How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor in 2021 | Full Expert Secrets

Before technological advancement brought forth new professions, the three most popular professions were medicine, engineering and law. Medicine has continued to evolve and remains necessary for human survival.

The pandemic revealed the essence of medical personnel in the survival of countries and continents. So, this career path is very promising for anyone who wants to venture into it. However, when you consider the technicalities involved in medicine, you could ask, how long does it take to become a Doctor?

According to WHO, access to essential medicines and health products is critical for reaching universal health coverage. Medicines and health products are important for addressing health problems and improve the quality of life. They form an indispensable component of health systems in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease and in alleviating disability and functional deficiency.

While we will focus on how long it takes to become a doctor in this article, we will also touch key areas of medicine as well as the best schools you can attend. The table of content clearly itemizes all you need to learn from this article.

Why Study Medicine?

The human body is complex. Due to its complexity, it’s not very easy to properly label and identify a default in the operation of an organ. Hence, the whole idea of medicine is to restore to optimum function a body part that is not functioning properly.

Funnily enough, the truth is that humans can only try to prevent the transfer of diseases but they can’t generally stop them. Indeed, a clear case of this happening was the coronavirus pandemic which killed over 500,000 people including a lot of health workers.

This number would have been way higher if not for the impact of qualified medical personnel who fought the virus spread. However, the use of media to spread preventive measures in addition to lockdown rules ensured that the virus didn’t spread so much.

Medicine unlike other professions gives you varied day-to-day activities in addition to an opportunity to truly solve problems that are difficult and life-threatening as well. These challenging issues give you respect, credibility and a strong status going forward.

As a medical doctor, you can hardly be out of the job as there remains a strong demand for your expertise in everyday living. Furthermore, you get very high financial rewards for ensuring healthy living at every time.

In summary, here are some reasons why you should study medicine. These reasons include;

  • Reputable and respected
  • Challenging career path
  • Financially rewarding
  • Job Stability
  • Growth Pathway
  • Wide Option Range

What Does a Doctor Do?

Doctors play an important role in ensuring humans are healthy and living their best lives. From an examination of patients to administering the right prescriptions, all fall under the core work descriptions of medical doctors.

So no matter how long it takes to become a doctor, you will fulfil certain objectives. According to Betterteam, these roles include;

  • Respond to patients’ medical problems by referring to their history, carrying out diagnosis, treatment, counselling and referral, where necessary.
  • Order lab tests and interprets the test results
  • Maintain confidentiality and impartiality at all times
  • Collect, record and maintain sensitive patient information such as examination results, medical history and reports
  • Perform minor surgeries
  • Explain procedures or prescribed treatments to patients
  • Liaise with medical professionals in the community and hospitals
  • Promote health education in conjunction with other health professionals
  • Meet targets set by the government for specified treatments eg. child immunization
  • Discuss and evaluate new pharmaceutical products with pharmaceutical representatives
  • Keep up-to-date with medical developments, treatment and medication
  • Teach at hospitals and medical schools, and observe and assess the work of trainee doctors and medical students.
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What are the Requirements to Become a Doctor?

As the need for expert medical care lingers, medical doctors will need to take up responsibilities in a diverse range of medical institutions and facilities.

However, before you can qualify to become a doctor, you must undergo some processes. According to LearnHowtoBecome, the requirements and how long it takes to become a medical doctor include;

  • Complete Undergraduate Program
  • Apply and Complete Medical School
  • Sit and Pass Licensing Exam
  • Earn A License
  • Start Residency
  • Find a Job

Are there Online Programs to Study Medicine?

Due to the practicality involved in medicine, you cannot study medicine completely online. However, you can complete your undergraduate degree program. Currently, there are 3-year medical schools and 5-year medical schools too.

There are few online universities where you can study medicine such as;

  • Keiser University
  • Purdue University Global
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of the People

How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor?

A lot of folks still ask “How long does it take to become a Doctor?”. Well, before I go ahead to answer that question, we have to consider everything necessary for a person to become a Doctor.

Firstly, we would start with the undergraduate program which usually spans for four years. Although certain schools run three-year undergraduate medical programs, the average is four years.

Secondly, you have to attend medical school. A lot of medical schools take at least three to four years to complete. While this might include residency for some, it doesn’t include residency for others.

Finally, you have to complete a residency program which usually takes a year to three years to complete. A residency program exposes the medical doctor to practical medicine involving diagnosis and prescription.

Generally, to answer the question “How long does it take to become a doctor?”, the answer would be 10 years, to say the least.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor in the U.S?

The U.S has some of the easiest medical schools to get into and even the best schools where someone can study medicine generally. So, a lot of things differ in the U.S unlike other countries in the world.

If you want to study medicine in the U.S, you should know that it takes about 10-14 years to become a Doctor when you add the undergraduate, medical school and residency program timeframe.

Read more: How Long Is Medical School?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Veterinarian Doctor

Veterinary medicine is another delicate area of medicine which basically involves the healthcare of domestic animals. Generally, there are only a handful of veterinary doctors due to the difficulty involved in this professional career path. Someone once said, “It is a place for the strong”.

Similar to a medical doctor, a veterinary doctor completes his undergraduate program and proceeds to a veterinary medicine school. Every veterinary medicine school takes at least four years to complete. In summary, it takes about 8 years to become a veterinary doctor.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Osteopathic Doctor

Research has shown that the cure of all diseases doesn’t necessarily boil down to dieting, exercise, surgery or medication. In most cases, the right mindset and drive invigorated the body and pursued all forms of sickness.

This cause the move to create a new set of specialists in medicine. These specialists are “Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine”. The DO’s believe that the general health and well being of an individual doesn’t just rely on proper medication. Instead, they believe it has to do with the general lifestyle of the individual.

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Due to the complexity of the DO’s profession, it takes about 12 years to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Indeed, these professionals have been vital in helping individuals with chronic disease cases.

Read more: 10 Best Doctor Of Osteopathic DO schools In US

What are the Best Schools to Study Medicine?

If you want to know how long it takes to become a doctor, you also need knowledge of the best schools that will offer you exceptional undergraduate medicine programs. According to TopUniversities, the best medical undergraduate schools in the world are;

  • Harvard University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Stanford University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Karolinska Institute
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • UCL (University College London)
  • Yale University
  • Imperial College London
  • University of California, San Francisco

FAQ on How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor?

How long does it take to become a Doctor?

It takes about 10-12 years to become a Doctor.

How long does it take to become a Doctor in the U.S?

It takes about 10-14 years to become a Doctor in the U.S

How long does it take to become a Veterinary Doctor?

It takes about 8 years to become a veterinary doctor.

Are there Online Schools to study Medicine?

Yes, there are online schools wherein someone can pursue an undergraduate program in Medicine.


With diseases springing up every day, the medical personnel remain at the forefront of this fight protecting from the world. Indeed, we can applaud all physicians, nurses and every other health staff for their contribution towards ensuring we live healthily and stay alive.

You don’t need to consider how long it takes to become a Doctor, as the years come very fast as you progress. So, you can simply start applying for an undergraduate degree in medicine so as to join and kick diseases out of our world.


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