A doctor diagnoses diseases, treats patients, performs procedures, prescribes medication and conducts multiple tests. As a precautionary measure, doctors’ also give advice to their patients about following a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise, diet and health care. The field of medicine could be one of the most lucrative career options for people who live in California.

Should I Become a Doctor in California?

Education-Required Medical Degree or Ph. D
Major-Requirement Medical
License/Certification Required
Experience/Training 3-7 years residency
Key-Skills Communication Skills, Organizational Skills, Problem-solving Skills, Physical Stamina, Leadership Skills, Dexterity, Patience
Annual-Mean-Salary-(2019) 218,850 (Physicians and Surgeons)
Job-Outlook-(2019-2029) 4% (Physicians and Surgeons)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Requirements

Aspiring doctors need to have a medical degree. All states require licensure even though the requirements differ. These professionals are expected to complete 3-7 years of a residency program to gain hands-on experience. They are required to have strong communication skills so they can communicate with their patients and understand their problems. Doctors need to be compassionate and patient. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job is expected to witness a growth of 7% all over the US. In California, the annual mean salary of physicians and surgeons was $210, 140 in 2019.

Steps to Become a Doctor in California

  1. Obtain an Undergraduate Degree
  2. Even though there is no specific major required in medical-schools, candidates are recommended to take courses in biology, natural sciences and pre-medicine. Students who take these courses usually have strong foundation in healthcare settings and natural science.

  1. Clear the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
  2. MCAT is standardized test which is mandatory for all students who want to get admission into medical schools. The performance scores are required by all the schools in the US. MCAT includes topics from general chemistry, physics, organic chemistry and biology. It also assesses the candidates’ writing, verbal reasoning and problem-solving skills.

  1. Get a Medical Degree
  2. Students have to get accepted into medical schools. In California, they use the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS) to apply to various schools. The first two years cover the theoretical part of the course, while the last two years allow students to work with patients. They work in different specializations which helps them find out what type of residency they would want to pursue.

  1. Completing Residency Program
  2. Residency programs allow students to work in their chosen specialty of medicine. It may include, internal medicine, psychiatry, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. Residency program can take 3-7 years to complete.

  1. Obtain Licensure
  2. Each state has a different licensure requirement. Professionals who want to obtain a license in California have to apply through the Medical Board of California. The medical board requires students to pass all national exams and have 1-2 years of postgraduate training in the same area of specialization.

  1. Get Certified
  2. Even though it is not mandatory, some professionals choose to get voluntary certificates to advance their career.

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

Aspiring doctors have to begin with a 4-year bachelor’s program followed by a 4-year medical school degree. After completing the education requirements, these professionals have to complete a residency program that lasts between 3-7 years.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Doctor in California?

To become a doctor in California, students have to follow the following requirements:

  • Obtain an undergraduate degree
  • Clear MCAT and get enrolled in a medical college through AMCAS
  • Obtaining license through the Medical Board of California

How Much Can I Make as a Doctor in California?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of physicians and surgeons was $210,140 in 2019. This salary was higher than the national annual mean income of $203,450.

Career Outlook for Doctors in California

According to the statistics provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, California was the highest paying state for “Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric” in 2020 with a mean annual income of $226,200. As per BLS, Physicians and Surgeons are expected to enjoy 4% job growth across the US between 2019 and 2029.