If you’re looking for the easiest way to become a doctor and have concerns about , it doesn’t mean you’re unwilling to put in the necessary time and effort. Maybe you are a and have already succeeded in a separate field, like law, finance, or business. Maybe you have always wanted to become a doctor, but the costs and commitment involved scared you.
Whatever the case, if you’re worried about questions like “”, this article will lay out the conventional way to become a doctor, the easiest path that anyone can take to become a doctor, and how they’re different.
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The road to becoming a doctor is typically a long and arduous one. According to the , in a recent year, there were over 11,000 applicants to medical schools around Canada, but there were only 2,860 graduates. These figures only reinforce how competitive and challenging medical school is, which is why some people are interested in the easiest way to become a doctor.
Is there a super fast way to get into medical school? Watch this video:
Wanting to find the easiest way to become a doctor does not mean you are looking to cut corners or not put in the work. On the contrary, it shows dedication to wanting to practice medicine and the willingness to do more than is usually required by eight-year medical schools. Becoming a doctor faster than usual often involves more work than the normal way and does not mean you are impatient or indifferent to the process.
Accelerated MD programs are neither of poor quality nor deficient in their standards, which is a common misunderstanding. They do challenge the belief that all medical school programs should last four years by compressing a wide range of knowledge into only a few years, rather than spreading it out.
1. Four-Year Undergrad + Four-Year Medical School
The standard length of a medical school education is four years, which is true in most of North America and the UK. However, a small number of medical schools throughout North America offer three-year, accelerated programs, but these programs still require a four-year undergrad major from an accredited, recognized university for admission. If you are a traditional applicant (high school, undergrad, medical school), you will start to take premed courses, such as biology, neuroscience, and biochemistry, during your undergrad.
At the same time, you must also start to think about your application to medical school. You will be building your and planning and taking any other steps necessary to fulfill the criteria. Every medical school has its own admissions requirements with which you should familiarize yourself. You should also research MD and to find out what to expect when it comes to admissions.
There is also the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) to think about, a standardized test medical school applicants must take, among others like the . Again, there are , along with , so if you’re thinking about the easiest way to become a doctor, choosing a medical school that does not require these standardized tests may be a good option.
Medical schools also require written essays, to demonstrate various skills and competencies, as well as autobiographical information. are meant to help you draft your own personal statement, which should contain information about your past (personal stories, academic achievements, and professional experience), and the reasons you want to become a doctor.
are also part of an application to medical school, but these essays are based on prompts given to applicants to gauge their critical thinking skills, ethical principles, and how they will contribute academically and socially to the medical school and program they are applying to.
As with the MCAT and other entry requirements, there are , which might fast-track your medical school application, at least. These schools do judge other aspects of your application, like your MCAT or GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) scores, GPA, letters of recommendation and other documentation, so be aware of that when you apply.
While you should strive to excel in all areas of your medical school application, don’t be discouraged if you have weak sections. If you are struggling with or you should think about hiring the such as BeMo Academic Consulting, to help you prepare.
BeMo academic consultants are career academics or experts in their field who have the knowledge and experience to help anyone apply successfully to medical school. Professional medical school application consultants can give you advice on things like how to get into and .
2. Choosing a Medical Specialty
After completing your foundations courses in the first years of medical school, you must eventually choose a medical specialty, either in your penultimate or last year. This is a vital stage for anyone thinking about the easiest way to become a doctor, because the specialty you choose determines how long you will have to train to complete it, which can add years to your medical school journey, or not.
One of the key ways you can take years off of becoming a licensed, practicing medical doctor is by choosing a specialty that requires fewer years than others. You should also research which are the , since not being matched right away can extend the timeline of when you become a doctor and set you back.
Traditionally, some of the most competitive residencies include specialties like dermatology, emergency medicine, and plastic surgery, which have fewer spots than applicants. The least competitive residencies are often primary care roles like family doctors, psychiatrists, and internists.
Knowing this information should help decide which path is fastest for you. Different residency programs have varying lengths, so you should know how long each program is before you apply. If becoming a medical doctor regardless of your specialization is your only priority, you might have to choose a specialty that requires less time to complete than something you actually prefer.
3. Match Day and Residency Training
What happens after you graduate from medical school? Traditionally, medical students spend their last few years of medical school preparing to be “matched” to a residency training program where they spend between . You should first know to have a clear idea of what residency training programs you want to join.
Residency is an unavoidable step to becoming a doctor the conventional, and unconventional way. You cannot become a licensed , even though there are other medicine-related professions you can pursue. How long you spend in a residency depends on what medical specialty you decide to pursue. The more specific your specialization (i.e., pediatric surgery, geriatric neurology) the more time you will spend pursuing it.
But you should make sure you choose the right specialization for you. Changing your residency in the middle of the program is difficult, so you should first figure out . You might decide to be a general practitioner or specialize in family medicine, which takes fewer years to complete than a specialization, as mentioned in the previous section.
Matching graduates with residency training is a process that is different in every country. In Canada and the US, the residency matching program of each respective country is performed by a computer algorithm. In Canada, graduates use the (Canadian Resident Matching Service) to find an available program, while US graduates apply via the (Electronic Resident Application Service).
Even though are matched to their desired program, you should not think that your match is a lock. Many factors affect your chances of getting matched, like academic performance, application deadlines, and interview schedules, so you should consult with a to understand how to use to your advantage and .
Applying to residency programs also requires submitting paperwork like personal statements, which vary in format and content requirements depending on the specialty you choose. For example, should not be used by someone who has to write .
Interviews are also a part of applying for residency programs, and again, the format, nature, and scope of the interviews varies between programs and specialization. Having graduated from medical school, you should be familiar with how to give an excellent interview, but don’t be afraid to engage to help you brush up on your interview skills.
4. Taking the Licensing Exam
After completing your residency, you are eligible to take the licensing exam to receive your medical license to practice as an independent physician. Taking and passing the exam is what makes you a doctor, officially. But you have other options, like applying for a research fellowship to deepen your knowledge of your specialty and taking the exam later.
1. Start Early
The way to become a doctor faster includes preparing from your high school years. Getting good marks in AP science courses, like biology and chemistry, are crucial to increasing your knowledge so that you don’t have to spend time on introductory courses when you get to university. You should also start exploring , like volunteer work in hospital or care settings, which are some of the .
Another popular extracurricular to impress admissions committees is shadowing, so you should find out and then follow them as they perform their daily duties, from beginning to end. Shadowing offers an up-close, unfiltered view of what it means to be a doctor and should give you ample material for when you are asked the . If you don’t have much access to a local doctor, consider a virtual experience, like the one offered by BeMo.
2. Three-Year Undergrad + Three-Year Medical School
Taking a three-year undergrad means you must complete the course requirements in a shorter time than traditional premed students. If you take premed courses in your first two years and score high marks, you can apply for an at specific medical schools.
Early Assurance Medical Programs are offered to outstanding undergrad students who have received high marks in more than five foundational courses. EAMP have very stringent entry requirements, and you should only apply if you have demonstrated that you are able to handle the faster pace and inordinate amount of academic work involved in an accelerated, three-year medical school program.
If you are accepted into an accelerated, three-year program, you can skip typical medical school application steps like taking the MCAT, writing personal statements, soliciting letters of recommendation, or going through medical school interviews. A downside to EAMP is having to maintain your academic standing, more specifically, keeping your GPA score high, which can add a lot of pressure, especially if you have other responsibilities in your life.
Another way to fast-track your way to an MD involves going to a three-year medical school, of which there are only a few across the US – 30 according to the The most notable three-year medical schools in Canada include the at the University of Calgary and the at McMaster.
Each three-year medical school has its own entry requirements. For example, the three-year MD program at the allows four types of students to enter its program, including PhD students from NYU and other schools, undergrads who have applied to the Grossman School and meet the entry requirements, or current medical students who can opt in to the three-year program after their first year or during their clerkship.
There are also interviews, secondary essays, and other entry requirements to get into these accelerated programs, and if you are accepted, the coursework and information will be the same as for four-year programs. The pace will be much faster, and you will have to dedicate most, if not all, of your time to completing your coursework with high marks.
There is no getting around a residency if you want to be a licensed physician. You can still work in medicine-adjacent professions like lab assistant, medical researcher, or paramedic without one, but you will not be an official doctor. All medical boards and state and national licensing bodies, such as the and , have residency requirements to even take the state licensing exam. But, as mentioned above, there are specific residencies that are a) less competitive and easier to get into b) shorter and require less hands-on training, like family medicine.
4. Research and Post-Doc Fellowships
These last steps are not required to become a doctor, but they make you a more attractive candidate when you are looking for jobs afterward. Your specialization also determines whether you should apply for a fellowship, since some specialty programs require more practice in a subspecialty like clinical work or research.
In conclusion, having demonstrated the tremendous amount of work you must put into an accelerated MD program, the easiest way to become a doctor is the traditional four-year track. But if you meant the “fastest” way, we hope this article gives you some ideas, though when it comes to obtaining a med school degree, you should know the time differences are negligible. There is no getting around some steps to becoming a doctor, like completing a residency and taking the medical licensing exam. But if you are smart, hard-working, and incredibly motivated, you could skip a few steps, like the fourth year of a four-year program or a post-residency fellowship.
Going the accelerated route also means you won’t have to focus on bolstering your med school application with extracurricular activities, practice non-academic hobbies, or have much of a life at all. You will have to sacrifice a lot of yourself to complete the degree faster, and whether you will become a doctor before the average age of 30 depends on the program you choose, its requirements, and whether you will be able to survive the ordeal or not.
1. What is the easiest way to become a doctor?
The easiest way to become a doctor is to follow the traditional path of four years of undergrad, four years of medical school, residency, fellowships, and ultimately taking the medical licensing exam. There are shorter ways to become a doctor, but they are not easy; in fact, they are more difficult and require more effort than the standard path to becoming a doctor.
2. Are there any three-year medical schools?
Yes, in the US, there are at least 30 known medical school programs that last three years. In Canada, McMaster University and the Cumming School of Medicine in Alberta offer accelerated medical school degrees.
3. Are three-year medical schools the same quality as four-year programs?
Yes, three-year medical school degrees are of the same or better quality than four-year programs, as they are offered by recognized, accredited universities like NYU and Boston University. One misconception that students have about accelerated programs is that they leave out courses and information that are included in four-year programs. This is false. Three-year programs compress what four-year students learn into a shorter amount of time, which makes them harder to complete.
4. Should I enter a three-year medical school program?
Three-year medical schools are reserved for exceptional students who have mastered difficult subject matter and maintained their excellent academic standing throughout their undergrad. You should not confuse the fact that three-year programs are shorter with being easier. They are not. Only if you have the requisite good grades and have no problem giving up other aspects of your life – vacation, leisure time – should you even think about applying for a three-year medical school program.
5. Do I have to take the MCAT for a three-year program?
Given the elite nature of three-year medical school programs, some of them do not require applicants to take the MCAT, but that is only if you have been accepted into the accelerated program. Some universities do not require the MCAT, in general, for anyone to enter medical school. But you must check with each school to ensure they do not require an MCAT score.
6. Is it hard to get into medical school?
Yes, it is hard to get into medical school, but medical schools accept hundreds of new applicants each year, so it is possible. Acceptance rates vary between schools, so they do not provide an accurate picture of the difficulty of getting into a specific program.
7. Do I have to do medical school interviews?
Yes, interviews are a mandatory requirement to enter any medical school. Students who have been accepted into accelerated, three-year programs must also submit to interviews for that program.
8. Do I have to write personal statements and other letters?
Yes, writing personal statements and submitting individual letters or letters of recommendation is a requirement of almost all medical schools.