MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: when does 'years of experience' start for doctors?

Date: Sun Aug 27 20:59:11 2006
Posted By: Matthew McConeghy, Professor of Science
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1156633138.Me

Hi Michael,

I think the best way to get an answer to this question is to have a chat with your own M.D. or some other M.D. whom you know personally. They can give you the scoop on how the system works in the medical specialities that you are interested in.

To give a quick answer why there are no jobs for M.D.'s with 0 years experience, basically no one wants to be treated by someone who is right out of med school, unless that new minted Doctor is being watched over by someone more experienced. So, after you finish med school and have your degree you are going to be doing at least 2 years of apprenticeship known as "Residency." That is the minimum, but if you are in a difficult specialty, it could be 7 or 8 years or more before you actually are let loose to practice independently. You do get paid as a Resident, but not the "big bucks."

When you are in med school you have to take a national test called the United States Medical Licensing Exam. It has three parts - the first part you take as an undergraduate med student. That part checks to see that you have all your basic science down pat. Then when you graduate from med school you take the second level USMLE that checks whether you have a good understanding of practical medicine. Then after some years of residency you take the third level USMLE to see if you are ready for independent practice.

Here's a link to the USMLE website. and here is a link to the American Medical Association database of residencies

Becoming a physician requires brains and hard work, and a lot of determination! But, medical training has to be tough - you are going to be holding people's lives in your hand!

Dr Matt McConeghy

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