How Long Is Medical School? Medical Schools Review

Filed in Study in USA by on 16th April 2021

Completing medical school can take a number of years. If you’re aspiring for a medical-related career, read on to know how long is medical school.

how long is medical school

Xscholarship has detailed everything you need to know about a Medical School, Medical Schools in the US, medical school training, and how long it takes to become a doctor. 

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What is Medical School?

A medical school is a tertiary institution, or part of an institution, that teaches medicine, and awards a professional degree for surgeons and physicians. 

Medical degrees obtained by attending a medical school include the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, MBChB, BMBS), Doctor of Medicine (MD), or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

Many medical school degrees are Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Masters degree (M.Sc), a physician assistant program, and other post-secondary education.

Get admitted to a medical school requires high competition for the entrance examinations.

In many countries like the US, to study medicine you need to complete an undergraduate degree first. Other schools nowadays do not require it for undergraduate coursework. 

Medical School Training

For the first and second years, students learn basic science subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, and other courses. They are also get introduced to examining patients.

The style of teaching depends on the school. Some schools teach all the courses, while others usually teach around 4 to 5 at the same time. The rest teach one course at a time during a particular time allocated to that course and continue like this until all 5 courses are learned.

After the second year, students will take the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

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In years 3 and 4, students will be working with doctors at hospitals affiliated with their schools. This lasts up to 3 months depending on the school. In addition, you will take and pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination test 2.

Medical school in the US takes 4 years if the student passes USMLE tests 1 and 2. 

Medical school in the U.S

Medical schools in the US are top-notch. That’s why it is preferred a lot by international students. Nevertheless, some medical schools are preferred than others because of the quality of education they offer students.

Medical Schools in the US

Before enrolling in a medical school, the student needs to have gotten a bachelor’s degree. In the US, a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences is not required. What is needed is an undergraduate course in scientific disciplines that can adequately prepare the students.

The reason is this is because medical school is not only for doctors and surgeons in training, it is also for medical lab assistants, technicians, and every other student who attends medical school. 

In the US, there are over 130 medical schools that train students generally on medicine. Yet, there are some schools that train only on osteopathic medicine or other specific types of medicine. Every school has its own unique characteristics. 

Medical school residency?

A medical residency is training for physicians where they work under the supervision of another physician in a hospital. If you pass the USMLE tests 1 and 2, you will need to write and pass a board test to qualify for a medical residency.

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For primary care physicians and some other specialties, the medical residency lasts up to a minimum of three years, and up to five years for some surgical specialties. Other medical specialties require additional years of fellowship training after residency training.


How many years does it take to go through medical school?

In general, doctors complete a 4-year undergraduate degree program, spend another 4 years in medical school, and then another 3-7 years of residency training before they are qualified for a medical license.

Do you get paid during residency?

Depending on the country, Residents doctors are usually paid about $40,000 to $50,000 per year to help pay their bills. 

However, the amount residents are paid is small because the residents have not gotten a license to practice medicine. So, they don’t make any revenue for the hospital directly. They do it indirectly under the supervision of another doctor.

How long does it take to become a doctor?

Becoming a full-fledged takes four years for medical school, a minimum of three years for residency, and a few more if you want to specialize with a fellowship.

Why does residency take longer for some doctors?

A residency usually takes about 3 years but doctors who want to specialize in some parts of the body like the brain, they require more time to learn more and understand how such systems work properly.

What is the difference between a medical certificate course and an associate degree?

A certificate course teaches the students just the basics while an associate degree gives a more in-depth knowledge. It offers specialization to students.

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Do medical transcriptionists prescribe drugs?

A medical transcriptionist is not meant to prescribe drugs. A medical transcriptionist’s main job is to rephrase medical terms and reports in a way the ordinary person will understand.


If you want to attend a medical school for medical-related courses like medical lab technicians, estheticians, medical assistants, etc, then you need to know how long it takes to complete medical school. 

A typical medical school lasts for 4 years, then another 3-7 years of residency training before being qualified for a medical license.


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