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What are the 3 Easiest Doctors to Become?

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While easy is a relative term, some academic programs to become a doctor have fewer requirements than others and therefore require less time and work.

Becoming a doctor in the United States takes 11-14 years: 4 years earning a bachelor's degree, 4 years of medical school, and 3- to 7-year residency program. Some specializations are also more competitive and difficult to get into.

We've looked into the following criteria for different specialties to determine ​which specialties are the​ ​least competitive and have the shortest residency terms​.


We've included the average USMLE Step 1 scores of these specialties, which is an exam used to assess foundational knowledge of med school students. We used data from this 2019-2020 report.

Below, we've compiled a list of the 3 kinds of doctors that are the easiest to become:

1. Family Doctor/GP

Average Step 1 Score: 215.5

Residency length: 3 years

A family, or general practice, doctor is provides accessible health care for people of all ages and backgrounds. They care for patients from when they are born to the end of their life, providing preventative care and counseling, care of illnesses, and management of chronic diseases, among many other things.

2. Pediatrician

Average Step 1 Score: 225.4

Residency length: 3 years

A pediatrician is a general practice doctor for infants, children and adolescents, ages 0 to 17. Pediatric care includes preventive health care to the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Pediatricians have to understand the factors that affect the growth and development of children.

3. Internist

Average Step 1 Score: 230.4

Residency length: 3 years

Internal medicine focuses on adults and their health conditions. They provide comprehensive care to adults and often provide long-term care for their patients. They have a wide variety of responsibilities, from diagnosing and treating cancer to substance abuse and mental health care.

Becoming a doctor requires a lot of work in time, so it's important that you're passionate about the field, otherwise you'll burn out. Hopefully these will give you some ideas about which doctors have the least amount of residency and are the least competitive, to help you make an informed decision.


Shelley Marmor began writing professionally in 2003 for "The Seminole Tribune," the official newspaper of the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida. She has also had published articles in "The Central Florida Future" and on websites including HighBeam and She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.

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