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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 Neonatologist
Top Careers After Neonatologist
Hispanic or Latino12.5%
Black or African American0.8%
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University of Chicago16.7%
University of Pennsylvania8.3%
Baylor College of Medicine8.3%
University of Colorado Denver8.3%
School of Health8.3%
Portland State University8.3%
University of Utah8.3%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill8.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Neonatologist||Delta Regional Medical Center||Greenville, MS||Jan 07, 2016||$350,000|
|Neonatologist||Allegheny Clinic||Pittsburgh, PA||Jan 04, 2016||$335,000|
|Pediatric Neonatologist||Kadlec Regional Medical Center||Richland, WA||Jun 10, 2016||$325,000|
|Pediatric Neonatologist||Kadlec Regional Medical Center||Richland, WA||Jan 07, 2016||$325,000|
|Neonatologist||Altru Health System||Grand Forks, ND||Sep 09, 2015||$320,000|
|Neonatologist||Parkview Hospital, Inc.||Fort Wayne, IN||Mar 11, 2016||$305,000|
|Neonatologist||Freeman Health System||Joplin, MO||Jul 01, 2015||$305,000|
|Neonatologist||Parkview Hospital, Inc.||Fort Wayne, IN||Feb 22, 2016||$305,000|
|Neonatologist||Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center-South Bend Campus, Inc.||Mishawaka, IN||Nov 07, 2016||$304,000|
|Neonatologist||Sanford Bismarck||Bismarck, ND||May 27, 2015||$300,000|
|Neonatologist||Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, Georgia||Valdosta, GA||Mar 15, 2016||$280,000|
|Neonatologist||Benefis Health System, Inc.||Great Falls, MT||Jan 07, 2016||$229,900|
|Neonatologist||St. Alexius Medical Center||Bismarck, ND||Jul 30, 2016||$225,000 -
|Neonatologist||Chi St. Alexius Health||Bismarck, ND||Jun 16, 2016||$225,000 -
|Neonatologist||Phoebe Physician Group Inc.||Albany, GA||Nov 14, 2016||$225,000|
|Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Group of Louisiana, L.L.C.||Shreveport, LA||Dec 01, 2015||$225,000|
|1. Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Group of Louisiana LLC||Shreveport, LA||May 10, 2016||$225,000|
|Neonatologist||Neonatal Services Ltd||Meridian, MS||Jan 07, 2016||$220,000|
|Pediatric Neonatologist||Ram Velamati Md Sc||Chicago, IL||Jul 14, 2016||$192,000|
|Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Services, Inc.||Sunrise, FL||Sep 16, 2015||$190,000|
|Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Services, Inc.||El Paso, TX||Aug 12, 2015||$190,000|
|Neonatologist||Manassas Neonatal Associates, PC||Manassas, VA||Feb 15, 2015||$190,000|
|Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Group of Louisiana LLC||Alexandria, LA||Oct 27, 2016||$190,000|
|Neonatologist||Manassas Neonatal Associates, PC||Manassas, VA||Sep 07, 2015||$190,000|
|Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Services, Inc.||El Paso, TX||Jan 12, 2015||$190,000|
|Neonatologist||Pediatrix Medical Services, Inc.||Odessa, TX||Sep 08, 2015||$190,000|
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