The first step that all aspiring physicians must complete in order to get into medical school is to take premedical courses during their undergraduate education. Premedical courses include biology, physics, inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry. These courses prepare students for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), which is generally required by all medical schools in the United States. Premedical students should also participate in extracurricular activities, such as volunteering at a hospital or clinic, shadowing a physician and gaining leadership experience. Balancing a challenging schedule can show medical school admissions officers that a student is ready to handle the demands of a career in medicine.
The next step is to graduate from medical school. Medical school generally consists of two years of classroom education in the sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology and pathology, followed by two years of clinical rotations where students learn how to diagnose and treat illness in a number of different specialties. Upon graduation, students should have passed the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in order to be licensed to practice medicine.