Human Medicine

Allopathic and osteopathic doctors (MDs and DOs) may take on numerous roles in their careers, including seeing patients, conducting research, teaching, managing healthcare facilities, and developing healthcare policy, but caring for individuals’ health is at the heart of the profession. MDs and DOs are trained similarly, completing undergraduate medical education (med school) and graduate medical education (residency), and can practice in all of the same settings in the US.

Osteopathic medicine was developed in the 1870s by an allopathic physician who felt there was undue focus on disease at the expense of preventative care and treating illness within the context of the whole body.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and Association of American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) oversee allopathic and osteopathic medical education, respectively, and provide a wealth of information for aspiring physicians.

Academic Preparation

Course prerequisites often include:

  • General Chemistry with lab (2 semesters)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab (1 semester)
  • Physics with lab (2 semesters)
  • Introductory Biology with lab (2 semesters)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester)
  • Math: 1 semester math, 1 semester statistics
  • English (2 semesters)

Recommended Courses:

  • Psychology, Sociology (to facilitate MCAT preparation)

For more details: HPA Prehealth Preparation: Academic

Standardized Test

Applicants are expected to take the Medical College Admission Test within three years of planned matriculation to medical school (e.g., 2022 for matriculation in 2023 through 2025).

Cocurricular Preparation

It is essential to gain a real-world perspective on your profession of interest through clinical experience. Beyond that, choose service, research, leadership, and other activities that will help you develop the core competencies valued in entering medical students, including service orientation, cultural competence, and teamwork and communication skills.

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