The Pathway Project

A Student Resource by

The journey of a
medical professional

Medicine is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and enticing career fields. However, students are often intimidated by the high standards of achievement and competitive nature. Fear not – the PuMP team has compiled the important information to help you understand what the typical path to the medical field looks like! In this resource, we will explore the journey to becoming a health professional that everyone is familiar with – a physician (or doctor). This is an umbrella term for the many doctors that work directly with patients in diagnosing and treating disease, while also helping them maintain good well-being. 

Keep in mind – the healthcare industry includes an extremely wide variety of career options; not all of them go through medical school. Near the end of this resource, take a look at our careers and beyond section. It gives examples of the various professions that require a M.D degree from medical school and also ones that don’t.

How to use this resource





First, visit the pathway timeline to see a summary of each of the phases that a student goes through en route to becoming a medical professional. Then, proceed to read each core article for more details about the activities, opportunities and learning at each stage. Some sections have extra topics that can be explored by clicking links to extension pages.

Let’s get started!

All high-definition stock images are courtesy of

The Timeline