A Comparison of the Different Paths to becoming a Doctor in Africa, North America and Asia
A doctor or a physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, the science and art of healing.
The doctor’s profession encompasses promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments.
They may opt to become general practitioners that focus on the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families and communities but they can also opt to become specialist medical practitioners who focus on specialist medical practitioners.
A medicine course may vary on its curriculum depending on many factors including the region, field of specialization, target degrees, however, the common element being shared by physicians is the oath of the ethics of medicine require that physicians show consideration, compassion and benevolence for their patients.
How to Become a Doctor in Africa
In Africa, Medical education takes a 6-year curriculum for undergraduate students proceeding from secondary education. However, some regions offer a graduate entry medical program to admit students with mainly science related degrees into a four year medical school program. Normally, the first 3 years of medical school cover the basic medical sciences, while the last 3 years are focused on clinical sciences. Unlike most other countries that required a premedical 4-year degree, medicine in Africa only requires completion of the secondary degree.
Admission depends on the score of the applicant in his last 2 years of Secondary Schools or in his general average in his previous science related degree. At the end of the 6-year term, the student is granted a MB BCh, Bachelor of Medicine or Bachelor of Surgery. After graduating, there is a mandatory full-time internship that varies in terms from 1 year to 2 year to 3 year housemanships. The internship is required to be taken in University or Government Teaching hospitals accredited by the medical school. After which medical licensure as a General Practitioner (GP) is obtained. Then, more often than not, the doctor has to register with the regulating council or any regulating agency in whichever region he is desiring to practice his profession.
How to Become a Doctor in North America
Medical Education in North America can be the lengthiest and hardest among other countries that offer medical education. The medical students are required to:
- complete a premedical course, often one of the biological sciences, which would attain them a bachelor’s degree.
- This would qualify them for a four-year medical school.
- After completing the medical school, they take a residency of 2-4 years.
- Then, they take fellowship before they take the board certification and license.
- After such, they may pursue continuing medical education for any specialization that they prefer.
How to Become a Doctor in Asia
In Asia, a medicine course can take additional four years after a four year post secondary education, granting there is an accumulated set number of units in biology, chemistry, physics, and math, to ensure a foundation for a premedical background. Admission may require some national admission test depending on the region. The four year proper medical course that normally takes a curriculum on basic subjects that are taken up in the first and second years and clinical sciences that are studied in the second and third years. In the last year, students rotate in the various hospital departments, spending equal time for each in the fields of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics, and other specialties. After this, students graduate with a Doctorate in Medicine and apply for postgraduate internship in an accredited hospital of their choice. After post graduate internship, the student is eligible to take the Medical Licensure Examination, which when passed, confers the right to practice medicine as well as to apply in a Residency Training Program.
SCHOLARSHIP IMPLICATIONS SUMMARY
- So if you are searching for a medical scholarship in North America or Asia you are NOT searching at the undergraduate level.
- You must first obtain a four year bachelor degree in related field (sometimes called pre-med)
- If you have done that already then you are looking for a scholarship to Medical School.