Premed Coursework Whys and Hows
You have probably learned that you cannot apply to a medical school right after the completion of high school. You need to go to college and earn a bachelor degree before getting an opportunity to study medicine at one of the US or Canadian universities accredited in the field. It’s not until you complete the undergraduate study that you can take a basic admission exam conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges and called MCAT.
So, to begin your career in medicine, you are required to get either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. Though many students believe that they are obliged to obtain their major in Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences or Chemistry, they can actually you get their major in Humanities, while choosing a minor in natural sciences. The main thing you need to do is take obligatory classes you are going to apply to. This is widely known as undergraduate premed coursework – a special course that prepares medical school applicants.
These programs are available in many colleges and universities, and you can avail of them even if you choose to get an education in natural sciences. However, for students taking humanities courses, coursework in pre-med is a must. Why? Because otherwise, they won’t be able to receive the required knowledge, skills, and credit hours necessary for applying to medical schools. These specifically developed programs will allow you to get prepared for your future career in medicine, regardless of your major in an undergraduate school.
So, what is coursework for premed? Though in different colleges the range and duration of courses may vary, generally the programs include:
- Inorganic Chemistry (with labs)
- Organic Chemistry (with labs)
- Cell Biology
- Human Anatomy
- Human Physiology
- Molecular Biology
- Biology Labs (genetic, molecular, cellular processes lab, investigative lab)
- Genetics, Evolution, and Development
- Statistical Methods
- General Physics
- Principles of Physics
- English or Comparative Literature
Usually, premed coursework offers a wide range of classes that depend on the requirements of the medical school you are going to apply to. So, the right approach for undergraduates would be to choose a school and check what its specific requirements are so that they can plan their curriculum in advance. However, you should keep in mind that the more courses you take, the more stressed out you get, since you will be assigned tons of essays, labs, and research papers during your premed study, not to mention your further med school coursework. Thus, you need to be really scrupulous about choosing what and where to study on the path to earning a degree in medicine.
Medical School Coursework – Real Life Experience
While attending classes and performing your home tasks, don’t forget about one important thing – any medical school coursework implies that sooner or later you will have to face actual patients in hospitals. But you should gain this first-hand experience even before getting into a medical school since availability or lack of medical practice is an essential factor in your admission process. Some colleges offer this necessary on-hand experience as part of their programme in the general course of preparing med students, but you are encouraged to find other opportunities.
Medical School Coursework Requirements Collected
Now, let’s review our list of medical school coursework requirements you need to meet on your path to a medical degree:
- Get a bachelor degree in Science or Arts and score a sufficient number of credit hours in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, English, and Social sciences;
- Find a way to obtain the first-hand experience;
- Undergo MCAT testing.
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