If you want to become a doctor, your educational journey will certainly take you through medical school. At medical school, you will complete advanced studies in your chosen area of specialization, participate in community programs, engage in internships and practical placements and assist in research initiatives.
Admission to medical school is based on your undergraduate- and/or graduate-level educational performance as well as your MCAT score and track record of community service and involvement. You may also be required to write an admissions essay outlining your reasons for wanting to become a doctor, and/or attend an admissions interview.
Your first step to getting into medical school is to complete an undergraduate degree program that prepares you for a career in medicine. Many schools offer what's informally known as a "pre-med" program, meaning that the curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students to attend medical school. Topics of study in pre-med programs include biology, physics, inorganic and organic chemistry, kinesiology, physiology, toxicology, pharmacology and mathematics. From there, you will have to take a standardized test known as the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, to be considered for medical school.
The two most important criteria are your grades in your undergraduate and/or graduate pre-med schooling and your MCAT score. Admissions boards also look for candidates with a strong social conscience and sense of community.
All in all, between your schooling, your internships and your residency, it will take between 8 and 10 years for you to become a doctor. Given the major time commitment involved, it's not a pursuit for a person who's unsure of what they want to do. If, however, you've always dreamed of being a doctor, then the path lays before you.