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Pre-Medicine

 


For More Information

Premedical Advisor
Department of Biology
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5126
Email: Biology@missouristate.edu

Premedical Advisor
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5603
Email: BiomedicalSciences@missouristate.edu

Premedical Advisor
Department of Chemistry
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5506
Email: Chemistry@missouristate.edu
http://www.missouristate.edu/assets/bms/
premedical_student_handbook.pdf

Career Preparation

The practice of medicine is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of disease and trauma. Entry into medical practice may be gained through admission to an allopathic medical school from which the graduate earns an M.D. degree or through admission to an osteopathic medical school from which the graduate earns a D.O. degree. Although there are some differences in education and practice emphases, both types of physicians are licensed health care professionals. Either of the two routes requires a total of about 11 years of formal undergraduate and professional training.

Admission to medical schools remains highly competitive with more students applying than can be admitted. Competitive admission and the long period of educational preparation that is required to become a physician demands that students understand the qualifications and preparations needed to become a viable applicant to medical school. These include a strong personal commitment and a large investment of effort, time and financial resources. Admission becomes possible only when a student possesses high intellectual and personal abilities and demonstrates a record of academic excellence.

Other qualities sought by medical schools include social consciousness, good interpersonal communication skills and a record of community service and leadership. Activities must demonstrate that the applicant is service- and people-oriented. Medical- and hospital-related experiences demonstrate that the student has the experience to be able to make an informed decision about becoming a physician. Other factors taken into consideration include letters of recommendation, personality, motivation, interview impressions and difficulty of course work. All premedical students are wise to plan for alternate career options while pursuing their undergraduate degree.

In order to practice medicine, graduates of medical schools must pass a licensure examination to be licensed as a physician. Generally two portions of this exam are completed while in medical school. Typically physicians then complete three or more years of postgraduate studies in a residency program in an area of medical or surgical specialization. Most residency programs are selective and have limited openings. Students seeking admission to foreign medical schools need to be aware of limited residency opportunities. Recent shifts in residency programs across the United States are showing more opportunities in the primary care specialties, such as family practice, and fewer opportunities in the more highly specialized practice areas of medicine.

Academic Program

Commitment to a premedical program is a professional intention and does not represent an academic major. Most premedical students choose science majors and/or minors, but a science major is not a prerequisite for admission into medical school as long as the medical school core requirements have been met. Premedical advisors are found in most departments. Since there is no ideal applicant, the premedical advisor serves to guide each student through the program of preparation suited to each student’s individual needs. In addition, the Missouri State Pre-Medical Committee assists students in the more formal aspects of the medical school admission process. Pre-Medical students also are urged to participate in the student Pre-Medical Society and other university-sponsored activities.

Superior academic achievement and high selectivity of applicants with desired attributes and experiences ensure that medical schools obtain applicants able to complete a rigorous medical school program. Options for several science majors and suggested ways of meeting core requirements and recommended course work are outlined in the Premedical Student Handbook, a student guide available from any premedical advisor.

Courses

All premedical students, regardless of their major, should complete a set of recommended core courses. These are courses that will minimally satisfy entrance requirements to medical schools. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course information. Recommended core courses are listed below:

  • Two semesters of English composition (Writing I and Writing II)
  • Two semesters of college mathematics, with at least calculus eligibility reached
  • Two semesters of introductory biological science, including laboratory, plus two semesters of advanced courses such as vertebrate or human anatomy, general or human physiology, molecular cell biology, histology, embryology or genetics (human or general)
  • Two semesters of general chemistry with laboratory and two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory
  • Two semesters of general physics with laboratory

Details regarding core requirements along with recommended electives may be found in the Premedical Student Handbook.

Also, consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog. The following is a generic premedical course schedule. It includes general education requirements and recommended science background. The suggested coursework and time-table, including electives, are intended to prepare premedical students for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) which is taken during the second semester of the junior year. Keep in mind that there are many different options available for fulfilling requirements for entry into medical school. Details regarding the various options can be found in the Premedical Student Handbook.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
CHM 161 General Chemistry I Laboratory1
BIO 121 or BMS 1104
CHM 160 General Chemistry I4
MTH (see advisor)3-5
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
ENG 110 Writing I3
Total Hours 15-18
Second Semester Courses Hours
BIO 122 or BMS 2314
CHM 170 General Chemistry II3
CHM 171 General Chemistry II Laboratory1
MTH (see Pre-Med Handbook)3-5
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
CSC 101 or CIS 1012
Total Hours 16-18

Sophomore Year

First Semester Courses Hours
MTH (see Pre-Med Handbook3-5
CHM 3104
General Ed Electives6
Major Requirements3
Total Hours 17-19
Second Semester Courses Hours
CHM 3113
General Ed Electives6
Major Requirements6
Total Hours 17

www.missouristate.edu/assets/bms/premedical_student_handbook.pdf