Are both the following sentences usual? Do they mean the same or does the first one imply a great effort? Example:
- Él se hizo doctor.
- Él se volvió doctor.
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The answer is no. Those sentences are not usual. Professions involving a course of study will not take verbs like "hacerse" or "volverse". The usual verbs are "llegar a ser" or "recibirse/graduarse de/como":
Occasionaly, "convertirse" can be used. This will suggest a process, a transformation, perhaps similar to "llegar a ser":
"hacerse" can be used to indicate a secondary or auxiliary process, not dependent on education but on experience:
"volverse" will only be used with adjectives or with nouns denoting a quality: