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Wisconsin Lutheran College offers a pre-med program that provides the broad interdisciplinary training necessary for success in medical school.
Pre-medical students may major in any academic specialty;
however, most pre-med students choose to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree
with a major in biology, biochemistry, or chemistry, as
these majors most closely align with the required pre-medical course work and
provide the most complete preparation for the Medical College Admission
Test (MCAT). The MCAT is a computer-based multiple-choice exam normally taken
in the spring of a student's junior year, and covers topics in biology, chemistry, and verbal reasoning, and contains a writing component.
In addition to MCAT scores, most medical schools require a
minimum 3.3 undergraduate GPA, although competitive programs may seek out
applicants with 3.6 or higher GPAs. Many schools look specifically at the GPA
in math and science courses as predictive of success in medical school.
Most medical schools give preference to applicants with
clinical experience of some kind. Many WLC graduates who have been offered
admission to medical school volunteered in a hospital, shadowed a physician, or
participated in clinical internships as an undergraduate.
Physicians diagnose and treat human illness and injury.
There are two main types of physicians: allopathic physicians who typically
hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and osteopathic physicians who hold a
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or (D.O.) degree. While both D.O.s and M.D.s are
licensed to prescribe drugs and perform surgery, D.O.s are more likely found in
general practice emphasizing preventative medicine and holistic patient care,
while M.D.s are more likely to focus on a specialty such as anesthesiology,
obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, or surgery.
Projected shortages in the health care professions
(including physicians) have triggered an expansion in medical school enrollment
for the first time in 30 years.
Pre-med students should seek broad foundational training in
biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The aspiring medical student
should investigate the course requirements for admission to a specific medical
school on a case-by-case basis, as these requirements vary widely.
Most medical schools require two semesters of general
chemistry, two semesters of general biology, two semesters of organic chemistry
with lab, a semester of biochemistry, two semesters of physics, two semesters
of calculus, and additional coursework in English composition and literature.
Specific science topics covered on the MCAT include
classical physics, electricity, magnetism, optics, inorganic chemistry, organic
chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics,
microbiology, cell biology, anatomy, physiology, immunology, and evolution. For
this reason, it is recommended that pre-med students obtain as much advanced
coursework in biology and chemistry as possible before their senior year.
Pre-med students at WLC will establish a curriculum plan and
register for courses with the guidance of a personal advisor.