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  • How to Choose a College That will Prepare You

    How can I prepare myself academically for medical school?  

    You'll need a strong foundation in mathematics and the sciences that relate most to medicine: biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. Entrance requirements at most medical schools include completion of course work in biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and English.

    But a liberal arts education is a key ingredient to becoming a physician, so it's important for your college experience to be well-rounded. Taking courses in the humanities and the social sciences will help you prepare for the "people" side of medicine. The ideal physician understands how society works and can communicate and write well.

    Extracurricular activities also are important. You may want to volunteer at a local hospital or clinic to gain practical health care experience.

    How do I choose the right school for my premedical education?  

    Here are some questions to ask when you consider a college or university. Your career guidance counselor or science teacher can help you find the answers. You also should consult the many college guidebooks found in your school's guidance office, local libraries, and bookstores.

    • Does the school have a good faculty and a reputation for high academic standards? Is it accredited?
    • Does it offer a broad range of courses in the humanities and in the social, behavioral, and natural sciences?
    • Does it have strong science departments with good laboratory facilities?
    • Does it offer all of the required courses I need for acceptance to medical school?
    • Does the college have a designated advisor specifically trained to help students interested in the health professions?
    • Does it have a good track record for having its students accepted to medical school?
    • Does it offer extracurricular activities that appeal to me? Are there programs to do volunteer work at local hospitals or clinics?
    • Are there programs where I can demonstrate leadership and compassion?
    • Does it feel right for me? Am I comfortable with its size, location, social life, and general atmosphere?
    • Is it affordable for me and my family?