The human body is a complex and robust machine. Doctors strive to understand its systems and to help their patients maintain or restore their health. As a physician, you'll help individuals live their lives to the fullest and uplift your community as a whole.
Hamline's pre-medicine program prepares you for a career in medicine through one-on-one advising, healthcare-related internships, community engagement opportunities, and more. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that overall employment of physicians and surgeons will add an average of 22,700 jobs for physicians and surgeons every year over the next decade, and with our liberal arts education, you'll gain the skills you need to stand out in your field and succeed during your medical training.
Prerequisite coursework for M.D. and D.O. programs
Pre-medicine is not a major. Rather, it provides you a path that prepares you to apply to medical school. Pre-medical students may choose from any of Hamline’s major fields. While many pre-medical students declare a major in the natural sciences, individuals who combine the required pre-medical coursework with a major in another area (e.g., philosophy, religion, or psychology) have been equally successful in gaining admission into medical school.
Course requirements vary by medical school. Every pre-medical student is responsible for verifying admission requirements for all the schools to which they might be applying. According to the AAMC, the minimum prerequisite coursework for most medical schools in the U.S. includes two years of biology, one year of physics, one year of English, and two years of chemistry (through organic chemistry). Some courses, like biochemistry, psychology and sociology, might not be required for admission but are strongly recommended for optimal preparation for the MCAT exam.
It is important that students who want to follow the pre-med track enroll in CHEM 1130 during their first year at Hamline. Contact a pre-med advisor if you have questions about course selection and enrollment.
As a first year medical student, Hamline more than prepared me for the next step of my education. I came into undergrad unsure of my future career path, but with my professors' guidance and the many opportunities for hands-on learning, I found my passion for medicine."
Applying to medical school
Ideally, students should complete the pre-medical core of studies by the end of their third year. In the third year, students take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Also at that time, students begin the process of submitting required materials to the Hamline pre-medical committee for their medical school credential file. Students must select the schools to which they wish to apply, secure 4-5 letters of reference from faculty and others, and compose their personal statement, describing their genuine commitment to the medical profession. Success in gaining entrance to medical school is enhanced by several factors:
- A high cumulative grade point average
- A high MCAT score
- Indication of personal strengths, social skills, and communication skills
- Commitment toward a medical career (as evidenced by participation in medically related extracurricular and volunteer activities)
Setting up a credential file will facilitate your application to medical schools. The two main purposes for credential files are:
- To gather information from you and from your letter of recommendation writers so that Hamline’s pre-health committee can complete a Pre-Medical Committee Summary Letter (not required, but needed by many schools)
- To submit your letter packet of recommendations to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or other schools of your choosing.
It is recommended that you attend a pre-medical information session at Hamline (held in spring and fall). Then, you should set up a credential file with the natural sciences division faculty assistant in Robbins 105 or through the pre-health director.
Please read the detailed credential file instructions below. Forms 1–5 are in Microsoft Word documents. Type in your information, save, and email the completed forms to the natural sciences faculty assistant or the pre-health program director. Questions can be directed to these individuals or your pre-health advisor.
- Information on Hamline transcript requests
- (for reference writers)
The application process starts approximately 18 months prior to the beginning of medical school. Example: If you intend to start medical school in the Fall of 2020, you will need to apply for entry starting in May of 2019.
- January–September: Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT is offered electronically at specific testing sites. 20 test dates are offered annually, with testing days available in January and continuing through September (however, we recommend no later than early summer). Minnesota test sites include Bloomington, Duluth, Eagan, Rochester, and Woodbury. Registration opens as early as seven months prior to the test date. Scores are released approximately four weeks after testing.
- Spring: Request letters of recommendation from faculty and physicians
- Late April: AMCAS resources available
- May: The online American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) opens for new registration. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) opens for new registrations. Target month for opening credential file with the credential file administrator in the science division.
- June: AMCAS application submission begins
- Late June: Complete submission of materials for credential file. Initial transmission of AMCAS application data to medical schools (if application is complete)
- August: Early decision program deadline
- September–December: Application deadlines
There are two paths to becoming a doctor: allopathic medicine, which leads to an MD (medical doctor), or osteopathic medicine, which leads to a DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine). The education and training for Allopathic (MDs) and Osteopathic physicians (DOs) is very similar and both degree recipients are licensed to practice medicine.
Allopathic medicine (MD)
This is the medical degree most familiar to people in the United States and around the world. Allopathic medicine traditionally treats and suppresses symptoms of disease by using pharmacological agents and physical interventions. The MD program is a four-year degree granted by the medical school. Students complete their requirements for practicing medicine by passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Many doctors go on to residency programs to complete more specialized training.
Osteopathic medicine (DO)
Osteopathic medical schools confer a four-year degree Doctor of Osteopathy degree, DO. After completing their medical training, DOs are required to take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) and can also choose to take the USMLE. DOs practice the full scope of medicine in all specialties of the medical field.
Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine, including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine.
DOs are trained to use a holistic approach to treat patients and integrate the patient as a partner in the healthcare process. Besides rigorous medical school training, osteopathic physicians take an additional 200 hours of education in osteopathic manipulative medicine. This system of hands-on techniques helps alleviate pain, restores motion, supports the body’s natural functions and influences the body’s structure to help it function more efficiently.
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