Acquiring a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in general medicine includes earning a specified number of undergraduate credits, scoring well on a medical school entrance exam, and completing the medical school curriculum. Typically, most people are able to earn an MD degree in about eight years following high school, sometimes less, depending on the circumstances. After that, doctors spend from three to eight years in an internship or residency program. There are some schools that offer a combined undergraduate and medical school program that lasts from six to seven years.
If you are still in high school and want to get an MD in general medicine, the main things you should be focused on are learning the most effective ways to study and getting the best grades possible. High school courses to take include any available higher level science courses, like advanced biology, physics, mathematics, anatomy, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. There are also internship programs available at some hospitals and clinics which may provide some good hands-on experience. Good grades will provide more opportunities and a wider selection of colleges and universities to choose from for your undergraduate studies.
Once you have selected the best undergraduate college or university available to you, continue on your path to getting an MD in general medicine by entering a pre-med program. Formal education and training requirements to become a doctor are among the most challenging and demanding of any profession. While the minimum educational requirements for medical school may only be three years of college, most students earn a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate coursework will likely lead to a bachelors degree, typically in a specific science.
The next step on your path to an MD in general medicine is the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You must get an adequate score on this exam to be admitted to a medical school. Gaining admission to a medical school is very competitive, and medical schools consider MCAT scores, transcripts, applicant character, leadership qualities, and involvement in extracurricular activities when considering an applicant's request for admission. Some medical schools require that an applicant be interviewed prior to considering admission.
Once you are admitted to a medical school, you will likely spend the first two years in classrooms and laboratories, studying physiology, anatomy, microbiology, pathology and the legal issues which govern modern medicine. You will also learn how to diagnose illnesses, prepare medical histories, and perform patient examinations. The last two years of medical school involve working with experienced physicians in clinics and hospitals to learn the particulars of acute, chronic, preventive, and rehabilitative care. After medical school, almost all MDs go into residency, usually at a hospital. Residency is essentially paid, on-the-job-training in a particular specialty, lasting two to six years.