Should I Become a Doctor in Virginia?
|Education Required||Doctoral or professional degree|
|Major Requirement||Doctor of Medicine (MD) or another related subject|
|License/Certification||State issued license is mandatory|
|Experience/Training||Residency (3-7 years)|
|Key Skills||Compassion, Patience, Dexterity, Physical Stamina, Organizational Leadership, Problem-solving, Decision-making and Communication Skills etc.|
|Annual Mean Salary,VA,2020||$205,720 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||9% (Physicians and Surgeons)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)
Doctors’ job entails making tough decisions all day everyday which is why this career demands excellent decision-making and critical thinking skills. In addition to that, doctors must have empathy and compassion towards their patients. They should be physically fit with a lot of stamina to work long hours.
Steps to Become a Doctor in Virginia
If you want to become a doctor then, here is a step by step guide to help you get started.
- Get Your Bachelor’s degree
To begin your journey on the long road to becoming a doctor, you must complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree with a subject from biological sciences.
Step-2: Clear the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
To enter medical school, all graduates with a bachelor’s degree must pass the MCAT exam with a good score. This is a standardized test used by most medical schools to gauge the aptitude of prospective students.
- Graduate from Medical school
You can enroll in Doctor of Medicine (MD) at a medical school in Virginia which may take 4-years to complete. The East Virginia Medical School offers a 4-year MD program. For admission or graduation details, you should visit the official website of your desired university.
- Complete Residency
Graduates of an MD degree have to enroll in a residency program and work at a hospital to get experience in their area of interest. Residency may take anywhere between 3 to 7 years to complete.
- Get Licensure
All doctors in the US are mandated to be licensed. The Virginia Medical Board issues license to doctors who fulfill the criteria given below. All interested candidates must,
- Clear all parts of national examinations such as, USMLE, FLEX, NBME etc.
- International Graduates must also acquire the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certification (ECFMG)
- Complete residency program
How Long Does It Take to Become a Doctor in Virginia?
Becoming a practicing doctor is a lengthy process and may take you 10-12 years (or more). To sum it up, you must complete;
- A bachelor’s degree (4-years)
- Doctor of Medicine or a relevant degree at a medical school (4-years)
- Residency (3-7 years)
- National medical exams i.e., USMLE, FLEX, NBME etc.
- Licensure process in the state of Virginia
What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Doctor in Virginia?
To become a doctor in Virginia, all candidates must have:
- Graduated from an accredited medical school
- Completed at least 1 year of postgraduate training (candidates with a US degree) or at least 2 years of postgraduate training (candidates with a foreign degree)
- Passed the relevant national exams NBME, USMLE, FLEX
- Graduates with foreign degrees must also obtain the ECFMG certification
- Completed residency
- Obtained their license
How Much Can I Make as a Doctor in Virginia?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric employed in the state of Virginia earned an annual mean salary of $187,740 in 2019. Whereas, Alaska was named as the top paying state for this career with an annual mean salary of $258,550.
Career Outlook for Doctors in Virginia
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric” in the year 2020 was $205,720. As per O*Net Online, the category of “Physicians, All Others” is expected to enjoy a stellar 9% growth in employment opportunities from 2018 to 2028 in the state of Virginia, which is higher than the US average of 4% for the same time period.