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Health Careers - Medicine

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Health Careers - MedicineMedicine Careers: A physician, medical practitioner or medical doctor is a person who practices medicine. Medicine is both an art and science. The science is what each medical doctor learns through years of education. The art is the skill in applying this knowledge to a patient, while making sound judgments based on each patients needs. Each medical practitioner needs to develop a relationship with the patient and gather enough medical history to make their diagnosis.

Two patients presenting with the same symptoms may have totally different treatment plans. Factors that determine the treatment include, age, gender, existing medical conditions and the ability of the patient to manage their illness independently. Once a treatment plan is developed, the physician is responsible for observing the patient, referring the patient to other healthcare professionals and carrying out follow up visits. The physician will then assess the progress of the patient and either alter the plan or discharge the patient as necessary.

Education: Becoming a doctor is a lengthy and often expensive process. If you are considering a career in medicine you should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and English. A career in Medicine involves undergraduate, medical school and graduate medical education.

Undergraduate Education, involves spending 4 years at university to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. Some students enter medical school with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or other equivalent qualification. There are two paths to becoming a doctor: allopathic medicine, which leads to an M.D. (medical doctor), or osteopathic medicine, which leads to a D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine). If you opt to become an allopathic or osteopathic physician, you must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) before applying to any med school program.

Medical School: Student doctors must spend 4 years at Medical School. The Medical School must be accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Graduates from Medical School earn a doctor of medicine degree (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree (DO). Before Doctors are permitted to practice on their own as a Physician they must complete further training known as Graduate Medical Education or Residency training.

Graduate Medical Education, is where newly qualified MD or DO graduates enter into a residency program. The length of the program varies depending on the specialty of the doctor, but in general residency programs run from 3 to 5 years. Upon completion of a Graduate Medical Education doctors can obtain licensure and practice on their own. Some doctors continue with their education to sub specialize further. Some complete one to three years of fellowship training.

Licensure & Certification: Physicians must be licensed to practice. Additional exams are required along with practical experience to gain licensure, and requirements vary by state. Physicians can also become board certified. Certification is voluntary but most physicians are certified. Physicians can then continue to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits to ensure their skills and knowledge remain current.

Find a Health Education School: Use the red search box in the menu above, to find Health & Medicine schools and colleges in your area that offer medicine programs.

Below is a list of some of the various types of health career fields:

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