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What Are Medical Schools Looking For?

Begin your journey by attending the mandatory and informative
 Pre-Med Information Session.

 

Academic Preparation

You must complete a Bachelor’s degree prior to starting medical school. In addition to earning your degree, admission to medical school requires that you complete a set of prerequisite courses, most of which are in science disciplines. Though the specific courses vary from school to school, the most common classes taken at Weber State are outlined below. For your degree, any major is appropriate. There is no preference in this regard, so study something you love!

One year of general biology, chemistry,
and physics, each with laboratory.

Zoology 1110 
Microbiology 2054
Chemistry 1210 & incorporated lab
Chemistry 1220 & incorporated lab
Physics 2010 & 2019 (lab)
Physics 2020 & 2029 (lab)

One year of organic chemistry with laboratory

Chemistry 2310 & 2315(lab)
Chemistry 2320 & 2325(lab)

One semester of biochemistry

Chemistry 3070 & 3075 (lab)

One year of English/writing

English 1010
English 2010

One semester of psychology and sociology

Psychology 1010
Sociology 1010

The Mathematics requirement varies.
(AP credit for Calculus II is almost always sufficient and AP credit for calculus I and a graded statistics course is often sufficient.)

 


Individual schools may have additional requirements.
Always check the specific requirements of the institutions where you plan to apply.

Co-Curricular Involvement

Volunteer Services
Because you are preparing for a humanitarian profession, it is important to have volunteer experiences that demonstrate a commitment to serving others in your community. It is suggested that you begin volunteering early in your undergraduate career, and that your service be continued throughout college. Competitive applicants complete 3 different experiences each lasting 6 months to a year in the 4 years before medical school application, for a total of 200+ hours.

Patient Exposure
Interacting well with patients who, at times, are not be feeling at their best is critical for a healthcare provider. Demonstrating that you are capable of this will certainly bolster the competitiveness of your medical school application. Patient exposure experiences can be either paid or unpaid. Successful applicants have, for example, worked or volunteered in the ED, worked as a CNA or as a phlebotomist, or have volunteered for a hospice organization. Competitive applicants complete 1-2 different experiences each lasting at least 6 months to a year, for a total of 60+ hrs.

Clinical Shadowing
Observing a physician in action will help you gather the information you need to fully commit to the profession and to potentially learn about a variety of medical specialties. Students can shadow physicians that they know (not family members) or can be assigned to a physician through our Clinical Preceptor Program. It is a good idea to shadow both M.D and D.O. doctors, as well as primary care physicians and sub-specialists. Competitive applicants shadow 2-5 different physicians, spending at least 8-10 hours with each, for a total of 60+ hours.

Leadership 
As a physician, you will be a leader and team member in many ways – with your patients, your staff, your colleagues, and in your community. Developing leadership qualities and skills is therefore important for your future career. Examples of leadership experiences as an undergraduate student include holding an officer position in a club or organization, serving as a member of a committee; leadership in church activities; coordinating a project; managing, training, or supervising at work; teaching/tutoring/coaching/mentoring experience, etc. Competitive applicants complete 3 different experiences each lasting 3 months or longer in the 4 years before they apply.

Research
Physicians depend on medical literature to remain current in their field throughout their careers. Most medical schools highly recommend—and some require—participation in research as an undergraduate. Your research experience can be completed in any discipline; it does not have to be clinically-related or completed in a research lab. However, your research experience must be one that tests a well-formulated hypothesis.  Competitive applicants complete at least 1 research experience under the supervision of a faculty member that lasts at least 6 months.

It is not enough to simply engage in these activities; it is necessary to reflect upon them and to learn from your experiences. What you are hoping to do through involvement in co-curricular activities is to develop the skills, traits and attributes of a successful physician.

What qualities are these?

They are outlined by the AAMC Group on Student Affairs (GSA) Committee on Admissions (COA):
The 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students.

TIMELINE

There is no "right" timeline when it comes to preparing for medical school. That being said, a general plan of action may look like...
 

Meet with your Academic Advisor

Complete academics & co-curricular activity

Begin your Premedical Portfolio with Katie

Prepare to take the MCAT and apply 

Interview; Graduate or Gap Year

 

Pre-Chiropractic 

Chiropractors (D.C.s) work to preserve or improve a patient’s overall health by focusing on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs but rather make adjustments to the components of these systems, particularly the spinal column.

Details

Pre-Optometry

Optometrists (O.D.s) serve as a primary care providers, focusing upon the eyes and vision. Their work includes prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the eyes and surrounding structures and the treatment of vision problems.
 

Details

Pre-Podiatry

Podiatrists (D.P.M.s) prevent, diagnose, and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. These conditions can arise from injury or disease, and can be treated using both medical and surgical interventions.
 

Details

Pre-Medicine, M.D. or D.O.

Physicians engage in clinical practice to diagnose, treat and prevent disease—either generally or within a sub-specialist’s smaller scope--through pharmaceutical and/or surgical means. Physicians may be either allopathic (M.D.s) or osteopathic (D.O.s).
 

Details

Let's Connect!


Visit your area of interest above to connect with its specific social media accounts. Below are the College of Science accounts:

 

 

Pre-Med General Office 


Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tracy Hall Science Center 201
medicalprofessions@weber.edu
801-626-7755

Mailing address


Weber State University
College of Science
1415 Edvalson St., Dept. 2501
Ogden, UT 84408-2501

Building location


Tracy Hall Science Center (TY201)

Click for campus map