How to Become a Doctor in the United States

Becoming a doctor in the US is a long and complicated process. There are many steps along the way, some of which require years of education and hands-on training. If you’re thinking about becoming a doctor or want to know more about what it takes to become one in the United States, we’ve put together this guide to help answer your questions.

Undergraduate School

You must complete at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Your major does not matter, but it is recommended that you take classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and math.

Your GPA will be checked by medical schools when you apply to them. If it is too low, they may reject your application outright or ask for an interview with a committee to discuss your grades further. The average GPA of admitted students at US medical schools ranges from 3.6-3.8 on the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) scale. 

The total number of courses required varies by school but can range from 40-45 depending on the number of science prerequisites taken and whether the applicant has completed all prerequisites before starting medical school (not all applicants are required to do this).

Medical School

Medical school is a four-year program. Medical school is extremely rigorous and requires intense study of science, research, and clinical practice. This means that you will spend a lot of time in the student lab or hospital, working on projects with your teacher as well as other students. It also means that you need to be passionate about helping people and committed to learning more about their health issues so you can provide better care for them when they visit your clinic or hospital.

The cost of attending medical school can be very expensive; however, there are many scholarships available for students who qualify based on merit rather than financial need. This can make it possible for some students who don’t have much money saved up to pursue their dreams of becoming doctors without having to worry about finding scholarships first before applying, which takes time.


Residency is a post-graduate medical program that begins after you graduate from medical school. It is required for licensure and board certification and can be completed in many specialties, including family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, and others. Residencies are typically three to seven years long.

The residency is an intensive program that requires a great deal of hard work and dedication. You will be required to complete many hours of training each week, while also working with patients in the hospital. The goal of this training is to prepare you for your future career as a physician.

Licensure and Board Certification

  • Licensure is required to practice medicine in the United States.
  • Board certification is also required for most specialties, but it’s not always necessary to become licensed.
  • Most state boards require both licensure and board certification for a medical license, so it’s important that you choose a specialty that will qualify you for both.

Board certification is a voluntary process that requires you to pass a series of exams and complete a residency program in the specialty. In order to sit for these exams, you must first be licensed by your state medical board.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Doctor in the US?

Becoming a doctor in the United States requires years of education, residency, and license exams. The US medical education system is very different from other countries. While many doctors do study medicine at university, they can also enter directly into medical school from college or high school if they have achieved excellent grades and test scores.

The US has a shortage of doctors, and many states have licensed non-physician providers to fill that gap. These are people who have extensive training in a medical specialty but are not physicians. In fact, there are over 5,000 such practitioners in the United States right now. So if you want to become a doctor but don’t want to spend 10 years of your life studying for one – it’s still possible!

It takes a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it to become a doctor in the US. You will have job security and opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives.

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