If you have a genuine passion for helping others, then joining the medical profession would be a good idea. Here’s a guide that will explain to you how to become a doctor in Tennessee. In addition to outlining the steps involved in becoming a doctor, the article will also shed light on some informative employment statistics.

Should I Become a Doctor

If you have a high sense of responsibility and a good work ethic, then you should consider becoming a medical professional.
The data listed in the table below has been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It indicates the education level, training, and skills required by Physicians and Surgeons.

Education Required Doctoral/professional training.
Training Must complete a residency/internship.
License/Certification A state license is required to practice.
Key Skills Detail-Oriented, Physical Stamina, Patience, along with good Communication, Leadership, Organization and Problem Solving Skills.
Annual Mean Salary-(2020)-US $214,370 (Family and General Physicians)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 14%
Annual MeanSalary-(2020)–Tennessee $216,170 (Family and General Practitioners)

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

Career Requirements

To become licensed to practice medicine, individuals are required to fulfill certain requirements. They have to obtain a bachelor’s degree, a doctoral degree and have to complete the residency program. Moreover, they have to pass the licensure exams in order to obtain their medical license.

Steps to Become a Doctor in Tennessee

The process of becoming a doctor in Tennessee incorporates the following steps:

  1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

  2. You will have to study certain medical pre-requisites in order to meet the minimum requirements for admission to medical school. These pre-requisite courses are related to General Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. Some common majors for pre-med students are Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Chemistry and Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Biology. These majors are popular because the curriculum of these program cover the classes required by the medical schools.

  1. Pass the MCAT

  2. All prospective medical students have to pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This exam has four sections which include the following: Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Biological, Social, and Psychological Foundations of Behavior, Physical and Chemical Foundations of Biological Systems and Biochemical and Biological Foundations of Living Systems.

  1. Complete Medical School

  2. The Doctor of Medicine (M.D) or the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O) program usually takes around four years to complete. In order to graduate, you will have to study a variety of courses related to Pharmacology, Microbiology and Immunology. Once you complete the doctoral degree, you will have to complete your post-graduate training.

  1. Obtain a Tennessee Medical License

  2. After meeting all the training and education requirements, you would be required to file your licensure application. In order to do this, you will have to send an application to the board along with the following: a declaration of citizenship, an application fee and a practitioner profile. Please note that getting a state license is dependent on clearing a board-approved licensure exam. For further details, please visit the Board of Medical Examiners in Tennessee website.

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

The process of becoming a doctor in Tennessee is no different than the process of becoming a doctor in other U.S. states. You will be expected to successfully complete a 4-year long undergraduate program. This will help you gain admission into a medical school, which will take an additional four years to complete. Upon graduating, you will have to complete your post-graduate training requirements, which might take around 3 to 7 years to finish.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Doctor in Tennessee?

Individuals will have to meet the following requirements in order to become licensed in the state of Tennessee:

  • The candidate must have graduated from a medical school that has been accredited by the LCME.
  • Completion of a one year ACGME-approved training program.
  • The candidate should have a United States or Canadian citizenship.
  • The candidate must pass a board-approved licensure exam.
  • The candidate must submit a criminal background check.
  • The candidate must submit two recommendation letters written by medical professionals that attest to the candidate’s good moral character.

*Please note that the licensure requirements for international medical school students are different.

How Much Can I Make as a Doctor in Tennessee?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided the employment data for Physicians and Surgeons and has classified this segment into many sub-segments, including Family and General Practitioners. The employment statistics indicate that Family and General Practitioners working in the state of Tennessee earned an annual mean pay of $207,250 in 2019, which is lower than the national average of $213,270.

Career Outlook for Doctors in Tennessee

According to the latest published data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Family Medicine Physicians” working in the state of Tennessee had a mean annual salary of $216,170 in 2020. This figure was higher than the national mean annual average, which stood at $214,370.

O*Net Online predicts a stellar growth for “Family Medicine Physicians” between 2018 and 2028 in Tennessee. This occupation is expected to enjoy a 14% increase in employment opportunities during the decade, compared to the national average of 6%.