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Training to Become a Medical Doctor

Medical doctors usually begin their education by completing 4 years of college and getting a bachelor's degree. They then attend 4 or more years of medical school. During medical school, students take classes in the cause, treatment, and prevention of diseases. They learn how to assess a patient for a disease, plan and provide treatment, and evaluate the outcome of the treatment plan. After they finish medical school, students earn the degree of medical doctor (MD) or osteopathic doctor (DO).

Most medical doctors then complete at least 3 years of a specialty training program. This is called a residency. It gives them more experience in a specialty area. They are supervised by doctors already experienced in that specialty. After their residency, doctors may begin their own medical practice. Some continue their training in a subspecialty.

All doctors must have a current license to practice medicine. Most states require doctors to do continuing medical education (CME) in order to renew their medical licenses.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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