Australia’s population is growing at an average of 3.2 percent per year. The need for medical care increases along with it. Yes, Australia is reporting a shortage of general practitioners.
The United States’ population has a similar need for quality doctors. Thus, the medical field remains promising. If you’re thinking of a career in medicine, here are the steps in the medical school process that leads to you becoming a doctor.
Step 1. Complete Your Undergraduate Degree
Before applying to medical school, you must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This is the first step in how to become a physician.
The type of degree can vary. Many choose pre-medicine and biology degrees. Other popular programs include health science and exercise science.
Step 2. Take the MCAT Exam
If you are in the US, you should register for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) while you are a junior. The MCAT is a standardized exam with multiple-choice questions.
If you’re in Australia, you need to take the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). Eleven universities in Australia require this exam.
Step 3. Apply to Medical School
Students apply to medical schools after their junior year in college. Some choose to take a year off. There is no specific timeline for starting the application process.
United States Application Process
US medical schools use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) to handle applications. The Association of American Medical Colleges provides this service.
Students select their chosen medical schools, then submit one application to AMCAS. The agency distributes their application to each school.
Australian Application Process
Australian universities conduct a medical interview as part of the application process. If you’re your exam scores are high enough, you are selected for the interview.
It can be a grueling experience. Though, if you go into it knowing your stuff, you will do well.
Step 4. Complete Medical School
Medical school requires four years of full-time study. You will complete a mix of classroom instruction and clinical rotations. During clinicals, you apply the skills you are learning in your areas of specialty.
Step 5. Pass the Licensing Examination
The US requires you to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). The USMLE is a three-part exam that you take during or after medical school.
You must pass part 1 of the exam, which contains basic medical principles, before your third. During your fourth year, you must pass part 2 of the exam. Part 2 covers disease development and clinical diagnosis.
The Australian Medical Council (AMC) examinations are required before you begin your internship. The exam has two parts. The first is a computer adaptive test (CAT) multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam.
The second is a clinical exam. The AMC CAT MCQ Exam tests your knowledge of general practice medicine. The AMC Clinical Examination delves into clinical skills in medicine.
Steps 6 and 7. Graduate and Complete a Residency
Towards the end of your time in medical school, you will choose specialty options. It’s time to submit your application for residency. Residencies take about three years to complete.
Your assignment could be in any number of facilities, including hospitals or practices like Gordon Medical Centre.
Steps 8 and 9. Board Certifications and License
Once you complete your education, you earn your certifications in your chosen specialty. Board certifications involve written and oral examinations.
In the US, the states govern licensing requirements. Once you are board-certified, you apply for state medical licenses.
Under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, you have a range of registration categories in each state and territory.
Step 10. Apply for Your First Job
Begin your job search during your residency. Many new doctors remain in their residency role. Others seek a new environment.
Ready to Begin the Medical School Process?
This is a high-level overview of the medical school process. These are the steps to becoming a doctor, though it’s up to you to experience it for yourself. Then you can educate others on how to become an MD.
If you are interested in a medical career, read more article in our Education and Career section.