University of Vermont

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Medicine

View AACOM recruitment video to learn more about osteopathic medicine training and practice.

There are two pathways to becoming a fully licensed physican in the U.S.  You can complete training in allopathic medicine for an MD or in osteopathic medicine for a DO.  Both pathways involve a four-year graduate academic program, residencies, and licensing exams; and both allow practice in any medical specialty.   What is osteopathic medicine?

Preparation for application to MD and DO programs are largely the same.   Students considering application to DO programs should specifically communicate their interest with the pre health advisor. Read more about becoming a physician.

CHOICE OF MAJOR

Does UVM have a premed major?
Similar to most colleges and universities in the United States, UVM does not have a premed major. You can be a premedical student preparing for medical school, while majoring in almost any subject area.

Should I major in science?
About 50% of all medical school applicants major in one of the biological or physical sciences. A science major is not, by any means, a prerequisite for medical school, and students are discouraged from majoring in science if they are doing so for the sole purpose of increasing their chances for admission. Medical schools are primarily concerned with the overall quality and scope of undergraduate work. Choose a subject area that is consistent with your academic strengths and interests.

The selection of a major should also be made with alternative careers in mind. 
Follow your true interests and work toward a goal of achieving the academic standing necessary for admission to medical school, which is very competitive. It is practical and appropriate for students to consider short- or long-term contingency plans, and career alternatives. Explore more health career options.

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ACADEMIC PREPARATION

Required and Recommended Course Work

SUBJECT AREA SEMESTERS UVM COURSES

Biology

2 semesters with lab REQUIRED

BIOL 001 & 002 OR
BCOR 011 & 012

BCOR 021 & BCOR 103 fulfills requirement as well

 

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Requirements are shifting but all schools require AT LEAST four semesters of chemistry. The trend is for schools to allow “two years of chemistry (four courses) including at least one of each of the following: inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry.” For non-science majors, this could be fulfilled with one year of general chemistry, and one semester each of organic chemistry and biochemistry. However, some schools may require laboratory components for all four semesters. Check individual medical schools’ websites for confirmation and specifics.

General Chemistry:
Non-majors: CHEM031 & 032

Checm/Biochem Majors: consult academic advisor

Organic Chemistry:
Non-majors: CHEM141 (+Chem 142 if two semesters)
Chem/Biochem majors: Consult Academic Advisor

Biochemistry:
Non-majors: BIOC 295 Fundamentals of Biochemistry

Chem/Biochem majors (and students wanting a more indepth two-semester biochem sequence):
BIOC 205/206 (+207 for lab component). Note that 205 does not include all of the material covered on MCATs and therefore it is recommende that students complete both 205 & 206.

Physics

 

2 semesters with lab REQUIRED

 PHYS 011 with 21 (lab) &
 PHYS 012 with 22 (lab)

Physics Majors: 051 & 152

 

English & Writing

 

Requirements & recommendations vary significantly by school. Many (but not all) require 2 semesters, one (or two) of which may be able to be fulfilled with a Colege-approved "intensive writing" course. Consult MSAR* or school websites. 

Writing intensive coures include ENGS 001, HCOL 085, and all TAP courses. Many other ENGS courses and courses in other departments will fulfill this recommendation/requirement as well.

 

Math

Requirements & recommendations vary widely by school.  One semester of calculus and one semester of statistics will satisfy the requirements at the majority of schools. (Keep in mind that some schools have no calculus requirements and most schools require or highly recommend statistics.)  Consult MSAR.* or school websites to determine specifics, including whether AP credit will be accepted for calculus requirement.

MATH 019 or 020, OR 021 or 022


AND

STAT 141 - optimal
STAT 111 - acceptable
Statistics-heavy courses in other disciplines may be sufficient, e.g., PSYS 54.
Biostatistics is recommended at some schools: BIOS/STAT 200.

 

Behavioral Sciences

Some schools have broad recommendations (or specific requirements) for courses in the social sciences. The MCAT tests foundational concepts in the behavioral sciences, many of which are covered in the introductory survey courses - PSYS 001 and SOC 001. Check school-specific requirements.

PSYS 001 (recommended)

SOC 001 (recommended)

See school-specific websites.

*Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) guide, published annually by the AAMC

 

Recommendations for Advanced Placed Students

SUBJECT AREA SEMESTERS UVM COURSES

 

Biology

If you receive AP credit for 1 (or 2) biology courses, most schools expect at least 1 (or 2) advanced biology courses to be taken at your undergraduate institution.  Coursework in Genetics and Molecular & Cell Biology will best align with MCAT content. Consult individual school websites and MSAR

BCOR 101
BCOR 103

 

 

 

Chemistry

If you receive AP credit for Chem 031 and/or 032: it is strongly advised that you talk with an advisor in the Chemistry department for guidance before deciding on your chemistry course sequence.

Some schools will not allow AP credit to count toward required prerequisites but will accept upper level courses in their place. Consult individual school websites and MSAR

CHEM 131 & 231 and CHEM 165 are upper levvel general chemistry courses that can count toward general chemistry prerequisites. Chem 051 & 052 are 1 credit general chemistry laboratory courses.

 

Physics

Some medical schools will accept AP credit for physics prerequisites without requiring advanced level courses in physics. However, some will not, and others will only on a case-by- case basis. Consult individual school websites and MSAR

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GET RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

Students are strongly encouraged to seek experiences that will allow them to test their career interests, and develop the skills and qualities necessary for successful application to medical school. Choose personally meaningful activities that will help you both develop and demonstrate the following skills and qualities identified by the AAMC as essential for success as a medical student and physician:

  • Integrity and Ethics
  • Reliability
  • Service Orientation
  • Social and Interpersonal Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Cultural Competence
  • Oral Communication

For example, Cultural Competence is the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures from your own.  Some activities that would support development of that ability include:

  • Studying abroad
  • Volunteering with the Refugee Resettlement Program
  • Mentoring international or newly immigrated students
  • Volunteering or working abroad

Tip: There is a growing popularity among premedical students to pursue healthcare experience abroad through medical service programs.   Some of these programs are costly, and vary in quality and reputation.  Students are advised to research programs carefully and to avoid those that allow them to participate at a level exceeding their qualifications and training.  If you are considering service abroad, please review the AAMC Guidelines for Providing Patient care.

Local Service and Health Organizations

Medical schools expect to see health-related experience and community service in an applicant’s background.  Check out the links below to get you thinking about just some of the many options available to you.  Don’t limit yourself to this list.

TIP: While supporting events and fundraisers are important and fun community contributions, medical schools like to see some depth of experience.  Consider making a regular weekly commitment over a sustained period of time. 

Relevant Campus Links
Research

75% of applicants admitted to medical school have pursued independent research.   If you have a genuine interest in pursuing (or trying out) research experience, talk to your faculty or contact the Office of Undergraduate Research to learn about opportunities on campus.

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TIMING

Plan ahead! Most people underestimate the time involved in this process, which should begin 18 months prior to the time you wish to begin your program. 

Should I apply at the end of my junior year? While the traditional approach was to apply at the end of junior year for a seamless transition from college to medical school, many applicants now apply after graduation, sometimes several years later.

The average age of a first-year medical student is now about 24-25. Students are encouraged to take the full four years of college to enhance their academic record, accommodate study abroad (optional), and develop the experiential background necessary for a highly competitive applicant pool. There are many timelines and profiles that can lead to a successful application.  Here are two:

Traditional or Early Timeline

  • Application Summer After Junior Year
  • Enroll in Medical School Right After College

Academic Year

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Assess your motivation for a medical career

x

x

x

 

Plan & complete required & recommended courses
In consultation with academic advisor

x

x

x

 

Consult Pre Health Advisor

x

x

x

x

Test & inform career goals through medically-related activities

x

x

x

x

Develop relevant skills & qualities for medical school & practice through personally meaningful experiences  on and off campus

x

x

x

x

Be proactive and get to know your professors

x

x

x

 

Open a pre-health file at Career Services & participate in the Pre Health Advisory Committee Review

 

 

x

 

Study for and take the MCAT

 

 

x

 

Research, visit, choose and apply to schools

 

 

x

 

Submit application through centralized application service
(AMCAS or AACOMAS)

 

 

x

 

Prepare for and attend school interviews

 

 

 

x

 

Advantageous or Extended Timeline

  • Allows four years to prepare
  • Apply in the summer after your senior year
  • Enroll in medical school after  “gap year"

Academic Year

Post Grad

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Assess your motivation for a medical career

x

x

x

x

 

Plan & complete required & recommended courses
In consultation with academic advisor

x

x

x

x

 

Consult Pre Health Advisor

x

x

x

x

x

Test & inform career goals through medically-related activities

x

x

x

x

x

Develop relevant skills & qualities for medical school & practice through personally meaningful activities on and off campus

x

x

x

x

x

Be proactive and get to know your professors

x

x

x

x

 

Open a pre-health file at Career Services and participate in the Pre Health Advisory Committee Review

 

 

 

x

 

Study for and take the MCAT

 

 

x or

x

 

Research, visit, choose and apply to schools

 

 

 

x

 

Submit application through centralized application service
(AMCAS or AACOMAS)

 

 

 

x

 

Prepare for and attend school interviews

 

 

 

 

x

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AM I READY TO APPLY THIS YEAR?

A competitive applicant has: 

  • Demonstrated academic excellence and completed their pre-requisite courses
  • Earned rich letters of strong recommendation from 3 faculty, 2 in the sciences
  • Achieved an MCAT score of 30 or higher
  • Thoughtfully tested and informed their career goals through related experience
  • Developed and demonstrated strong interpersonal skills, cultural competence and compassion toward others through community service
  • Maintained their personal integrity through professional and appropriate conduct
  • 75% have pursued independent study through research
  • Prepared to engage in rich dialogue during medical school interviews about their pre-professional development for medical school and their understanding of their intended profession
  • Some record of commitment and depth in some aspect of their background

If you’re not sure about your readiness, consult the Pre Health Advisor for guidance.  Candidates are encouraged not to rush to application, as this rarely yields a successful result.

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MCAT – STANDARDIZED ADMISSION TEST FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam comprised of 4 sub-tests and designed to assess specific content knowledge, as well as reading and critical thinking skills. The 4 sub-tests include: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (formerly known as Verbal Reasoning). Learn more here.

Timing: Students are advised to take the MCAT no later than May in the year of application to allow for a timely and informed application. Most schools consider test scores valid for up to three years.

Tips: The MCAT should be taken after completion of the required and recommended science coursework. While most schools have no formal requirements for behavioral science, students are responsible for learning the material tested in the behavioral science section of the test. Students may choose to do this by taking appropriate courses, or pursuing independent study.

Effective MCAT preparation must include timed practice tests. These are available for purchase through the AAMC and a number of commercial test prep companies.

Don't underestimate the CARS section. Though not content driven, plan to dedicate plenty of time toward learning strategies, and practicing the skills and pace necessary to perform well in this highly valued section.

Registration opens in October for the January-June test dates, and February for the July-September test dates. In order to register online, you must first create an AAMC account. Plan to register for the test a good 60 days or more in advance of your intended test date. Early registration will improve your chances of getting a seat on your preferred date at your preferred location, and will also afford lower fees and higher flexibility for changes.

The Fee Assistance Program (FAP), among other considerable benefits, provides a reduced MCAT registration fee for awardees. Benefits are not retroactive, so you must apply for benefits well before you register for the test.

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COMMITTEE LETTER PROCESS (CLP) for APPLICATION TO MEDICAL SCHOOL

Medical school applicants, who meet eligibility requirements, are encouraged to participate in UVM’s Pre-Health Advisory Committee’s CLP, which will provide the applicant with an institutional Letter of Reference. Candidates must attend a CLP Application Info Session in November or early December (see Pre-Health calendar for dates), complete an intent to participate form, submit all required documents and assignments by stated deadlines in the CLP Application information Booklet, and participate in two formal interviews with the Committee.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Status as a UVM degree-seeking undergraduate student or alum
    • If an alum, graduation from UVM within last 5 years
    • UVM and non-UVM post-baccalaureate students should consult their respective Program Advisor for advising and CLP booklet
    • On schedule to complete all prerequisites for medical/dental school by May 2018
  • Completion of 24 credits of relevant science coursework at UVM
  • GPA of 3.20 or higher
  • Science and math average (BCMP) of 3.20 or higher
  • At least 1 semester (or equivalent) of a health-related activity or 40 hours of physician shadowing
  • No prior participation in CLP: Only 1 Committee Letter will be written per student
  • Current medical or dental school applicants seeking matriculation in Fall 2018 without having participated in CLP must finish out the full 2018 application cycle prior to being eligible for the process.

Meeting these baseline requirements does not imply a competitive application. You will be evaluated holistically, on your academic record, the strength and quality of your recommendations, health-related experience, service-orientation as evidenced by your record, perseverance through hardship if applicable, and areas of distinction beyond your academic record. You are strongly advised to develop a competitive candidacy prior to entering the Committee Letter Review process

To assess your readiness, read more here. You may also schedule a meeting with the pre health advisor to discuss your readiness and/or strategies to enhance your candidacy.

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MEDICAL SCHOOL DIRECTORIES AND APPLICATION SERVICES

Timing: Completing the application is a lengthy and time-consuming process, so start early. You can begin working on your AMCAS application at the very beginning of June.  Submit your application as early in the cycle as possible, as many of the schools use rolling admissions.  If you can't apply until late summer or early fall, you are strongly encouraged to wait and apply the following year.

Timing: See above.  You can begin working on your AACOMAS application at the very beginning of May.

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FINANCIAL AID

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Last modified November 15 2017 10:11 AM