In 2018, there were 756,800 physicians and surgeons working in the US. However, even with such a huge number of people working in this field, the need for physicians and surgeons keeps on increasing. The growing and aging population is expected to drive demand for these professionals in the years to come. In addition to that, with the growth of new and more complex medical issues, doctors are expected to always be up to date with the latest developments in the field of medicine. If you want to become a part of this high-paying and highly rewarding field, you ought to read the following guide on how to become a doctor in the US.

What Does a Doctor Do?

The duties and job description of a doctor would vary according to the specialization. However, generally speaking, Physicians and Surgeons perform the following tasks, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Take a patient’s medical history
  • Update charts and patient information to show current findings and treatments
  • Order tests for nurses or other healthcare staff to perform
  • Review test results to identify any abnormal findings
  • Recommend and design a plan of treatment
  • Address concerns or answer questions that patients have about their health and well-being
  • Help patients take care of their health by discussing topics such as proper nutrition and hygiene

Types of Doctors

Doctors typically work in one or more than one specialties. The usual ones are listed below:

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Family and general physicians
  • General pediatricians
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Surgeons
  • Allergists
  • Cardiologists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Pathologists
  • Radiologists

Requirements to Become a Doctor

The process of becoming a doctor is long and demanding. So if you want to embark on this journey, you ought to be aware of the requirements to become a doctor.

Educational Requirements

The minimum educational requirement to enter the field of medicine is a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate coursework typically involves work in biology, physics, chemistry, English and math. After the completion of a bachelor’s degree, students must enroll in a medical school.

Training Requirements

After the completion of medical school, students are required to complete a residency program in their specialty of interest. This training program would take place in a hospital and would vary in length, depending on the specialty you choose. You can expect to spend 3 to 7 years of time in training.