How do I Become an Emergency Room Doctor?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Med school graduates must complete a residency training program..
Med school graduates must complete a residency training program..

The individual who wishes to become an emergency room doctor must progress through several staged processes in order to attain this specialization. For most students, work begins in high school, moves on to a four-year degree in college, and is followed by medical school. After medical school and a one-year internship, students complete a residency program in emergency medicine, which takes three to five years, before taking board-certifying examinations.

An emergency room doctor might work any hours of the day.
An emergency room doctor might work any hours of the day.

Students who have strong grades and training in high school are more likely to get into stronger schools, which, in turn, may be more likely to impress medical schools. Ideally, the high school student interested in medicine will have excellent grades in math and science subjects. Some students are even able to take advanced placement courses in subjects like calculus or chemistry, which earn college credits and allow students to take more advanced courses when they arrive at college. If students do not have an impressive high school record, it’s suggested they begin their education to become an emergency room doctor at a community college, where a strong performance can allow them to transfer to a school with a good reputation in the sciences or pre-med.

The time commitment it takes to become an emergency room doctor has led to a shortage.
The time commitment it takes to become an emergency room doctor has led to a shortage.

During the college years, the goal is to get a degree in a science like biochemistry or to specifically major in pre-med. This is preparation to become an emergency room doctor because training in the sciences can help people score well on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). High MCAT scores and very strong grades increase the likelihood of being accepted to medical school.

Residency is an important part of training for physicians that lasts from three to seven years.
Residency is an important part of training for physicians that lasts from three to seven years.

Those who want to specialize in emergency medicine need to successfully graduate from medical school. Typically, medical school takes four years to finish, which includes a final internship year. During this year, students rotate into different fields, and this can help students determine if they still want to become an emergency room doctor. If interest remains high, students attempt to match with a residency in an emergency medicine program.

College students who want to attend medical school often major in pre-med.
College students who want to attend medical school often major in pre-med.

The length of the residency to become an emergency room doctor varies from three to five years. Longer-length programs are designed for those doctors who would like to undertake a subspecialty in emergency medicine. For example, doctors might specialize in pediatric emergency medicine. A subspecialty is not necessary to work in this field. Once the residency is complete, doctors take board examinations and are certified.

The U.S. has a shortage of emergency room physicians.
The U.S. has a shortage of emergency room physicians.

Most people who want to become an emergency room doctor can expect to study and practice for at least 11 years, starting from the time they begin college. This time commitment may seem overwhelming, but in places like the US, there is presently a shortage of emergency room physicians. As a result, the job outlook is very good for these specialists.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Med school graduates must complete a residency training program..
      By: goodluz
      Med school graduates must complete a residency training program..
    • An emergency room doctor might work any hours of the day.
      By: SeanPavonePhoto
      An emergency room doctor might work any hours of the day.
    • The time commitment it takes to become an emergency room doctor has led to a shortage.
      By: Stephen Finn
      The time commitment it takes to become an emergency room doctor has led to a shortage.
    • Residency is an important part of training for physicians that lasts from three to seven years.
      By: spotmatikphoto
      Residency is an important part of training for physicians that lasts from three to seven years.
    • College students who want to attend medical school often major in pre-med.
      By: Igor Mojzes
      College students who want to attend medical school often major in pre-med.
    • The U.S. has a shortage of emergency room physicians.
      By: jovannig
      The U.S. has a shortage of emergency room physicians.