Will Huntingdon prepare me for medical school?
The Huntingdon College Medicine Track will provide you with the skills, knowledge, confidence, laboratory training, and communication skills to be successful in medical school and in a variety of physician settings. Whether you plan to practice as a family physician, work as a specialist in oncology, radiation, sport medicine, as a physician in an emergency room, or as a medical missionary, your Huntingdon training will prepare you for any path you choose to take in medical school.
Because of our challenging coursework, undergraduate research equipment, detailed lab assignments, and opportunities for meaningful internships, you will gain a competitive advantage for admission to D.O. or M.D. programs. Letters of recommendation—written by Huntingdon faculty who know you personally throughout your Huntingdon academic career—will strengthen your medical school or osteopathic medical school applications. Mock interviews, essay writing assistance, personal advising by faculty in Huntingdon’s Pre-Health Professions Committee, and our “Boot Camp” MCAT preparation course are part of the Huntingdon Medicine Track.
Medical doctors are respected members of society who have earned either the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. They range from family physicians to specialists. In the United States, fewer than 45 percent of students who meet the requirements below and who apply to medical school are admitted. We want to give Huntingdon students who are preparing for medical school the skills and opportunities necessary to make their dreams a success. In comparison to the national averages, during the past 14 years 80 percent of Huntingdon students who have applied for medical school admission have been admitted.
Preparing for Medical School or Osteopathic Medical School
In order to gain acceptance into a medical school, you must accomplish five things:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree in any major;
- Achieve excellent grades overall and in the basic sciences;
- Earn a competitive Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score;
- Get involved as a health-related volunteer; and
- Obtain shadowing and research experience.
Medical schools do not select students on the basis of major. While most of Huntingdon’s successful medical school applicants have majored in one of the sciences (i.e., Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry), students from other majors have been admitted. We recommend that students choose the major that interests them most. While medical schools are not concerned about major, they do want to see that you have taken a rigorous plan of study. Medical school is not easy, and this is a way for students to demonstrate that they can survive the rigors of medical school study.
MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
The MCAT is a standardized computer-based exam that most medical schools require, and is often considered the most important indicator of academic performance. The MCAT is a key tool upon which medical schools base interview decisions, since it allows a standardized evaluation of applicants. MCAT scores are consistent since the test is administered by the AAMC. The test comprises four major sections: verbal reasoning, physical sciences, biological sciences, and a writing sample in multiple-choice and essay formats. The test is designed to measure problem-solving, critical thinking, and breadth of scientific knowledge, and takes about five-and-a-half hours to complete. Scores are usually reported 30 days after the exam is taken. We recommend that students prepare intensely four months before the exam, and take at least six full-length practice tests. Some schools will take the student’s best MCAT score; others will evaluate all attempts at the MCAT. Therefore, one should never take the MCAT if not prepared. Planning ahead is critical.
A competitive MCAT score is 30 or better.
See: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/ for more information.
Medical school admission requirements
Admission requirements vary from school to school, but most medical schools have the same basic requirements:
- 2 semesters of Biology with labs
- 2 semesters of Physics with labs
- 2 semesters of English
- 2 semesters of Mathematics (*Calculus)
- 2 semesters of General Chemistry with labs
- 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with labs
- *1 semester of Biochemistry
*Required by some medical schools
The above courses are considered the minimum requirements for admission to medical school. Students should try to complete these requirements by the end of the junior year of undergraduate study so they can apply to medical school in a timely fashion. Remember that content from the minimum required courses is represented on the MCAT so it is wise to complete these courses as soon as possible in your undergraduate years. Early planning also prevents having to take all of these time-demanding science courses in the same year.
To be competitive for admission to medical school, grades in the prerequisite courses are significant. Students should always strive to make As in all courses. However, we recommend that the prerequisite and any science course receive top priority. A competitive GPA for medical school is 3.50 or higher.
Medical schools look for applicants who are concerned about the community. One measure of this concern is through community service experiences. There are many opportunities for students to demonstrate their concern for the community, such as working with the homeless, tutoring for underserved populations and adult literacy programs, building with Habitat for Humanity and other programs.
In addition to seeking applicants who are concerned about the community, medical schools want applicants who understand the demands of medical school and of the medical profession. Someone who faints at the sight of blood is likely not a good candidate for medical school. Therefore, in order to be competitive for admission, students must have significant shadowing experience. The more diverse the experiences the better, and students should strive to work with the same physician for about four or more months of weekly shadowing. Shadowing must be completed before submitting the medical school application, and we recommend that students study intently for the MCAT their second semester junior year. Thus, shadowing should be conducted prior to second semester junior year.
Medicine Track Internships
Huntingdon Medicine Track students have interned with:
- The M.D. Connection
- Baptist East Medical Center
- Jackson Hospital
- Local physicians
- ProImpact Sports Medicine
Medical School Placements
Among other medical school programs, Huntingdon graduates have been accepted into these programs:
- Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Alabama School of Medicine
- Rural Medical Scholars programs at the University of Alabama and Huntsville and Auburn University
- Universidad Iberoamericana (Dominican Republic)
- Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Oklahoma School of Medicine
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Pike College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of South Alabama School of Medicine
- Temple University School of Podiatry
- University of Tennessee School of Medicine
- Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia
- Association of American Medical Colleges – http://www.aamc.org/
This site contains numerous resources for medical school applicants, including AMCAS procedures, MCAT information, specific medical school admission requirements and statistical information.
- University of Alabama at Birmingham – http://www.uab.edu/home/healthcare
A source for in-state information for an Alabama medical professional school, including specifics on medicine, dentistry, and ophthalmology.
For more information on the Huntingdon Medicine Track, contact Dr. Doba Jackson, Pre-Health Professionsl Committee Medicine Track Adviser.