Medicine is a multifaceted career that allows an individual to pursue a variety of options. Some career choices include those in the fields of allied health or integrative medicine, allopathic or osteopathic medicine, chiropractic practices, optometry, podiatric medicine, medical administration, public health, mental health, environmental health, scientific research, and teaching.
With new advances in medicine and science constantly being discovered and reinvented, the field of medicine is always evolving. Consequently, this career demands lifelong learning, the pursuit of obtaining additional medical education and certifications, and an appreciation of the intellectual challenges associated with scientific discovery. There are many rewarding aspects of this career that include the opportunity care for patients in need, contribute the field of scientific discovery, and to make a real difference in the lives of other individuals. However, the journey to follow this career path to completion can be emotionally and physically demanding as it is long and rigorous.
The course work required by pre-medical curricula can be challenging and upon nearing completion there is a long application process. Once admitted into medical school, there are four years of training in the basic sciences and clinical experiences followed by several years of clinical training and licensing exams. Therefore, the decision to pursue this career should not be taken lightly. The American Association of Medical Colleges has a tool designed to help potential students determine if a medical career is an appropriate career choice.
Holy Family University provides a pre-medical committee consisting of Biology and Psychology faculty members as well as physicians who attended Holy Family as undergraduate students. This committee conducts interviews with prospective applicants serious about applying to a health profession program. Following the interview, a letter of recommendation is provided for the applicant on behalf of the committee. The purpose of this letter is to provide an additional evaluation of the applicant that may or may not be accurately reflected in the student’s transcripts or performance on the standardized exam.
The committee is also available for students to contact for advice or information. In addition to ad hoc communications, they meet with the pre-medical students once a year and have an annual reception.
Pre-Medical Course Work
Most medical schools have a minimum set of core prerequisite courses that are required by their programs. These core classes include two semesters of General Chemistry with laboratories, two semesters of Organic Chemistry with laboratories, two semesters of Biology with laboratories, two semesters of Physics with laboratories, two semesters of Math (commonly Calculus I and either Calculus II or a statistics course), two semesters of social sciences, and at least one semester of English.
Ideally, these classes would be universal for all medical schools, however this in the not the case. Here is an individualized list of courses required by each accredited medical school.
The pre-medical track at Holy Family is based on a curriculum that prepares students for careers in the health professions with the knowledge of fundamental concepts in the biological, biochemical, chemical, physical and social and behavioral sciences. This curriculum incorporates the core set of prerequisite course required by most medical programs with additional courses recommended by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). In addition, this track includes targeted classes in the social and behavioral sciences to prepare students for the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Click here for additional information regarding the other sections of the MCAT.
Pre-Medical track students satisfy the requirements of the Biology degree program and the following track concentration courses:
- Biological Principles I, II
- Anatomy and Physiology I, II
- Cell Biology
- Advanced Microbiology
- Principles of Genetics
- Seminar: Scientific Literature
- Inorganic, Organic, and Cultural Evolution
- Molecular Genetics
- Modern Concepts in Biochemistry I, II
- Chemistry Principles I, II
- Organic Chemistry I, II
- Elementary Statistics
- Calculus I
- Calculus II
- General Physics I, II
- Psychology as a Natural Science
- Successful completion of written and oral components of comprehensive exam and poster presentation
Students enrolled in the Pre-Medical Track are required to maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA or higher in all coursework since this is the minimum GPA required in order to receive a letter of recommendation from the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee. Students in the track who have a cumulative GPA less than 3.3 at the end of their junior year will transition to the BA in Biology program.