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How Hard is Medical School? The Journey to Becoming a Doctor

So you decided to study to become a doctor, looking into the best medical schools while taking care of requirements. During this process, you might have wondered about the difficulty of medical school and the timeline in becoming a doctor.

One major concern many premed students have is how much more education is required, besides the time, effort, and tuition needed. Read on to learn more about medical school!


What is Medical School Like?

If you are wondering what to expect from medical school, here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Do Well in High School and College


The first steps is to begin as early as possible and to focus on your grades while honing your knowledge in high school. The earlier you begin distinguishing yourself as a stellar student, then the process becomes easier. Achieve good scores on the SATs, perform community service and volunteer, and prepare amazing college applications to get into your dream school.

If you are in college and taking an undergraduate course, you have to be prepared and take the core classes medical schools would require. Make sure that you maintain a high GPA, get research experience and do community service as you study, and you can head to the next step.


  1. Take the MCAT


Next up, you’ll need to take the Medical College Admission Test, which is a major factor when applying to medical school. Most students would take the MCAT during their junior year as they have the knowledge of most subjects included in the MCAT, and so they have time for the application process during their senior year.

  1. Apply to Medical Schools


When you have achieved a good score in the MCATs, you will then need to know how to get into medical school and its application process. In this part, you’ll need to collect all the requirements needed, as well as go through the interview.


  1. Attend Medical School


When you got into medical school, you will spend 4 years studying, though it’s far different compared to your undergraduate program. The first 2 years will be classroom-based courses, while 3rd year focuses on training in major medical specialties, then the final year is focused on elective courses on your preferred specialty.


  1. Choose Your Specialty


Residencies, or internships, are supervised job positions in teaching hospitals. During your residency in your chosen specialty, expect to spend between 3-5 years doing this.

After finishing your residency, it’s time to study for the final boards and pass it! Once you have passed, you’re officially a doctor and can practice in clinics, hospitals, or have a private practice.

Take note that you need to maintain your Continuing Medical Education to practice as a doctor regardless of your specialty. Even after being a doctor, you need to stay educated and updated with the best medical practices and research.


While the timeline of becoming a doctor may seem daunting, its rewards are amazing. If you have the passion and dedication, then you can get through the challenges medical school faces and enjoy the journey.

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