The big dream of practising Medicine in the United States can come true faster than you think if you’re a little smarter than the rest and do your homework in time. If you haven’t done any research on the subject so far, enrolling in a Medicine degree in the US may seem a little complicated.
Not sure how med schools work or what exactly a pre-med foundation degree is? Let’s find out!
Prepare for a Medical degree in the United States
In the US, you won’t find Bachelor’s degrees in Medicine per se. If you want to study Medicine, you first have to finish a Bachelor’s degree (not necessarily related to Medicine) and then apply to a medical school for a graduate degree that lasts 4 years, followed by 3–7 years of residency.
The next question is: What Bachelor’s degree or major should I choose to be successfully admitted to medical school? This is really up to you, as there is no specific requirement. However, the general recommendation is to choose a discipline that’s related to Medicine. Here are a few examples:
- Bachelors in Biology
- Bachelors in Chemistry
- Bachelors in Physics
- Bachelors in Public Health
- Bachelors in Mathematics
Find the right foundation degree in Medicine at US colleges
Once you start looking on the websites of each medical school, chances are that the information you read will become blurrier in your mind than it was before you knew anything about it.
At some American colleges, a preparation or pathway program in Medicine is mainly a Bachelor’s degree that focuses on the core courses required for admission at a medical school.
At other colleges, a pre-med is a preparation program that lasts between 4 months and 1 year, which also includes the main courses in sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics) + TOEFL or IELTS training and other English academic skills.
So, one important tip in order to not get confused about Medicine programs or degrees is to first check out their duration, curriculum, and what you can do with the certificate afterwards.
Few colleges offer pre-med (pre-Master’s) preparation courses that last for maximum one year and are specifically focused on Human Medicine. But you can find other pathway/foundation programs focused on sub-fields of Medicine:
If you’re an international student and thought about enrolling into medical school in the United States, you should know that almost half of all the American medical schools only accept applications from American and Canadian students.
If your primary goal is studying Medicine in the US, you will need to first move there and complete an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree or spend at least one year at a higher educational institution.
Let's recap; to get into an American medical school, follow one of the following tips:
- If you are from the US, choose an undergraduate degree, preferably with a major in sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics) and then apply for a Medical degree.
- If you’re a foreign student, either start your path to medical school with a Bachelor’s degree in the US or enrol in a pre-Master’s program in Medicine.
Good to know: regardless of your nationality, all medical schools from the States require high scores of the MCAT exam. The MCAT is conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and it is a mandatory requirement for a successful application at any American medical school.
Pre-Bachelors and Pre-Masters in Medicine in the US
A pathway/preparation program in Medicine is not exclusively dedicated to foreign students. You can be an American student but found your calling for Medicine after you finished a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Literature, for instance.
Through a preparation program, you get the chance to see if being a doctor really is what you want to do for the rest of your life and if you have the necessary skills for this profession.
Remember to read the details of the pre-Medicine or pathway programs carefully. If you’re not sure you fully understand everything, or if you’re not sure that you can apply to a medical school with that pathway program, contact the university and ask them to give you more information. They’ll be more than happy to support you!