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Pre-Medical Studies - Advice
What's the Best University Major?
Any major is technically fine, but remember the core requirements for medical schools. After you take the core courses, you are well on your way to either a chemistry, biology, or a physics major.
The earlier you take these courses, the better you will be able to decide on a college major. Most students will either major in chemistry or biology. In order to keep your options open, you probably would want to take both chemistry and biology your freshman year. Click here for suggestions.
What special courses will be helpful to me?
Above and beyond the core requirements of the medical schools, several college classes will be helpful to you. These will be helpful in two ways. First, they will help build your knowledge base and reasoning ability. This will be useful for the MCAT (remember that the life science portion is about 1/3 organic chemistry, 1/3 physiology, and 1/3 genetics). Secondly, they will potentially "lighten the load" of your first year of medical school, allowing you to spend more time on areas that are new to you.
The following courses are suggested. Please double check these recommendations with outside sources.
- Animal Physiology
- Vertebrate Zoology or Human A&P I (Bio 281)
- Cell Biology or Immunology or Bacteriology
- Calculus I & II
Most medical schools expect their applicants to have worked or volunteered in some health related service. Some work with the rescue squad while some volunteer in the hospital or nursing home. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you document your time. The medical school may ask for this documentation and ask you for references.
Even if your medical work experience was volunteer work, you must be able to document your additional hours of community service. Some students work for habitat for humanity, while others work in soup kitchens or for some other volunteer organization. Keep you hours and references handy during your application process.