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Physicians treat and prevent human illness, disease and injury. There are two types of physicians: the M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) and the D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). The practice of medicine includes disease prevention and health education, and the use of accepted methods of medical treatment, including pharmaceutical agents and surgical procedures.


Medical schools are graduate-level programs and are 4 years in length. Upon completion, graduates of allopathic institutions are awarded the M.D. degree and graduates of osteopathic institutions are awarded the D.O. degree.

Additional graduate medical education is required to practice as a M.D. or D.O. physician and may range from 3-7 years after graduating from medical school, depending on the specialty selected and residency program. Successful completion of all national licensing and national board examinations are also required to practice.

Application guide iconApplication Guide

Learn more about the admission criteria for most medical schools.

Med school iconMichigan Medical School Prerequisites

View course requirements for Michigan medical programs.

additional resources iconAdditional Resources

Explore this profession further by accessing links to national associations, career profiles, and student resources.