July 25, 2024
How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor in the U.S.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor in the U.S.?

To become a doctor, a student is required to invest in years of education and practical learning. In the United States, one may have to spend up to 14 years to fulfill this goal and start practicing as a physician. For those who aspire to pursue this career, they should be aware of their journey. Also, they should know that the duration of becoming a doctor can essentially be defined by the school of medicine selected. With top schools like the American University of Antigua or AUA, within 6.5 years, this dream can be turned into reality. Besides, there are other determinants. Depending on one’s preparation, residency program duration, etc., one can further know how long it will take to be a doctor in the U.S.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor in the U.S.


How to Know the Years it Takes to be a Doctor in the USA?

There are several requisites an aspirant must fulfill in order to become a doctor in the United States of America. By knowing these requirements, he/she can understand the number of years it will take for him/her to be a physician. There can be certain variations in these requisites, depending on the choices made by aspirants. However, in general, some of them remain common.

Requirements to Fulfill to be a Doctor in the U.S.

An aspiring physician will require a bachelor’s degree. As the American University of Antigua (AUA) suggests, this is among the key requisites to be established as a doctor in the United States.

Undergraduate Education (4 years): The first step towards becoming a doctor is obtaining an undergraduate degree. This generally takes four years. While there is no specific major required, most aspiring doctors major in pre-med, biology, chemistry, or a related field. During this period, students must complete prerequisite courses in subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, which are essential for medical school admission. In addition to coursework, students are encouraged to gain relevant experience through volunteering, research, or internships in healthcare settings. For Indian students seeking to pursue medicine in the United States, it is beneficial to consider the best medical university in the USA for Indian students, ensuring that the institution offers strong support services and resources tailored to international students.

Attempt the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT

The Medical College Admission Test, commonly identified as MCAT, is a computer-based examination. It is important for a medical student to attempt this test for education/practice in countries like the United States. Hence, the next requisite is to prepare for and pass this test.

Obtain Medical Education in the U.S.

After clearing the MCAT, an aspiring doctor will have to select an ideal school of medicine in the U.S. With the best schools like AUA, students can complete their medical education in around 4 years.

During these years, they will attain theoretical knowledge of medicine. They will have exposure to laboratory/clinical experiences. This will be inclusive of rotations at reputed medical institutions, clinics, or hospitals.

Medical School (4 years): After earning a bachelor’s degree, students must attend medical school, which typically lasts another four years. The first two years are usually focused on classroom and laboratory instruction in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and medical ethics. The final two years involve clinical rotations in various medical specialties, including internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and obstetrics/gynecology. These rotations provide hands-on experience under the supervision of experienced physicians and allow students to explore different fields of medicine.

How long does it take to be Doctor with AUA?

AUA uses a holistic approach to select students for admission. While MCAT scores are required, they don’t significantly impact admission decisions. The 6.5 year MD program is split into 2 years of pre-med, 2.5 years of pre-clinical sciences and 2 years of clinical sciences.

AUA requires a minimum of 90 credit hours of recommended college courses for admission unless the applicant successfully completes the fast track to medical school program at American International College of Arts and Sciences Antigua (AICASA) or the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) BSc Health Science Program. Upon successful completion of the fast-track program graduates are guaranteed admission to AUA College of Medicine.

Clear the United States Medical Licensing Examination

USMLE is an examination program, inclusive of 3 steps. It is important for the U.S. medical licensure. The United States Medical Licensing Examination has to be cleared by aspiring physicians along with completing their medical education.

It should be noted that the initial 2 steps of this program are to be cleared while receiving medical education from the preferred school. The final step has to be completed after receiving the education.

Since this is an important examination, here, the university selected for medical education will play a vital role. Opt for top schools. like the American University of Antigua that will train you to clear USMLE and prepare you of the U.S. healthcare system.

Opt for Medical Residency (3 to 7 years):

Upon graduation from medical school, the next phase is residency training, where newly minted doctors receive specialized training in their chosen field. Residency programs vary in length depending on the specialty. For example, family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics typically require three years of residency. More specialized fields such as surgery, neurology, or radiology may require five to seven years of training. Residency involves rigorous on-the-job training, long hours, and significant responsibilities, but it is crucial for gaining the expertise needed to practice independently.

Pursuing Fellowship (1 to 3 years, optional):

To become a doctor in the United States, it will be useful to pursue a fellowship. This is not mandatory, however, it makes one more specialized in the selected field of medicine. Considering this to be extended training, it can add to the overall length of an aspiring doctor’s journey.

Get a Medical License

The final step to becoming a doctor in the U.S. is getting a medical license. This will enable individuals to practice in the country. One can decide to continue getting trained or obtain higher education. This will increase one’s knowledge/skills. Accordingly, the duration of becoming and practicing as a doctor will vary.


It can take anywhere between 10-14 years to become a doctor in the United States. The choices one makes with respect to the program, school like the American University of Antigua, residency, etc., can influence this duration. However, it is only worthwhile to invest these years and pursue a noble profession.


After working as digital marketing consultant for 4 years Deepak decided to leave and start his own Business. To know more about Deepak, find him on Facebook, LinkedIn now.

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