What Classes Do I Need to Take to Become a Doctor?

Doctors need a solid background in the sciences.

Doctors need a solid background in the sciences.

If you want to become a doctor then one thing is certain: you're going to be spending a lot of time in classes. From your undergraduate degree to med school, you're going to need to take the right courses that will give you the foundation you need to make proper diagnoses and to give your patients proper treatment. Understand exactly what you'll be studying before jumping in to your medical studies.

Undergraduate

The admission requirements for med school vary among schools, but in general, you will need one year of biology, one year of physics, one year of English and two years of chemistry. You can find the exact requirements by contacting the school you want to attend or using the Medical School Admission Requirements, a guidebook that can be purchased from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

MCAT Prep Courses

To gain entry into med school, you'll need to write the Medical College Admissions Test. There are no official MCAT prep courses, and you don't need to take one to write the test, but many commercial firms offer them for students who want to improve their grades. According to Johns Hopkins University, however, these courses are unnecessary, and you can study for the test with materials provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Med School

In medical school, you can expect to take courses in a variety of sciences, including anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology and psychology. You will also take non-science course in areas such as medical ethics and medical law. In the final two years of med school ,you will begin applying this knowledge through rotations in clinical practice areas, where you will work under the supervision of experienced physicians.

Residency

After graduating from med school, you may want to gain further training in an area of specialization. This training will not take place in a classroom, however; instead, you will gain experience through a residency program that gives you on-the-job training, usually in a hospital setting. A residency program will typically last anywhere from three to eight years.

 

About the Author

M. Scilly is a writer and editor who writes for various online publications, specializing in business and management. He has a fondness for travel and photography. In his free time he enjoys marathon training.

Photo Credits

  • Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images