Medical Professions Resources Directory: Doctor

How To Become a...

How to Become a Doctor


Doctors are one of the highest paying jobs. Although it your pay will also differ between how many hours you are working, how many patients you have, how long you have been a doctor and where you are working.

There are two different types of doctors: the doctor of medicine is called a M.D., and the doctor of osteopathic medicine is called a D.O.. M.D.s are the doctors that treat all kinds of diseases and the D.O treats and focus's more on body muscles and bones. Over one third of family doctors, and pediatric doctors are D.O. Both M.D. And D.O see the same patients and they treat all sorts of different diseases and illnesses. D.O. Can also be called specialists.

Many doctors work very long house, there has been a survey that one third of physicians worked 60 or more hours a week in 2002. older doctors have few new patients and they usually work less hours. Doctors who are on call might go to the hospital sometimes in the middle of the night when a patient of theirs gets sick. And some doctors also might have to travel between their office and the hospital also because of sick patients.

Physicians held about 583,000 jobs in 2002. About half worked mostly in their offices and about 1 out of 4 worked in hospitals. Others worked for the government. More doctors now a days are working as partners or in a group.

There are more doctors in the Northeast of the United States than in the South. D.O.s are more likely than M.D.s to practice in small cities and towns and in rural areas. M.D.s normally work in urban areas that are close to hospitals or colleges. Some rural and inner city areas in the United States do not have enough doctors. It takes about 11 years to become a doctor. There is four years of college, four years of medical school and another three years working in a hospital. There are very few medical schools that will let their students go to college and medical school at the same time to complete their degree in 6 years instead of the usual 8 years. For some specialties a doctor may have to work in a hospital for up to 8 years.

Doctors usually study math, English, and science when they go to college and do volunteer time in a hospital or in a clinic to get experience. After college you apply to medical schools. There are 146 medical schools in the United States. Of those 146 medical schools 126 of those medical school campus's is for M.D. degree and the 20 are for D.O degrees. It is hard getting into medical school. To get into medical school you need to do very well in college and on your medical school entrance test. The first 2 years of medical school students will spend most of their time in labs and classrooms with a lot of science courses. They will also get trained on how to ask patients the right questions and how to examine them when they are sick. They will also learn how to tell what illness the patient has. The last 2 years of medical school the student will work with patients and doctors in hospitals and clinics to get more experience.

After medical school doctors will go to hospitals and work their for a few years, this is when they are called a resident. To be a resident you need to take a test. Over 80 percent of medical school students borrow money to go to school because becoming a doctor is very expensive. To be a doctor you would want to heal the sick, work and study long hours, and make decisions during emergencies. Job opportunities for doctors are expected to be pretty good especially in rural areas. The Medical Group Management Association's Physician Compensation and Production Survey says doctors eared between $105,267 and $306,964 in 2002. This salary depends on where you work, how many hours you work and if you are a family doctor or a specialist.






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