Medical doctors usually begin their education by completing 4 years
of college and receiving a bachelor's degree (baccalaureate) at an accredited
college or university. They then attend 4 or more years of medical school.
During medical school, students take classes in the cause, treatment, and
prevention of diseases. Medical students learn how to assess a patient for a
disease, plan and implement treatment, and evaluate the outcome of their
intervention. After completing medical school, students earn the degree of
medical doctor (MD) or osteopathic doctor (DO).
Most medical doctors then complete at least 3 years of a specialty
training program (residency), which allows them to gain further experience in a
specialty area under the supervision of doctors already experienced in that
specialty. Following their residency, medical doctors may begin their own
medical practice or continue their training in a subspecialty.
All medical doctors must have a current license to practice medicine. Most states require doctors to do continuing medical education (CME) in order to renew their medical licenses.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.