Getting a medical education is a competitive effort as thousands of students apply for different MD programs every year. Medical schools in the Canada and U.S have low acceptance rates whereas Caribbean medical schools are emerging as a top alternative due to high acceptance rates as well as quality education.
Every medical school requires you to fulfill certain criteria to be eligible for admission. The medical school requirements range from academic requirements to hands-on clinical experience shadowing physicians. Most medical schools also require you to have a graduate degree in any field before submitting an application.
If you are an aspiring medical student, here are some of the standard medical school requirements to make your application process a little easier.
Although medical schools encourage students from all educational backgrounds, it is mandatory that you complete the prescribed set of pre-requisite coursework before submitting your application. This is to ensure that you have a basic understanding of science subjects and will easily navigate through the various medical school semesters.
Here is a list of the pre-med coursework you must complete:
- One year of general biology with a laboratory component
- One year each of organic and inorganic chemistry with a laboratory component
- One year of college-level English to demonstrate your proficiency in reading, writing, and comprehension
- A background in computer science, humanities, social or physical sciences is also recommended
You also have the option to substitute one semester of organic chemistry with biochemistry if interested.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
The MCAT assesses problem-solving and critical thinking skills along with a knowledge of basic science concepts and principles. The MCAT is mandatory for all applicants who are U.S. citizens and others with outdated coursework, low grades, and coursework completed from community colleges.
However, medical schools recommend that all students attend the MCAT even though it’s not a compulsory requirement. A good MCAT score can increase your admission prospects to a medical school.
As medical schools welcome students from different nationalities and cultures who may not be native English speakers, it is mandatory to submit a language proficiency certificate such as TOEFL or IELTS. The curriculum and lectures in medical schools take place in English so a good command of the language is essential.
Applicants who are non-native speakers are required to submit TOEFL certificates to ensure that they understand the language well and can communicate efficiently.
Patient care experience
Applicants must have some hands-on experience in patient care to be eligible for admission to most medical schools. The minimum suggested hours is 50 in several reputed universities. You can earn this experience through volunteering in hospitals or clinics, shadowing physicians, or working as an emergency medical technician.
This experience will be a forerunner to the clinical rotations that are taken during the final two years of the MD program.
Once you fulfill all the criteria and ensure that all the required documents are completed, you can go ahead and submit your application to the medical school of your choice. If the admission committee is happy with your application, you will receive a call for an interview.
Go ahead and submit your medical school applications today.
Review Navigating Medical School Requirements: What You Need to Know.