Preparing for a Career in Medicine

Once you have decided to pursue a career in dentistry, you should:

  1. Declare the Premedical Studies Co-Major.
  2. Read the Pre-Healthcare FAQ that provides general advice for students considering healthcare careers.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the information on this page.
  4. Obtain more detailed information about specific medical school requirements from medical school websites or resources such as:
    • Medical School Admission Requirements
      This resource book, published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, provides the specific admission requirements of each U.S. and Canadian allopathic medical schools.
    • Osteopathic Medical College Information Book
      This resource book, published by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, provides the specific admission requirements of each U.S. osteopathic medical school.
  5. Learn more about the medical profession and medical education by visiting websites such as:
  6. Sign up to receive emails about upcoming prehealth events and opportunities at Miami from the Mallory-Wilson Center Prehealth Niihka site (email Mr. Robert Balfour to sign up).
  7. Try to attend meetings and events organized by one of Miami's premed organizations (AMSA, Miami MED, Phi Delta Epsilon, and Med Life). These student-run organizations are here to help you attain your goal of becoming a physician.
  8. Try to attend events organized by the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education.
  9. If you have any questions about preparing for a career in medicine, please feel free to contact Miami's Chief Premedical Advisor Mr. Robert Balfour (balfoura@MiamiOH.edu, (513) 529-3149, 106 Pearson Hall) or one of the members of Miami's Premedical Advisory Committee:
Miami's Premedical Advisory Committee
Department Advisor Office Phone
Anthropology Cameron Hay-Rollins
(hayrolc@MiamiOH.edu)
124D Upham 529-8399
Biology Dr. David Pennock, Chair
(pennocdg@MiamiOH.edu)
248 Pearson 529-3127
Dr. Alan Cady
(cadyab@MiamiOH.edu)
148 Pearson 529-3176
Dr. Susan Hoffman
(hoffmasm@MiamiOH.edu)
246 Pearson 529-3125
Dr. Lori Isaacson
(isaacslg@MiamiOH.edu)
280 Pearson 529-3142
Dr. Paul James
(jamespf@MiamiOH.edu)
278 Pearson 529-3129
Dr. Kathleen Killian
(killiaka@MiamiOH.edu)
260 Pearson 529-3310
Chemistry and Biochemistry Dr. Janet Marshall
(marshaj@MiamiOH.edu)
217 Levy
(Middletown)
727-3398
Dr. Rick Page
(pagerc@MiamiOH.edu)
160 Hughes 529-2813
Dr. Heeyoung Tai
(taih@MiamiOH.edu)
239 Hughes 529-8649
Engineering Dr. Brian Kirkmeyer
(kirkmebp@MiamiOH.edu)
106H Benton 529-0700
English Dr. Cindy Klestinec
(klestic@MiamiOH.edu)
319 Bachelor 529-6512
Geography Dr. Marcia England
(m.england@MiamiOH.edu)
108 Shideler 529-5023
Kinesiology Dr. Dean Smith
(smithdl2@MiamiOH.edu)
26E Phillips 529-2775
Microbiology Dr. Kelly Abshire
(abshirk@MiamiOH.edu)
032 Pearson 529-5422
Dr. Joseph Carlin
(carlinjm@MiamiOH.edu)
048 Pearson 529-5426
Physics Dr. Paul Urayama
(urayampk@MiamiOH.edu)
39 Culler 529-9274
Psychology Dr. Jonathan Kunstman
(jonathan.kunstman@MiamiOH.edu)
100 Psychology 529-2400
Dr. Peter Simson
(simsonpe@MiamiOH.edu)
117 Psychology 529-2443
Sociology and Gerontology Dr. Jennifer Bulanda
(bulandjr@MiamiOH.edu)
356 Upham 529-5642

Choice of Major

In addition to being a Premedical Studies Co-Major (while it's not required, we strongly recommend it), you must select a major in a specific academic discipline. Which major should you choose? Well, medical schools do not give preference for admission based on any specific major. However, they do strongly prefer students who excel academically (regardless of major). Therefore you should feel comfortable pursing any major on campus. Just be aware that, regardless of which major you choose to pursue, every premed student has to also take the medical school prerequisites courses (premedical coursework).

Premedical Coursework

Students planning to pursue the Premedical Studies Co-Major will complete the medical school prerequisite coursework as part of the Co-Major. Students who are not planning to pursue the Premedical Studies Co-Major should take the following courses before taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and applying to medical school:

Medical School Requirement - Miami Equivalent
Subject Courses
English 1 year or equivalent
Biochemistry
(1 semester)
CHM 432
Biology
(1 year with lab)
BIO/MBI 115, 116*
General Chemistry
(1 year with lab)
CHM 141, 142 and CHM 144, 145
Organic Chemistry
(1 year with lab)
CHM 241, 242 and CHM 244, 245
or
CHM 251, 252 and CHM 254, 255
Physics
(1 year with lab)
PHY 161, 162
or
PHY 191, 192
Professional Development PMD 101 and PMD 301
Social Science
(1 year)
PSY 111, 112
and
SOC 153
Statistics STA 261 or STA 301 or STA 368 or ISA 205 (calculus-based)

* BOT/ZOO 115, 116 will also fulfill this requirement.

Additional Requirements

The list of required courses should be considered a minimum list. Medical schools may require courses in addition to those listed above. For example:

  • If you plan to apply to the Ohio State University College of Medicine, you'll need to take the courses listed above, plus a course in Human Anatomy (BIO 201).
  • If you plan to apply to the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, you'd need to take the courses listed above, plus 1 semester of math (i.e. Calculus I (MTH 151)).

In fact, we recommend that all premed students take a year of college math that includes a semester of Statistics (STA 261). This should fulfill the requirements of the vast majority of medical schools that require a year of math.

Therefore, you should look up the specific course requirements of the schools in which you are planning to apply. This way you'll be able to plan your undergraduate curriculum to meet the requirements of those schools. Lastly, in addition to the required courses, take courses that will provide you with a "well-rounded" education, and will help to improve your written and oral communication skills.

AP Credit

While Miami will accept AP credit towards fulfilling undergraduate requirements, you should use caution when using AP credit for classes that are required by medical schools. The reason for this is that medical schools are not standard in how they handle AP credit being used in place of taking their medical school requirements. Therefore, before using AP credit in lieu of taking a medical school requirement, you should look up the AP policy of the schools in which you are planning to apply.

Course Planning

With a little planning, the course requirements for medical school can be completed in three years. Below is a course schedule of a typical premedical student during their first year. This schedule is strongly recommended unless the curriculum required by your major dictates otherwise.

Typical First-Year Courses for a Premedical Student
Fall Semester Spring Semester
CHM 141 (3) CHM 142 (3)
CHM 144 (2) CHM 145 (2)
ENG 111 (3) ENG 112 (3)
BIO/MBI 115 (4) BIO/MBI 116 (4)
Elective (3-5) Elective (3-5)
PMD 101 (1)
16-18 total credit hours 15-17 total credit hours

In addition to the specific courses recommended above, you must decide what additional class (elective 3-5 hours) you want to take each semester. That class will depend on your interest and potential choice of major. It is strongly recommended that the class you choose:

  • be of strong interest to you
  • count toward your major
  • be in the social sciences (i.e. PSY 111 and 112, SOC 153) or humanities area

Electing to take math or a language during your first semester should only be done if this is an area of interest and strength for you.

Applying to Medical School

Competition for places in medical school is keen and medical school admission committees choose among many talented students. The evaluation of candidates is based largely on objective criteria; a high overall and science GPA, as well as, competitive scores on the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT) are very important. Other important factors are:

  • significant prior experience in medicine (we recommend at least 80 hours of physician observation)
  • well-developed interpersonal skills
  • evidence of leadership potential as shown by a few carefully chosen extracurricular activities
  • strong letters of reference

All U.S. medical schools use one of three online application services:

Since it takes approximately 1 year to complete the medical school application process, most students apply to medical school after their third year of undergraduate work with the goal of matriculating into medical school after their 4th year at Miami.

Planning for Your Application

For information on how to apply to medical school (processes and timelines), please contact:

Mr. Robert Balfour
106 Pearson Hall
(513) 529-3149
balfoura@MiamiOH.edu

In addition, plan to take Preparing for a Career in Medicine (PMD 301) in the semester before you plan to apply to medical school.