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Preparing for Medical School

Preparing for medical school can be thought of as a jigsaw puzzle: there are many pieces that must be put together.  Some of these pieces include formal academic work, building a resume of appropriate service activities, and developing a professional attitude.
 

Academic Preparation

Strong academic preparation is an important part of getting to medical school and being successful once you are there.  Most U.S. medical schools require a minimum of 90 semester hours (3 years) at the undergraduate level with required coursework in the following sciences:

  • Biology (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
    Two semesters of general biology or zoology meet this requirement.
  • General Chemistry (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
    This requirement should include a two semester complete course in general or inorganic chemistry.
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
    This requirement should include a two semester complete course in organic chemistry.
  • Physics (with lab) 8-10 semester hours
    This requirement should include a two semester complete course in physics.
  • Calculus or Statistics 3 semester hours
    A one semester course in introductory calculus OR statistics will meet this requirement.
  • Biochemistry 3 semester hours
  • Genetics 3 semester hours 
     

Typically, medical schools require a minimum of three semester hours in english composition and 12-16 additional semester hours in humanities and/or social sciences. 

While most medical schools do not advertise a minimum required GPA, acceptance statistics suggest that a minimum of 3.5/4.0 is required. 

The required science and mathematics courses provide a necessary foundation on which to build your preparation for the MCAT.  The Pre-med Advisory Committee will encourage and suggest additional study for the MCAT.  Faculty are available to answer questions on practice tests throughout your time at Doane.  Medical schools do not advertise minimum required MCAT scores, but acceptance statistics suggest that a minimum score of 8 (out of 15) on each of the biological science, physical science, and verbal sections is required.

 

Service and Professional Activities

Medical schools want to see that you understand what being a medical doctor is all about.  This is achieved by doing a variety of shadowing and internship experiences with physicians and medical clinics throughout your undergraduate career.  The Doane Pre-Med Program will assist in finding appropriate experiences.

The ideal medical school candidate is a community-oriented person.  Regular volunteer work in both medical and non-medical environments is critical for demonstrating this quality.  Many such experiences are available through campus organizations and the Multicultural Services Office, which sponsors events such as alternative spring break.