How Do I Become an Inpatient Physician?

In order to become an inpatient physician, a number of years of education and training are required. One must finish high school, an undergraduate bachelor’s degree, medical school training, and a residency program. With these training experiences, as well as with certification in a discipline of medicine and a license to practice, doctors can work as inpatient physicians.

After completing high school and an undergraduate degree, the next step needed to become an inpatient physician is going to medical school. Most medical schools in the United States require that prospective students first complete a bachelor’s degree in a field of their choice. They also require that students take a number of pre-requisite courses, including classes in fields such as biology, organic chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Before applying to medical schools students typically take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)®, which measures their knowledge of science, math, and English. With all of these elements complete, students can apply to medical school by filling out applications, writing application essays, providing college transcripts, sending MCAT® scores, and providing reference letters.

Once accepted to a medical school, students hoping to become an inpatient physician must complete these four years of education. Typically during the first two years students learn in classrooms about biochemistry, anatomy, microbiology, and pathology. During the second two years they are able to apply these skills to real patients, completing rotations in fields such as surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and neurology.

A student trying to become an inpatient physician would typically begin applying for post-graduate residency programs in the fourth year of medical school. Often they would focus on obtaining a residency in fields such as internal medicine, pediatrics, or family practice. These fields are considered primary care fields because they are provide generalized medical care to different populations of patients. Having a broad base of knowledge is critical for an inpatient physician because they typically manage all of the problems that hospitalized patients have, deferring to the knowledge of specialists for complicated diseases.

After completing a post-graduate residency program, these doctors are able to become fully licensed practitioners in their fields. At this point, it would be possible to become an inpatient physician without any further training. They might begin the process of applying for jobs by filling out applications, providing information about past performance, and supplying reference letters. After being hired, either by a hospital, a medical school, or by a group of doctors that work as inpatient physicians, they can start treating hospitalized patients.


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