Category: 

What are the Educational Requirements to Becoming a Doctor in the US and Abroad?

The educational requirements to become a doctor vary.
Becoming a doctor in Mexico requires many of the same steps as in the United States.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The World Health Organization classified air pollution as more dangerous to health than smoking.   more...

July 25 ,  1978 :  The world's first in-vitro fertilization baby was born.  more...

The education to become a doctor varies in different countries. The most important considerations when evaluating schools is whether learning at that specific school will allow one licensure in the country in which one chooses to work. In some cases, it is quite easy to study abroad and then practice as a doctor in the US. At other times, the requirements for being considered a doctor may not be rigorous enough when measured by either standards in the US, or standards abroad.

In the UK, for example, studies in medicine begin directly after passing high school, or the baccalaureate, the high school equivalent. Students must generally have very good grades and must also take a test similar to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) taken in the US. This tests general knowledge of science to help select the students most apt to be successful doctors.

Ad

The UK program lasts between five to eight years, and further specialization may result in yet a longer amount of time spent in school. The program is considered comparable to a program in the US, and there are very few requirements to a UK medical doctor obtaining licensure in the US. Some may prefer studying in the UK, because if they wish only to become a general practitioner, this can be accomplished in a short amount of time, as compared to the seven-year minimum education for most medical schools in the US. However, UK medical schools are highly competitive and it is very difficult to gain entry to one without outstanding efforts at the high school level.

Most European medical schools follow the same program as does the UK, but not all schools are considered equally acceptable if one wants licensure in the US. If one wishes to attend a medical school abroad, the school should be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). If a school one is considering lacks this certification, then one may have a very difficult time obtaining licensure in the US.

Schools in the Caribbean, and in Mexico tend to operate under the same system as that of the US system. They require a four-year undergraduate degree prior to admission. In Mexico, some schools for a doctor do not require one to speak Spanish. However, Spanish can be a useful acquirement for a doctor.

If one plans to practice in a country that speaks a different language, fluency in that language is a requirement in most cases. This may not always be the case in countries where there are few doctors, and where there are no medical schools to train doctors. A doctor who works in developing countries is usually in such high demand, that fluency in the country’s language or languages may not be required.

As well, if one has gone to medical school in a country abroad and plans to practice in an English speaking country, there may be language requirements prior to becoming a doctor. Being a doctor requires full familiarity with medical terms, and if these terms are lost in translation, mistakes can be made. Thus it is prudent to know the language of the country in which one plans to practice.

Ad

Discuss this Article

amypollick
Post 12

@anon339692: I am not a medical student, but I am almost sure you will have to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and you will need to complete a residency program in the USA before being licensed to practice.

anon339692
Post 11

I am an Indian student studying mbbs in Russia. I want to work in the USA after my completion. Should I take any exams in the USA?

anon322800
Post 10

My brother is studying medicine in India. Where would he need to work as a doctor in Mexico once he completes his studies in India?

anon245561
Post 9

What are the needed requirements, e.g., academically?

anon237758
Post 8

I am a general practitioner from Mexico. I would like to know which steps do I need to take to work in Germany.

anon157152
Post 7

I am in my third year of secondary school in the UK. I have chosen to do triple science, child development and maths. are these the right options to be a surgeon? how long will I be studying for? Is it true that the training involves corpses?

anon128467
Post 6

I am a US citizen that pass USMLE 1 ,2 and CS with US

certificate. Can I practise medicine in UK or no?

anon82698
Post 5

I'm a student studying as a doctor in india but after all my studies I'm confused. i want to know what exams i have to take in order to work in u.s.

anon60142
Post 4

I have a cousin who is a doctor in Mexico. What are the requirements for him to practice in the United States. jmonro3

anon29039
Post 3

As a UK citizen, studying at medical school, I would like to add to this article, to clear up the confusion between the US and UK educational system.

In the UK, you attend high school between the ages of 11-16, where you complete your GCSE examinations (high school is compulsory). After this you can choose to attend College/'Sixth Form' for 2 years, until 18. At college you spend 2 years doing 'A-Levels' usually in 3,4 or 5 subjects.

If you go straight to University after college, you will start Medical School at age 18. The standard Medicine course is 5 years. However, there are a small number of 4 year programmes for graduates (those who already have a 3 year degree in a different subject) and a very small number of 6 year courses that have a 'pre-medical' year in addition to the standard 5 year course for those who may not have the required Chemistry and Biology A-Levels.

anon23327
Post 2

i am U.S citizen practicing medicine (anesthesiologist) in United States, can i practice medicine in Mexico? any requirement to do so? thank you.

willlemons
Post 1

I have a friend who was a doctor in Poland. He lives in the United States now. He was wondering if he could practice medicine in Mexico. Any advice?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email