Do apprenticeship programs for MDs exist in the U.S.?
January 19, 2010 10:22 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to become a board-certified physician in the U.S. through an apprentice program?

Over the weekend I met a neat lady who became a lawyer through Vermont's apprentice program, and she surprised me by telling me that there were any number of careers in the U.S. that still use apprenticeship for certification, including becoming a physician (MD). I'm curious- does anyone know if this is true?
posted by arnicae to Education (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I suppose you could argue that an internship is an apprentice program.

But usually the term means a program whereby someone with no relevant knowledge and training learns on the job. I'm sure there's no such thing for doctors.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:04 PM on January 19, 2010

Yeah, she may have been referring to residency, which I suppose could be seen as a type of apprenticeship. Otherwise, it's not true; graduation from an accredited medical school is a requirement for licensure as a physician in the US. Here's an overview from the American Medical Association.
posted by purplemonkie at 5:38 AM on January 20, 2010

You must graduate from a medical school to obtain an M.D. degree; to become board certified you must complete an accredited residency program (which as stated above could be considered an apprenticeship) and then pass a board exam in that specialty. Much of the process is overseen by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education. So you can't just simply show up with medical degree in hand and follow someone around for a few years to become board certified. I wrote a more detailed description of medical education in this country here if you are interested.
posted by TedW at 6:01 AM on January 20, 2010

In a couple of states -- Virginia for sure -- you can still become a lawyer by apprenticeship. You still have to pass the bar, however, and the apprenticeship program has tended not to have very high bar pass rates. (But it's very small and I imagine mostly done right now by people who don't get into their preferred law schools.)

I'd be scared to see a doctor who became a doctor without going to med school, though!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 AM on January 20, 2010

The IL dept of professional regulation has the forms there for all the ways to obtain a license to practice in the state. None of them vaguely resemble apprenticeship in that they all include formal education.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:09 AM on January 20, 2010

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