Career Advice for Aspiring African American Doctors

February 5, 2011  |  

Those pursuing careers in medicine have found that becoming a doctor requires years of training, at least four years of medical study and specializing in a chosen field. In modern years, the need for doctors has heightened due to the lack of physicians, primary care practitioners, dentists in the health care system, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. It has clearly been the focus of treating and aiding those in need, so if you want to pursue a medical track, here’s the game plan strategy to completing one.

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Step #1: Complete an undergraduate degree

Preferably, three to four years of college are required at the undergraduate level, and four years in a medical program are the mandatory stepping stones to achieving a degree. While undergraduate programs offer a pre-med major, others recommend you earn a basic science degree such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics as prerequisites to get into a chosen graduate school.

Step #2: Attend medical school

Medical programs are roughly four years maximum to complete, where your taking courses pertaining to your field. The first two years are based in a classroom setting and taking primary curriculum classes which you must pass to enter into the last two years of medical school. The latter is centered on clinical hands-on work at a hospital or health clinic where its overseen by doctors.

Step #3: Enlist in a fellowship or residency program

Fellowships or residency programs are meant for post-secondary graduates to receive paid in-house training. Residencies take place at a hospital where they are actively treating patients, filling prescriptions and employed in other clinical stations. Usually, a fellowship will last 1-3 years depending on your specialization.

Step #4: Fulfill the license requirements

If a medical school graduate aspires to become a licensed doctor, he or she should expect the road to becoming a successful physician takes work, dedication and initiative. In order to obtain your license to practice medicine in the field, you must pass a United States Medical Licensing Exam or a state-based test first before joining a hospital.

Step #5: Join or start a practice

Now you have the right to call yourself a licensed physician! The next step is finding employment at a large or small hospital or starting one in the area or across state lines. However, if you are practicing in other states, you must fulfill the primary requirements to do so. But in at any rate, you are accepted as part of the elite to do what you love: helping patients!

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