The Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) provides guidelines on how to get a medical license in the state. If you are interested in becoming a doctor in Pennsylvania, the following guide will provide all the fundamental information you need.

Should I Become a Doctor in Pennsylvania

If you are empathetic and have the ability to handle pressure, then becoming a doctor can be a good option for you.

Education Required A Bachelor’s degree and a medical degree
License/Certification Licensure is compulsory
Experience/Training 3 – 9 year long residency
Key Skills Empathy, Dexterity, Strong nerves, Patience, etc.
Annual Mean Salary – US (2020) $218,850 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Annual Mean Salary – Pennsylvania (2020) $202,340 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Job Outlook – Pennsylvania (2018-2028)  8% (Physicians, All Others)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online

Steps to Become a Doctor in Pennsylvania

In order to practice as a medical professional in the state of Pennsylvania, candidates will have to be licensed. But before you get to the license application, there are several educational and experience requirements to be met. The following steps will guide you through these requirements:

  1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. This program needs to be completed from an accredited institute and should be 4 years long. You are advised to take up courses in pre-medicine at this stage.

  1. Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  2. This standardized test is used to determine the candidate’s aptitude for medical field. Colleges use this test, along with interviews and letters of recommendation to determine whether the student should be admitted to their program or not.

  1. Enroll in a Medical School
  2. A medical school would take an additional 4 years to complete- this would include 2 years of classroom and lab learning, followed by 2 years of practical work in a clinical, supervised setting.

  1. Complete a Residency
  2. Typically, residency programs last from 3 to 7 years, depending on the chosen specialty. In order to be eligible to practice medicine in the state of Pennsylvania, candidates need to complete at least a 1 year residency program.

  1. Get Licensed
  2. The licensing process for aspiring doctors in Pennsylvania is listed in the ‘Application for a License to Practice Medicine without Restriction for Graduates of Accredited (American/Canadian) Medical Schools’ document, available on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s portal for Professional Licensing. Make sure you follow all the instructions given and submit the required documents in the given time frame in order to be considered for the licensure process.

  1. Go for a Specialization
  2. Several specialization options are available for aspiring doctors in the state of Pennsylvania. Candidates can opt to become anesthesiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and psychiatrists etc. A specialization would require additional education and licensure.

How Much Does a Doctor Make in Pennsylvania?

Doctors in Pennsylvania earn lucrative salaries. As per the 2020 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric” in Pennsylvania made an annual mean income of $202,340. The amount of money earned would depend on the specialization, years of experience, healthcare facility that employs you and the position you are appointed at.

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

The time it will take for you to become a doctor in Pennsylvania will depend on the type of doctor you want to become. As the first step, you will need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, followed by a medical degree to join the field. You will also have to complete a residency program or internships which can last anywhere between 3 to 9 years. You will also have to pass a licensure examination to start practicing.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Doctor in Pennsylvania?

In order to work as a doctor in the state of Pennsylvania, you will have to complete the following steps:

  • Get a bachelor’s degree.
  • Get a medical degree.
  • Complete residency training.
  • Get a licensure.
  • Complete fellowship in case of subspecialization.

Career Outlook for Doctors in Pennsylvania

According to the data provided by O*Net Online, “Physicians, All Other,” in the state of Pennsylvania will enjoy an excellent job growth of 8% between 2018 and 2028. This figure is twice as much as the national average.

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