We often lose sight of the bigger picture while clamoring to pursue our goals. It’s not easy to become a doctor in America, and often factors such as perseverance, expense, family, and time have to be considered before making such a life changing decision.
For some people, the decision to walk this path is a very easy one and goes straight from high school, through college and finally into medical school, never once considering other professions. For others though, the decision is a little bit difficult for it requires an unbiased look at the profession in general, and an objective look at the personality and abilities they possess.
Am I Too Old For Medical School?
For years, nearly all students to be accepted into medical schools were generally 22 or 23 years old, and fresh out of college. Non-traditional students were rarely accepted unless proven to hold an outstanding academic record, and years of research or a similar experience.
This trend has changed now, since more and more applicants for medical schools are older students who had decided to pursue medicine, even after having a different career or any other reason. While, older students often ask of themselves before setting down on his road, it is common to find medical students coming from all ages and backgrounds.
Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Doctor?
It takes a lot of time and years of study to become a doctor. In addition to the necessary four years of undergraduate study, it takes another four years of medical school then 3-8 years of a residency or fellowship. While it is possible to begin in your 30s or 40s, but anytime after that is not even heard of.
The reason for this is, to get through medical school requires a certain amount of intelligence, and although good study habits and organizational skills are just as important and can make a huge difference in tipping the scales between a mediocre student and a brilliant one.
Academically speaking, the steps of becoming a doctor in America are the following:
- Get at least a high school diploma.
- Finish a 4 year pre-med program in college/university.
- Give a MCAT test in the final year of college/university.
- Apply to medical school of your choice, or according to the scores in the test.
- For the last step, refer to the AMCAS website.
What is AMCAS?
The American Medical Application Service is a centralized and non-profit processing service application, for those who need help with finding the best possible medical schools in the country.
Ensuring a good medical school education is one of the most competitive demands that are faced today, just as there is immense competition in the profession itself. It’s quite a challenging task to provide the necessary resources, qualifications, and degree to attendees so that they are able to practice medicine.
You can read more on becoming a doctor by clicking here.
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Daquan Proctor says
I have a few miscellaneous questions.
1. What category would a fetal surgeon fall under? (Ex. Obgyn, MFM)
2. What is the average length of training that a fetal surgeon undergoes once they graduate from med school?
3. How do fetal surgeons and other surgeons make their hands so steady?
4. I am left handed will this serve as a handicap In my career specifically fetal surgery?
Dr. Anton Scheepers says
With these type of super specialties nothing is set in stone – if you can prove you have the skills there will be more than one route to follow to your goal.
1. General Surgery – sub-specialty Pediatric Surgery – fellowship in Fetal Surgery. Or Obstetrics and Gynecology – fellowship in Fetal intervention.
2. 6-7 years
3. Lots of hours in the simulation lab! Your professional life-span is also short (like micro-surgery) – unlikely to practice fetal surgery after 55 years of age.
4. Not really (as far as I know) – apart from the usual nuisance problems – all with fairly simple solutions.
I work with pre-meds regularly and this is good advice. #6 especially, our advisors always say its preferable to take less classes and get better grades. It’s hard to keep life balanced, stay sane, and get into medical school at the same time, but possible!