Pre-Medicine

Cornell College students pursuing medical school are considered part of the Pre-Medicine program. Pre-Medicine is coordinated by the Dimensions Program for Health Professions. Most students pursuing medical school are interested in becoming physicians, scientists, or physician scientists. 

The Dimensions Guide to Pre-Medicine includes information on medical school prerequisites, a sample course timeline, and other tips and resources helping you navigate your pre-medicine career at Cornell College. 

The Co-Curricular Activity Journal is a resource aiding students in reflection and meaning making throughout their experiences leading to a healthcare career. The Dimensions Co-Curricular Activity Journal helps students keep an active record of co-curricular activities contributing to a strong application to Medical school.

What is a Physician?

Physicians diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses, examine patients, take medical histories, prescribe medications, order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests, and counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventative healthcare. They can also conduct medical research, teach, and run medical centers (Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2015). A physician must complete medical school to earn a medical degree, pass a series of board exams, and successfully complete a residency in order to practice as a licensed physician (doctor). 

Types of Physicians

Individuals earn a medical degree through one of the three main tracks. All medical degree tracks require medical school and all have similar preparatory coursework.  

Preparing for Medical School at Cornell College   

Only 42% of the applicants applying to medical school nationwide were accepted in 2014. Medical schools consider academic ability (cumulative GPA, science GPA, and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores) and personal attributes and qualities.  

Dimensions can help you stand out. 

Choosing a Major

Many pre-medicine students major in BiologyChemistry, or Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) at Cornell College.

Most Cornell graduates accepted to medical school in recent years were BMB majors. Many had a double major in an area outside of the natural sciences. Pursuing a double major in BMB and a major outside of the natural sciences can strengthen your application because it allows you to meet the prerequisites required by medical schools and sets you apart from other applicants.

Prerequisite Coursework 

Medical schools pay attention to a student's academic record and seek well-rounded applicants interested in science and who can work well with people. Prerequisites include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, and physics. Additional upper-level coursework in these areas is beneficial, but not always required.

Meeting with the Associate Director of Dimensions regularly can help you research prerequisites specific to programs you are interested in through the AAMC's Medical School Admission Requirements, a service paid for by Dimensions.  

Admissions Examination

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

All medical schools require the MCAT administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for admission. You can learn more about the MCAT by visiting the AAMC's MCAT website.  

Dimensions provides resources, funding, and 1:1 professional support for students preparing for the MCAT every year. 

Application Process

Students applying to medical school nationwide utilize the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS), the American Association of Medical Colleges (AMCAS), or both. 

Dimensions is your primary source for information when you reach the planning stage for your medical school application. Cornell students are expected to utilize the Health Professions Committee before the start of their intended application cycle. 

International Students Interested in Attending Medical School

Non-U.S. citizens holding permanent residency in the United States (i.e., green card holders) are generally treated in the same way as United States citizens in the health professions application process.  Opportunities for medical education in the United States are not as available for international applicants, that is, non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents. While some medical schools do allow applications from international students, the numbers admitted yearly are quite small.  Most acceptances are offered by private health professions schools. 

Many American students finance their medical education, at least in part, through government loans. U.S. government loans are not available to international students who are not permanent residents. Therefore, many medical schools will require international students to document their ability to independently pay for a medical education. In some cases, students may be required to demonstrate adequate funds in an escrow account prior to enrollment.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in health care, you should research the admissions requirements for health professions schools in your home country before deciding whether to pursue a baccalaureate degree in the U.S. The National Association for Advisors of the Health Professions (NAAHP) provides additional information regarding medical school admissions policies relative to international student applicants.  

Additional Resources 

American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
ExploreHealthCareers.org
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook