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Would someone attend pre med instead of attending a normal four year college before med school?

I am a highschool student very interested in medicine. I have been looking into the careers of radiologists, sports medicine, and physical and rehabilitation physicians. Is premed something someone typically enters right our of highschool? #college #medicine #pre-med


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Catherine’s Answer

Hi Angela,


It's great to hear that you are interested in medicine. It looks like you are considering a variety of different careers in medicine.


First of all, I wanted to give you a definition of what "pre-med" usually means, so that we are on the same page. Pre-med refers to a program or major at a four year university/college that covers the classes and knowledge that are required for application to a medical school and will prepare you for the MCAT, the test that all students applying to medical school in the U.S. must take. Ideally, you would apply for college or university during your senior year of high school, get accepted, and then choose this type of program when you enter college.


If you want to be a physician (which is the same thing as a doctor), you will have to attend a four year college, then go to medical school for four years, and then do some additional training after that - this applies to careers like radiologist, orthopedic surgeon, and more. Athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, and kinesiotherapists and others require less training, with at least a Bachelor's degree that you can get from a four year college and usually also an accreditation program that takes 1-2 years, or less, afterward.


There are other careers in medicine that can take less schooling, but those are more like assistant jobs to the people who hold the positions I listed above.


so if you are interested in radiology you would do the same training as physicians? Ashia B.

correct, a radiologist is a type of physician. Catherine Castillo

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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a college that suits your personality and a major that interests you. Premed isn't usually a major. It's just a designation of your intent to apply to med school after college.

You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Premed isn't usually a major. It's

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

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Rachel’s Answer

Any 4 year university should offer the premed courses. These classes and a bachelor's at a 4 year university are the only way to apply to medical school (unless your college has an integrated path).

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Estelle’s Answer

I agree with Richard and Rachel. You need to go to college before medical school. All the exciting fields you mentioned require a medical degree, and medical schools have prerequisites that are filled by your college courses. You will also need the college courses to help you start preparing for the MCAT medical school entrance exam. There are some universities that have fast track programs where you are automatically admitted into their medical school after completing your degree with a minimum GPA.

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