Learn What It’s Like to Be a Physician

physicians crossing their armsThe lure of high salary and prestige are just two of the main reasons many people want to become a doctor. Do you think you have what it takes to become one? Read on to find out what it's like to be a reputed physician.

Length of Study

Medical school sounds like a never-ending journey. Everything begins with a premed course, which is good for 4 years. Most of the students take biological sciences to prepare them well for medical education. Then they go into medical school, which is another 4 years. Students then proceed with their residency once they’re ready to specialize.

Depending on the specialization, this may take as long as 7 years. But doctors need to acquire continuing education to remain competitive and up-to-date with changes in the field.

Medical Licensing Exam

The United States medical licensing exam is a very long process. It includes a number of steps, which you cannot retake if you fail to pass at least six times. But you can retake the exam no more than three times within a year. If you still fail to get your license in these attempts, you should wait one year after your first attempt and 6 months after your most recent.

Once you get your license, you may work as a resident doctor in a hospital or look for locum physician jobs if you have other matters to attend to, such as a hobby.


Stress and medical school go hand in hand. In one of the cross-sectional studies in 2011, at least 63 percent reported feeling the stress while 25 percent noted severe stress. It was more common among females than males, although stress levels went down as students moved on to higher levels.

Despite the high salary that comes with the job, being a doctor is not an easy feat. While you cannot do anything with the years of study or the rules in medical licensing, you can deal with stress more effectively. For one, you can work as a locum tenens or on-call physician. This type of occupation gives you the flexibility and the opportunity to travel and serve various healthcare settings.

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