How To Practice Medicine in the United States

There are many reasons students choose to become doctors. They may love to help people or want to put their love of science to good use. The average salary is a good incentive, too. No matter why you choose medicine as your career, there are several steps you must take to practice.


Your journey to becoming a physician starts with education. You must obtain a medical doctorate from an accredited school. Then you will complete a residency program under the supervision of experienced physicians in your field. Your training is never really complete, though. Throughout your career, you must stay informed of current procedures and new discoveries to serve your patients well.

Medical License

Obtaining an unrestricted medical license is necessary for every state in which you practice. Your training continues as you engage in USMLE Step 1 CK prep courses that are designed to help you pass your examination. The process of licensure is updated regularly, so make sure you have the latest information on everything that is required to become licensed in your state.

Board Certification

While certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties is optional, obtaining it can broaden your career options and provide additional educational opportunities for enhancing patient care. The ABMS member boards evaluate your strengths as a physician based on letters of attestation from medical school faculty, mentors and your residency program director. They also look at your performance during residency as well as how well you do on the certification exam. Maintaining certification is an ongoing task throughout your career to ensure that you remain at the top of your game in your specialty.

Before you can practice medicine, you must complete the appropriate training and licensing required. Many children may aspire to be doctors when they grow up, but relatively few maintain this career goal and complete all the steps needed to achieve it.