Do you need a bachelor's degree to study to become a doctor in the US?

I have read something weird online. Is it true that in order to go to a medical university in the US/Canada you need to already have a bachelor's degree? Can you not go to study to become a doctor straight out of high school?? What if you are already a nurse...would you still need a non-medical bachelor's degree to apply???

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  • MS
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    In almost all cases you need a bachelor's degree to apply to medical school in the US.  Some medical schools will consider exceptional candidates who have not yet completed the bachelor's degree but who have completed all necessary prerequisite courses and have excelled in them.  

    The training of nurses and doctors is very different.  A nurse gets very little of the same knowledge and training as what one gets in medical school.  So even nurses have to start medical school from the beginning - after they make sure they have the necessary prerequisite courses to apply for medical school, which are also not typically part of a nurse's training.

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    • MS
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      You can have a bachelors degree in anything, but you must take those necessary courses. So most get a degree in an area that will already require those courses. 

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  • fcas80
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Most med school students have a 4 year degree with a major in bio or chem.  How likely will a med school admit you without those courses?

    • Iam1 month agoReport

      I don't know, that is why I am asking. In Russia you go to university to study medicine straight out of highschool, and all the necessary courses you get there.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

     What the others have said is, for the most part, true.  However,  there are some medical programs in the US that are offered to students straight out of high school. These programs combine the BS and Medical degrees in one program and are typically seven year programs.

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    • Iam1 month agoReport

      Oh, so the government regulates the final exam? Is that only on the case of doctors? Do engineers, microbiologists, lawyers et cetera too get a standard exam? 

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  • 1 month ago

    For US, Canada, Australia, etc. medical school  is a 4-year professional graduate school requiring a minimum of a bachelor's degree to apply for admission. Canada generally does not admit foreign students to med school. For US, few med schools consider foreign applicants. Those which do require proof of sufficient funds for all 4 years of school + living expenses (currently USD500,000 & up). They are NOT going to consider anyone who doesn't have enough money & might have to drop out - it wastes space for someone who could use it & complete the program.

    You MUST earn your bachelor's degree in the country where you intend to go to med school, completing all prerequisite courses for admission to med school, and earning suitable scores on med school admission tests (e.g. MCAT for US, expect to need scores above 95th percentile to have much chance of acceptance). 

    Those who hold a BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) degree often do not meet all prerequisite courses for admission to med school. They would have to return to school to complete requirements. Of course, your undergraduate degree must be earned in the country where you want to go to med school. 

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  • 1 month ago

    In the U.S., medical school is graduate school. You need a bachelor's degree to attend.

    • Iam1 month agoReport

      What is the backstory to this phenomenon? It seems pretty strange to me as a foreigner. Why are there no straight-from-highschool medical programs. You learn medicine in medical school from scratch anyway, right?

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  • drip
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You need a four year Bachelor degree -have taken medical school prerequisite classes and take the MCAT exam to apply to medical school.

    In the US you can be a nurse with a two year Associate degree program.  They would need to go back to school to earn a Bachelor degree.

    You can also do a four year program at a university and earn your Bachelor degree.  As long as they have taken all medical prerequisite classes they would not need further education.

    Medical school in the US is very competitive.  You would need a very high GPA from your undergrad studies and a high score in the MCAT exam for a chance at being accepted.  There is some tough competition.  Most nurses do not continue on to Medical school. They also have the option of a Masters degree in nursing.

    Medical school is four years, then you have do to your residency at a hospital.

    Law school also requires a Bachelor degree and LSAT exam to apply. Law school is three years.

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