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

BIOL 1 & 2  OR
BCOR 11 & 12

 

Chemistry

2 semesters of inorganic chemistry with lab and
2 semesters of organic chemistry with lab

CHEM 31 & 32
(35 & 36 for majors)
CHEM 141 & 142
(143 &144 for majors)

Biochemistry

Some schools require 1 semester, and most strongly recommend it.  1 semester should be completed in preparation for MCAT 2015.

BIOC 212

BIOC 205/206 for majors

Physics

 

2 semesters with lab

 PHYS 11 with 21 (lab) &
 PHYS 12 with 22 (lab)

(51 & 152 for majors)

 

English

 

Requirements & recommendations vary by school.   Many require 2 semesters of English or Equivalent.  Consult MSAR*.

Choose writing intensive courses, i.e. ENG 1, 6, 50, 57, etc.
Some TAP and Honors College Seminars may fulfill the requirement.

 

Math

Requirements & recommendations vary widely by school.  Some require 1 to 2 semesters of Calculus.  Consult MSAR.* 1 semester of statistics should be completed in preparation for MCAT 2015.

MATH 19, 20
MATH 21, 22 (for majors or AP)
STAT 111
STAT 141
Statistics-heavy courses in other disciplines may be sufficient.

 

Behavioral Sciences

Some schools require 2 semesters.  1 semester of Psychology and 1 semester of Sociology should be completed in preparation for MCAT 2015.

PSYC 1

SOC 1

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

 

Recommendations for Advanced Placed Students

SUBJECT AREA SEMESTERS UVM COURSES

 

Biology

If you AP out of 1 or both biology courses, most schools expect at least 1 or 2 advanced biology courses.  Coursework in Genetics and Molecular & Cell Biology should help with MCAT performance.

BCOR 101
BCOR 103

 

 

 

Chemistry

If you AP out of Introductory Chemistry, it is strongly recommended that you take General Chemistry prior to Organic Chemistry.

CHEM 35 & 36

Before electing to “AP out” of any of the above courses, consider carefully whether you have a strong foundational understanding for and competency in the subject area.  Remember, you will be tested on this material in your admission test. 

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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 MCAT is a multiple-choice exam comprised of three sub-tests and a Writing Sample.   The sub-tests are Biological Sciences (biology and organic chemistry concepts), Physical Sciences (general chemistry and physics), and Verbal Reasoning. 

Timing: Students are strongly advised to take the MCAT no later than May in the year of application.

Tips: The MCAT should be taken after completion of the required and recommended science coursework.  Preparation should include timed practice tests, which can be purchased online at the AAMC Website.  Don't underestimate the Verbal Reasoning section.  Former students have earned a low score in that section, having put all of their time and effort into the science sections. 

MCAT 2015 The AAMC will be launching a new MCAT in January 2015.  How will this affect you?

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COMMITTEE REVIEW AND APPLICATION PACKET

Medical School applicants are encouraged to participate in UVM’s Pre Health Advisory Committee Review process, which culminates with a formal letter to be included with their application.  Candidates must open a pre-health file in the Career Center office, and attend two formal interviews to participate in the review.  An application “kick-off” information session is held in November, and completed materials, as outlined in the Pre-Health Application Packet, are due at the very beginning of February in the year of application.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Status as a UVM degree-seeking student, alum or post bac certificate student*
  • Completion of 24 credits of relevant science coursework at UVM
  • GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Science and math average (BCMP) of 3.00 or higher
  • At least 1 semester (or equivalent) of a health-related activity or 40 hours of physician shadowing
  • If you are currently in the medical school application pool, you must complete the full cycle prior to participation. In other words, current applicants may not go through Committee Review.

Meeting these baseline requirements does not imply a competitive application. You will be evaluated 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 your evaluation.

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.

* Post-Bac Students should contact Jennifer Lian in Continuing Education for their advising and packet.

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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 September 30 2014 03:30 PM