Doctors go through extensive health care training which equips them with the skills to examine, diagnose and treat health issues. If needed, they may also operate and prescribe medicines.

Should I Become a Doctor?

The profession of a doctor branches out to many areas. Medical students have the freedom to choose their area of interest and specialize in that area. For example, they may become Pediatricians, Pathologists, Neurologists, Anesthesiologists, Surgeons and Physicians etc. All doctors share similar responsibilities even though specific duties vary according to their specialization. Doctors usually ask patients about their medical history before diagnosing or providing any treatments.

Education Required A doctoral or a professional degree
Major Requirement Doctor of Medicine (MD) or related subject
License/Certification Licensure is mandatory
Experience/Training Completion of a residency program is mandatory
Key Skills Physical Stamina, Compassion, Patience, Problem-solving, Leadership, Decision-making and Communication Skills etc.
Annual Mean Salary – US (2020) $218,850 (Physicians, all other and Ophthalmologists, except pediatric)
Annual Mean Salary – Rhode Island (2020) $206,670 (Physicians, all other and Ophthalmologists, except pediatric)
Job Outlook – Rhode Island (2018-2028) -3% (Physicians, All Other)

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

Career Requirements

Doctors typically work long hours and rarely get vacations. It is a challenging profession and requires doctors to always be on their toes. In addition to being physically fit, doctors need to be compassionate and tolerant with not only their patients but also with their families. Doctors often collaborate with other health professionals which requires them to have leadership and teamwork qualities.

Steps to Become a Doctor in Rhode Island

For all interested individuals who want to build a career as a Doctor, here is a detailed step by step guide to help you understand the whole process.

  1. Complete a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree

  2. Completing a 4-years bachelor’s degree in a subject related to biological sciences can help you enroll in medical school. There are numerous institutes in the US that offer undergraduate/bachelor degrees in natural/biological sciences.

  1. Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT

  2. The MCAT is an important exam which must be cleared if you want to enroll in a Medical School for a doctoral degree.

  1. Graduate from a Medical School

  2. After completing a bachelor’s degree and clearing the MCAT, you can enroll in an MD program at a medical school. Graduating with this degree will be followed by a residency program at a hospital.

  1. Complete a Residency

  2. All medical school graduates must complete a residency program at a hospital to gain experience in their area of specialization. Residency can be completed in 3 to 7 years depending upon the specialization.

  1. Get Licensed

  2. It is mandatory for all doctors to be licensed in the US. The Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline is the regulatory authority that issues license to doctors who have,

  • Passed all required national exams such as, FLEX, USMLE, NBME etc.
  • (Doctors with foreign degrees are required to acquire the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certification (ECFMG) as well)
  • Graduated from a residency program

How Long Does It Take to Become a Doctor in Rhode Island?

It may take you approx. 10 to 12 years, may be more, to become a licensed practicing doctor in Rhode Island. To achieve this goal, you must complete a bachelor’s degree, an MD or a related degree, residency program, all relevant national exams and obtain a state issued license.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Doctor in Rhode Island?

    The Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline requires candidates to submit an application and pay the application fee. In addition to that, candidates must provide proof of;

  • Graduating from an LCME (for US institutions) or WHO/ECFMG (for foreign institutions) accredited medical school
  • Completing the residency program
  • Passing all relevant national exams (NBME, USMLE, FLEX etc.). Doctors with foreign degrees must provide proof that they have the ECFMG certification


How Much Can I Make as a Doctor in Rhode Island?

According to the data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2020, Physicians, all other and Ophthalmologists, except Pediatric employed in the state of Rhode Island earned an annual mean salary of $206,670. Moreover, Maine was named as the top paying state for this occupation with an annual mean salary of $279,700.

Career Outlook

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According to O*Net Online, “Physicians, All Other” will face -3% job growth in Rhode Island between 2018 and 2028.
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