Doctors: Specialties and Training
Facts on Doctors' Specialties and Training
Medical School Training
Most medical schools require college graduation, although a few programs combine college or graduate school and medical school. In the United States, medical school lasts four years and includes two years of basic science courses such as the following:
This is followed by two years of clinical sciences during which the medical student sees and treats patients under the close supervision of fully trained physicians. During these two years, the medical students spend one year in two-month-long rotations in specialties such as the following:
A year of elective choices follows in any of about 50 specialties and subspecialties such as the following:
In the United States, medical students are required to pass national board exams that assure they have a firm grasp of basic and clinical sciences. When students have graduated from medical school with a medical degree, and passed the national board exams, they are qualified to advance to residency training. After graduation from medical school, these individuals have earned the right to be called a doctor, but they are a long way from completing the skills necessary to safely practice medicine. Depending on the state they want to practice in, they need at least one to three more years of training. The first postgraduate year of residency is often referred to as internship.
There are two types of medical schools in the United States: allopathic and osteopathic. Students from both medical training programs must pass the same national board exam and may choose to pursue careers in any medical specialty or subspecialty. In the U.S., both types of graduates are equally qualified to practice medicine.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/19/2016