What are the requirements for Medical School?
This is a question that I get asked by so many relatives and friends. I’m so sure that you have been asked this question at least once along your premed journey. So today, I’ve decided to dig a little deeper into it and share some information that may be beneficial to someone out there.
The most important requirement for medical school acceptance is strong academic performance. Some programs even suggest premed students to prioritize their academic study and re-frame from getting overly distracted by extracurricular activities.
The following courses are mandatory prerequisite courses needed to get into medical school:
1 semester = 4 credits| 1 year = 2 semesters
- Biology – One year with lab experience (should include cellular and molecular aspects)
- General Chemistry- One year of general chemistry
- Organic Chemistry- One year of organic chemistry
- Biochemistry- One year with lab experience
- Physics- One year with lab experience
- Math- One year including one semester each of calculus and statistics
- Writing ( One year of English)
** Psychology and Sociology| One semester ( subject to certain MD programs)
Now, before we go any further I want to add in another question that I’ve came across a few times on social media “Will it look bad if I was to take most or all of my required courses at a community college rather than a University?
In my opinion, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Price wise, you’d certainly come out cheaper taking courses at a community college. My only worry is that the admissions committee at the applicants prospective schools may feel as if he or she took the easy way out because classes at community colleges aren’t as rigorous as they are at universities.
It is essential to stay on top of what undergraduate courses are mandatory for admission into the schools of your choice. This information can be found on the program’s website and also in the Medical School Admission Requirements online database also known as MSAR , a resource provided by the AAMC .
As a premed student, you should choose a college major that you are enthusiastic about and can perform well in. One of the biggest myths that I’ve heard in regards to medical school requirements and acceptance was that one NEEDS to major in Biology as a premed to get into medical school. This is not true. You can actually major in anything you’d like as long as you complete all of the needed prerequisite courses. I know of medical students who have majored in Psychology, Finance, Art, History, and even Neuroscience.Choosing a major that you really love and are passionate about is probably one of the best things that you can do.
Aside from everything that I have just covered, there is still something needed…… The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
I know that many of you reading this may skip over this part because it’s material that you are familiar with and that is totally fine. However, this may be very beneficial to individuals who are new into their premed journey.
All aspiring physicians are required to take the MCAT. The MCAT was developed and is also administered by the AAMC. It is a standardized, multiple choice exam that was created to help medical school admissions personnel assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. The MCAT is 7 hours and 30 minutes long including breaks. Talk about time management, now that my friend is a course that should be required for medical school entry.
The MCAT contains integrated sections, which means that subjects are not tested independently, but include overlapping areas of concentration, which is how we’ll encounter curriculum in medical school. This content is broken down into four test sections that compose the exam:
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Each of these four sections of the MCAT is scored from 118-132, with the mean and median at 125. This means that the total score ranges from 472-528, with the mean and median at 500.
Now that we have covered some of the basics about medical school preparation, I want you all to reflect on where you are in the process and what you have completed and/or what you may be missing and work on that. In part 2 of this post, I’ll discuss letters or recommendation, volunteer work, clinical research and shadowing
Until next week guys,
Show up, show out, and kill shit !