Medical School Home Pages
The American Medical Association
The American Chemical Society (ACS)
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
The National Library of Medicine
The American Association of Medical Colleges
The American Medical Student Association
PubMed: a SEARCH ENGINE for all of medicine
The Medical Education Page
Worldwide Medical Services
Men and women who want to be medical doctors must have a desire to serve patients, be self-motivated and be able to survive the day-to-day pressures and long hours of study. Physicians also must be willing to study throughout their career to keep up with advances in medicine. They should have good interpersonal and communication skills, excellent analytical skills, emotional stability and the ability to make decisions in emergencies.
Minimum educational requirements for entry into one of the nation's 141 medical schools, including 18 schools of osteopathic medicine, are four years of college. Required premedical study includes undergraduate work in physics, biology (one year of each including laboratory) and two years of chemistry. Additional course work in English, math and social sciences is also required.
Admission to medical school is extremely competitive. An applicant must submit transcripts, scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and letters of recommendation. Character, personality, leadership qualities and participation in extracurricular activities are also considered.
Medical school usually takes four years, with the first two spent on the basic sciences and clinical work. The last two years are entirely clinical, as students learn to diagnose and treat illness under the supervision of experienced physicians. There is also a rotation through the various specialties during these last two years. Residency follows medical school and typically lasts three years. Licensing includes three examinations during medical school and residency as well as state licensure examinations. Those who want to specialize can take as long as seven additional years in residency as well as completion of specialty licensing examinations.