Residency comes first, and the duration of the program varies depending on the specialty; the shortest are 3 years and the longest are 7 years. After your residency training, you can choose to further subspecialize by completing scholarships that typically last an additional 1 to 3 years. Whether you're thinking about becoming a doctor or know someone who is, you might be wondering how long it takes to become a doctor. How long until the training is over? Here at The MedCommons, we receive a lot of questions from our readers who are trying to understand the process and how long this path can be.
Let's say you fasten your seatbelt for the trip. During the fellowship, doctors work side by side with other doctors who practice their specialty. The good news is that they earn a higher salary than what they did as residents; however, not as much as they would once the training is fully over. Whether doctors decide to become practicing doctors after their residency or after a fellowship, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has been discovered.
Our highly trained doctors (and their families) have sacrificed years of their lives to learn the art of caring for others and are now ready to go out on their own and save some lives. So how long does it take to become a doctor in total? On average, it takes 11 to 16 years. The big differentiator is the length of your residency. As we discuss the fastest way to become a doctor in the next section, we'll highlight the shortest residencies.