The training program to become an internist is similar to that in other areas of medicine. It starts with gaining entry to medical school.
Most medical schools require students to have an undergraduate degree before entering, but some will accept 3 years of college.
Although it is not essential, most medical schools prefer students to take subjects that are relevant to medicine, such as biology or chemistry.
Students will also need to pass a Medical College Admission Test to enter medical school. This test is a multiple-choice examination that evaluates the student’s suitability for both medical training and working as a doctor in the future. Top medical schools expect high scores on this test.
In medical school, students will undertake 4 years of medical training and education. This training will involve structured study and rotations in medical practices and hospitals.
After completing a medical degree, internists must take up a general internal medicine residency program, which will provide more hands-on training to prepare for life as a doctor.
The residency program is essential for doctors to practice medicine in the United States. These programs usually last at least 3 years, but they can be longer for specializations that include surgery.
All doctors must pass a medical licensing examination during the first year of their residency. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredit these programs.
Following the completion of a residency, some internists may choose to specialize. They will do a fellowship in their area of specialization, which can take up to 3 years.
Some internists wish to develop more formal research skills, such as through a Ph.D. or a research fellowship. Having a good understanding of research methods and statistics is essential to keep up with new treatments. It is common for some doctors to spend a certain amount of their time on medical research.
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