How To Become a Doctor

One of the best financial decisions you can make in your life is your career choice.

The most direct way to put more cash in your bank account is to be paid more for what you do – increase your earning power.

Sure, it may be too late to head back to medical school for most of us, but for those of you just starting out, a career in the medical field can be not only socially rewarding, it can help you end up with a big, fat bank account.

How To Become a Doctor

Go To College

The first step in becoming a doctor is to go to college.  All medical programs require a 4-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college.  Typically, you will want to choose a science discipline for your major such as biology, however, that is not required.  If you do choose to major in a non-science discipline, you may have to take a few additional courses to meet all of the science-based prerequisites for the courses you will take in medical school.

Typically, these prerequisites will include:

  • Two years of biology
  • Two years of chemistry
  • One year of physics
  • One year of calculus

Maintain a Strong GPA

If you want to become a doctor, you need to realize that medical school is extremely competitive and thus, you will want to maintain a strong GPA.  Having a strong GPA will help you stand-out during the medical school application process.  Look to maintain a 3.7 or above to be considered a strong candidate.

Perform Well On The MCAT

Towards the end of your undergraduate years, you will need to take the MCAT or the “Medical College Admissions Test”.  The MCAT is a standardized test that anyone looking to get into Medical School will take and institutions use your MCAT score along with your GPA to evaluate you against all other applicants.

Specialize and Complete a Residency Program

After your four years of medical school, you are officially a doctor, however, most doctors specialize in an area of medicine – you do this by completing a residency program.  Residency programs range from three to eight years.  Surgical residencies are typically 6 years or more.  A fellowship is an additional 1-2 years beyond your residency.

How Much Money Do Doctors Make?

Some of the lowest-paid doctors will make around $80K/yr up to almost the sky is the limit.  Family practice doctors could make around $129K/yr where as cardiac doctors can make up to $240K/yr.  Surgeons typically top the chart with some making over $500k/yr.  The average doctor would make $180K/yr.