Physician Education and Scholarship Center

Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate Education: You must earn a BS or BA degree from a college or university. Some of the disciplines possess a strong emphasis on basic sciences, such as biology, chemistry, bio-chemistry, physiology, microbiology, genetics, neuroscience, public health, molecular biology.

Applying to medical school is very competitive and only the students with best qualifications typically get accepted. Applying to medical schools in the United States requires that certain criteria are met. These requirements include having an undergraduate degree, a high GPA, and taking the MCAT.  

Courses that must be taken while in undergraduate school include a minimum of 1 year in the following:

General Biology

Physics with laboratory exposure

Chemistry (organic chemistry) with laboratory exposure

English

Calculus

Other courses may include Sociology and Psychology.

NOTE: Different medical schools have specific course requirements for students to fulfill to be eligible to apply.

If you already have an undergraduate degree and you do not meet these requirements you can enroll in programs that will enable you take these courses.

Next is your Grade Point Average (GPA). This is also important while in school as you only have one shot at this. You want to take your classes seriously from the beginning so that by the time you are graduating you have a high GPA. The average GPA of students applying to medical school in the United States is 3.5, hence you want to aim for at least that average so that you have a very good chance of being accepted. However, if you do not have a high GPA, you can enroll in a graduate program with the goal of obtaining a higher GPA to help boost your application.

 Source: www.studentdoc.com

 

Finally there is the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) scores that are very important as they play a major role in determining if you will get accepted into medical school.

The MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess the examinee's problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of science concepts and princinples. It includes questions on Verbal reasoning, Physical, and Biological sciences and is a prerequisite to the study of medicine.

Source: www.aamc.org

If you plan on transitioning straight from undergraduate school to medical school without interruption the best time to take MCAT will be in your junior year of undergraduate school. While preparing for your MCAT, ensure you take preparatory tests to determine how ready you are for the real thing because you want to get a very high score preferably on your first try. The reason behind this is that, some medical schools may average your scores if you take the MCAT more than once and that may not go well in the application process for you if there are very many good applicants who have very high scores on their first attempt. Some of these MCAT Preparatory test sites include the Kaplan and Princeton Review.

There are 2 types of medical schools in the United States namely allopathic and osteopathic. The allopathic medical schools confer the MD degree to graduates while the osteopathic medical schools confer the DO degree.

The allopathic medical schools teach the use of pharmacological or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathological processes in the human body. Below is a link to a list of allopathic medical schools.

https://services.aamc.org/memberlistings/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.search&search_type=MS

 

The osteopathic medical schools teach on the manipulation of the musculoskeletal system to achieve health. A list of osteopathic medical schools can be found below:

http://www.aacom.org

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