How Becoming a Doctor Works

Medical Specialties

Here is a synopsis of different medical specialties and subspecialties and the length of their training programs (internship, residency, fellowship) after medical school:

  • Anesthesiology - four years
  • Dermatology - four years
  • Emergency medicine - three to four years
  • General surgery - five years; subspecialties of surgery require an additional one to four years after the five-year residency. They include: vascular surgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, pediatric surgery, and colon and rectal surgery. Some surgical specialties require one to two years of general surgery, then an additional three to five years of specialty training. They include: neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, and urology
  • Internal medicine - three years; subspecialties of Internal medicine require an additional 2-3 years after the three-year residency. They include: cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, hematology, oncology, infectious diseases, nephrology, pulmonary, rheumatology
  • Neurology - four years
  • Obstetrics and gynecology - four years
  • Pathology - four years
  • Pediatrics - three years; subspecialties of Pediatrics require and additional two to three years after the three-year residency. They include: pediatric cardiology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric infectious diseases, pediatric critical care, neonatology, pediatric nephrology, pediatric pulmonology, pediatric rheumatology
  • Psychiatry - four years
  • Radiology – four to five years; subspecialties of radiology require and additional one to two years after residency. They include: neuroradiology, vascular and interventional radiology, and pediatric radiology