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Physicians and surgeons have demanding education and training requirements. Almost all physicians complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and, depending on their specialty, 3 to 7 years in internship and residency programs.Education
Most applicants to medical school have at least a bachelor's degree, and many have advanced degrees. Although no specific major is required, all students must complete undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and English. Students also take courses in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, some students volunteer at local hospitals or clinics to gain experience in a healthcare setting.
Medical schools are highly competitive. Most applicants must submit transcripts, scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and letters of recommendation. Schools also consider an applicant’s personality, leadership qualities, and participation in extracurricular activities. Most schools require applicants to interview with members of the admissions committee.
A few medical schools offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last 6 or 7 years.
Students spend most of the first 2 years of medical school in laboratories and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology, medical ethics, and the laws governing medicine. They also gain practical skills, learning to take medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses.
During their last 2 years, medical students work with patients under the supervision of experienced physicians in hospitals and clinics. Through rotations in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery, they gain experience in diagnosing and treating illnesses in a variety of areas.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Physicians and surgeons need to be excellent communicators. They must be able to communicate effectively with their patients and other healthcare support staff.
Compassion. Physicians and surgeons deal with patients who are sick or injured and may be in extreme pain or distress. Physicians and surgeons must be able to treat patients and their families with compassion and understanding.
Detail oriented. Physicians and surgeons must ensure that patients are receiving appropriate treatment and medications. They must also monitor and record various pieces of information related to patient care.
Dexterity. Physicians and surgeons must be good at working with their hands. They may work with very precise and sometimes sharp tools, and mistakes can have serious consequences.
Leadership skills. Physicians who work in their own practice need to be effective leaders. They must be able to manage a staff of other professionals to run their practice.
Organizational skills. Some physicians own their own practice. Strong organizational skills, including good recordkeeping, are critical in both medical and business settings.
Patience. Physicians and surgeons may work for long periods with patients who need special attention. Persons who fear medical treatment may require more patience.
Physical stamina. Physicians and surgeons should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or turning disabled patients. Surgeons may spend a great deal of time bending over patients during surgery.
Problem-solving skills. Physicians and surgeons need to evaluate patients’ symptoms and administer the appropriate treatments. They need to do this quickly if a patient’s life is threatened.Training
After medical school, almost all graduates enter a residency program in their specialty of interest. A residency usually takes place in a hospital and varies in duration, generally lasting from 3 to 7 years, depending on the specialty.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All states require physicians and surgeons to be licensed; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license, candidates must graduate from an accredited medical school and complete residency training in their specialty.
All physicians and surgeons also must pass a standardized national licensure exam. M.D.s take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). D.O.s take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). For specific state information about licensing, contact your state’s medical board.
Certification is not required for physicians and surgeons; however, it may increase their employment opportunities. M.D.s and D.O.s seeking board certification in a specialty may spend up to 7 years in residency training; the length of time varies with the specialty. To become board certified, candidates must complete a residency program and pass a specialty certification exam from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
Top Careers After Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
Hispanic or Latino24.7%
Black or African American0.7%
Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
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University of the Sacred Heart12.5%
International Institute of Chinese Medicine8.3%
New York University4.2%
Samra University of Oriental Medicine4.2%
University of Florida4.2%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro4.2%
Miami Dade College4.2%
Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine4.2%
Washington State University4.2%
West Virginia University4.2%
Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology4.2%
Central New Mexico Community College4.2%
Long Beach City College4.2%
Saint Petersburg College4.2%
Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||California Veterinary Specialists, Inc.||Carlsbad, CA||Sep 24, 2013||$160,000|
|Sleep Medicine Doctor||Sleep Medicine Associates, LLC||Manchester, CT||Oct 08, 2009||$143,749 -
|Doctor of Medicine||Morris Heights Health Center||New York, NY||Aug 15, 2016||$140,000|
|Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine||Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC||Colorado Springs, CO||Oct 01, 2013||$138,216|
|Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine||Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC||Colorado Springs, CO||Aug 13, 2016||$136,698|
|Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine||Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC||Colorado Springs, CO||Aug 14, 2016||$136,698|
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||Del Valle Veterinary Services, Inc.||McAllen, TX||Apr 13, 2015||$130,438|
|Doctor of Pulmonary Medicine||Colorado Springs Pulmonary Consultants, PC||Colorado Springs, CO||Sep 04, 2013||$129,522|
|Doctors of Dental Medicine, LLP||Doctors of Dental Medicine, LLP||Dayton, NJ||Mar 24, 2014||$125,742|
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Partner||Medical Management International, Inc.||Springfield, PA||Feb 15, 2012||$115,000|
|Doctor of Medicine/Pediatrician||United Medical Centers||Eagle Pass, TX||Apr 15, 2010||$115,000|
|Managing Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||NVA Arizona Veterinary Services Inc.||Yuma, AZ||Jan 05, 2016||$100,000|
|Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||Gatordoc, P.A.||Fayetteville, NC||Sep 01, 2013||$78,520|
|Doctor of Oriental Medicine||Medical Holistic Center||New Smyrna Beach, FL||Oct 01, 2011||$78,263|
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||DR. John David McGee, PC||Bullhead City, AZ||Oct 01, 2013||$77,896|
|Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||Medical Management International, Inc.||Spring Hill, FL||Mar 13, 2012||$75,000|
|Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||NVA Kem Road Veterinary Management, Inc.||Marion, IN||Jan 09, 2016||$75,000|
|Nutritionist and Integrative Medicine Doctor||Do It Moving Human Performance Inc.||CA||Dec 28, 2016||$62,610|
|Associate Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||NVA Kem Road Veterinary Management, Inc.||Marion, IN||Aug 26, 2014||$62,000|
|Doctor of Oriental Medicine||Compassion Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic, Inc.||Orlando, FL||Oct 01, 2014||$60,000|
|Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine||D'Adamo Institute for The Advancement of Natural T||Portsmouth, NH||Feb 01, 2011||$60,000 -
|Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine||Dadamo Institute for The Advancement Natural Thera||Portsmouth, NH||Feb 01, 2011||$60,000 -
|Doctor In Veterinary Medicine (DVM)||Kirkpatrick Veterinary Hospital, P.A.||Orlando, FL||Jul 08, 2011||$60,000 -
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||Companion Animal Practices North America||Tempe, AZ||Aug 29, 2014||$59,500 -
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||Companion Animal Practices North America||Tempe, AZ||Sep 14, 2014||$59,500 -
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