Becoming a physician means meeting demanding educational qualifications. Future physicians begin with a bachelors degree, though many go on to complete a masters degree in addition to medical school. Tough there are no specific major requirements for your undergraduate career, you will be required to complete courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English. Your admission to medical school will depend on your undergraduate GPA, recommendation letters, and your performance on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which will assess your readiness for medical school. Completion of medical school typically takes another four years. Your first two year will be spent in the classroom and laboratory, learning anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, and medical ethics and law. Your will also begin to develop practical skills like taking a patient's medical history, learning how to examine a patient, and diagnosing illnesses. The last two years will be spent in supervised medical rotation. Your residency, which can last three to eight years depending on your specialty, will begin after completion of medical school. All states require physician licensure, which will involve written and practical exams at the state level and a national licensing exam.
Physicians must be truly dedicated and devoted to the well-being of others. You must have empathy for your patients and treat them with respect, compassion, patience, and understanding. It is important to be very detail-oriented and have strong organizational skills. Physicians also need to be skilled problem-solvers when evaluating a patient's symptoms and deciding what treatments to administer. Being a physician can be emotionally and physically demanding. A good physician will need the dexterity to work with precision and physical stamina to endure long hours on your feet. The most successful physicians also have excellent communication skills and are effective leaders.
By the time you're ready for licensure, you will have gained several years of practical experience. Some students begin gaining experience as an undergraduate by volunteering at hospitals or clinics. In medical school, you will go through two years of rotations in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, psychiatry, and pediatrics. You will become experienced in diagnosing and treating illnesses in a variety of medical areas. Your experience will culminate through your time as a resident physician, where you will gradually be given more and more responsibility to treat patients.
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