Read? You also have to attend lectures at a medical school and do the practical assigned clinical rotations before writing USMLE Step 1 & 2.
Graduate from undergrad school (typically with a science or life science background, but I've seen people with humanities degrees - just have those prerequisites!)
Take MCATS (Medical School Admissions Test). Not all schools require MCATS
Apply for and be accepted into medical school.
Med School Year One - Preclinical. Lots of lectures, labs and exams, learning how to use it to perform physical exams, and practicing them often.
Med School Year Two - More preclinical. Similar to year one, but separated by domains (Cardio/GI/) as opposed to subjects (immunology/microbiology/etc.Prepare for Step 1.
USMLE Step 1 - United States Medical Licensing Examination, Step 1. This will test students on their ability to apply basic science concepts to the actual practice of medicine.
Med School Year Three - Clinical. Rotations (also called clerkships) throughout various major medical specialties (surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, etc). Learning takes place in a teaching hospital as opposed to lecture halls, and students shadow and assist doctors on a daily basis.
Med School Year Four - Clinical. Similar to year three. By now, students have figured out what type of medicine they want to practice. They complete their sub-internships, which are one to three months long. Students keep on top of schooling, study for the Step Two Test and apply to residency programs.
USMLE Step 2 - United States Medical Licensing Examination, Step 2. This will test students on their ability to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science, while under supervision. Huge part of how residency programs gauge applicants.
Residency Applications - Includes applying to residency programs all over the country. Travel to wherever interviews were given. Rank your programs.
Match Day - where residency programs rate their applicants and applicants rate the programs, and a big computer program matches it all together.
Graduation from medical school
Residency - "On the job training." This phase can last anywhere from three to six years. Residents, while they are officially doctors, are still learning. They are supervised by attending doctors and senior residents. The hours of residents are long and arduous - 80 hours a week on average (which means if you have days off during a week - you will make up those extra hours above and beyond your average 80).
USMLE Step 3. United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step 3. It tests how well med school grads can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine.
So, at the end of this, it takes at LEAST eleven years to become a doctor:
-four years of undergrad
-four years of med school
-three years of residency.
And don't forget about staying board certified! That means studying for tests to stay up-to-date every 7-10 years.