Higher medical education in the USA has its own peculiarities. Today, the future doctor must pass successfully through eight to thirteen or more years of the most intensive study before setting up his practice. First, he must spend three to four years of premedical training at a university. Here he learns the basic sciences. Only top level students in premedical studies can become candidates for medical school. The medical curriculum is arduous and the cost of studies is very expensive amounting to one thousand dollars each year. During the first two years of the four-year medical school curriculum, the student must master the laboratory sciences. To learn the structure of the human body he studies anatomy. Thorough training is given in the subject of biological chemistry, which is the basis for clinical laboratory diagnosis and medical therapeutics. The functions of the body are learned in classes of physiology. The student must have a knowledge of psychology to be able to deal with people. In his pathology classes the student learns about diseases and diseased tissues. In bacteriology classes, the causes of the infectious diseases are made clear to him. Studying pharmacology, he learns about drugs. In his third and fourth years, the student receives instruction and practical experience in the care of patients. The students study anesthesiology, dermatology, endocrinology, legal medicine, neurology, obstetrics, gynecology, radiology, surgery, psychiatry, ophthalmotology, otolaryngology, preventive medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, proctology, and urology. During this time the students spend a considerable time in a hospital or acquaint themselves with many basic procedures and common disorders. Every medical school has a considerable number of different departments, each of which teaches one subject. After graduation from medical school, the student has the title of Doctor of Medicine. Then he has a year or two of internship in a hospital. During this period, the intern usually lives at the hospital and receives pay.
While caring for the hospital’s patients, he should develop more skills and knowledge. After internship is completed the intern passes a thorough examination and he is allowed to practice medicine within the state. The new physician may continue his studies in his chosen specialty which last for three to five years under the guidance of capable and experienced men. On completion of his training he may take an examination, thus he improves his skill in the chosen field. Postgraduate medical courses are offered by medical schools and hospitals to physicians abreast of new developments.
The doctor is always a student and is always improving.
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