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The journey to becoming a doctor is longer, and often harder, than other professions. If you've set your sights on a medical career and are eager to fast-track your journey, you're in the right place.
In this blog, we'll explore the fastest way to becoming a doctor, diving into strategies and steps you can take to expedite the journey as much as possible.
The path to becoming a doctor is usually long, and the process requires a significant investment of time and effort. On average, it takes about 11 to 17 years to become a doctor, depending on the specific pathway chosen.
|Undergraduate Education||4 years|
|Medical School||4 years|
|Residency Training||3-7 years depending on program|
|Fellowship (Optional)||1-3 years|
|Total years to become a doctor||11-17 years|
Certain subjects are often prerequisites for medical schools or even pre-med programs. By studying these subjects in advance, you can save time that would otherwise be spent taking them individually before applying.
These subjects also provide a strong foundation for understanding the fundamental principles of medicine.
|Country||Common Prerequisites or Recommended Subjects|
|Australia||Mathematics (not General Mathematics), Chemistry, Physics, Biology, English|
|UK||A-Level Chemistry, Biology (or Human Biology), Mathematics or Physics|
|US||Major in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry or Biology.|
Consider applying to a direct medical program such as BS/MD programs.
These programs combine undergraduate and medical school education, allowing you to earn your Bachelor's and Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees in a shorter time frame.
Direct medical programs typically require a highly competitive application process, so it’s important you meet the rigorous criteria and are fully committed to the medical field.
Taking your entry test early on can give you an advantage by allowing you to submit your applications sooner.
Start preparing for the MCAT during your undergraduate years, and aim to take the exam in your junior or senior year. Early preparation and a solid score will increase your chances of securing a spot in medical school.
Factor in the prep time for each test. Here’s a breakdown of the different tests for each country:
|Country||Exam||Recommended Prep Time||Target Score|
|Australia||GAMSAT||2-3 months||Lowest 54 University of Wollongong, Highest 68 University of Queensland|
|Australia/UK||UCAT||1 month||Minimum 90th percentile in all subtests|
|MCAT||MCAT||3 months||508-516 on the four sections (each section is scaled between 118-132)|
The importance of proper preparation ahead of these exams cannot be overstated. MedView offers 1-1 online tutoring by medical students who have excelled in these exams and are dedicated to up-skilling future medical students.
Once you’re admitted to medical school, it's crucial to remain focused and engaged. Make the most of your time in medical school by actively participating in lectures, clinical rotations, and research opportunities.
Subject failure generally results in retaking the entire subject, which will delay your path to becoming a doctor. It’s important develop effective study habits, seek guidance from mentors, and continuously challenge yourself to expand your medical knowledge.
Based on your studies, start considering specialization during your clinicals and start networking with the right people to expedite landing a quality residency.
Be proactive if you’re struggling and talk to your teacher, tutors and professors about extra help or consideration.
After completing medical school, the final step towards becoming a licensed doctor is completing a residency program.
Residency provides hands-on training in your chosen specialty and is a requirement for medical licensure. To expedite your path, research residency programs that offer accelerated tracks.
These programs are designed to condense the traditional residency period. While the specific duration may vary, accelerated residency programs typically compress the training period by several months to a year.
This accelerated pace means residents are exposed to a concentrated and intensive learning experience. It requires a high level of commitment, dedication, and the ability to handle the demanding workload.
However, for those who are motivated and thrive in a fast-paced environment, accelerated residency programs can be a great opportunity to kick-start their medical careers and achieve their professional goals sooner.
One of the best strategies to expedite landing a job as a doctor is networking. Connect with professionals in the medical field, attend conferences and networking events, and utilize online platforms to expand your contacts.
Additionally, consider applying for positions in high-demand areas or underserved communities, as these locations often have a greater need for healthcare professionals. Being flexible in terms of location and specialization can increase your chances of securing a job more quickly.
Staying up-to-date with current medical trends, advancements, and technologies through continuing education and professional development can make you a more competitive candidate.
While there is no true shortcut or overnight path to becoming a doctor, there are strategies you can employ to navigate the journey more efficiently.
By starting with a strong academic foundation, choosing accelerated programs, and taking advantage of opportunities for early preparation and specialization, you can streamline your path to becoming a doctor.
Crimson can help you on your path to becoming a doctor with Medview. We specialise in preparing students for entrance to medical schools.
With Crimson, you’ll work with diverse teams of tutors and consultants both in classrooms and private 1-1 settings to maximize your academic capability, and improve your application profile.
What Makes Crimson Different
(Average in the NHS - private doctors earn more)
(By specialisation on average - MedScape)
In the United States, medical schools are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA).
In Australia, medical schools are accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC).
In the United Kingdom, medical schools are accredited by the General Medical Council (GMC).