Develop the skills necessary to enter the field of medicine.
Biology Majors seeking admission to medical or other health professional schools should seek out one of the department’s pre-medical advisors to discuss their goals and to plan a schedule of courses to meet their needs:
The following is mostly based on information from Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). It applies to American medical schools offering the M.D. degree, to osteopathic medical schools (D.O. degree) and to podiatric medicine. For requirements of specific medical schools, see Medical School Admission Requirements, US and Canada (R745.A8) in the reference section of the SOU library.
Meeting specific academic and non-academic requirements is essential to admission to medical school:
No particular major is preferred. Pre-medicine is not a major; rather, it is a collection of courses that fulfill admission requirements to most medical schools. A Bachelor’s degree is required and an academic major must be selected.
Biology and chemistry are the most common majors; others include anthropology, education, math, philosophy, psychology. In terms of acceptance, no major has a selective advantage over another.
We recommend that students select a major that they enjoy, can do well in and would want for a career as an alternative to medical school. Selection of a major should be discussed with a pre-medical advisor and chosen by the sophomore year.
Average GPA of entering medical students is 3.62 at OHSU for the class of 2015.
Two academic years of chemistry (with lab) to include:
One academic year of Biology:
Humanities, Social Sciences, and English
One academic year of each including:
Note: All required pre-med courses must be taken for a letter grade; pass/no pass options are not acceptable. All required courses must be completed by the time of application to medical school.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Health Care Experience, Community Service, Extracurricular Activities, Research
Letters of Recommendation
Create a strong package to show academic and non-academic ability. Include the Pre-med committee letter plus 3-4 well-chosen letters that address different aspects of your nonacademic life such as health care experience, work in health care setting, volunteer work, extracurricular activities or employment. Discuss the letter choices with an advisor.
You may have letters sent to your pre-med advisor to include in a packet to send to medical schools along with the committee letter.
We recommend the following letters:
Personal Statement and Interview
You must apply to other medical schools. Otherwise, it looks like you are not serious (because the odds are so tough). If no interviews from other schools, what’s wrong? Did applicant choose the wrong schools or is there a flaw in the application?
If rejected, apply a 2nd or 3rd time. You must improve the application to get an interview. Become more competitive. In your secondary application, state what you have done to improve the application. If given advice about changes, take the advice.
An excellent academic record will get your application considered by a medical admissions committee, but you will not likely be accepted without showing a number of non-academic qualifications as well, particularly having a significant amount of time spent in a health care setting. The following are some tips that pre-medical students need to consider well before actually applying to medical school, to ensure that you have the appropriate level of non-academic qualifications to be competitive.
Admissions committees are looking for something that sets you apart:
It is reasonable to take a year or two after college to get health care experience. Get away from the safety of the academic environment; don’t hang out in college just waiting
The average age of entrants 26
In the year in which you apply (about 15 months before the expected start of medical school), download applications from the American Medical School Application Service (AMCAS) website and from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS).