Arkansas is a great place to start your medical career because it offers rewarding opportunities to its healthcare professionals. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that Family and General Practitioners working in Arkansas earned an annual mean wage of $218,870, which was considerably higher than the national average of $213,270, in 2019.
If you want to join this highly regarded profession, then read this article to understand how to become a doctor in Arkansas.

Should I Become a Doctor?

Are you someone who has a desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives? If yes, then you should consider taking up a career in medicine.
Take a look at the data presented below in order to familiarize yourself with the education, certification and license requirements for Physicians and Surgeons. These statistics have been extracted from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Required Doctoral/professional training.
Major Requirement Medicine
License/Certification Candidates need to be licensed.
Experience/Training Candidate must complete an approved residency/internship
Key Skills Patience, Stamina, Detail-Oriented, Dexterity, Compassion and excellent Leadership Skills, Communication Skills, Organization Skills and Problem Solving Skills.
Annual Mean Salary – US (2020) $218,850 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Annual Mean Salary – Arkansas (2020) $209,160 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Job Outlook – Arkansas (2018-2028) 11% (Physicians, All Other)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online

Career Requirements

To be eligible for a medical license, candidates have to complete an undergraduate degree, a doctoral degree (M.D/D.O) and a residency program. Passing a licensure exam is also mandatory for a state license.

Steps to Become a Doctor in Arkansas

The process of becoming a doctor in Arkansas is discussed below:

  1. Enroll in a Bachelor’s Program

  2. Candidates can obtain an undergraduate degree in any field as long as they meet the pre-medical education requirements. As a pre-med student, you would be expected to study coursework related to Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Social Sciences and English.

  1. Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

  2. Admission to all medical schools in the U.S requires good performance on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Thus, you are advised to study hard for this standardized test that incorporates a range of multiple-choice questions. The purpose of this test is to assess your aptitude for medical school.

  1. Complete Medical School

  2. After clearing the MCAT, you can opt for one of these programs; the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O) or the Doctor of Medicine (M.D) program. The doctorate degree typically takes four years to complete. The first two years comprise the ‘pre-clinical’ years, while the latter two comprise the ‘clinical’ years.

  1. Fulfill the Training Criteria

  2. In order to get the state license, you will also be required to complete a minimum of one year of residency or an internship in an ACGME-approved program in the U.S.

  1. Get Licensed

  2. After fulfilling the training and education criteria set forth by the state, you would have to file an application with the Arkansas State Medical Board. Please note that you would also have to pass all steps of the USMLE or other approved exams, within three attempts, in order to qualify for a license. The Board will review your application only if you have paid the required charges – this includes payment of an application fee and the Centralized Credentials Verification Service Assessment charges.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Doctor in Arkansas?

Individuals have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort to establish a medical career. They are expected to earn a four-year long bachelor’s degree and an equally long doctoral degree. This is followed by a three to seven year-long residency program.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Doctor in Arkansas?

In order to become a licensed Physician in Arkansas, it is mandatory for all candidates to fulfil the following criteria:
The applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Possess a good moral character.
  • Must have graduated from an approved medical school.
  • Have completed at least one year of residency or internship in an ACGME-approved program.
  • Should have cleared all steps of the USMLE (or other approved exams such as LMCC, COMLEX, NBOME, NBME, FLEX, or the State exam).

*International medical school graduates have to meet a separate criteria. For more information about their licensing requirements, you should check out your state pages.

How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Doctor in Arkansas?

BLS has classified Physicians and Surgeons into eight categories, one of which is Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric. Wage estimates indicate that these doctors working Arkansas made a yearly mean salary of $209,160 in 2020.

Career Outlook

As per the latest projections made by O*Net Online, Physicians, All Other will enjoy 11% increase in job opportunities between 2018 and 2028. This outlook is extremely positive as the national average for the same occupational group is 5%.