How long does it take to get a medical degree?

Medical degree
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How long does it take to get a medical degree?

Students frequently find themselves trapped in a never-ending maze, from picking the correct professional path and making critical life decisions to dealing with exam-related stress. Students interested in medical degrees find it difficult to cope with the curriculum, workload, and long working hours, and hence are in constant need of inspiration.

If you’re considering a career in medicine, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to become a doctor. You may have previously responded to the question, but now you must consider the time you need to invest in this career path. It’s a long road, and we’re here to share it with you. UniApp will help you learn how to pursue your passion to get a medical degree.

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How many years does it take to get a medical degree?

If you have a dream to study a master’s degree in Medicine, you may have wondered several times how long it will take to graduate. In reality, when compared to the other faculties, this field is by far the longest one.

If you want to be a doctor in the United states you must first complete a four-year undergraduate program, followed by four years of medical school.

After graduating, you apply for a residency via ERAS (in the US) or CaRMS (in Canada), and you spend somewhere between three and seven years as a resident, depending on your specialty. After all this, you need to take a licensing exam for the state or province where you want to practice medicine.

You’ll need between 10 and 14 years to become a licensed doctor. Now let’s see if we can make this timeline shorter.

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Is It Possible to get your medical degree Before the Age of 30?

According to the brief timetable we outlined above, it takes an average of 12 years to become a physician, assuming a four-year residency. If we assume the average pre-med student is 18 years old when they begin their undergraduate studies and a 12-year timeframe, they will be 30 years old when they begin their professional, independent practice.

This is the average age, but is it possible to achieve your goal of becoming a doctor and having a medical degree before the age of 30?

It is possible. Let’s look at how you can study a master’s degree in medicine online before you are 30.

  • Plan ahead of time: You’ll need to know your medical degree goals and begin preparing for them while still in high school, so you can get ahead start on academics and extracurricular activities.
  • Choose the right undergrad programs: You’ll need to pick the right undergrad programs, medical degree programs, and residency programs. Once you’ve decided on a bachelor’s program, you must stick to it; any delay in graduation or change in your undergraduate career will set you back. If you’re certain about your goals, you might want to look at BS/MD schools, which occasionally provide an expedited schedule that allows students to finish their degree in three years instead of four. Only a few programs offer a 6-year timetable for their combined undergrad and graduate degrees.


  • Choose a medical degree with a duration of fewer than four years. Yes, it is correct! Medical schools such as the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and McMaster Medical School provide three-year programs. While these MD programs require less time to complete, you should be prepared for a more rigorous and fast-paced curriculum.


  • Consider the residency length: How long it takes to become a doctor is heavily influenced by the residency program chosen. Internal medicine and pediatrics require only three years of residency, whereas neurological surgery necessitates six to seven years.


  • So, before you choose a medical specialization, think about how long a residency takes. Choose a family medicine residency, an internal medicine residency, or one of the other shorter residencies if you wish to become an independent practitioner sooner.
  • Another factor to consider is your age when you started your undergrad, for example, you could be 16 or 17 in your freshman year of college if you skipped a grade in school (which is common among academically gifted students who want to be doctors), allowing you to get your medical degree before the age of 30.

And, clearly, if you want to be a doctor before you turn 30, there isn’t much opportunity for gap years.

Read more: Best medical schools in UK in 2023



So now you know why getting a medical degree before the age of 30 is not that difficult. Next, we will go over the process you’ll need to take to become a physician.

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What is the Fastest Path to Becoming a Physician?

Everyone must complete a few important steps on the way to becoming a doctor and having a medical degree. You must make some precise choices from an early age if you want to become a doctor as quickly as possible.

We will summarize below the major steps needed to get your medical degree, as well as what you may do to expedite the process at each stage.

High School

  • Complete AP courses in biology, physics, chemistry, etc. that could contribute towards meeting your undergrad coursework requirements
  • Complete extracurricular activities such as volunteer work that could contribute to your extracurriculars for medical school

Undergrad (3 to 4 years)

  • You can complete a BS/MD or other combined undergrad/medical school program, which permits you to finish your education in 6 or 7 years instead of the normal 8 years.
  • Alternatively, you can finish a traditional undergrad in three years by enrolling in summer school, taking additional courses each semester, and completing extra credit projects, among other things.

Medical School (4 years)

  • Avoid taking a gap year before your medical degree, and make sure you have a strong MCAT score and all of the required extracurriculars.
  • You might work on getting accepted into an Early Assurance Medical Program like Flex Med to avoid having to take a gap year.

While having a defined objective with deadlines might be motivating, keep in mind that having a medical degree “fast” should never be your major drive during this process. There’s a reason why a medical degree and training take so long: it’s to ensure that you’re fully prepared to practice medicine on your own. It’s pointless to take on an overly demanding accelerated undergrad schedule if you’re going to burn out before you even start medical school.

Read more: The best universities to study medicine in the UK

Finally, when choosing your medical degree, your primary attention should be on your areas of interest, skills, and proficiency. The length of time it takes to complete a residency program should be considered a secondary factor.

According to statistics, most people who become doctors are in their mid-30s. Returning students, students who had a gap year, and those who changed occupations in their 20s require longer to acquire their medical degree than regular medical school applicants.

Even if you go to medical school the usual way, you’ll get your license to practice medicine when you’re 30 or in your early 30s.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity.”

This quote by Hippocrates highlights the importance of medicine in our world, as well as how medical professionals have an innate passion for mankind and stand by our side during difficult times such as epidemics, wars, and more!

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