Doctors are healthcare professionals who perform various tasks like diagnosing diseases and treating injuries and illnesses. They are also responsible for examining patients, conducting diagnostic tests and checking patients’ progress. They are divided into two categories: medicinal doctors (M.D) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O). D.Os deal with holistic care methods and preventive medicines.

Should I Become a Doctor

If you have a knack for helping people out, then becoming a doctor might be a great career choice for you. Find out more about this career in the table below.

Education Required Medical Degree or a Ph. D
Major Requirement Medicine
License/Certification Required
Experience/Training Residency
Key Skills Compassion, Communication Skills, Patience, Physical Stamina.
Annual Mean Salary – US (2020) $218,850 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Annual Mean Salary – Washington (2020) $249,600 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Job Outlook – Washington (2018-2028) 14% (Physicians, All Other)

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

Career Requirements

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 7% from 2018-2028. Candidates who want to become doctors should complete the required education and get licensure. Doctors are required to have problem-solving skills so they can analyze symptoms and advice on the right treatment. They should be patient and compassionate with their patients as they require additional support and care.

Steps to Become a Doctor in Washington

  1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

  2. The first step to become a doctor is to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. Medical schools do not require any specific major; however, students are recommended to take majors related to natural sciences and health settings so they have a strong foundation. Physics, biology, mathematics and chemistry are some of the suggested courses.

  1. Give the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

  2. Aspiring Doctors have to give the Medical College Admission Test which helps them get enrolled in a medical college. This exam includes topics ranging from biology, organic chemistry to physics and general chemistry. It also gauges the problem-solving skills, writing skills and verbal reasoning of the candidates.

  1. Get Admission in a Medical School

  2. Students who get good scores have a higher chance of getting admission in a medical school. The initial two years at the medical school comprise of laboratory and classroom work. Students take courses like pharmacology, anatomy, medical ethics, biochemistry, psychology and laws governing medicine. They also gain skills like examining patients, diagnosing illnesses and taking notes.
    During their last two years, students work directly with patients under the supervision of an experienced physician. They work at different clinics and hospitals and keep rotating between departments. This helps them choose a specialty area for their residency program.

  1. Complete the Residency Program

  2. A residency program is mandatory for all aspiring doctors. The duration of a residency program could be anywhere between 3-7 years depending on the specialization chosen by the candidate. Internal medicine, emergency medicine, anesthesiology and psychiatry are some of the specialty areas.
    During this program, residents learn various tasks like compiling medical history, performing physical exams, etc.

  1. Obtain a License

  2. To become a physician in Washington, or any other state for that matter, students need to obtain a license. Students should be graduated from an accredited school and must have completed their residency program before applying for licensure. In Washington, they have to pass the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). They are also required to have a minimum of 2 years of post-graduate training experience. Professional have to accumulate continuing education hours to get their license renewed.

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

Aspiring doctors have to complete a 4-year undergraduate degree followed by a 4-year program at a medical school. Once they have finished all the required education, they have to complete a residency program which lasts for 3-7 years depending on the specialization.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Doctor in Washington?

Following are the requirements to become a doctor in Washington:

  • Obtain an undergraduate degree
  • Give the MCAT and get admission in an accredited medical college
  • Obtain a medical degree
  • Complete your residency program
  • Pass the USMLE

How Much Can I Make as a Doctor in Washington?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of Physicians, all other and Ophthalmologists, except Pediatric in Washington was $249,600 in 2020.

Career Outlook

Projections made by O*Net Online show that “Physicians, All Other” employed in Washington will experience 14% job growth between 2018 and 2028, a figure substantially higher than the national average of 5%.