Get the right undergraduate grades
Getting yourself enrolled at medical school will require you to get good grades in school. You may even have to get straight ‘A’s to get accepted. Subjects that will help you earn a place include biology, maths, chemistry and psychology. An alternative route could be to get a degree in one of these subjects that then leads onto a medical degree after.
Earn your medical degree
On top of good grades, you’ll usually need to complete an interview to get accepted into medical school. You then have four to six years to study your medical degree. Expect a lot of intense studying.
Take a residency program
The next step is residency. This involves getting hands-on experience in a hospital or a clinic under the supervision of senior doctors. Residency can take one to two years to complete. Only after this period will you become a qualified doctor. At this point, you may start pursuing medical jobs of your choice. Some doctors stay at the place they had their residency.
Complete specialist training
Many doctors like to specialise, which can result in as much as another three years of training (as is the case with GPs). Specialist training may be something you can do during your residency – for example, if you’ve got your heart set on working in pulmonology, you’ll likely want to experience in a pulmonary unit working with patients that have lung problems.
Make sure medicine is for you
Many people give up on medicine along the way. As rewarding as it is, there’s also a lot of pressure and stress that comes from working long hours and having responsibility over people’s health. Of course, healthcare is such a wide industry and its possible to branch out into other jobs whilst still using your passion for medicine and your knowledge. This could include medical technician work, medical billing, pharmaceutical sales and medical research. You may be only interested in becoming a doctor, but if you do change your mind there are other career paths you can take at any stage.