School of Sciences –
The Social, Psychological, and Biological Determinants of Human Behavior and Well-Being
First Step: Four Years of Medical or Optometry School
Medical school takes four years to complete. In the first two years, students take foundational coursework in the practice of medicine, bodily systems and diseases. During the last two years of medical school, students rotate through various hospital specialty departments and gain experience in patient care under faculty supervision. Students must also pass a series of examinations in their final year, which may include the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
Next Step: Complete a Residency
Individuals choose residency programs based on their career interests. These programs usually last from three to eight years and cover general medical principles and specific medical specialties.
Residents perform a variety of extensive duties, such as conducting physical exams, taking patient histories, attending conferences and interpreting lab information. The National Resident Matching Program uses individual preferences to match residency applicants to programs.
Last Step : Obtain Licensure
Before practicing medicine, all doctors must obtain a license. To qualify for licensure, candidates must earn a degree from an accredited medical school.
Candidates are also required to complete a residency program and pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
Each state has different requirements to become licensed; for example, some states may only give candidates a certain number of attempts to pass the USMLE, while others have no limit on USMLE attempts.