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Physician Track Training
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Physician Training Track

Undergraduate Education: 
 
4 years’ education at a college or university, graduating with a BS or BA degree.

Medical School:
 
4 years’ education at an accredited US medical school.
Upon completion of medical school the physician has earned a MD (medical degree) or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine).

Residency program (graduate medical education):
 
Once obtaining a MD or a DO degree, a physician begins a residency program for three to seven years (or more) and train under the supervision of physician preceptors. 
 
Residency training length varies depending on the chosen specialty.

Chief Resident:
 
A Chief Resident is a senior resident appointed by the Program Director to supervise junior residents, develop rotation schedules, and perform other administrative duties as assigned by the Program Director. This is one additional, optional year of training.

Fellowship:
 
A physician who wants to practice in a specialty area such as cardiovascular diseases, nephrology, etc. will complete a fellowship).
 
1 – 3 years (minimum) of additional training in a subspecialty

Board Certification:

  1. Is voluntary in the United States.
  2. Most hospitals and insurance companies require it.
  3. Most specialty boards require that a physician have an unrestricted medical license to be able to take the certification examination.
  4. Some boards require that a physician has a specific period of experience in full-time practice in the specialty prior to sitting for the certification examination, following training (or a certain number of surgical cases for certain surgical specialties).
  5. Each physician must pass a written examination given by the specialty board.
  6. Board Certification certificates are usually issued for 6 – 10 years, and then the physician must recertify. This involves continuing medical education in the physician’s specialty,, review of credentials and further examination. (Each board has its own rules.)
  7. Fifteen of the 24 specialty boards also require an oral examination.
  8. A Physician who passes the certification exams is then designated as a Diplomate.
  9. There are 36 general medical specialties and an additional 88 subspecialty fields in which a physician can become certified.
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