It takes several numbers of years to become a doctor. During the entire journey, you would probably hear three terms as “resident,” “intern,” or “attending physician.” These terms are used for such persons who are considered as a doctor as they have completed their graduation degree, but they do not complete their medical training period. 

Here in this article, we will study the difference between these three terms. The effective study techniques will help you determine their experience level and how they can help you.

Medical school

To become a doctor, a student must complete a bachelor’s degree in the medical stream. It includes four years of medical school in which the first two years mostly comprised of classroom work, learning about basic body functions, anatomy, and diseases. However, the second half includes practicing clinical hands-on patient work either in an academic medical center or in a teaching hospital.

Residency program

Once you complete medical school, the next step is to apply for the residency program. In the first year, it is known by the term internship. During the residency program, interns also get a stipend for their services or work with patients. In order to become a licensed specialist, a person needs to spend many more years of study, depending upon the specialty they choose. Some highly specialized programs such as pediatric cardiology or endocrinology require more training years known as fellowship.

Attending physician

After completing his fellowship or residency training, a person can be considered as an attending physician. He or she may practice medicine on his own by inaugurating his clinic. Such attending physician can also apply to become board certified as he has completed his education degree and gain certain forms of experience during the training period.


These are the steps a person goes through during their journey to become a doctor. I hope these effective study techniques will help you.