How Long Is Medical School (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-5 Years

A medical school is a higher education institution, or part of it, where medicine is taught and professional degrees of doctors and surgeons are obtained. Such medical degrees include Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS, MBChB, MBBCh, BMBS), Master of Medicine (MM, MMed), Doctor of Medicine (MD), or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

Many medical schools offer additional degrees such as Ph.D., M.Sc, or other post-secondary education. Medical schools may also conduct medical research and operate university hospitals. Across the world, the criteria, structure, teaching methods, and nature of medical programs offered in medical schools vary considerably.

How Long Is Medical School


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How Long Is Medical School?

The structure of an allopathy or chiropractic program, while very similar across different medical schools, is radically different from undergraduate programs. In general, medical school is divided into two main components: the preclinical part and the clinical part (alternating). Each of these lasts two years, although there may be slight differences from school to school.

The preclinical unit focuses primarily on science and clinical skills, and although most are delivered through didactic lectures, some schools use a problem-based approach (PBL) or organize courses based on body systems instead of subjects. This requirement of a medical school is similar to taking higher-level courses in an undergraduate program, albeit at a faster pace.

At the end of their second year (M2), medical students take Step 1 of the USMLE, arguably the most important exam in their medical education (yes, even more so than the MCAT!). It is used by residency committees to evaluate applicants, which means it has a huge impact on the type of medical specialty that people can apply for later.

During the third (M3) and fourth (M4) years, you will be changing doctors, which means that a person will spend several weeks in a row at a hospital or other clinical facility seeing and studying with the doctors there. M3 includes core rotation near and within your school, giving people a solid foundation in the most popular areas to pursue a medical career.

M4 is very similar, but you have more freedom in choosing the field a person wants to pursue. A person will also have the opportunity to go to other institutions to “audit” their residency programs. However, people are still required to study and pass USMLE Step 2 before moving to residency.

Medical School
Medical schoolsTime taken
The USA4 years
India5 years

Why Is Medical School So Long?

It includes two years of classroom training and two years of patient-centered clinical training. Many concepts are repeated in the preclinical years, he writes, and the time spent in elective clinical studies in the fourth year can be focused on the area of ​​interest. This could reduce medical training from an average of 14 years after high school graduation in the United States to 10 years required in other developed countries.

This also calls for a reassessment of the role of academic research in medical education. A study he conducted found that the most common reason medical students take a year off to do research is to increase their chances of being placed in a residence of their choice. According to researches, this is a bad incentive for research: it delays the graduation of medical schools and leads to the appearance of many low-quality publications.

high-angle photography of group of people sitting at chairs

Medical training takes too long because it is gradual and responsibilities are added very gradually. People want to see as many variants of a problem as possible so that they can safely solve it on their own when the time comes. Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment, so it is important to see and do all that a person can before going out into the world without anyone.


The most obvious benefit of going to medical school is that upon graduation, people can become professional and licensed doctors, which is a very rewarding job. A person will be able to save lives and provide health services to others. Being a doctor is a rewarding career that pays well and opens many doors. The Path to the Doctor provides continuing education in the medical sciences.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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