Undergraduate medical school takes 4 years to complete, but a student must take 4 years of regular undergraduate education first. The total time it takes to complete both a bachelor's degree and an undergraduate medical degree is 8 years.
Students who want to become doctors must follow up their medical education with a residency program that provides additional training. This program can take anywhere from 3 to 7 years, depending upon the area of medicine the student studies.
Students who desire to become highly specialized doctors must complete a 1- to 3-year fellowship following their residency program. The overall length of a medical education can be anywhere from 12 to 18 years before starting an independent practice.