AAMC List Of Medical Schools

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Team College Learners

With the rapidly growing healthcare industry, the demand for doctors has increased which means students have more medical schools to choose from. This can be overwhelming since there are a lot of medical schools that you need to look into. With the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) recent listing of top medical schools in America, students now have a clearer picture of which school ranks highest among these elite institutions. Here is a list of some of these top-notch schools:

If you are interested in knowing about aamc list of medical schools, what really do you know about it? Read on to know more as the article below brings you the latest information on it.

AAMC List Of Medical Schools

Albany Medical College

Albany, NY | Private Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/MPHMD/MBAMD/PhDBS/MDAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Application Deadline
11/01/2021First Year Class
143Tuition & Fees
$57,723 In-state
$57,723 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Bronx, NY | Private Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/MPHMD/PhDAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Application Deadline
10/15/2021First Year Class
183Tuition & Fees
$58,446 In-state
$58,446 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


Baylor College of Medicine

Houston, TX | Private Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/MPHMD/MBAMD/JDMD/PhDBS/MDAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Canadian
International (Case-by-case)Application Deadline
10/30/2021First Year Class
186Tuition & Fees
$22,703 In-state
$35,803 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


Boston University School of Medicine

Boston, MA | Private Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/MPHMD/JDMD/MBABS/MDMD/PhDAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Canadian
InternationalApplication Deadline
11/01/2021First Year Class
152Tuition & Fees
$65,890 In-state
$65,890 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

Greenville, NC | Public Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/MBAMD/MPHAlso Accepts
Application Deadline
11/01/2021First Year Class
86Tuition & Fees
$23,232 In-state
$0 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


California Northstate University College of Medicine

Elk Grove, CA | Private Institution | Suburban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
Not ProvidedAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Canadian (Case-by-case)
International (Case-by-case)Application Deadline
12/20/2021First Year Class
101Tuition & Fees
$61,219 In-state
$61,219 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


California University of Science and Medicine-School of Medicine

Colton, CA | Private Institution | Suburban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
Not ProvidedAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Application Deadline
11/30/2021First Year Class
130Tuition & Fees
$58,700 In-state
N/A Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Champaign, IL | Public Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/PhDAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Application Deadline
10/31/2021First Year Class
47Tuition & Fees
$51,875 In-state
$64,609 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT


Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Cleveland, OH | Private Institution | Urban Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
BS/MDMD/PhDMD/MBAMD/MPHMD/JDAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Canadian
InternationalApplication Deadline
11/01/2021First Year Class
214Tuition & Fees
$67,605 In-state
$67,605 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT
 


Central Michigan University College of Medicine

Mt Pleasant, MI | Public Institution | Rural Campus

 Add to FavoritesCombined Degrees
MD/MBAAlso Accepts
Out-of-state
Canadian
Application Deadline
11/01/2021First Year Class
103Tuition & Fees
$44,127 In-state
$64,237 Out-of-stateMedian GPAMedian MCAT

About High School Average To Become A Doctor

Ever wonder how long is medical school or how many years does it take to become a doctor? The requirements for becoming a doctor in the U.S. may vary by specialty. In general, doctor requirements include completing a 4-year undergraduate degree program, spending 4 years in medical school, and then completing 3-7 years of residency training before becoming eligible for medical licensing. Both degree programs typically include general medical coursework, while prospective doctors can choose a specialty later, during their residencies.

How many years to be a doctor?
What Are the Physician Schooling Requirements?
Bachelor’s Degree
Completing a bachelor’s degree program is necessary to prepare prospective doctors to enter medical school. Though medical schools do not require specific degrees for admission, many students opt for programs heavy in biology and chemistry.

Some schools offer specific pre-med programs that include the required classes for medical school, as well as prepare them to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Common courses in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology program include:

Chemistry
Biological studies
Physics
Human genetics
MCAT – Medical College Admission Test
The MCAT is a multiple-choice examination that students must pass before they are admitted to medical school. Physical science, biology, critical thinking, and verbal skills are all tested in a 5-hour computerized test. Most medical schools use this score when considering applicants for admission, so it’s important to score well to be considered for top programs.

Medical School
How many years in medical school are required to become a doctor? Medical school consists of four years of medical training and education. The first two years of a prospective doctor’s medical school experience are devoted to book study and laboratory work to prepare students for diagnosing and treating illnesses. During the second year of med school, students take the first portion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners.

During the last two years of medical school, students begin their clinical experience, going through rotations at clinics and hospitals. Students work under attending physicians to begin their practical training in medicine. The fourth year of medical school is when the second licensing test is issued, as well as when students begin their residency training. As an alternative to undergraduate degrees and medical school, some institutions allow students to take a 6-year combination training and education program, which gives students a compressed medical and academic education.

Residency
A doctor’s internship or clerkship period is known as a residency. Most doctors complete their residency in a 3- to 7-year period, depending on specialization. The first year of residency is when the final medical licensing exam is given, while the residency itself focuses almost completely on practical training in a medical environment, rather than classroom learning. Post-residency fellowships might also be beneficial, as doctors can choose to sub-specialize in areas such as internal, geriatric, or vascular medicine.

Fellowships and Continuing Education
After a doctor finishes their residency, they may choose to go on to a fellowship, which is one more year of study, usually in a subspecialty of their residency. Doctors who study as a fellow are often known as experts in their field. Practicing doctors are required to take continuing education even after licensed to keep up with the latest in their field.

Licensing Requirements
Licensing requirements for doctors vary by state, but most states require at least a 1-year residency program and the passage of a board certification exam in the medical specialty the student has chosen. Once these requirements have been met, a doctor is normally considered a fully licensed medical professional and is legally able to practice in their respective field.

5 Doctors Who Are Killing It on Social Media Right Now | PatientPop

Employment Outlook and Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), physicians and surgeons earned a median salary of $208,000 or greater in 2019. Based on data from the BLS, there were 756,800 physicians and surgeons working in the U.S. in 2018, and employment opportunities for these professionals are expected to increase by 4% over the 2019-2029 decade.

So, it takes 11-14 years to become a doctor in the United States:

4 years earning a bachelor’s degree
Attending 4 years of medical school
completing a 3- to 7-year residency program
After residency, doctors may apply for a state license to practice medicine.

Medicine is one of the most challenging yet rewarding fields a student can enter. But before you decide whether becoming a doctor is right for you, it’s important that you know every step you’ll have to take along the way.

Here, I’ll walk you through exactly how to become a doctor, starting with high school. This career is definitely not for everyone—it requires huge investments of time, money, and effort—but if this path is right for you, this guide is what you should read to start preparing yourself early for a successful career as a doctor.

aamc application

How do I start the application process?

To apply to most medical schools in the United States, you will need to use the AAMC’s centralized application processing service, the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®).

AMCAS collects, verifies, and delivers application information and MCAT® exam scores to each school you choose. AMCAS does not make admissions decisions; each participating school is responsible for making its own individual admissions decisions.

To apply to an MD program at a public medical school in Texas, you will need to apply using the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

How much does it cost?

There is an application fee to process your application and this includes one medical school designation. For each additional medical school selection there is a separate cost. For all current AMCAS application fees visit the AMCAS website and review the information below the “AMCAS® Application Fees” subheading. AMCAS fees may vary from year to year.

Applicants in need of financial aid may apply to AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program. Fee Assistance Program awardees receive a waiver for AMCAS fees (for up to 16 medical schools), reduced registration fees for the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®), and more.

What is a secondary application?

This is an additional school-specific application completed after a medical school receives your primary application. It helps explain why you’re interested in that particular institution; how your goals, experiences, and plans align with their mission and goals; and how/what you would contribute and develop as a learner at that institution. Basically, it’s an opportunity to answer the question, “Why this school?” A secondary application will likely have an associated application fee. Fees and required forms will vary from school to school.

Will I need to interview?

Most medical schools require an interview, though the process varies by school. Interviews can take place on or off campus. They can be conducted by one admissions committee member, by multiple members of the committee, or by off-campus interviewers, such as practicing physicians. Generally, the interviewers complete evaluations that are added to the rest of your application materials.

We have more information on interviewing here, and in The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions as well as the Medical School Admission Requirements website.

What is the timeline for applying?

The AMCAS application typically opens during the first week of May each year for the following year’s medical school class. Since AMCAS submission doesn’t open until the first week of June, you’ll have about a month to begin working on your application before you can submit it. You’ll begin the application process in the spring in order to begin medical school in the fall of the following year.

For specific application dates and deadlines, visit the Medical School Admission Requirements, the AMCAS website, and the websites of your potential medical schools.

How do I choose the right medical school for me?

U.S. medical schools offer a variety of excellent educational experiences in a variety of settings. Some schools, whether public or private, vary in size, curriculum, and character. To find out which schools might best meet your needs and goals, you can read more on deciding where to apply and use the Medical School Admission Requirements.

medical school admission requirements

Admission requirements for medical school studies in the U.S.

In the US, Medical degrees are considered second entry degrees, meaning you cannot enrol directly in a Medicine Bachelor’s. You first need to do a Bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree in a related Science subject (popular choices are Biology and Chemistry) before you apply to a medical school. Then, you can enrol in a Medicine degree that usually lasts 4 years.

Here are the general med school requirements for the US:

  • High school diploma
  • Undergraduate degree in the field of Sciences (3-4 years)
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Good TOEFL language scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Minimum MCAT exam result (set by each university individually)

Some American med schools have additional requirements, like completing premedical courses, such as:

  • College Biology with laboratory, one year
  • General college Chemistry with laboratory, one year
  • Biology, Chemistry – minimum of 24 semester hours in areas of Humanities
  • Mathematics (Calculus and/or Statistics, one year (6-8 semester hours)
  • General college Physics with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours)

Here are a few medical schools we recommend in the US:

  • University of South Dakota
  • Liberty University
  • School for International Training

What is the MCAT?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a multi-choice exam created by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Almost all US medical schools require applicants to submit MCAT exam scores during their university application.

The MCAT exam takes approximately 7 hours and a half to complete and it is comprised of 4 main parts:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Becoming a doctor in the US

Throughout the Medical degree, students develop their soft skills (communication, empathy, cooperation, etc.) and advance their medical knowledge.

During the last year, students choose a specialisation based on their interests and other factors and apply to residency programmes. The vast majority are matched through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

During residency, medical graduates train in hospitals with other healthcare practitioners. The residency can take between 3-7 years to complete depending on their specialisation. After completing this stage, residents can undertake a fellowship, which lasts 1-2 years and focuses on a sub-specialisation.

To practise Medicine, physicians or doctors have to be licensed by the state in which they want to work. The criteria for certification are established by 24 Specialty Boards. These boards require regular recertification due to the fast changes that occur in Medicine and Healthcare.

Admission requirements for medical school studies in the UK

We’ve listed below some of the most common requirements for applicants to medical schools in Britain. Be aware that each university is free to set its own criteria, which is why we encourage you to check the admission details on the webpage of the study programme.

Bachelor’s degree in Medicine (MBBS) in the UK

  • Previous (high school) studies it at least two Science subjects. Usually, Chemistry and Biology or Physics/Maths are mandatory.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: IELTS – average score of 6.0 or 6.5, or PTE Academic
  • UCAT test score. Each university can use it differently. Some establish a minimum UCAT score they’ll accept. Other universities use a “points system” for evaluating applications and will offer you more points for a higher UCAT result.
  • International Baccalaureate, with at least 36 points overall, including three higher level subjects (including Chemistry and Biology), and three standard level subjects. Each subject must be passed with a minimum of six points. International Baccalaureate is not required by all universities from the UK.
  • Successfully passing the interview(s)
  • Evidence of voluntary or work experience related to medicine and healthcare
  • Reference letter from teachers/academic supervisors

Here are a few medical schools we recommend in the UK:

  • London South Bank University
  • University of Birmingham
  • Aston University

What is the UCAT?

The UCAT (previously called UKCAT, UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is an online test required by medical schools in the UK. It is designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning.

The UCAT helps universities select applicants with the right abilities to pursue careers in the healthcare field. The UCAT test is not based on a science-related curriculum. The format of the test covers questions that assess logical skills, such as decision making, quantitative reasoning, and situational judgement.

Becoming a doctor in the UK

After completing the 4 or 5-year degree in Medicine, you get a provisional license.

The next step is the Foundation Programme, which involves different practical placements and training in healthcare institutions. The Foundation programme provides salaries, and it takes 2 years to complete (F1 – first year and F2 – second year). At the end of F1, you can apply for a licence and receive full registration from the GMC (General Medical Council).

You can then start General Practice or Specialty training, which can take between 3-8 years depending on what you want to focus on.

Steps To Become A Doctor After High School

If you want to become a doctor, get ready to commit to spending at least 11 years on your post-high school education. After going to college for four years to get a bachelor’s degree, you will have to attend medical school for four more years. You will earn either a DO or MD degree. That will be followed by three to eight years of graduate medical education (GME) in the form of an internship or residency program.

You must attend a medical school that is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). Both organizations’ websites list accredited programs.

The Med School Journey – Definitions to Become a Doctor | MedSchoolCoach -  MedSchoolCoach

What can you expect to study in med school? Your coursework will probably include the following but may differ depending on whether you attend an allopathic or osteopathic program:

Biomedical Building Blocks
Integrated Pathophysiology
Human Gross and Developmental Anatomy
Physiology
Medical Genetics
Pharmacology
Histology and Embryology
Human Nutrition
Immunology
infectious Diseases
Ophthalmology
Principals of Medicine
Principals of Surgery
In addition to your coursework, you will also receive extensive clinical training through clinical rotations. Expect to work in a variety of clinical specialties including pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, and internal medicine, getting hands-on training with patients.

Getting Into Medical School
Medical students in lecture with overhead projector screen
Cultura RM Exclusive/Matt Lincoln / Getty Images
Admission into medical school is very competitive. According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), an applicant with the best chance of getting into a school of osteopathic medicine “is well-rounded, has a broad background … and has demonstrated academic excellence.” In addition, he or she “wants to get involved in his or her community and spend time getting know his or her patients, is compassionate, and has solid communication skills and a healing touch” (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Qualities of a Successful Osteopathic Medical Student).

The article also states that many applicants to osteopathic medical programs are non-traditional students who are older (25% of admitted students are age 26 or older). They come from a variety of career backgrounds.

Allopathic (MD) programs are also extremely competitive and selective. Like DO programs, they look for students who have performed well academically. They prefer applicants with excellent communication skills and who have demonstrated leadership qualities.

Applicants typically must have fulfilled prerequisite college coursework in the sciences, including biology and general and organic chemistry, math, English, and statistics. Although specific requirements vary by school, the American Medical Association (AMA) states that a grade point average of 3.5 and 4 on a 4 point scale is required for admission (American Medical Association. Preparing for Medical School). In addition, one must perform well on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

What You Must Do After You Complete Your Medical Education
Doctor with stethoscope in hospital
Portra / Getty Images
After completing your medical education, you will have to become licensed to practice medicine in the state in which you want to work. All 50 states in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, have state medical licensing boards that are responsible for licensing doctors.

While each board has its own requirements, all of them require having completed an accredited medical school and graduate medical education. MDs must pass all three parts of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and DOs must pass all three levels of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). Contact the state medical board in your state to learn about its requirements. The Federation of State Medical Boards also publishes the State-Specific Requirements for Initial Medical Licensure.

In addition to getting a state license, many doctors choose to become board certified in a medical specialty. Each of the member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties grants certification which must be renewed every several years. Initial certification requires completion of medical school and graduate medical education, and passing a written or oral exam in that area of specialization.

7 Steps to Become a Doctor After High School - MedSmarter

How to Get Your First Job as a Doctor
Portrait of doctor in hospital looking at camera
Innocenti / Getty Images
Preparing to become a doctor takes a lot of effort, not to mention money: four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to eight years of post-graduate medical education. After all that, there’s an exam to pass.

Getting a license can be a long process—the licensing board must verify that you have met all your qualifications—and a very expensive one with fees ranging from a few to several hundred dollars. By the time you are ready to look for a job, you will be well-prepared to work. Here are some of the qualities employers want in job candidates. Employers listed them in job announcements in various sources:

“Adheres to the highest standards of medical practice, ethics, and professionalism at all times.”
“Accurate and timely documentation of medical records.”
“Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences.”
“Ability to motivate and work effectively with others.”
“Problem solves with creativity and ingenuity.”
“Must be a team player and have a passion for what you do.”

Medicine is a super competitive and rigorous field: doctors have a lot of responsibility and must spend tons of time and money on their training. Healthcare is also a growing field, which means that the demand for doctors will continue to increase in the coming years.

As long as you do all the necessary steps below, you shouldn’t have any issue finding a job as a doctor.

Let’s take a look at the career outlook for physicians and surgeons using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

2019 Median Pay: Greater than or equal to $208,000 per year
Job Growth Rate (2019-29): 4%, which is about average
Note that pay and job outlook can vary depending on what type of doctor you want to be, so if you have a particular specialty in mind (such as dermatology or rheumatology), I encourage you to do your own research on that field’s projected career outlook.

To lend you a hand, we’ve created the following chart, which presents the median salaries and job outlooks for various types of doctors (arranged in order of highest salary to lowest):

Type of Doctor Median Salary (2019) Job Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Anesthesiologists ≥$208,000 4%
Obstetricians and gynecologists ≥$208,000 -1%
Psychiatrists ≥$208,000 12%
Surgeons $199,920 -2%
Family and general practitioners $201,100 6%
Physicians and surgeons, all other $200,890 4%
Internists, general $194,500 -1%
Pediatricians, general $175,310 -2%
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

As you can see from the chart, all of the above medical specialties make six figures a year. They do have some differences in terms of job growth, however. The job growth rate for psychiatrists is expected to be a well-above-average 12% in the next ten years, but specialties such as obstetricians, surgeons, internists, and pediatricians are expected to shrink slightly. There are a lot of jobs in each of these fields though, so don’t think there won’t be a need for them in several years, even if their numbers are expected to contract a bit.

How to Become a Doctor: 7-Step Career Path Overview

Becoming a doctor is a pretty complex, multi-step process. Here are the seven major steps we’ll be covering in more detail below (you can skip around by clicking the links to each step):

Step 1: Do well in high school
Step 2: Get into a great college
Step 3: Take the MCAT (and get a good score)
Step 4: Apply and get into medical school
Step 5: Attend medical school and pass your boards to become a licensed doctor
Step 6: Choose your specialty and complete your residency
Step 7: Take and pass your final boards to practice independently

Still interested in how to become a doctor? Time to get into the nitty-gritty of each major step.

Step 1: Do Well in High School
If you’re serious about becoming a doctor, you’ll do yourself a big favor by getting focused in high school. As mentioned, this is a pretty competitive field, so the earlier you start distinguishing yourself as a great student, the easier the process will be.

Here’s what you can do in high school to help prepare you for later steps.

Focus on Science and Math
To fulfill all pre-med requirements in college (I’ll get to that in a bit), you’ll have to take quite a few science and math classes. Lay a solid foundation by taking a science and math course every year, and make it a priority to take advanced and/or AP courses. You’ll also want to keep your GPA (in these classes and all others) as high as possible.

This is an important step because it gives you a tiny glimpse into what college and medical school will be like. If you don’t enjoy science and math courses in high school, it’s unlikely you’ll enjoy them later on. Use this as an opportunity to think critically about whether you’d like to pursue this career.

One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose to take in high school (in conjunction with how well you do in those classes). Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule. We’ll advise you on how to balance your schedule between regular and honors/AP/IB courses, how to choose your extracurriculars, and what classes you can’t afford not to take.

Find Doctors, Hospitals and Pharmacies | Members | Optima Health

Do Plenty of Community Service
Being a good doctor isn’t just about being a science and math whiz—it’s about being invested in caring for other people. Show how you care about helping others by volunteering consistently in high school.

It’s best if you can do volunteer work that’s at least somewhat related to healthcare. You might see whether there are any opportunities at a nearby hospital or clinic (for example, I had friends in high school who helped escort people who were visiting family members in the hospital). These volunteer opportunities can also help you decide fairly early whether a career in medicine is something you’re actually interested in pursuing.

Of course, you don’t have to volunteer exclusively in healthcare environments—any community service opportunity in which you’re helping other people is a good fit. Read more about the benefits of community service, and then check out our list of the best places to volunteer.

Is working in healthcare a good fit for you? Volunteering in the field is a great way to find out.

Get a Great Score on the ACT/SAT
To get into a great medical school, it helps to go to a great college. And to get into a great college, it helps to get a high score on the SAT/ACT.

Plan on taking your first test by the end of your junior year—this gives you time to take your test of choice again if you want to try to raise your scores.

How To Become A Medical Doctor

What counts as a good, bad, or average ACT or SAT score?
How can you get a perfect score on the ACT or SAT?
How long should you study for the ACT or SAT?

Submit Stellar College Applications
Your senior fall will be all about researching and applying to colleges. You don’t necessarily need to go to a school with a dedicated pre-med program, but it’ll be better if your college or university has strong science and math programs, since these will be more helpful in preparing you for the MCAT and med school.

If you want to go to a top-tier private school, you’ll have to submit applications with the following:

A high GPA
Impressive SAT/ACT scores
Strong letters of recommendation
Polished and thoughtful personal essays
Some great public schools might not require letters of rec or applications essays. Nevertheless, it’s wise to start preparing these materials early on in the college application process if you think you’ll apply to any colleges that do require them.

How To Become A Medical Doctor In Nigeria – Wealth Result

If you’re still working on college research, I suggest checking out these guides:

The best pre-med schools for becoming a doctor
The best college ranking lists and whether you should trust them
Whether it matters where you go to college
How to decide where to go to college

Step 2: Get Into a Great College

College is where you really start focusing your studies and preparing for a career in medicine. Here’s everything you should do as an undergraduate to prepare yourself for the next major step in becoming a doctor: medical school.

Meet All Pre-Med Requirements
Most medical schools require students to have taken a series of courses as undergraduates. This ensures that they have strong foundational knowledge in math and science and will be well prepared for the more advanced courses they’ll have to take as med students.

Here are the core classes that most medical schools require:

Two semesters of biology with laboratory
Two semesters of inorganic chemistry with laboratory
Two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory
Two semesters of math (at least one in calculus)
Two semesters of physics with laboratory
Two semesters of English and/or writing
This comes to 12 course requirements at minimum, which doesn’t give you a ton of wiggle room if you also have to meet requirements for a major without much pre-med overlap (e.g., foreign languages or studio art). Because of this, many pre-med students choose related majors such as biology or chemistry—this makes it much easier to meet both pre-med requirements and the requirements for your major.

If you decide later in college that you’d like to apply to medical school but you know you don’t have time to fit in all these requirements, don’t panic. It’s fairly common for people to wrap up pre-med requirements by taking an extra semester or two in college (some schools call these students “super seniors”).

You might also look into full-time post-bac programs if you have more than a few requirements left to fulfill. These options mean extra time and extra expenses, but they’re helpful (and sometimes necessary) steps to take before applying to med school.

Keep Your Grades Up
Your transcript will be a very important part of your med school applications, so your academic performance should really be your #1 priority as you work your way through college.

Build Relationships With Professors and Mentors
You’ll need a few strong letters of recommendation from respected faculty members when you submit your med school applications—use this fact to motivate you to network with as many people as possible.

Develop relationships with professors and mentors by going to their office hours, actively participating in class, and taking opportunities to work on research projects.

body_teacheratchalkboard.jpg

Your nerdy professors will prove to be invaluable resources when you’re applying to med school, but only if you have relationships with them!

Get Some Research Experience
Having some research experience under your belt is a big plus for med school applications, especially if you can squeeze in a publication or two. Working in a biology or chemistry lab would probably be most helpful for medical school.

There are a couple ways you can get research experience as an undergraduate:

Work as a research assistant (paid or unpaid) in an on-campus lab or at an off-campus research institute. Look at campus job postings or approach specific professors in your department about potential lab openings. If you don’t have time during the semester to take on extra work, consider summer opportunities.
Complete an undergraduate thesis, which involves research work. This usually requires a professor to officially take you on as their student. Each school (and each department within a school) will have its own procedures and policies for undergraduate theses, so educate yourself early on (i.e., during freshman year) if you’re interested in this track.

Continue With Community Service
Medical schools are going to look at your community service record as an important part of your application. You should make time for volunteer work in college just as you did in high school.

The good news is that it should be easier to find relevant advocacy and community service clubs and organizations in college. Here are a few example activities you might be interested in (although this list is by no means exhaustive):

Volunteering at a homeless shelter
Joining a public health advocacy society or organization
Volunteering at a nursing home or engaging in other forms of elder care (e.g., Meals on Wheels)
Joining a peer counseling organization
It’s better to stick with a few clubs or activities over the long term, as opposed to jumping around between activities year after year. This demonstrates that you’re consistent and reliable; it also opens up opportunities for leadership roles, which will prove to be a big plus for your med school applications.

Step 3: Take (and Ace!) the MCAT
The Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, is used as a predictor of your success in med school, and as such is weighted pretty heavily when compared to other parts of your application.

U.S. Accredited Medical Schools Abroad – College Learners

Most students take the MCAT their junior year—this is arguably the most optimal time to take the test. Why? Because by this point you will have gone through many of your pre-med courses, making studying for the MCAT a lot easier.

MCAT Scoring and Logistics
In total, it takes seven and a half hours to complete the MCAT. The sections on the test include the following:

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
Each section is scored on a range from 118 to 132, with a median score of 125. You’ll receive an individual score for each section in addition to an overall score. Total scores range from 472 to 578, with the average score sitting at about 500.

This scoring system is still relatively new (since 2015), so there isn’t much historical data available we can use to predict what a good or “safe” MCAT score will be for med school admissions. Current percentiles indicate that around 50% of test takers score 500, and 74% score 508, or what MCAT-Prep.com calls a “good” MCAT score. As such, the new MCAT encourages admissions officers to look favorably upon students who score around 500 or above.

The MCAT is administered 30 times per year, so you have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to scheduling the test. Be prepared for some hefty expenses—it costs $320-$375 to register for the test depending on how far in advance you sign up. There are Fee Assistance Programs available for students who might not be able to shoulder these expenses.

After your scores are calculated, they’re automatically released to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS); you won’t have to submit them separately to any schools unless they don’t use AMCAS.

body_dollarbill.jpg

If you’re adequately prepared the first time you take the MCAT, you could save yourself the cost of an extra registration fee.

Studying for the MCAT
Plan on studying 200-300 hours if you want to do well on the test. Since it’s a seven-and-a-half-hour exam, you really don’t want to have to take it twice.

There are several different ways you can prep for the MCAT:

Independent study: This might work for students at schools with strong pre-med support who are also performing well in their classes. Solid foundational knowledge is the most important factor that affects performance on the MCAT, but students would still, of course, need to spend significant time preparing.

MCAT prep course: Pre-med students commonly take prep courses when they want a solid review schedule to keep them on track. There’s a lot of material to cover, and a good course helps ensure that there aren’t any major gaps in your content knowledge or strategy.

They can be very expensive, unfortunately, with most costing several thousand dollars. Kaplan and The Princeton Review are a couple of the most popular options.
Online prep: Online resources can offer a great combination of structure and flexibility when you’re working to cover a lot of material.

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) | LinkedIn

Khan Academy provides some free study material if you’re looking for a place to start, though it won’t suffice if you’re putting together a full study plan. Dr. Flowers Test Prep is another, more comprehensive resource for online prep.
Private tutor: Students whose grades aren’t up to par or who have done poorly on the MCAT before might want to consider this option.

If you decide to hire a tutor, pick someone with glowing recommendations and years of tutoring experience. They won’t come cheap, but they’re also less likely to waste your time and money.
You can also buy an official practice test for the MCAT through the Association of American Medical Colleges for $35, in addition to other official study guides and prep materials.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *