Doctors play a major role not just in the West Virginia medical system but beyond it as well. They are responsible for keeping the population of the state healthy as much as possible. The day-to-day responsibilities of a doctor include diagnosing patient illnesses/diseases, conducting tests, performing surgeries and giving expert advice regarding various health issues, etc.
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, West Virginia had over 2,230 physicians, surgeons and ophthalmologists (other than pediatric) working within its borders in 2019. If you also want to become a doctor in the state, then this piece is for you.

Should I Become a Doctor in West Virginia?

Education RequiredBachelor’s degree together with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.
Major RequirementMedicine
Key SkillsActive Listening, Communication, Social Perceptiveness, Creative and Critical Thinking, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning, Problem Sensitivity
Annual Mean Wage – US (2020)$218,850 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Annual Mean Wage – West Virginia (2020)$222,760 (Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric)
Job Outlook – West Virginia – (2018-2028)5% (Physicians, All Other )

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

Career Requirements

To pursue a career as a medical practitioner in West Virginia, you must complete your Bachelor’s and medical degrees (Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). After that, you will have to undergo a residency program at a reputed West Virginia health facility. Good interpersonal, communication and critical thinking skills are also important for doctors.

Steps to Become a Doctor in West Virginia

You need to follow these steps to become a doctor in

  1. Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

  2. While studying at the undergraduate level, it is recommended that you take courses in sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, etc.) and related areas. However, you can pick any specialization you want. Some schools also have a pre-medical stream for aspiring doctors. Through it, they can learn about basic medicine, anatomy, psychology and physiology, etc.

  1. Take and Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

  2. The next step is to clear the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Obtaining a high score on this exam is a must for admission to medical school.

  1. Head to Medical School

  2. During medical school, you will have the option to choose from either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Clinical instructions together with academic courses will be included in both specialties.

  1. Complete Your Residency at a West Virginia Hospital

  2. Once you are done with medical school, it is time to go for a residency. This is a paid on-the-job training program during which med school graduates choose a specialty and treat patients under the supervision of licensed doctors. Its duration varies from 3 to 7 years, depending on your selected area of specialization.

  1. Get Your License

  2. Once the residency is complete, you can apply for your license with the West Virginia Board of Medicine. For eligibility, you have to pass one of the following examinations.

  • United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
  • Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX)
  • National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Licensing Exam
  • The Medical Council of Canada Examination (LMCC)

How Long Does It Take to Become a Doctor in West Virginia?

The Bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to complete. Same is the case with medical school. After 8 years of studies, you have to complete a residency at a West Virginia hospital of note. This can take anywhere between 3 to 7 years. In total, you will need about 11 to 15 years to become a doctor in West Virginia.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Doctor in West Virginia?

The following requirements have to be fulfilled by individuals who want to become doctors in West Virginia.

  • Get your Bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn your medical degree. This is usually a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.
  • Complete a residency program.
  • Get your West Virginia medical license.


How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Doctor in West Virginia?

In 2020, the annual mean wage for Physicians, Surgeons and Ophthalmologists Except Pediatric in West Virginia was $222,760. This salary was higher than the national mean income of $218,850. This is as per the information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Outlook for Doctors in Virginia

According to the latest projections made by O*Net online, “Physicians, All Other” employed in West Virginia will experience a 5% increase in employment between 2018 and 2028.