exam to become a doctor

Which Exam To Become A Doctor You Need To Take 2023

Before deciding whether or not being a doctor is right for you, ensure you know each step of the process. The steps and exam to become a doctor are shown below!

June 14, 2022

A doctor, often known as a physician, is a medical professional who is in charge of their patients’ health. A doctor examines a patient’s health, makes a diagnosis based on that information, then prescribes treatment to help them recover their health. Doctors must also collaborate with a team of nurses and helpers to provide appropriate treatments, procedures, and drugs as needed.

So, how to become a doctor, and which exam to become a doctor do you need to take?

exam to become a doctor

It might take a decade of training and examination to become a doctor. A doctor must first complete a four-year university education that includes courses in math, biology, and chemistry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical school admission is tough, and students in college should work hard to get excellent marks. Prospective doctors must do a hospital residency after graduating from medical school to learn from seasoned experts.

In addition to completing undergraduate education, there are exams doctors must take. In this post, we will discuss “what test do doctors take” as well as the process to become a doctor.

What does a doctor do?

A doctor meets patients and examines their symptoms. Once the doctor gets a complete list of the patient’s symptoms, they will go over probable diagnoses and make a decision based on the patient’s symptoms. They also collaborate with assistants to manage office operations by ensuring that patient appointments and medical information are properly documented.

A doctor might refer a patient to another doctor or prescribe medicine to treat their medical issue if they require additional consultation. Doctors must also keep up with current medical technology and research in order to provide the best diagnosis and treatments for their patients.

The following is a list of the various types of doctors:

Family physician

A family physician treats children and adults with common illnesses. If you are unwell, the first doctor you should see is a family physician. A family physician can spot serious health issues, do tests, and refer patients to experts.

Internal medicine physician

Only adult patients are seen by an internal medicine physician for primary care issues. Their primary experience is in a hospital setting, but if they wish to create their own practice, they can specialize in other areas.


Pediatricians look after children’s medical requirements. They include yearly physicals, immunizations, and treatment for minor ailments such as a sore throat or the flu.

OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist)

An OBGYN is a reproductive and women’s health expert. They look for a woman’s medical requirements during her pregnancy, including supporting her through labor and delivery. They also address issues concerning women’s health, such as contraception and infertility.


A surgeon removes damaged organs and toxic tissues from patients. They arrange the procedure’s steps to ensure that it goes smoothly. Before performing procedures on patients, a surgeon must have over a decade of medical experience.

Which medical exam to become a doctor for?


Those interested in attending medical school must first pass the Medical College Admission Test. The multiple-choice exam assesses a potential doctor’s critical thinking capabilities and problem-solving abilities.

Physical and biological science, as well as verbal thinking, are the three types of questions. The essay section of the test contains a writing prompt. Almost all medical schools in the US demand applicants to submit scores that are no older than three years.

USMLE Step 1

A medical student must take the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 at some time during medical school, generally before entering the third year.

The musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems are among the primary bodily systems examined. To discover solutions to the medical doctor exam’s 322 multiple-choice questions, the test taker must study graphs and other data. Students can enter clinical clerkships after completing the test. The USMLE divides the exam into seven one-hour sections.

USMLE Step 2

A student must pass the USMLE Step 2 test before graduating from medical school. Step 2 is divided into two components, one assessing clinical skills and the other assessing clinical knowledge. 

A 352-question multiple-choice test covers topics including normal human development, sickness, and patient management in the knowledge section. The exam is divided into eight 60-minute parts. Students engage with simulated patients in the second skills section to demonstrate their ability to build rapport and acquire medical histories, and other data.

USMLE Step 3

A prospective doctor must pass the USMLE Step 3 after graduating from medical school and entering residency. The test is divided into two portions and takes 16 hours to complete.

Test takers must complete 480 multiple-choice questions and observe virtual patient simulations in order to make acceptable treatment decisions.

Human development, disease diagnosis, physical examinations, and general patient care are all included. Students can take the test at any time during their residency, but they must pass it to become qualified doctors.

exam to become a doctor

How To Become A Doctor With 8 Steps

Becoming a doctor is a long and arduous process that includes multiple phases. After high school, the complete procedure usually takes 11 years; however, it may take longer depending on the medical specialization you choose.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, general practitioners in the United States earned an average of $186,044 in 2008, while specialists earned an average of $339,738.

The next paragraph describes how doctors prepare for their jobs in 8 steps.

Step 1: Complete an undergraduate education and earn your bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree is required for becoming a doctor. All applicants to medical schools must have earned bachelor’s degrees from authorized colleges and universities. You do not need to concentrate on a certain specialization throughout your undergraduate studies, although pre-medical or biology degrees might help you get on the appropriate academic track.

To get into competitive programs, it is essential that you perform your best in math and science classes in high school. It is also encouraged that you participate in extracurricular or volunteer programs to strengthen your undergraduate and medical school applications. These programs can provide you with practical experience in both an academic and professional environment.

Step 2: Pass the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test)

You must register for and take the Medical College Admission Test during your junior year of undergraduate study (MCAT).

The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice medical test to become a doctor used by medical school admissions committees to determine a candidate’s chances of success in their program.

The test is made up of multiple-choice questions that assess your problem-solving and communication abilities. The MCAT is used to determine admission to medical school, thus you must do well.

To improve your chances of getting a better score, study areas like biology, chemistry, and physics. Because you may take this test up to three times every year, it’s better to start early to ensure a positive result.

Because most medical schools begin evaluating applicants a year in advance, the optimal time to take the exam is in April of your junior year of college.

Step 3: Submit an application to medical school

There is no set application deadline for medical school. The application process usually begins in the summer after a student’s junior year of college; however, some students opt to wait until they have completed their undergraduate degrees before applying.

The American Medical College Application Program (AMCAS), a centralized application processing service run by the Association of American Medical Colleges, is used by the majority of medical schools in the United States. Students choose their preferred medical schools and apply to AMCAS, which distributes the application to each institution.

Admission Requirements for Medical School

Admissions committees at medical schools accept individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, places, and undergraduate programs. While admissions standards differ for every school, curriculum and testing requirements are typically the same. The following is a list of typical medical school prerequisites.

  • Standardized Testing: Students must take the Medical College Admissions Test and submit their results (MCAT).
  • Pre-Medical Coursework: Students, particularly in the sciences, must finish a sequence of preparatory courses. The sorts of classes necessary for entrance are listed below in general:
BiologyOne year with the laboratory8
ChemistryOne year with the laboratory8
Organic ChemistryOne semester with the laboratory4
BiochemistryOne semester4
CalculusOne semester4
StatisticsOne semester4
PhysicsOne year with the laboratory8
HumanitiesEnglish, history, political science, and other classes24
  • Recommendation Letters: Two letters from professors, one from a science discipline and the other from a non-science field. Also useful are letters from college advisors and companies.

Step 4: Complete medical school training

Medical school, which typically takes four years of full-time study after undergraduate degrees, is the first step toward becoming a physician. Students learn practical skills in numerous areas of medicine through clinical rotations, which are separated from classroom-based science training.

There is no such thing as a perfect medical school student. Medical students come from a variety of backgrounds, although the majority enter just after completing their bachelor’s degrees. Their undergraduate educations differ; some major in the sciences (for example, biology), while others specialize in the humanities (e.g. English).

Medical schools are looking for applicants that will add diversity to the industry, are passionate about serving others, and have an unwavering interest in medicine. Candidates should be analytical thinkers who can solve problems effectively. They should be good communicators who can build relationships with people and make difficult judgments under duress.

In the United States, there are two types of medical school programs: allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO). Both programs use a similar educational approach. Osteopathic curricula, on the other hand, place a stronger focus on holistic and therapeutic therapy methods.

What courses are covered in medical school?

  • Testing and Diagnostic Tools

Students will learn about diagnostic techniques used in pathology, radiology, laboratory medicine, clinical epidemiology, and other fields in this course. Students learn how to analyze diagnostic data and establish systematic methods for patient treatment.

  • Human Development and Structure

This course serves as a basic introduction to human anatomy, laying the groundwork for comprehending the fundamental ideas of physical function. The neurological and endocrine systems, as well as the digestive and articular systems, are all studied.

  • Cells and Molecules’ Foundations

Students learn about the connections between pharmacology, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and genetics as they study the principles of life science.

  • Clinical Epidemiology

This course challenges students to solve a clinical question using research literature, while also teaching them how to assess research articles and debate medical facts in the context of practicing evidence-based medicine.

  • Critical Care

This session provides students with hands-on experience treating and caring for critically sick patients, as well as an educational review of clinical principles of care.

exam to become a doctor

Step 5: Pass the Step 1 and Step 2 of the Medical Licensing Examination in the United States (USMLE)

Passing the USMLE is the next step in the process of becoming a doctor. The test is broken into three parts; however, you must finish the first two while in medical school.

Students must pass Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination in order to progress to year three of medical school. This exam verifies that students have grasped the scientific basics needed to practice medicine competently.

Clinical rotations in primary and specialty care settings are completed during the final two years of medical school. Clinical rotations allow students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world, supervised interactions with patients. Students must also pass Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination in order to graduate and begin residency. The candidate’s medical knowledge and clinical science skills are assessed in Step 2.

Step 6: Select a specialty and start your residency program

You must decide what you want to specialize in when taking the USMLE in your third and fourth years of medical school. Knowing your specialty will make tailoring your application for a residency program much easier. 

Internships and residencies are supervised work in teaching hospitals. The National Resident Matching Program will connect you with an open residency post (NRMP).

You’ll be able to make notes about your preferences, but you won’t have the final say over your matches. You pretty of have to take what the NRMP gives you after they put you up.

Your residency program will last at least three years, but it may last longer depending on your specialty. You’ll be recognized as an intern your first year and will be at the bottom of the totem pole—but not for long.

You must also pass your final license exam during your residency (USMLE-3). During your first year of residency, you will take the third and final license test. It assesses your ability to use your medical knowledge and give treatment in an unsupervised context, which is what a licensed physician must do.

As a resident, you’ll get paid, but it won’t be much. The typical resident makes around $48,000 per year, which should be enough to meet your living expenses as well as your minimal medical school loan payments.

Step 7: Pass the USMLE Step 3 test and receive a medical license in your state

The USMLE’s final section tests your ability to practice medicine efficiently and prioritize patient care. It occurs throughout your residency program and permits you to obtain a medical license in your state. Each state’s board of medicine has its own procedure, so do your homework ahead of time.

Step 8: Apply for Doctor Jobs

Getting a job is the last stage in becoming a doctor. Many doctors start their search while still in residency. Residents frequently go into full-time employment when their residencies are completed. Some physicians, on the other hand, opt to look for work on the open market. Recruiters may contact other physicians to fill a post.


When is the best time to pick your specialty?

By your third and fourth years of medical school, you should have narrowed down your options so you can focus on the kind of courses and clinical work you want to pursue.

To become a doctor, what doctor exam test must I pass?

To be eligible to enter medical school, you must pass the MCAT exam during your junior year of undergraduate study. After that, you must pass the USMLE in all three parts. The first two sections must be passed while in medical school, and the last portion must be completed during residency. You can practice medicine full-time after passing these examinations and receiving your state license.

What is the greatest income a doctor can earn?

As a doctor, you may earn up to $450,000 per year, with higher earnings potential if you’re a surgeon or work in another in-demand specialty.

What is the best approach to gain experience so that I may increase my chances of being accepted into a good program?

Participate in volunteer and internship programs while in high school and while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. You are invited to contact physicians and other working professionals at the following locations:

  • Medical offices
  • Medical colleges
  • Hospitals

An informative interview may help you narrow down your job options, the specialty you want to practice, and the experience you need to develop your career.

Key Takeaways

This is a great deal of information to take in at once, especially if you’re just starting out or are undecided about pursuing a career in medicine.

To summarise, there are eight key phases to becoming a doctor:

  1. Complete an undergraduate education and earn your bachelor’s degree.
  2. Pass the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).
  3. Submit an application to medical school.
  4. Complete medical school training.
  5. Pass the Step 1 and Step 2 of the Medical Licensing Examination in the United States (USMLE).
  6. Select a specialty and start your residency program.
  7. Pass the USMLE Step 3 test and receive a medical license in your state.
  8. Apply for Doctor Jobs.

It’s also vital to remember two key points:

  • You don’t have to decide to become a doctor right when you start college (although it does make it easier to fulfill pre-med requirements). The road to becoming a doctor isn’t entirely clear, especially if you’re interested in other biological or physical science fields.
  • You don’t have to consider all of these stages at once. Once you’re in medical school, your classmates will be thinking (and worried) about the same things you are—you won’t forget anything!


Becoming a doctor is not for everyone—getting into medical school is extremely difficult, and even when you graduate and pass the exam to become a doctor, you still have a lot of training to do. But, if you do decide to pursue a career in medicine, you now have the knowledge you need to get started!

Don’t forget to take our free USMLE practice test at Medtutor to get familiarized with the format as well as the questions of the actual exam to strengthen your knowledge and skills, as a result, enhancing your chance to pass the USMLE exam with a high score on your first attempt. Good luck to you!