduation requirements as well, which include things like required coursework, research experience, and community service.

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Veterinarian?

Is Attending a Medical School Worth It?

Attending a Medical School is definitely worth it. Some benefits of attending a Medical School are discussed below;

The Position Is Very Satisfying

Doctors are lifelong learners. 

You will have countless options for professional and personal growth if you choose a career in medicine. 

You’ll encounter distinctive, diverse, and challenging clinical circumstances that will allow you to refine your abilities, gain new knowledge, and maintain better and professional attitudes.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Become An Eye Doctor?

Exceptional Job Security 

The doctor’s position will be secure as long as there is life. 

Doctors guard their patients’ health. 

To maintain everyone’s health and happiness, they develop methods for preventing diseases. 

Every time someone is ill, they heal them. They can make people live longer. 

Everyone has, undoubtedly, sought medical advice at some point in their lives, and there’s no doubt that they will do so in the future.

Check out this: How Long Does It Take To Become A Phlebotomist?

A doctor Can Change Things 

Physicians have the ability to alter lives. 

Patients who are ill may experience a loss of hope, autonomy, and control that alters their perspective on life. 

Maintaining the patient’s normal health and protecting them from danger or disease is your responsibility as a doctor. 

Patients will look better and experience a better quality of life.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become An Oral Surgeon?

What Schooling Do You Need to Be a Doctor?

To become a Doctor, adhere to these steps and requirements;

  • Finish with your undergraduate studies. 
  • The Medical College Admission Test should be passed satisfactorily. 
  • Graduating from medical school after four years. 
  • Take a residency course and finish it. 
  • A medical license should be obtained in your state.

1. Finish with your undergraduate studies

To attend medical school, one must first complete a four-year undergraduate degree. 

Many aspirants to become doctors major in biology or chemistry, even though you do not need to have a certain degree to be qualified for medical school. 

Pre-medical, psychological, nursing, medical technology, or exercise science degrees are some additional relevant academic backgrounds. 

Anatomy, physics, biological studies, and human genetics are some of the topics covered in these college courses. 

If you want to put yourself on the path to becoming a doctor, make sure to look into the undergraduate degree programs that each school offers. 

This will help you choose the appropriate major.

Also by setting up an informative interview or a job shadowing opportunity, you can network with local physicians during this time and gain a thorough understanding of their typical day-to-day duties. 

Furthermore, you can get the chance to ask important questions about their career path and receive tailored advice on your academic and professional future.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become An Astronomer?

2. The Medical College Admission Test should be passed satisfactorily. 

You can study for and take the Medical College Admission Test while pursuing your undergraduate degree. 

The MCAT is a five-hour, computer-based multiple-choice test that determines whether you have the necessary knowledge to continue with your application to a prestigious medical school. 

You’ll take tests in areas including physical science, biology, and critical thinking. For this test, a score of roughly 500 is regarded as average. 

It makes sense to take this exam a full year before starting medical school. 

For instance, you should attempt to take the MCAT in April or May 2020 if you want to start medical school in July 2021.

3. Graduating from medical school after four years. 

To help you succeed as a doctor, medical schools give you a four-year medical education. 

For the first two years, students learn in a classroom setting and use labs to treat patients’ ailments. 

Additionally, advanced biology and chemistry concepts will be covered. 

During the final two years of medical school, you will complete rotations at hospitals or clinics to get clinical experience, which will allow you to assess your ability to apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. 

The US Medical Licensing Examination, a three-part test that measures your proficiency in medical terminology, is the next standard you must take into consideration.

The first two phases must be completed while you are a medical student. 

Lastly, your exam findings may serve as a gauge of how well your medical education is going.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Sonographer?

4. Take a residency course and finish it. 

It takes three to seven years to finish a residency program, which is comparable to an internship for doctors. 

Take note of the speciality you decide on so you can estimate the time it will take to complete your residency program. 

The good news is that residents make a full-time salary, which can help pay for living expenses and possibly a portion of the medical school loans that were acquired. 

The fourth year of medical school is often when you begin training for your residency program. 

In a certain medical setting, you spend the majority of your time interacting with patients directly. 

After completing your residency program, you can also take a fellowship to focus your experience in a particular field, such as pediatrics or internal medicine.

5. A Medical license should be obtained in your state.

Once you have successfully completed the first year of your residency program, you are qualified to obtain your medical license. 

You should be prepared to pass the test thanks to your background in both academic and clinical settings. 

However, you must familiarize yourself with the requirements for the state exam, and you should think about taking practice exams to assist you get ready for the questions you’ll have to respond to. 

The questions should be related to your area of expertise, but it is also helpful to receive input from mentors and colleagues on what strategies they used to obtain their licenses in addition to the fundamental ideas you need to be aware of. 

You will be able to legally treat patients in the state where you take the exam if you pass.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Become An Eye Doctor?

How Long Does It Take To Become a Licensed Doctor?

For their chosen speciality, doctors must finish a four-year undergraduate program, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of residency training. 

In other words, it takes 10 to 14 years to obtain a complete medical license. 

After completing your residency program and medical school, you must pass an exam for the state where you want to practice medicine. 

Even while becoming a doctor can take a lot of time and money, you can expect to make a lot of money after you do, especially if you choose to start a private practice.

Lastly, Doctors make an average of $163,908 a year, but salaries might rise if you live in a region with a higher cost of living.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Physician Assistant?

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed Doctor?

The average first-year medical student enrolled in a public medical school for the 2021–22 academic year paid $38,947 in tuition, fees, and health insurance, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). 

Private medical schools charged an even higher first-year tuition, at $61,023. 

These numbers refer to pupils who are registered as residents at their respective institutions. 

For non-residents, the figures rose to $62,505 and $62,539, respectively. 

Non-resident students attending public medical schools had to pay a maximum of $91,599 per year in tuition, fees, and health insurance.

If you only consider typical costs, medical school can cost anywhere between $155,788 and $244,092 (assuming a four-year course of study). 

The cost can go up to $398,488 at its most expensive. 

The cost of living while attending medical school is not taken into account, nor are annual tuition increases included in these figures. 

Depending on where your school is located, your expenses for housing, utilities, food, and transportation may differ significantly. 

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, typical household spending in 2020 was $61,334.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant?

Salary and Job Outlook for Doctors after Study

According to the BLS, as of 2020, doctors and surgeons held around 727,000 positions, the majority of which were in doctor’s offices, hospitals, public institutions, outpatient clinics, and educational establishments. 

Physician and surgeon employment is expected to expand by 3% between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the national average.

A fully qualified general practitioner earns an average national income of $222,997 per year compared to a medical intern’s $71,466 annually. 

Depending on the region, level of education, and experience, salaries for all sorts of doctors can change. 

It is anticipated that the job outlook for doctors would remain favorable for at least five years. 

Due to its enormous demand globally, medicine is an exceedingly reliable field of work.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Psychiatrist?


In conclusion, it can actually take longer than ten years to become a doctor. 

You’ll feel a sense of success along the way, though, at every stop. 

It will be worth the time to become a doctor. 

You can create goals and deadlines by doing research and preparing. 

The decision to become a doctor ultimately rests with you. 

You’ll understand the value of even the smallest sacrifices when you’re wearing a white coat, a stethoscope, and a medical license around your neck.

Frequently Asked Questions 

When can I anticipate being a Doctor? 

If you follow the conventional path, you’ll start medical school at the age of 24 and receive your license on average at the age of 33. 

Can I Take a Year Off After I Graduate Undergraduate School? 

Yes, you are allowed to take a gap year after graduation if you need the extra time to get ready for medical school. 
Your prospects of getting into medical school won’t be impacted. Utilizing your time to improve your application’s competitiveness might even be beneficial.

Why Is the Medical School Admissions Process So Protracted? 

Because being a doctor requires extensive knowledge and responsibilities, it takes so many years. Before practicing, doctors must have a license. A license can only be obtained after a certain number of years of education and experience. 

What is the length of training to become a surgeon? 

Depending on the kind of surgery you want to practice, you might choose to enroll in a longer program. 
Surgery residencies typically last five years. To investigate a specialism, you might also need to do a fellowship.



Leave a Comment

Scholarsly is an educational blog which aggregates study abroad, scholarships update, VISA application and and other important info for our readers. We do not offer direct employment, scholarship, VISA procurement or offer physical travel assistance. We also do not charge you or request money and would not refer you to any agent either. Find more info on our Privacy policy page below and kindly contact us if you need further information.