Medical Doctor Degree Programs
Get information on admission requirements for medical doctor degree programs. Find out what you might study and learn how these curricula can prepare you to enter a residency program and meet physician licensing requirements. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Can I Study in Medical Doctor Degree Program?
A Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a professional degree program that typically includes four years of on-site classroom and clinical training designed to prepare you for a career as a physician. Your first year of study will likely include coursework in areas like biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology and neurobiology. These classes are also found in a program's second year, as are clinical clerkships aimed at introducing you to the type of care provided to patients in a hospital's surgery, psychiatry, family medicine and pediatric departments, to name a few.
In the third and fourth years you'll be given the opportunity to focus on developing your patient care skills full time. You also have the opportunity to explore several area of interest through rotations under the supervision of physician. These rotations typically take place in a hospital and aim to prepare you for a residency program in the specialty area of your choice. They may include time in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, surgery, family practice and psychiatry departments.
|Specializations||Surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology|
|Prerequisites||Bachelor's degree and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores; applicants may possibly need clinical experience as well|
|Continuing Education||Passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is required to practice|
How Can I Get In?
To ensure prospective medical students have an adequate foundation in the natural sciences, schools of medicine typically require applicants to have completed an undergraduate degree that includes specific prerequisite courses, such as one year of coursework in English composition, physics, math, chemistry and biology. Many schools offer pre-med programs designed to help you meet the requirements for an MD program.
You'll also need acceptable scores on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) as well as some form of clinical experience. While enrolled in your undergraduate program, you might consider pursuing volunteer opportunities or internships in a clinical setting. Participation in study abroad programs and faculty-mentored research can also set you apart from other applicants.
What's the Next Step After Graduation?
After earning an MD, aspiring physicians continue their education in a residency program to receive training in their chosen specialty area; depending on the specialty, the residency can take 3-8 years. After completing one of these programs, you should be qualified to sit for all three parts of the USMLE (U.S. Medical Licensing Examination) and earn state licensure as a physician. Optional board certification is also available from the American Board of Medical Specialties.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physicians and surgeons could see a 14% job growth through the 2014-2024 decade. Earnings for these health care professionals vary according to which specialty they practice, though the BLS reports that, overall, physicians and surgeons earned an average salary of $189,760 as of May 2014.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: