Medical doctors are highly regarded professionals. Most people rely on doctors and their opinions for health concerns from minor injuries to matters of life and death. Physicians are also trusted with the most intimate and personal details of their patients. The requirements to become a physician must be rigorous. Here are some of the things someone must accomplish to be a licensed physician.


A person who wants to become a licensed physician will need to graduate from an accredited undergraduate program. After an undergraduate degree is earned, they will need to go to medical school and obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree. Most undergraduate programs can be finished in four years, and medical school can be completed in three years.


To get a medical license, a candidate will have to take and pass all parts of a medical board exam. This exam is known as the United States Medical Licensing Examination. The test consists of three parts to assess different pieces of a prospective physician’s knowledge. The components of the USMLE are taken at various stages along the process of becoming a physician.


After a person completes the education requirements for becoming a physician, they will have to complete a residency. The residency will be at a hospital or other clinical location and will involve hands-on training under the supervision of a practicing physician. Residencies last at least three years. Additional years of training are required to enter into a specialty.


Upon completing all the education, examination and training requirements, a person will have to apply to the medical board for the state in which they wish to practice. This professional board governs a physician’s licensing, conduct and continuing education.

There are many requirements one must go through to become a licensed medical doctor. The steps are rigorous and those who complete them deserve to be a part of a highly respected profession.