How long does it take to become a Doctor

How long does it take to become a Doctor?

Many people have dreamed about becoming a doctor in their childhood. Some of them still have a dream of becoming a Doctor. Maybe you are one of them and therefore are here to know about how long you need to take to become a doctor. Becoming a doctor is not easy. There are a lot of things that you need to do before becoming a doctor. 

Quick Takeaways

  • To become a doctor, you need to require a lot of effort and it takes more than 10 years to become a doctor.
  • As you need to perform a lot of roles and responsibilities, you will need to learn about them. Thus it takes so much time to become a doctor.

However, you must read till the end so that you could understand how much time it will take to become a doctor.

How long does it take to become a Doctor?

How long does it take to become a doctor?

Becoming a doctor requires a lot of effort and it takes more than 10 years to become a doctor. On average students spend 10 – 12 years becoming a doctor but it can go up to 14 years depending upon the subject you want to master. Suppose you want to become a cardiologist you will have to spend at least 9 years of your life.

Wondering what are the areas that are covered in these years? Starting with you will be spending 4 years in your undergraduate program. After that 4 years in medical school and then you will be attending the residency program. The duration of the residency program depends upon the specialty you choose. Usually, there are 3 to 7 years that you will spend on it. As the time taken is too much, many students drop out of medical college.

How to become a doctor?

The following are things that are essential for becoming a doctor-

Undergraduate degree

All applicants must have bachelor’s degrees from legal colleges and institutions as per the Medical school’s admission board. There isn’t a particular undergraduate degree that is advised for all prospective medical students. Though the College Board mentions some of the subjects including pre-medicine and biology as your major subject in an Undergraduate degree.

Taking MCAT test

The MCAT test is very crucial if you want to become a doctor. Start preparing for tests when you are in your college. There are various sections like psychology, biology, reasoning, etc. This test is 5 hours long and the students on average get above 500. Try to take up the test in the year before the year you want to start your medical school. 

For more education-related articles, you may also refer to, Why starting med college at 28 is important?

Complete the medical schools

You must start med college at 28. Medical schools are the way to learn practical knowledge. There are a total of 4 years that you will devote to medical school. Starting two years will help you to learn theoretical knowledge. You will get to know about different concepts that are necessary for your stream.

The next 2 years will help you to get practical clinical knowledge. You will learn about how the concepts that you learn in the classroom are implicated. Your fourth year helps to set a base for your residency program.

How long does it take to become a Doctor?

Residency Program

The residency program is just like the internship program but for doctors. It is the longest program in your journey to becoming a doctor.  Depending upon your specialty, you may need to spend 3 to 7 years in it. Therefore decide your specialty accordingly. Count on your expenses and other things as well. 

Get the medical license

Once you are done with the residency program, apply for a medical license. Prepare for the test to get your medical license. Take help from your family members, relatives, and friends who have already applied for the license and have also got it. Once you pass the exam and get the license, you are eligible to start practicing as a private doctor.

Why does it take so long to become a doctor?

Being a doctor, you need to perform a lot of roles and responsibilities. From treating the patients to taking care of their post-treatment requirements, everything you need to do as a doctor. You will have to take care of the medicines, their treatment, etc given to the patients. This needs a lot of knowledge.

You must know in what situation you need to give the specific medicine or treatment to the patient. It takes a lot of time to learn all the techniques and therefore this much time is needed to invest in becoming a doctor. 

How long does it take to become a Doctor?


Is it worth investing so many years to become a doctor?

As already discussed there are a lot of responsibilities for doctors. Therefore it becomes vital for you to know and learn multiple aspects of your profession. For this, you need a lot of time to learn. Also, doctors are the ones who are always needed by one or the other for different problems. It is one of the most paid professions in the world. Thus there is no doubt that investing so many years of life in becoming a doctor is worth it

How much salary does a doctor earn?

The answer to this question depends on what type of doctor you are. Also, the average salary of each specialized doctor depends upon in which state you are living. Also, there are a lot of various factors that may affect the earnings of doctors.
On average the salary range of doctors is between $328,000 to $346,000. Though this is just an estimation, the actual salary can differ depending upon factors like the type of doctor, place, and even whether you are a fresher or more experienced doctor. Some doctors earn even more than $400,000 annually. 


Becoming a doctor is not as easy as making a cup of coffee. You need a lot of time, almost around 10 to 14 years, to invest in becoming a doctor. Although every year you invested and each effort you made is worth it. It is because it is one of the most successful professions in the world, as everyone needs a doctor at some point in time. 

William Christie

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