Study Medicine in United States
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Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Medicine in The US
Studying medicine in the United States will give students an extra edge in the job market. But this is not the only reason why so many students decide to pursue their medical degree in US universities. Medical schools in the United States rank, literally, among the top worldwide medical schools. They are renowned and valued for their quality, innovation, and academic excellence in the field of medicine. Medical students pursuing their degree in the United States will find themselves amongst some of the best medical professionals, cutting-edge medical facilities, and advanced equipment.
Here’s everything you need to know about studying medicine in the United States:
Reasons to Study Medicine in United States
Highly Valued and Respected Qualifications
Everyone knows it! Qualifications from universities in the United States are among the best in the world. US universities rank among the top universities globally to pursue a medical degree. Whether you decide to go for the most prestigious ones or opt for less competitive universities, you will surely gain the set of qualifications to make you into a well-rounded physician. American universities are highly committed to producing highly qualified and experienced graduates. Medical programs in the US are designed to focus on helping students become adaptable professionals, ready to tackle the challenges imposed by the world of healthcare today and in the future.
Exceptional Knowledge and Skills
Studying medicine in the United States will be a lengthy process during which you will be faced with countless challenges. But, this is the great thing about the education system in the US - it helps students fully grasp any theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for a successful career. However, students who are really passionate about undertaking one of the noblest professions in the world can overcome any obstacle and challenge. You will be equipped with the crucial skills to help people and society as a whole and be confident while at it, especially since you will gain hands-on experience in advanced medical facilities that the US provides.
Satisfactory Salary, Employment Opportunities, and Personal Fulfillment
Although the journey towards obtaining a medical degree in the United States might appear hazy, long, and challenging - you will have your rewards. Medical doctors in the United States enjoy satisfactory salaries and countless employment opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a medical doctor in the US earns a median salary of $208,000 per year, proving to be an important reason to study medicine in the United States. Apart from financial satisfaction, a well-rounded doctor (with skills earned at US universities) will be able to help the world and gain personal fulfillment, one prescription at a time.
Before getting into the requirements to study medicine in the United States, just a little bit of background information. Studying medicine in the United States generally begins after the students have completed their undergraduate degree. US medical schools require students to complete a four-year pre-med undergraduate degree in a relevant field. Students often opt for fields like Biology or Chemistry.
The requirements to get into med school in the United States are rather demanding, and the study field is largely competitive. However, with the right amount of hard work and dedication, anyone might just gain admission. Requirements might vary from one school to another, but each school typically includes biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry as part of the main science courses.
General academic requirements to study medicine in the United States include:
- Four-year undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree). A bachelor’s degree is a necessary requirement for students to enter medical school in the United States. Students usually go for programs that comprise biology and chemistry. Students may also undertake specific pre-med programs (which include the classes necessary for admission to medical school in the US).
- MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) scores. The MCAT is a multiple-choice computerized examination that tests knowledge and skills in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology, as well as critical thinking and reasoning.
- Minimum GPA requirement. Generally, 3.5 or higher, depending on each schools’ policies.
- Letters of recommendation. At least one of them from a medical doctor.
- Relevant extracurricular activities. Including clinical experience, research experience, or volunteer work.
Depending on the school, some students may also be required to have undertaken humanities, mathematics, science classes, and English classes.
Most medical schools in the United States use a centralized application processing service known as the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). This is the application service that students who are pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree should use. If you wish to apply for a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine degree, you should use the centralized application processing service known as the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS).
These types of centralized application services collect and verify your application information and deliver your application along with your MCAT exam scores to the universities you decide to apply to. It is highly recommended to use these services since they generally save a lot of time. AMCAS will charge an application fee of approximately $160 to apply to one medical school and an extra $40 for each additional school you decide to apply to. Additional fees may apply for secondary applications.
The steps you should follow to apply to medical school in the United States include:
- Submit your primary application through AMCAS.
- Official grade transcripts.
- MCAT score.
- Personal statement.
- Submit your secondary application through AMCAS. After reviewing your application, medical schools in the United States may either reject it or ask for further information, such as essays or letters of recommendation.
- Attend your medical school interview.
- Receive an offer.
Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Medicine in United States?
To become a medical doctor in the United States, students should complete a 4-year undergraduate program plus 4 years of medical school. After successfully completing both programs, students should go through 3 to 7 years of residency training to become eligible for medical licensing. Of course, the exact time it takes to become a medical doctor in the United States varies depending on personal commitment and medical specialty. Some universities allow students to undertake a 6-year medical and academic training program.
Generally, medical school structure in the United States uses the following pattern:
- First two years:
- Theoretical and laboratory preparation.
- The first portion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination* (during the second year).
- Last two years:
- Clinical experience and practical training in medicine.
- The second portion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination* (during the fourth year).
- Residency training (during the fourth year).
- Focuses on practical training (for 3-7 years)
- The final portion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination* (during the first year of residency).
*The United States Medical Licensing Examination: This examination is essential for medical licensing.
Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Medicine in United States?
Tuition fees to study medicine in the United States can be rather expensive. The average annual cost of attendance at public medical schools in the United States is approximately $41,438 (for in-state students) and $58,246 (for out-of-state students). Private medical schools in the United States are generally more expensive, with an average of $61,490 (for in-state students) and $57,619 (for out-of-state students) for the year 2021, according to AAMC’s tuition and student fees reports.
Medicine Career Prospects in United States
The United States has some of the best medical facilities in the world, and its medical infrastructure reflects the latest technologies and innovations in medical care. Students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in some of the best and latest medical equipment and understand how cutting-edge technologies function. This is an especially great skill to possess, and it gives medical professionals from US universities a more significant edge in a competitive job market.
The world will always need healthcare professionals, which means a career in medicine is highly likely to provide you with countless job prospects and a satisfactory salary, especially in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for a medical doctor in the United States is $208,000. This is a lot higher compared to the median salary in other countries. Moreover, according to BLS, employment for physicians and surgeons is expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2019 in the US.