Emergency physicians are the ones who deal primarily with trauma so I'll explain the path to becoming an ER doc.
First, you'll need four years of undergraduate education at a college or university.
Second, you'll need four years of medical school to achieve an MD.
Upon completing medical school, you'll need to enter an ER residency, which typically lasts 3 years. A lot of people don't understand what this means, so I'll try to explain. A medical resident is a "doctor" with an M.D. However, they're not yet Board Certified in their field. Technically, you'll be working as a doctor, seeing patients, and helping with traumas. However, your hours will be long (~60 per week) and you'll only make about 50,000/year at best. This is a lot of money for most people, but not a lot for someone with 8 years of higher education and likely a lot of student loans. Additionally, you're not terribly autonomous as a resident, and constantly answer to "attending" physicians. This is all part of the training process. After three years of residency, you're a full-fledged doctor and can begin to practice.
ER physicians certainly are not the highest paid doctors; however, they make a pretty good living. I think the average is around 200,000/year. However, this varies greatly depending on the setting you work in.
If you really want to specialize in TRAUMA you're going to want to get a residency at a hospital that sees a lot of trauma. In many hospitals, the ER doesn't handle "emergencies" very often. A lot of people come in with minor injuries, the flu, dehydration, etc. An example of a true TRAUMA center is Boston Medical Center, which is affiliated with Boston University. Hospitals like this one actually see a lot of gun-shot wounds, car accidents, severe injuries, etc. This is something you'll research when you're getting ready to apply to residency.
It's a long road to become a doctor, but your hard work will pay off. Good luck!
I'm a medical student and have hospital experience in medical education.
· 1 decade ago