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How to become a Physician

To work as a physician, there are several steps you must take to qualify for this role:

  1. Complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. There are no specific requirements for the degree you need to complete, but pre-medicine and the biological sciences are excellent choices for majors, along with coursework in maths and social sciences.
  2. Pass the Medical College Admission Test exam. You will need to register for and pass this standardized, multiple-choice examination to gain admission to a medical school.
  3. Apply to medical school by using the American Medical College Application Service, which distributes a single application to each school that you wish to apply for.
  4. Complete a four-year program of full-time study at medical school that includes classroom theory and supervised clinical rotations in various areas of medicine.
  5. Pass the three-part United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Passing the first part is necessary to enter the third year of study at medical school. Complete the second part in the fourth year.
  6. Complete a three-year graduate medical residency.
  7. Pass the final part of the USMLE exam that covers clinical management.
How to become: Primary Care Physician · Emergency Medicine Physician · Telemedicine Physician · Urgent Care Physician · Family Medicine Physician
These qualifications are required: ATLS Certification · Driver's License · ACLS Certification
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What skills help Physicians find jobs?

  • Addiction counseling
  • Airway management
  • Bilingual
  • Care plans
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service
  • Discharge planning
  • Documentation review
  • EHR systems
  • EMR systems
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Career progression for Physician

Education levels for Physicians

Based on the requirements of Physician job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's degree34.1%
Doctoral degree26.9%
High school diploma or GED16.5%
Master's degree12.6%
Associate's degree9.9%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Physician in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$50,000
4 - 8$46,500
8 - 12$52,400
12 - 16$57,100
16 - 20$59,500
20 - 24$70,200
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Common qualifications for Physicians

Explore popular schools to earn these qualifications

ACLS Certification

Code One CPR Training
Craven Community College
144 reviews
Explore other and more common qualifications
  • certificationMedical License
  • certificationRN License
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