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How to Become an ER Doctor

Although it's a grueling, nerve-wracking job, the joy that comes from saving someone's life makes being an ER (emergency room) doctor worthwhile. It takes years to make it to the ER. Before embarking on this career path, make sure you're willing to devote the time needed for education and training. If you'd like to learn about how to become an ER doctor, read the list below.

  1. Earn a college degree. You must have a bachelor's degree before you can enter medical school. A four-year bachelor's degree in a medical-related field (e.g. chemistry, biology, etc.) is best, although some medical schools accept any bachelor's degree.
  2. Get some practical medical experience by volunteering in a medical facility or by taking an EMT course. You can do this while pursuing your bachelor's degree. [source: ER Doctor Career]
  3. Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Test scores are automatically submitted to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), where medical schools can access them for evaluation [source: MCAT Scores].
  4. Apply to medical school. Complete the necessary coursework for an MD degree. The course can take from two to six years [source: ER Doctor Educational Requirements].
  5. Start applying for a job during your last year in medical school.
  6. Begin your residency after graduating from medical school. Residencies can take several years. Part of your residency will be in the ER.
  7. Apply for a state license after you have completed your residency. This entails passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
  8. Consider entering a fellowship program. This will be necessary if you want to specialize in a particular area of medicine. Keep in mind that fellowships often take a few years to complete.