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How Many Years is Medical School

How Many Years is Medical School?

A student wishing to become a general physician must first complete a bachelor’s degree including taking required pre-med science classes. Then, a student must apply to medical school. If accepted, then the student will spend 4 years in medical school. After that, a student goes into “residency” which isn’t really schooling, but more of an internship. This also lasts about 4 years. The total amount of schooling to be any type of physician is the same, approximately 12 years.

In Canada, a medical school is a faculty or school of a university that offers a 3- or 4-year Doctor of Medicine (M.D. or M.D.C.M.) degree. Although presently most students enter medicine having previously earned another degree, the M.D. is technically considered an undergraduate degree in Canada, just like every other country other than the United States.

The traditional medical student is one who prepares for and applies to medical school during college, entering a program directly upon graduation from his or her undergraduate institution. Although there is no prescribed order in which students should complete the academic requirements for medical school (which are primarily entry-level courses), most premeds do so during the first few years of college. That said, you can arrange your pre-med courses in any way that accommodates your schedule. If you feel that your academic record will suffer if you follow the standard timetable, don’t adhere to it! Think creatively and find your own path.

The education at a medical school lasts for 4 years. The requirements are the same for students who are considering allopathic or osteopathic medicine. The following table is an outline of a typical premedical curriculum for a traditional, full-time undergraduate student:

Freshman Year Academic:
  • One year of general chemistry
  • One year of calculus
  • One year of biology
  • One semester of English
  • Introductory major requirements (optional)
Extracurricular:
  • Explore all the various specialties of medical practice.
  • Begin a health-care-related volunteer job or internship.
  • Research academic societies, premed clubs, and other student organizations and consider joining one.
Other:
  • Visit your school’s premed advisor, review course requirements, and create a premedical game plan.
  • Continue investigating medicine. Is it right for you? Develop personal and academic goals. Write them down.
  • Build relationships with professors who can later serve as mentors, offer you the opportunity to participate in research, or write recommendations on your behalf.
Sophomore Year Academic:
  • One year of organic chemistry
  • Other introductory major requirements
Extracurricular:
  • If you had a positive experience your freshman year, continue with the same extracurricular activity; if you didn’t enjoy it or were not sufficiently challenged, begin a new one immediately.
Other:
  • Toward the end of the year, begin researching medical school programs.
  • Continue seeking relationships with professors and begin a list of those who might write your recommendations.
Junior Year Academic:
  • One year of calculus-based physics
  • Upper division major course work
Applications:
  • Begin drafting your personal statement in early spring.
  • Request applications from non-AMCAS medical schools in April.
  • Collect letters of recommendation to send in September of your senior year.
MCAT:
  • Take the April MCAT. This is the best month to take it, if you have a choice.
Senior Year Academic:
  • Finish remaining premed requirements.
  • Finish remaining major/university requirements.
  • Take upper-division or graduate-level courses in medically related subjects such as physiology, histology, pharmacology, and anatomy, if you have time. This will allow you some breathing room during the first two years of medical school.
Applications:
  • Do more comprehensive research about the medical schools to which you applied.
  • Complete secondary applications and send in letters of recommendation between September and January.
  • Submit FAFSA.
  • Prepare for interviews and wait for invitations to interview. Interviews typically take place in the fall, winter, and, at some schools, early spring.
  • Interview and wait for letters!
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