BECOMING

A PHYSICIAN
IN THE U.S.

Here’s what it takes …

1. EARN A PRE-MEDICAL DEGREE

Earn a four-year pre-medical degree from a school or university in the U.S. or abroad. At this stage earning good grades, getting a strong score on the MCAT, and preparing medical applications should be priorities.

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2. COMPLETE MEDICAL SCHOOL

Medical school generally lasts four years and provides students with foundational knowledge to carry them into post-graduate education. The focus during medical school should be to earn good grades, obtain letters of recommendation (LoRs), and take required portions of the USMLE.

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3. TAKE THE USMLE

Certain portions of the United States Medical Licensure Examination are required for residency applications. Applicants must pass the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Skills, and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge. Individuals may elect to take USMLE Step 3 at this point or they can take it during residency.

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4. PARTICIPATE IN CLINICAL EXPERIENCES

Clinical experiences can enhance CV/resumes and provide LoRs, both of which are important for medical school and residency applications. Clinical experiences can also provide experience in the healthcare setting, an opportunity to practice medical terminology, and enhance patient and peer communication skills.

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5. COMPLETE RESIDENCY

Apply and secure a medical residency through the National Resident Maching Program’s annual Match. To apply, you’ll need strong medical school transcript, high USMLE scores, and impressive LoRs. Residencies last three to seven years and and are specialty specific.

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6. COMPLETE A FELLOWSHIP (Optional)

Following residency, complete a fellowship to obtain a subspecialty certification. The fellowship application process is similar to that of residency. Applicants apply and are matched into a program. Fellowship programs last between one and three years.

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7. EARN A MEDICAL LICENSE

Following completion of a medical residency (and perhaps a fellowship) an individual is eligible to apply for a state-specific medical license.

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JUMP START YOUR JOURNEY