When people ask, how long is medical school? It shows that they have an interest in a medical-related career. Although many people do not like to study for a long number of years, I do not like it either, medical school is well worth the time. Not to worry, this article has got you covered.
Well, just so we are clear, it’s really a long ride. One that only passion, determination, and total commitment can keep you company.
While growing up, I wanted to study medicine. But, after losing out on admission for quite a number of years due to poor guidance, I had to take a tow in another direction.
It is my utmost pleasure to help you with what no one helped me with. Here, we are going to discuss how long medical school is for various medical fields that need to attend a medical school. Let’s begin.
I wouldn’t like to bore you with the details on how to become a doctor. It is an indisputable fact that you have to undergo other levels of study before getting into medical school. Read that up here. Basically, this post will bother only medical schools in different fields.
What is Medical School?
A medical school is a tertiary institution, or part of an institution, that teaches medicine, and awards a professional degree for physicians and surgeons.
The medical degrees you can obtain by attending a medical school include the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, MBChB, BMBS), Doctor of Medicine (MD), or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).
Many medical schools offer other degrees, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Masters degree (M.Sc), a physician assistant program, and other post-secondary education.
Medical schools carry out research related to medicals. Also, they have teaching hospitals.
The pattern of education, criteria to get admitted and nature of programs vary according to school.
To get admitted to a medical school, there is often high competition for the entrance examinations.
In many countries, to study medicine you have to complete an undergraduate degree first. Many schools nowadays do not require it for undergraduate coursework. There are courses you will take as we will get to find out while reading about medical schools in the US.
Why go to a medical school?
Why should I attend medical school? Is medical school worth it financially? Why should I be convinced that I am meant to attend a medical school?
There are quite a number of reasons people attend medical schools. If I asked you, your reason may be different from another’s. We have penned down a number of them.
- Improving the lives and health of other people: Are you passionate about people and want to see them healthy? You should be studying in a Medical school! It takes passion, dedication, hard work and perseverance to be in medical school.
- Being a leader in a healthcare team: There’s this saying that leaders are born not made. Whether you were born a leader or made one, the most important thing is being able to organize a group of people in a healthcare team. Not only will you achieve the impact of the school but also help lives.
- Amazing clinical and non-clinical job options: In a funny note, do you love wearing overalls and white apparel? The job offers a lot of exposure. This is necessary for anyone wanting to try out medical school.
- Being a lifelong learner in an intellectually stimulating career: No man is an island and no man can know all things. If you are like me that love challenges and newer prospects by the day, don’t even think twice about medical school. Every day, new ailments hit our surroundings. Medical practitioners who went to medical school find cures to these diseases through critical thinking and research. Being a medical practitioner, you are always on the go in the learning process.
- Being able to perform surgery: Well, not everyone in medical school performs surgery. For example, the lab technicians don’t. But, one of the benefits of attending a medical school is learning to perform surgery. You get to learn that there.
How long is Medical school for Surgeons?
Surgeons firstly are medical doctors who carry out operations. That is their method of treatment. There are many areas one can specialize in like orthopedic, neurological, cardiovascular, plastic surgery, and many others.
Since we can see that being a surgeon is another specialization, it is healthy to assume that it will require an additional number of years. Actually, that is true.
Educational Requirements to Become a Surgeon
Surgeons are trained in diverse parts of medicine according to their choice.
Typically, they start by enrolling in a college and choosing a course related to medicine like biology.
After a bachelor’s degree in that course, they write an exam called MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) in order to apply to a medical school.
Generally, a bachelor’s degree should take about 4 years for an undergraduate before medical school.
Do you know you can choose to either be a general surgeon or specialize in one part of the body?
After medical school, you will also serve a residency in a hospital.
Consequently, medical school for surgeons takes around 4 years. This depends on if the candidate passes all the exams.
How long is the Medical assistant School?
The job of a medical assistant is one of the most rewarding in healthcare. Your job as a Medical Assistant is basically to support doctors, interact with patients, and complete many other tasks. Your work makes doctors attend to many patients in a day. You are to provide compassion and comfort to your patients.
Ever been to a hospital and was sad in the waiting room? There is this set of people that come to ask after your welfare and tell you to be strong. That’s a medical assistant. Sometimes, they take notes of what is wrong with patients before they go see the doctor.
How long a medical assistant school takes depends on the kind of degree you enroll for.
For an Associate’s Degree, you require a time ranging from 18 to 24 months to complete the program.
For a Diploma Program, you need as little as 10 months to complete the course.
How long is Medical school in the U.S?
Attending a medical school in the US is the same as attending one in other parts of the world.
First, you have to become a medical doctor in the USA. Nevertheless, some medical schools in the US are preferred because of the quality of education they offer students.
Medical Schools in the US
Usually, students need to have gotten a bachelor’s degree to get into a medical school. Some even get advanced degrees like masters.
But in the US, you do not require a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. All you need is some undergraduate courses in scientific disciplines that can adequately prepare the students.
The reason is that medical school is not only for doctors and surgeons in training. Medical lab assistants, technicians, all attend medical school.
You will agree with me that it will be a total waste of time teaching a medical transcriptionist on how to formulate a vaccine that can cure coronavirus? Yes, it is. When his job is just to rewrite what doctors have written for the normal man to understand.
There are over 130 medical schools in the US that train students generally on medicine. However, there are some schools that train only on osteopathic medicine. It is good for us to know at this point that every school offers its own unique characteristics, so, no two schools are exactly the same.
Check out Medical Schools in Cuba USA.
Medical School Training
According to the Princeton Review, you should expect a typical medical school in the US to study the following during their study period.
For the first two years, students learn in the classroom and in the lab. They take basic science classes like anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, and other courses. They are also introduced to examining patients.
The style of teaching is according to the school. While some teach all the courses, which is usually around 4 to 5 at the same time. Others teach one course at a time during a particular time allocated to that course. They continue like this until all the 5 courses are learned.
After the second year, the students will take a USMLE test 1. That is the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
In years 3 and 4, students will be working at hospitals affiliated with their schools. During this rotation, they will work with doctors in such hospitals according to their specialty.
This may last up to 3 months depending on your school. In addition, you will take and pass the USMLE test 2.
The important experience students usually gain from this rotation is that it exposes them to make informed decisions about the branch of medicine they can choose as a career.
A medical school in the US takes 4 years if the student passes USMLE tests 1 and 2. That’s how long a medical school in the US takes.
How long is a medical school residency?
After you have passed the USMLE tests 1 and 2. You need to write and pass a board test to qualify for a medical residency.
A medical residency is training for physicians where they work under the supervision of another physician. This time of education gives the medical students some of the most important experience in medical training a doctor can get.
The medical residency lasts up to a minimum of three years for primary care physicians and some other specialties, and up to five years for some surgical specialties. Some medical specialties require additional years of fellowship training after residency training.
How long is Medical School in Canada?
In Canada, a medical school is a place that trains future medical doctors.
Usually, a medical school in Canada offers three to five years of training. During this period, you can either become a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Master of Surgery (M.D., C.M.). Although most students enter medicine having already earned a degree, the M.D. is actually considered an undergraduate degree in Canada.
Schools like McMaster University and the University of Calgary, run their medical school programs for 3 years, without a summer holiday. McGill University and Université de Montréal both run theirs for a five-year. But, the five years includes a medical preparatory year. While Université Laval offers a four to five years program to all entering students, Université de Sherbrooke offers a formal four-year M.D. program to all admitted students.
How long is medical lab technician school?
A medical lab technician is also called a clinical lab technician. He works in a clinic where he conducts lab tests and procedures.
Medical lab technician school usually lasts for 3 years maximum in the US. A certificate in medical laboratory sciences generally is about one year. An associate program may take up to 2 years to complete.
These programs introduce students to medical laboratory equipment and data analysis. The students may also need to take courses in histology, microbiology, chemistry, among others.
These classes may teach topics ranging from cell tissues to parasites and viruses. In addition, topics in phlebotomy, hematology, and immune hematology are also taught.
Students learn ways to examine body fluids and ways of using lab equipment to search for problems with samples.
In the US, students are allowed to learn on the job.
What is the difference between a medical lab technician and a medical lab technologist/scientist?
Although medical and clinical can be used interchangeably, a medical lab technician is not the same as a technologist.
The main difference between a clinical lab technician and a clinical lab technologist, or clinical lab scientist, is their education level.
A technician requires a certificate or associate’s degree. Clinical laboratory technologists and clinical laboratory scientists have completed a 4-year bachelor’s degree program.
Also, Technologists and scientists take a different exams for their certificates. They are trained to carry out more complex laboratory tests. Technicians in a lab setting, are supervised by them, so they earn higher salaries.
How long is the Medical Transcriptionist School?
Obtaining a medical transcription certificate usually takes a short period of like 6 months to 2 years. Usually, it takes 9 months for the certificate, and 2 years for an associate of applied science in medical transcription.
The certificate can even be gotten online or in a basic classroom.
Those who employ medical transcriptionists want individuals who are trained, with an excellent understanding of medical terminologies, English grammar and punctuation, and computer training.
The program teaches medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical reporting and electronic health records.
It also teaches how to use various types of medical reference books. Vocational schools, community colleges, and home-study courses all train students in medical transcription.
What is a medical transcription: Medical transcription is also known as MT. It is a profession that deals with the process of transcribing recorded medical reports that are given by doctors, nurses or other health practitioners.
These medical reports can be voice files, notes taken during a lecture, or other spoken material. They are dictated over the phone or uploaded digitally via the Internet or through a smartphone app.
How Long is Medical Esthetician School?
A Medical aesthetician is a state-licensed skincare specialist who works in a healthcare environment. They provide skincare treatment and makeup tips to patients whose illnesses, injuries or surgeries have affected their appearance.
Basically, we can call them beauticians. Their work borders on beautifying people. From spa treatments to formulating products. Their job has a broad scope.
Training can be different, but all aestheticians will complete a cosmetology program where they will learn about skin conditions and procedures. Before a certificate is given, they must pass a written, and sometimes a practical, examination.
A medical esthetician school is usually for a short time, which is less than a year for the degree or certificate program. Some enroll in a 2-year associate degree programs in cosmetology or esthetics. These set of people want to widen their knowledge base.
How Long is Medical School FAQs
In general, doctors complete a 4-year undergraduate degree program, spend another 4 years in medical school, and then another 3-7 years of residency training before they are qualified for a medical license.
During residency training, residents are usually paid about $40,000 to $50,000 per year to help pay their bills. This amount is actually depending on the country where the student does the residency.
The amount residents are paid is small because they have not gotten a license to practice medicine. So, they do not make any revenue for the hospital directly. They do it indirectly under the supervision of another doctor.
Becoming a full fledge doctor seems so far away. Four years for medical school, a minimum of three years for residency, and a few more if you want to specialize with a fellowship.
Residency usually takes about 3 years. But for doctors who want to specialise in some parts of the body like the brain, they require more time to learn more and understand how such systems work properly.
Just as the name implies, a certificate course teaches the students just the basics. All they generally need to know. But an associate degree gives a more in-depth knowledge. It offers specialisation to students.
The main work of a medical transcription is to rephrase medical terms and reports to a way the ordinary person will understand it. So, no a medical transcriptionist is not meant to prescribe drugs in the right setting.
Medical schools are only for those in medical-related courses like medical lab technicians, estheticians, medical assistants, etc.
So, before you enroll, make sure you have the passion to help lives and improve the health of others. It may also interest you to know that this field needs constant learning and relearning. If you fear research and wish to just live the residual knowledge of what you had previously learned, then consider changing your career.
I am in no way discouraging you from pursuing a medical degree or even attending a medical school.
In so far it requires a long time to go through it, the right mentality and attitude are very important.
In summary, a typical medical school usually lasts for 4 years. Asides estheticians whose years of study vary according to the type of degree. So, prepare your mind for a rigorous training time that will earn you a fruitful career.