What Exactly Is Pre-Med?
Pre-med is a declaration, not a major. It indicates that a student intends to attend medical school after graduating from college. It informs professors and advisors of this plan, allowing them to recommend appropriate courses to the student throughout his or her university career.
Prerequisites For Medicine
Before applying, students must fulfill several requirements, according to medical schools. Typically, pre-med students must satisfy the following conditions:
- a year of laboratory biology
- general chemistry with lab for one year
- one year of lab-based organic chemistry
- one semester or more of biochemistry
- one year of lab-based physics
- a demand for math (some schools require calculus, some statistics, some both)
- English for a year
The Best Pre-Med Majors
Students pursuing a pre-medical degree must declare an official major. Graduate programs seek students from diverse backgrounds to relate to a diverse range of patients, so any major is acceptable. However, given the requirements of medical school, it may be best to pursue a STEM major, preferably in the sciences.
Pre-med majors that are popular include:
- Biology is the most popular major among pre-med students. This degree's required courses are almost always applicable to medical school.
- Chemistry - Because pre-med students need a strong understanding of chemistry, this is another excellent option.
- Physics - For students interested in the technical side of medicine - neuroscience, medical imaging - physics can be extremely beneficial.
- Medicine requires a great deal of foundational math. Calculating dosage and maintaining good patient protocols, for example, become easier with strong math skills.
- Business - If you want to work in healthcare administration or management, this is an excellent major to complement your future medical career.
Pre-Med And The MCAT Examination
The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is the standard exam used by medical schools to determine whether or not to admit a candidate. Students take the MCAT in their senior year of high school or the summer before, so they should start practicing as early as junior year.
The majority of pre-med students are enrolled in classes that prepare them for the MCAT. Medical schools set their own minimum scores, so check the range for the programs you're interested in.
How to Ensure You Meet Pre-Medical Requirements
A pre-med or pre-health advisor can assist you in making the best course selection. These advisors are typically related to your major. If you are still unsure where to look, ask a career counselor or a professor, and they will point you in the right direction.
Keep in mind that most advisor-student relationships require more than one consultation. Plan to speak with them several times a year to ensure you're still on track and to make any necessary adjustments.
Many programs demand that students meet with their advisor a certain number of times by certain dates. Work with an advisor throughout your college career to assist you with this. They can assist you in selecting the appropriate courses and matching them to the Doctorate of Medicine (M.D.) or other programs that you are interested in.
Is It Possible To Attend Medical School If You Are Not A Pre-Med Student?
Yes, you can get into medical school without majoring in biology or chemistry. Typically, medical schools do not care if you registered as a pre-med student; they only require that their list of requirements be met.
Students who did not take the required undergraduate courses must make up the credits before applying to medical school. The traditional path is to reapply to college with postbaccalaureate status.
Post-baccalaureate programs typically last one to two years. Because you are not pursuing a full degree this time, your studies will end once you have completed all prerequisite courses. Some colleges have medical postbaccalaureate programs that make this simple, so check with local schools before deciding where to fulfill these requirements.
Pre-med is not just for students who want to be doctors. It prepares students to apply to medical school and other healthcare careers.
Students who want to practice any type of medicine, from surgery to optometry, pediatrics to geriatrics, must complete a variety of science, math, and liberal arts courses in college. A pre-med track can help them achieve this.
Pre-med students may be interested in becoming veterinarians because careers in veterinary medicine rely on many of the same scientific principles as human medicine. Vets require strong communication and management skills, which a pre-med major can help students develop. The same logic applies to students aspiring to be dentists.
Which Ivy League Schools or Equivalent Are The Best For Pre Med?
- Cornell University
Annual Tuition Fees at Cornell University: $47,000
When it comes to Ivy League pre-med programs, Cornell is unquestionably one of the most talked about and recommended. This is due to the school's high admission rate to medical schools. This means that Cornell is well prepared and equipped to provide students with the necessary preparation for medical school. They also have a program in place for those interested in pre-med from the time they are admitted to the university.
- University of Pennsylvania
Annual Tuition Fees at the University of Pennsylvania: $50,000
The University of Pennsylvania has a program called "Pre-Health" that will guide you through the process. They provide tailored courses and support based on your interest in a medical career. This is beneficial and can direct you to the appropriate schools and specializations. They will also assist you with your application. They take pride in being one of the best at providing premedical courses and programs.
- Harvard University
Annual Tuition at Harvard University: $52,000
Harvard University offers a highly adaptable premedical school program. They are also regarded as one of the top contenders for high placement in medical schools. The flexibility is implemented to accommodate part-time, working, and graduate students. Their program provides instruction and advice from people who are already teaching in medical school, as well as opportunities for sponsorship and placement based on a track record of success.
- Columbia University
Annual Tuition Fees at Columbia University: $54,000
Columbia University, like other colleges, informs pre-med students about the requirements for the medical schools they intend to attend in the future. Each country's requirements may also differ. Columbia University has information on how to create a pre-med curriculum that meets the MCAT's and most schools' minimum requirements. This and other programs are available on their official website.
- Stanford University
Annual Tuition at Stanford University: $58,000
Stanford University does not have a pre-med major. One must be aware of the requirements for the medical schools to which one aspires and plan his or her pre-med education accordingly. The good news is that Stanford has a large number of pre-med advisers who can assist students in carefully planning their path while at the university. There is also a pre-medical student organization that provides regular updates and information.
What Are Some Of The Best Schools For Pre Med?
- University of Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins has a solid reputation as a medical research institution and a medical school that it has maintained over the years. This directly implies that as a Johns Hopkins student, you will have access to a variety of clinical and research facilities.
The medical school at this university is also affiliated with a teaching hospital that is regarded as one of the best in the United States. Furthermore, International Medical Aid was founded at this same university and has grown into a stellar NGO that offers pre-med internships that provide a wealth of experience to anyone fortunate enough to join.
For their undergraduate pre-med students, Johns Hopkins University offers an advising program track. This, you should know, isn't a big deal. Their advising program track includes group meetings, personal appointments, and a variety of other programs that are specifically designed to help all those who want to be medical students succeed. Undergraduate pre-med students at this university can also build their resumes by participating in well-organized student organizations.
- The University of Duke
Duke is without a doubt one of the best universities in the country. Add in the fact that Duke has a robust pre-med program, and you have one of the best options any pre-med student could ask for.
As soon as you walk into Duke, you will be dragged into their pre-med advising program. This advising program is extremely well-organized, and you will appreciate their dedication. Aside from the fantastic program, you will also have the opportunity to enroll in programs for international travel, health-related studies, and hands-on research experiences.
One of the most impressive facts that makes Duke a serious contender is the rate at which their undergraduates are accepted to medical school. According to this campus, 70% to 80% of its students are accepted into medical school. This rate is nearly twice as high as the national average. The fact that Duke's medical school is ranked among the top 15 is one of the factors that has contributed to this impressive rate.
- Washington State University
The University of Washington is the best public medical school in terms of primary care and research. It basically distinguishes itself from every other public medical school in the country, and this list attests to that. As you may have noticed, all of the top-tier schools listed above are private. UW has broken that streak, and for a good reason. If you require a public medical school with extensive resources, the University of Washington is the place to be.
As a student at this fantastic university, you will have the opportunity to have your vocational and academic concerns addressed by advisors and pre-health career coaches.
Pre-med students at UW can also join a variety of student organizations. Among these organizations are the Student Health Consortium and Alpha Epsilon Delta. The groups available were formed with the sole purpose of assisting you in continuing your pre-med education outside of the confines of a classroom.
Currently, the University of Washington does not provide statistics on successfully accepted medical school applications from their pre-med students. However, the fact that it is regarded as one of the best medical universities speaks volumes about this institution.
- UNC Chapel Hill
UNC's reputation in most health fields is excellent. This despite the fact that it does not provide any statistics demonstrating that it tracks specifics regarding the acceptance rates of its pre-med students. However, based on their previous good reputation, it is safe to assume that the stats are quite high.
If you want to pursue a career in medical research, UNC's specialization tracks will help your medical school application stand out.
UNC also has a program called the Medical Education Development (MED) Summer Program, which lasts nine exciting weeks. This program can only be described as an exclusive program for gifted and hardworking students who have missed out on opportunities. Opportunities that would have allowed these bright students to pursue a successful career in medicine. If you want to be a doctor in the future but aren't yet prepared to attend pre-med school, this program could be a gold mine for you.
- Northwestern University
When it comes to research, Northwestern University is rated as one of the top 20 medical schools. You have the chance to investigate many clinical and research options at this university and create a career out of them. If you want to attend a university that is situated in a busy urban region, Streeterville, Chicago is a desirable option.
Sadly, we were unable to locate data on Northwestern's pre-med students' acceptance rates to medical schools. The medical schools that accepted its pre-med graduates over the last five years are listed by this university. Some of the medical schools on this list include Harvard and Columbia, two highly regarded institutions.
As a Northwestern pre-med student, you will have access to a wealth of resources. Many of their resources for pre-med advising are available on Northwestern's website. The advisors present are responsible for assisting students with any concerns they may have, such as course selection or medical school application concerns. You will also have the opportunity to schedule private meetings or simply drop in during appropriate hours to request assistance from the advisors.
- Yale University
Because Yale pre-med students receive so much support, over 90% of pre-med graduates go on to be accepted into medical schools.
Students at an Ivy League school who are pursuing pre-medical careers can benefit from the Health Professions Advisory Program. All four years of undergrad are filled with structured help, and junior and senior year help with med school applications is also provided.
The support structure for pre-med students at Yale additionally includes graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs).
The Hypertension Awareness and Prevention Program, or HAPPY, is one of Yale's many pre-health student organizations. This Yale student-healthcare provider collaboration is dedicated to providing regular hypertension screenings and connecting hypertensive patients with affordable care. It's yet another way Yale and its local health care community are removing barriers to follow-up care in medically underserved communities.