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Pre-Medicine
Coordinator: Anne Kruchten, akrucht, x2464, Graf 204A

Application to medical school is a very competitive process.  Acceptance is based on grade point average, Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, letters of recommendation, and personal drive for a career in medicine.  Only very qualified applicants are accepted and matriculate into medical school.

Pre-med students can major in one of the sciences, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or General Science, or in areas outside of the sciences by combining medical school prerequisites with general education and major requirements.  Choosing a major within the sciences can provide students an alternative health-related field in case medical school is not an option. Students are encouraged to major in a field they enjoy and will excel in.  Medical school admissions committees enjoy seeing applicants with a wide-variety of academic and personal interests.

GUIDELINES FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS:

FALL SEMESTER:

  • Attend Pre-Medicine Info Night held early fall semester, or make appointment with Dr. Anne Kruchten
  • Enroll in any INQS 125
  • Prepare to take yearlong sequences of General Chemistry and Principles of Biology at beginning of academic careers, as these are prerequisites for upper division courses and MCAT exam. Students should consult with academic advisor to determine potential options for enrollment:
    • Students with excellent high school science and math preparation may elect to enroll in both Gen. Chem. And P.O.B. sequences during their first year.
    • Students may also elect to take one of the sequences during the first year and the other sequence during second year. A student should consider his/her high school math and science preparation and any college placement info during a discussion with academic advisor to make this decision.
    • Many pre-medical students at Linfield and nationwide are electing to take a “gap year” after graduation, meaning that they postpone enrolling in medical school for a year.  If a student does not want to take a gap year, the three-year chemistry sequence of CHEM 210,211, 321, 322, and 440 must be completed by the end of the junior year in order to prepare for the MCAT.  In this case, CHEM 210 and 211 must be completed in the first year if all courses are taken at Linfield.
    • Mathematics - Pre-Med students must complete mathematics courses through MATH 175: Calculus II. Review the math placement form and continue in the appropriate mathematics course. Complete schedule with LC courses or courses to explore potential majors and/or minors.

SPRING SEMESTER:

  • Enroll in any INQS (if not completed in the Fall)
  • Continue science course sequence
  • Continue math course sequence
  • Complete schedule with LC courses or courses to explore potential majors and/or minors.
  • After establishing good study habits and a successful academic foundation, begin focusing on a balance between academics and community involvement.  In particular, medical schools look for a demonstrated long-term commitment to service of others (which can take a variety of forms- contact Anne Kruchten with questions).

ADVISING INFORMATION: 

National requirements for entrance into medical school are changing!  For this reason, it is important to keep in contact with the Pre-Med Coordinator to be informed of updates and receive helpful advice.  It is the responsibility of students to investigate the requirements of the specific medical schools to which they intend to apply.  These requirements are listed in the latest edition of Medical Schools Admissions Requirements (Nicholson Library Ref. R 745.A8).  In general, most schools require the following as a minimum:                               

  • PHYS 210-211: Introduction to Mechanics and Introduction to Electromagnetism
  • BIOL 210-211: Principles of Biology
  • MATH: Most medical school require one year of college-level math (this requirement varies and many schools require calculus). Calculus (MATH 170-180) is a pre-requisite at Linfield for PHYS 210-211.  Statistics (MATH 140) is recommended in addition to one year of college-level math
  • CHEM 210-211: General Chemistry
  • CHEM 321-322: Organic Chemistry
  • Completion of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  • A Bachelor’s degree

Note:  The University of Washington strongly recommends Biochemistry for students entering medical school.  Oregon Health & Science University requires both Biochemistry and Genetics for students entering medical school.

Note:  All Math and Science courses taken must be ones that apply for majors in that field.  Always check with the Registrar before enrolling in courses at other institutions to ensure credits will transfer appropriately.

Admission to medical school is competitive.  In addition to the above listed courses, competitive applicants should:                           

  • Meet with the Coordinator of the Pre-Med Program as early as possible, preferably in the first year
  • Make time for volunteer experience in health care that will expose them to various aspects of the health profession and allow them to work with various populations.  Experience with indigent peoples, inner city populations, or people in developing countries are especially recommended
  • Make arrangements to shadow a health-care professional for a day or longer in order to experience the field first hand
  • Find opportunities for research experience
  • Stay abreast of health care issues by reading and learning about national and local debates about such issues as HMOs, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide.  When traveling, make every effort to learn about health care issues in other countries
  • Develop a long-range plan for preparing for the MCAT.  Information regarding the MCAT is available in the Career Center and from the Coordinator of the Pre-Med program.
  • Log on to the website of the American Association of Medical Colleges – www.aamc.org - and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine - http://www.aacom.org - for valuable information about medical school admissions
  • Join the Pre-med Club to learn more about this career path.