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WikiDoc Resources for Pre-medical


Most recent articles on Pre-medical

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Articles on Pre-medical in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


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Evidence Based Medicine

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FDA on Pre-medical

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Continuing Medical Education (CME)

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Pre-medical en Espanol

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Pre-medical in the Marketplace

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List of terms related to Pre-medical

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Pre-medical (often shortened to pre-med) is a term used to describe a track an undergraduate student in the United States pursues prior to becoming a medical student. It refers to the activities that prepare an undergraduate student for medical school, such as pre-med coursework, volunteer activities, clinical experience, research, and the application process.

Pre-Med Timeline

Typical pre-med students will structure their coursework in their first year at college to accommodate the required courses. After, typically, a semester, many pursue extracurricular activities that demonstrate a commitment to medicine. Once junior year arrives, students typically register for and take the MCAT, the required standardized exam that medical schools use to identify qualified candidates. Once taken, students apply to various schools using the automated AMCAS system, or using a non-AMCAS-using school's own application. The application process consists of a review of coursework, activities, work experience, and a personal statement. Applicants can expect to hear from schools within several weeks, at which point they may receive "secondary applications". These applications are generated by each individual school. They contain essay questions that the applicant must answer. A qualified applicant can expect to receive an invitation to interview at certain schools. Such an invitation is generally considered an accomplishment with regards to the amount of time and work one puts into building his candidacy. Upon completion of the interview, the application process is considered "complete," and applicants can then wait for letters from schools.


The Association of American Medical Colleges has created standard required courses that every pre-med student must take. Each school is allowed to place its own further requirements.

The pre-medical coursework is offered at many American colleges and universities; however, it is considered to be a "track" that follows a certain curriculum. Most pre-medical students major in the natural sciences, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, though this is not a requirement. Approximately 25% of matriculants major in a field other than the natural and physical sciences, such as anthropology, philosophy, or other humanities.[1]

The typical courses that must be taken to meet the pre-medical requirement are:

  • General Chemistry 1 & 2 (with laboratories)
  • General Biology 1 & 2 (with laboratories) (some schools allow zoology in place of second semester)
  • Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 (with laboratories) (some schools allow biochemistry in place of second semester)
  • General Physics 1 & 2 (with laboratories)
  • One or two semesters of math, usually Calculus 1 and either Calculus 2 or a statistics course
  • English and Writing

Pre-medical students may be advised or required to take upper level biology and chemistry electives, such as cellular biology, physical chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, etc. Specific requirements for these courses vary by institution.

Schools may also have requirements for non-science classes. Some schools require a certain number of general humanities credits, while others have specific requirements for courses in English, Psychology, or other disciplines.

Other Countries

In Australia, a number of universities offer a three or four year Bachelor of Medical Science or Biomedical Science degree, which is similar in content and aim to pre-med courses in the US, as the majority of graduates attempt to gain entry to a graduate medical school.

See also



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