3 minute read

Medical Doctor

Education and Training – Medical School
Average Salary – $186,000
Job Outlook – Excellent

Medical Doctors are highly trained medical practitioners who diagnose and cure health conditions in patients. There are many areas which Doctors can specialize in or they can be more generalized family practitioners. The majority of a Doctor’s day is spent dealing with patients directly and the rest can be spent analyzing patient records or other non-interactive tasks.
Some of the common tasks that Doctors carry out include examining patients, taking medical histories, performing diagnostic procedures, and giving advice to patients based on their individual circumstances. Doctors must be highly responsible, intelligent individuals who can handle working long hours in a stressful environment. They need to be caring but not to the point where emotions cloud their decision making.

Education and Training Requirements

Training to become a Doctor is one of the most lengthy and rigorous training procedures in the entire world of careers. Doctors need to complete eight years of schooling, four of which are at undergraduate level, followed by four years at medical school. In order to be accepted into Medical School, aspiring doctors need to have an excellent undergraduate degree in a relative field such as medicine or health. Undergraduate study needs to include courses on chemistry, physics, mathematics, and other challenging academic disciplines. Many aspiring doctors spend some of their undergraduate study period volunteering at a hospital or health care practice in order to gain practical experience.

After graduating medical school, a Doctor’s training is still far from over. They must take an internship followed by a residency. Doctors in residency are undergoing a form of paid, work based learning. A doctor is able to become fully licensed after this period, which is a necessity in order to practice medicine legally.

Getting the Job

Obtaining a job as a Doctor requires an absolutely outstanding mix of academic ability, personality traits, knowledge, and practical on the job experience. Medicine is a fiercely competitive field at every step of the way and Doctors need to be fully committed to achieving excellence at every step of the process in order to progress in this career path.

Getting a job as a Medical Doctor requires high medical school test scores, an excellent undergraduate background, and preferably some volunteer experience within a hospital or clinic. As for personal traits, doctors need to be intelligent, good with patients, and able to work to a high level under immense pressure.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Healthcare is a rapidly expanding industry and because of this it is projected that the demand for Medical Doctors of all types will increase massively over the coming decades. Being a qualified Doctor gives a person a lifelong ability to work for excellent money almost anywhere in the world.

Career development for a Medical Doctor usually takes one of two forms. One option is to take on specialties within the field of Medicine as these are usually even more lucrative than being a general physician. The second route is to move into the management side of healthcare and possibly open a private practice.

Working Conditions and Environment

Medical Doctors typically work within a healthcare facility such as a clinic, a hospital, or a family practice. Some Doctors work in different environments, such as in the military, but this is a minority of cases. Doctors will need to cope with pressure as the stress of being a Doctor is of a type not found in many other jobs. Being a Doctor means responsibility over people living or dying and this can weigh heavily on some people’s shoulders. Doctors often work long hours and are sometimes ‘on call’ which means they can be called into a healthcare facility, or a patient’s home, at very short notice.

Salary and Benefits

Due to the massive amount of training needed to become a Doctor, and the importance of the role, Medical Doctors are among the best paid members of society. Primary care physicians make an average of $186,000 a year while specialists make an average of $340,000 a year. Medical Doctors working for a healthcare facility usually receive an excellent benefits package including top quality health care and insurance. Self-employed medical doctors are responsible for providing their own benefits.

Where to Go for More Information

American Medical Association
515 N State St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Association of American Medical Colleges
Section for Student Services
2450 N St. NW.
Washington, DC 20037

Federation of State Medical Boards
P.O. Box 619850
Dallas, TX 75261-9850

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine