As in the case of other doctorate programs, a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree is not yet available online. But the massive growth of online courses seems to put the possibility of earning a Doctorate in Medicine on the horizon. The healthcare industry is gradually catching up to the reality of online education with many similar tracks offered online including paramedic, medical billing, dental hygiene, and nursing programs.
An M.D. degree typically involves close supervision in clinical and laboratory settings and a lot of lecture-based learning. The difficulty of shifting the traditional method of learning to an online format is often attributed to the stringent requirements set by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME). Recognized by the US Department of Education, the LCME also accredits the medical education programs.
Today, the slow but steady growth of innovation in the sector is evident. It addresses the need for healthcare access and jobs, and in turn, creates a demand for healthcare education. In this regard, shifting to online education helps students progress at their rate because distance-learning is often competency-based. This is a contrast to time-based education in campus settings. Online learning can accelerate students’ medical education.
For now, though, earning an M.D. is confined to campus-based learning. It is indeed interesting to watch how this trend will progress in the coming years.
Students who have a curious mind and the drive to know more can consider the path to practice Medicine. This doctorate may involve a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and an unwavering commitment, but it is a profession that promises fulfillment. A Doctor in Medicine can look forward to a life devoted to service, care, research, and leadership.
What is a Doctorate in Medicine (M.D.) degree program?
An area of science dealing with the treatment and prevention of diseases, the field of medicine requires specialized training. An M.D. will pave the path for students who want to build their careers as surgeons, physicians, nurses, dentists, and many more. Medical schools in the U.S. that offer the degree program are accredited to award a medical degree.
Most M.D. programs take four years to complete. It is usually made up of academic coursework and clinical training. Typically, the first two years in medical school is spent learning all about critical medical topics, such as medical laws and ethics, physiology, and anatomy.
The last two years, meanwhile, are devoted to medical practice. Medical students are trained through clinical rotations, usually supervised by doctors. This training period is an essential aspect of the course because this is when students are exposed to different areas of medical science, from surgery, pediatrics, and internal medicine to psychiatry, gynecology, and obstetrics.
Do I need to earn a Doctorate in Medicine to practice as a professional?
The short answer is yes. An M.D. is needed if one wants to be a medical doctor. Only those who hold a medical degree from an accredited school are allowed to practice Medicine. This degree is also the foundation of other specialized doctors, whether one wants to be surgeons, cardiologists, oncologists, or gastroenterologists, among many others.
Earning a medical degree is not easy. It pays to seriously consider the responsibilities of doctors. Doctors are required to undergo rigorous learning and training before they can obtain their license and practice medicine.
How do I complete an M.D. program?
An M.D. requires various steps before admission. Firstly, aspiring medical students must complete a bachelor’s degree, usually in a science major. Some students take up biology and chemistry, although no specific major is required. It helps to take up science-related courses, however, as this can quickly form the students’ foundational knowledge before learning the rigors of the program.
Aside from an excellent academic performance, those who apply for admission as a Doctor of Medicine student also need to pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a multiple-choice exam that involves critical thinking, problem-solving, scientific principles and writing.
Four years of medical school is spent in academic coursework, clinical training, and internships. After graduation, students are expected to complete a medical residency where they undergo on-the-job training while getting paid.
What does a Doctor of Medicine do?
Doctor of Medicine degree holders practice their years of learning and training in the real world by becoming physicians, surgeons, and medical specialization. Doctors are known to have strong medical skills, dexterity to perform procedures, stamina to make rounds, solve problems, attention to detail, and interpersonal skills.
They are responsible for diagnosing and treating diseases through the aid of medication, surgical procedures, and therapy. They usually diagnose the condition by analyzing signs and symptoms. Medical doctors create a care plan for their patients that can produce the best results and quickest recovery.
What salary range can I expect with my Doctorate in Medicine degree?
Medical doctors can expect a high income compared to other professions. For physicians and surgeons, the mean annual salary is around $197,000 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Highly specialized doctors can earn more than $200,000 per year. Ultimately, the salary varies based on the field that one specializes in.
What schools offer online and traditional Doctor of Medicine programs?
So far, a Doctor of Medicine degree program is not yet available online. However, there is a myriad of universities in the U.S. that offer the program on-campus. Some of the best medical schools include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California–San Francisco.
Becoming a doctor is a serious undertaking that requires perseverance, patience, and lots of hard work. It can take a decade or more of studying and training, from a four-year bachelor’s degree to another four years of medical school, clinical practice, residency, and licensure exam. It is vital for students who wish to become medical doctors to be prepared for the toughness of medical school and beyond.