How to Become a Doctor Later in Life

Updated June 07, 2017

Dreaming of becoming a doctor? Fulfilling this goal may take long hard hours of schooling and work. However, if the passion for saving lives and caring for the sick are motivating factors at heart, there's no reason to merely dream about becoming a doctor, make it a reality. Prove to others that it's not impossible as long as self-motivation and determination exist within the personality and aspiration of the dreamer.

Decide what kind of doctor occupation is personally desirable. Choosing a field of interest is important because long term commitment is necessary in order to achieve specialisation.

Go to college. Schooling is the most important part of receiving a doctorate degree. It normally takes 11 years to complete schooling for this career. A doctor's educational background typically is four years of college studying biology, math, chemistry, English and physics. After completion, move on to medical school for another four years and more fine tuning. High test scores are very important for the entrance exams.

Volunteer at a local hospital or clinic. While schooling, it is important to learn as much as possible and create a personal background image that expresses the dedication and the passion of the occupation. This method of preparation is very impressive to the application reviewers and sometimes necessary, as it builds real life skills doctors needed to fulfil administrative duties, not taught in medical school.

Obtain a training position at a hospital for 3 to 8 years. Requirements may vary depending on the medical specialty.Typically, prolonged training is necessary because a doctor is authorised to make important decisions in the lives of valuable people and the purpose of on the job training is to become a professional and then qualify for a permanent position.


Obtain as much knowledge as you can when volunteering. Employers of this position are more comfortable hiring a doctor that has experienced the medical environment rather than a person who has only learnt from books. The time and effort you put in to your career will be rewarding in the end.


The typical college student who slacks off and parties won't make it through this rigorous process. Stay motivated, know what you want to specialise in, and learn as much as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • College
  • Working Experience
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About the Author

Jesse Randall studied mathematics and physics and works as an embedded electronics engineer, developing microcontroller firmware and digital interfaces. He writes about subjects including abiogenesis, electrochemistry and algorithm optimization. He has been writing on technology-related subjects since 2000.