*An advanced degree is required to become a physician.
Physicians and Physician Assistants (PAs) prevent, diagnose and treat disorders, diseases and injuries, while Surgeons treat injuries, diseases, and deformities through operations. Most Physicians and PAs work in primary care, which includes internal medicine, general and family practice, and pediatrics. Medical specialties are varied, but the most common are allergy, cardiology (heart), dermatology (skin), gastroenterology (digestive system), ophthalmology (eye), pathology (body tissue), and radiology (x-rays and radiation).
There are two types of Physicians, with similar degrees: M.D. (Medical Doctor) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Both use the same methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, but D.O.s place additional emphasis on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic (whole-person) patient care. D.O.s are most likely to be primary care physicians, although they can be found in all specialties.
The path to a career in Medicine can begin at Marshalltown Community College, where you can earn a two-year Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree. Several MCC graduates are Physicians and PAs, and some of our recent graduates are currently in medical school.
MCC’s Transferable Associate of Arts (AA) degree
Marshalltown Community College offers a 64-credit Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree. The AA degree transfers to Iowa’s Regent universities as well as the majority of private colleges and universities in the Midwest and beyond. The link under Degrees Awarded (below) specifies the program course requirements and electives.
Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa
MCC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable MCC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the Iowa Regent universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at MCC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the MCC Admissions Office for more information!
Other MCC Advantages
- Smaller class sizes with opportunities to know and network with professors on a personal level
- MCC graduates have the lowest total debt on graduation of any Iowa community college
- Generous Financial Aid and Scholarship opportunities
Medical Careers & Job Outlook
Admission to a medical school is competitive and requires a bachelor’s degree in science. Almost all Physicians complete at least four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and (depending on their specialty) three to eight years in internship and residency programs.
Pre-Medical students should review the requirements for each college to which they wish to apply. Each medical program has slightly different requirements, but generally the courses in MCC’s Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree are required by all colleges.
- Association of American Medical Colleges
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
- American Medical Student Association
- American Dental Association
- American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
The growing and aging population in the United States is expected to drive overall growth in the demand for medical services. As the older population grows and rates of chronic illnesses increase, consumers will seek high levels of care that use the latest technologies, diagnostic tests, and therapies.
Specifically, employment of Physicians and Surgeons is expected to grow 13% through 2026, faster than average for all occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the 2017 median pay for Physicians and Surgeons with a doctoral/professional degree was greater than $208,000 per year ($100 per hour).
You can find additional up-to-date information on the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook website: