How to Become a Medical Diagnostician

Medical diagnosticians focus on the complex process of diagnosing medical issues.

Medical diagnosticians focus on the complex process of diagnosing medical issues.

A medical diagnostician is a fairly new title in the medical profession. It describes a trained physician specializing in the diagnosis of medical problems and then determining the best possible treatment. While many medical professionals -- such as general practitioners, nurses and physicians assistants -- are faced with the task of figuring out specific ailments, hospitals across the country are seeing the need to develop specific diagnostic departments that focus on diagnosing complex medical issues. The term "medical diagnostician" is not yet recognized by the American Medical Association.

In order to become a medical physician of any kind, you will first need to complete a bachelor's degree and be accepted into medical school. Research the required coursework for admission to several med schools of your choice, and be certain to keep up a high overall grade point average, making specific effort to excel academically in those prerequisites. Choose a field of study that will impress prospective medical schools. Any science major, of course, is a good choice, but is not usually required for medical admission. Courses in sciences like Biology, Chemistry and Physics, along with liberal arts requirements of Math and English, can be expected. Of utmost importance is maintaining a high GPA, usually at least a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is a requirement for admission to any medical school. Take a preparatory course in this exam in order to have the best chance of scoring high on the exam, and then take the MCAT when you are familiar with the material.

Begin researching medical schools, paying specific attention to accreditation and specialties offered. Specialties such as laboratory medicine, pathology and radiology are good choices, as these areas provide basic insight into diagnostic procedures. Narrow down your top choices, and apply to all of them. It's not wise to depend on acceptance to only the number one school on your wish list, as the competition for admittance to medical school is fierce. Once you receive your acceptance letters, make your final decision on which institution to attend.

Go to medical school. Focus on coursework that lends itself to medical diagnostics, such as radiology and pathology. You can narrow your specialization even further after exploring some of the more basic classes.

Next, you'll need to apply for a medical internship. This is a practical learning position that is necessary prior to residency. Look for an internship in a department that will give you experience in diagnostic work and will provide additional insight into narrowing down your chosen specialty.

Begin your three-year residency. During this time, you will be practicing medicine as a doctor, but you will need to obtain clearance on final medical decisions from a supervising physician.

Pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Step 3. You will need to pass this examination in order to receive your medical license, and it is taken during your residency. The application process for the USMLE is different for each state.

Get board certified in your specialty area through either the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Medical Association. There is no specific medical diagnostician certification. However, becoming certified in your closely related field of choice will be sufficient in providing you the credentials to work in a medical facility diagnostics department.

 

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