How Do I Become an Allopathic Physician?

Jessica F. Black

The educational steps to become an allopathic physician may take up to 12 years to complete and you should thoroughly research the field before formally making a career decision. Students who take an interest in a medical field as early as high school may want to consider requesting advance coursework in science and mathematics. Some medical schools may be interested in your entire academic background and excelling in science based subjects may prepare you for future coursework. One of the first steps that you should take in order to become an allopathic physician is choosing an accredited four-year university to complete your undergraduate studies.

Becoming an allopathic physician requires a plethora of lab experience.
Becoming an allopathic physician requires a plethora of lab experience.

Although many universities do not offer a degree in pre-medical studies, you may consider majoring in a science topic such as biology or chemistry. Prerequisites are generally required for advanced coursework and will be heavily based on mathematics and general science. You should maintain in continuous contact with your college adviser because he or she will be able to equip you with the coursework needed for medical school admittance. Some of your coursework may include concepts in chemistry, physics, microbiology, and anatomy. Most courses in the science department are accompanied by laboratory work and you will want to excel in hands-on classes.

You should participate in as many activities as possible during your undergraduate studies, as extracurricular participation is typically deemed essential in the admissions process. Aside from the abundance of lab work in your course schedule, you should seek internships in the medical field in order to become an allopathic physician. You will want to begin to familiarize yourself with a medical work environment and internships will allow you to observe and assist medical professionals. Many medical schools will require recommendations from professors and employers therefore you should exercise proficiency in both areas.

Medical schools usually require that you take an admissions exam, and your coursework should be excellent preparation for general topics on most of these. In addition, you may want to seek separate courses that are designed to teach you about the admissions exam and that administer practice tests. Medical school may take at least four years and your studies should be focused on allopathic medicine in order to become an allopathic physician.

Once you have completed medical school, you will need to enroll in a residency program. These programs are designed to give you the hands-on medical training needed to become an allopathic physician. Residencies may take three to six years to complete but will adequately prepare you for the certification exam required to legally practice medicine in most locales.

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