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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 Internal Medicine Physician
Top Careers After Internal Medicine Physician
Hispanic or Latino11.5%
Black or African American0.9%
Internal Medicine Physician
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
George Washington University7.6%
University of Florida6.1%
University of Southern California6.1%
Thomas Jefferson University6.1%
New York Medical College6.1%
State University of New York Buffalo4.5%
Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry4.5%
Saint Louis University-4.5%
University of Cincinnati4.5%
Western University of Health Sciences4.5%
University of Maryland - College Park4.5%
Pace University - New York4.5%
University of New England3.0%
University of South Florida3.0%
Virginia Commonwealth University3.0%
Internal Medicine Physician
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Internal Medicine/Pulmonary Disease/Critical Care Physician||War Memorial Hospital||Sault Ste Marie, MI||Jan 15, 2016||$444,000|
|Internal Medicine/Critical Care Physician||Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Inc.||Shreveport, LA||Jan 02, 2016||$350,000 -
|Internal Medicine/Critical Care Physician||Willis-Knighton Medical Center Inc.||Shreveport, LA||Jan 06, 2016||$350,000 -
|Internal Medicine Physician-Nocturnist/Hospitalist||Hattiesburg Clinic, Pa||Hattiesburg, MS||May 01, 2016||$310,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Wishek Hospital Clinics Association||Wishek, ND||Jun 15, 2016||$301,008|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Linton Hospital||Linton, ND||May 01, 2016||$301,008|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Wishek Hospital Clinics Association||Wishek, ND||May 20, 2015||$301,008|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Linton Hospital||Linton, ND||May 20, 2015||$301,008|
|Internal Medicine/Sleep Medicine Physician||Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants, P.C.||Greenwood, IN||Jun 29, 2015||$300,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Missouri Delta Medical Center||Sikeston, MO||Nov 14, 2016||$300,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Wellmont Medical Associates||Kingsport, TN||Aug 04, 2015||$292,000|
|Physician-Internal Medicine||Rockford Health Physicians||Rockford, IL||Oct 14, 2015||$285,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Gainesville Heart & Vascular Group, PC||Gainesville, GA||Sep 17, 2015||$280,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician-Hospitalist||Wellmont Medical Associates||Kingsport, TN||Jan 11, 2016||$220,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Sanford Clinic||Aberdeen, SD||Aug 10, 2015||$218,500|
|Physician, Primary Care-Internal Medicine||Spectrum Health Primary Care Partners D/B/A Spectr||Grand Rapids, MI||Aug 31, 2016||$217,000|
|Hospitalist/Internal Medicine Physician||Western Maryland Health System Corporation||Cumberland, MD||Aug 31, 2015||$216,070|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Chen Neighborhood Medical Centers of South Florida, LLC||Miami, FL||Jul 02, 2015||$216,000|
|Physician-Internal Medicine||Sea Mar Community Health Centers||Tacoma, WA||Jun 20, 2016||$216,000|
|Physician Internal Medicine||Barnesville Hospital Association, Inc.||Barnesville, OH||Nov 19, 2015||$215,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Presbyterian Healthcare Services||Albuquerque, NM||Jan 07, 2016||$215,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Ampla Health||Chico, CA||Jan 07, 2016||$189,862 -
|Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine Physician||Chi St. Luke's Health Memorial Clinics D/B/A Memorial Multispecialty A||Livingston, TX||Jul 25, 2016||$189,000 -
|Internal Medicine Physician||Lakeview Internal Medicine, P.A.||FL||Dec 10, 2016||$188,440|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Commonwealth Health Corporation||Bowling Green, KY||May 21, 2015||$188,440 -
|Internal Medicine Physician||Brownsville Community Health Clinic Corporation||Brownsville, TX||Jan 14, 2016||$188,000|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Atascosa Health Center, Inc.||Pleasanton, TX||Oct 31, 2016||$188,000 -
|Internal Medicine Physician||Wellspan Medical Group||Red Lion, PA||Oct 27, 2016||$187,830|
|Internal Medicine Physician||Dinesh Khanna Md Pa||Bushnell, FL||Jul 30, 2015||$187,830|
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