How Long is Medical School?

how long is medical school

It certainly isn’t a secret that becoming a doctor takes many years of dedication, study and hard work. Medical students can expect to spend long hours in the classroom, lecture hall, in the books and in the field as they embark on their journey to achieving their goal. But exactly just how long is medical school?

Below, we’ll examine the length of time students can expect to spend in medical school as well as the requirements one will need to meet to graduate.

How Long is Medical School: Basic Requirements

While admissions requirements can vary between schools, many medical schools do have most of the same prerequisites. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, nearly all those who apply to any medical school will have had to have first taken the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). In addition, most students will be required to complete several courses, including:

  • English (1 year)
  • Biology (1 year)
  • Physics (1 year)
  • Chemistry (2 years)

Remember, these are just the requirements to get into most medical schools. So before you even walk set foot in the door of a medical school, you can expect to have already dedicated a significant amount of time to study in preparation for it. In many cases, students will need to spend 4-5 years studying in preparation of medical school.

How Long is Medical School: General Overview

While it can vary from school to school, medical school by and large takes four years to complete. During your first year, which is widely regarded as the most difficult, students can expect to spend most of their time in lectures and taking courses such as gross anatomy, pathology and biochemistry. Years 2-4 are generally spent out in the field in clinical-based settings. Students will typically be part of clinical rotations by their third year before studying on a medical team-basis by year four.

While there’s no doubt the path to becoming a doctor is a long one, it gives you the all the tools and education that will be necessary to become the health care specialists of the future.

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