How Long Is Medical School? Medical Schools Review |2022

Completing medical school can take several years. If you’re aspiring for a medical-related career, one question you may ask is “how long is medical school?” Read on to learn everything you need to know about how long medical schools last and why.

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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how long is medical school

What is Medical School?

A medical school is a tertiary institution or part of an institution that teaches medicine and awards a professional degree to 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.

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

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

Admission requirements for medical school studies

These are some of the most typical requirements for admission to medical schools:

  • High school diploma (certificate)
  • Excellent grades in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Letter of motivation
  • Voluntary or work experience related to healthcare
  • Candidates taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) must offer three subjects, including Chemistry and Biology, at Higher Level, plus three subjects at Standard Level. Not all universities require an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).
  • Minimum TOEFL and IELTS results
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Medical School Training

Students learn basic science subjects for the first and second years 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 simultaneously. 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.

In years 3 and 4, students will work 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. 

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Medical schools 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 over others because of the quality of education they offer students.

Medical Schools in the US

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

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. 

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In the US, there are over 130 medical schools that train students generally on medicine. Yet, some schools train only in 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 who work under another physician’s supervision 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.

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.

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FAQs How Long Is Medical School? Medical Schools Review |2022

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

Doctors generally complete a 4-year undergraduate degree program, spend another 4 years in medical school, and then another 3-7 years of residency training before being qualified for a medical license.

Do you get paid during residency?

Depending on the country, Resident doctors are usually paid about $40,000 to $50,000 annually 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.

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, require more time to learn more and understand how such systems work correctly.

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 more in-depth knowledge. It offers specialization to students.

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.


Suppose you want to attend a medical school for medical-related courses like medical lab technicians, estheticians, medical assistants, etc. In that case, 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 qualifying for a medical license.


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