Pre-Dental, Pre-Medical, Pre-Veterinary
No professional school requires a specific major of its applicants. However they recognize the importance of a strong foundation in the natural sciences, which include biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The current “pre-med / pre-professional” curriculum offered at the college follows the course requirements recommended by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is similar to that offered by virtually all schools in the U.S.
- A year of Freshman Chemistry with laboratory
- A year of Organic Chemistry with laboratory
- A year of Biology with laboratory
- A year of Physics with laboratory
- A year of English
- A year of Calculus or other advanced math classes, including Statistics
Although this course requirement can be met while pursuing any area of study at the college, they are embedded in the biology major. The Division of Natural Sciences is of the opinion that completion of requirements for a BA in biology best prepares the students for further studies in areas of their choosing. This is supported by a recent report “Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians” from the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which recommended that medical and premedical education evolve from a static listing of courses to a dynamic set of competencies. http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/pressrel/2009/090604.htm
The competencies defined as the knowledge, skill, or attitude that enables an individual to learn and perform in medical practice include:
- Apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.
- Demonstrate understanding of the process of scientific inquiry, and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the understanding of living systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and some of their applications to the understanding of living systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to structure and function.
- Apply an understanding of the principles of how molecular and cell assemblies, organs, and organisms develop structure and carry out function.
- Explain how organisms sense and control their internal environment and how they respond to external change.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on earth.
All the competencies defined above are addressed in the biology curriculum.
Development of Personal Attributes
Academic and scientific accomplishments, while important, are not sufficient for entry into professional programs. A critical aspect is the development of physician – patient relationship. It is expected that the incoming students be altruistic and dutiful. Students are expected to be aware of community and public health issues and understand that there are several complex, non-biological causes that can result in poor health. While a commitment to making evidence-based decisions is required, it is also expected that the future professionals will make ethical decisions, based on compassion, respect and integrity http://www.aamc.org/meded/msop/.
To develop these attributes and achieve the academic and scientific accomplishments, all students designated as “pre-professional” will be expected to meet the following requirements.
Pre-Professional Programs – Student Responsibilities
Students declaring an interest in this concentration will be designated as pre-med/pre-professional and be tracked for progress throughout their academic career. The advisory committee will write a joint recommendation letter in support of a student’s candidacy only if the student has met the criteria listed below.
- Maintain an overall GPA of 3.4 the first year, and then an average of 3.4 or better in science classes taken at the college, with a minimum grade of B in each of the required science courses.
- Be an active participant in the “Pre-Professional Club.” This would require an active participation in activities that demonstrate a commitment to leadership, altruism and dutifulness in the community. Students would be required to:
- Develop, organize, and implement community activities such as volunteering, talks, and presentations
- Volunteer in both clinical and non-clinical settings
- Be a mentor
- Attend a minimum of four club meetings per year.
- Maintain a portfolio that documents both academic and non academic activities. Students will be responsible for updating it annually.
- Set up an advisory committee in their junior year.
- Meet with their academic advisor every semester to have a continued dialogue about meeting goals and expectations.
- Attend an orientation seminar during their first year at the College.
- Undertake an independent project / research here at the College or at other institutions (optional but highly recommended).
- Take the appropriate graduate entrance exam, MCAT, DAT, GRE, in the spring of their junior year.
- Complete the appropriate application to the graduate school of choice in the summer of their junior year.
- Initiate an interview with the pre-professional Advisory Committee to discuss the application progress in the fall of their senior year.
- Inform the pre-professional Advisory Committee of the application outcome.