There are more than 120 medical educational institutions in the USA, each having their particular medical school requirements and the procedure of undergraduate students enrollment. Candidates are to provide a bundle of documents and to undergo a series of interviews in order to have his application considered and either approved or rejected. Want to view what docs you are to prepare for the admission committee? Require a detailed explanation of MCAT or the entire educational process in the area of international medicine or biology science? We have collected all the precious knowledge in a new all-in-one guide. You can also require services from professional writers with competitive admission essay writing or major U.S. business planning / services / science documentation, from home.
Medical Education in the USA
Although there are more than one hundred educational institutions throughout America, far from all of them are prestigious and provide top-level medical college education. At this time, the most highly qualified universities with the major possibility of prospective employment are the following ones:
- University of Washington;
- Oregon University of Medicine and Science;
- University of Iowa;
- University of Minnesota;
- University of California, San Diego.
So if you are planning to acquire a medical degree, pass MCAT and take the college courses, find what faculty options each from the above offer and how much of financial aid at home would you need.
All about obtaining medical school education in the USA
Medical degree the United States takes an average of 11 to 16 years of study. It involves 4 years of study for obtaining a bachelor's degree, 4 years in a medical school, as well as 3-8 years of secondary specialization in a particular area. What is more, you need to get all the necessary grades and licenses under the law and undergo continuous professional development in order to become a practicing doctor in a community. Enrolling in medical school requires the applicant to have a sufficient number of academic hours in subjects such as mathematics, biology science, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics (top international ones require it as well). These are the prerequisites. Otherwise, the chance of you being accepted is minimal.
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Complete medical degree in the United States includes study in an institution, medical school, and residency:
- Studying at the higher educational institution takes about 4 years;
- Medical school takes 4 years to complete, with students attending lectures and laboratory work for 2 years and undergoing clinical practice during the next 2 years;
- Residency lasts from 3 to 5 years.
The traditional educational process in the U.S. covers the following steps:
- In the first year, students receive a general program (including biological sciences, general chemistry, physics, math, etc.) and respective grades;
- During the second year, the following subjects are studied: Anatomy, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biochemistry. Students carry out practical lab work in the anatomical laboratory to know everything about the cell composition.
- The third year (each semester) implies a curriculum with a clinical practice, where a student consults patients under the supervision of an experienced physician. The practice is conducted in several departments of the hospital: Therapy, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and others. The student’s classes and programs include information collection (anamnesis) and a proposed treatment plan development.
- The fourth year presupposes the deepening of clinical practice. Having tried working in different departments, a student can choose one direction for his future education.
After graduating from a medical school and passing all the state science exams, a graduate enters the residency, the so-called postgraduate patient aid training, based on results of the final certification. The admissions committee selects the best students who excelled during their classes, MCAT or participated in volunteer / med community / biology programs and services.
Upon graduation, the educational institution issues a major diploma - MD as a requirement. In some colleges, there is even an innovative system of “double diploma,” doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy (MD / RhD). To obtain this type of document, a student is to study for 7-8 years. According to statistics, 90% of students receive a “single d.”, awarding them the title of doctor of medicine. After going through all the classes, MCAT and stages of training, you can officially work as a doctor in the United States.
What you need for medical school admissions in the US
There are different requirements for medical school depending on the establishment you are applying to. The admission process is quite complex in the U.S. med colleges. The American Medical Association (AMA) plays a key role in determining the admission process. The AMA website has an application system. In addition to the official degree and recommendation letters, you must pass the MCAT - a special standardized exam. If you succeed with the above early enough, can enter the final stage of admission - an interview. Learn further what it takes and what grades/requirements are set for all med applicants’ community.
What is MCAT?
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is the top popular exam for admission in a majority of med schools throughout North America. It has been reformed lately and became mostly focused at reasoning (e.g. problem solving and critical thinking) while still containing a lot of basic knowledge questions: natural, behavioral and sociology items. It has 230 questions in total.
Info to provide prior the interview
- The average credits in natural sciences (e.g. biology or physics) and math (GPA);
- The average scores in all subjects, including English (GPA);
- MCAT test result;
- Recommendation letters;
- Volunteer work in health care, if any;
- Motivation letter;
- Medical experience, if any;
- Volunteer / support work not related to medicine, if any.
Data checked after the interview
- Test results (answers to the questions);
- Recommendation letters;
- The average score in the Natural Sciences (e.g. Biology, Physics) and Mathematics (GPA);
- Voluntary / support work (especially in health care);
- MCAT Test Result;
- Opening essay(s);
- Experience (related to medicine).
The decision is made based on calculus of all the credits and the establishment of the level of med student’s specific skills, majors and knowledge. As an addition, the committee pays attention whether new applicants to colleges meet each and every official requirement (starting with MCAT). They note down if the one completed accredited premedical courses on Psychology, Biology, Humanities, and Social sciences, such as Sociology.
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Admission requirements for medical school in the USA
Apart from the above general information, the med admission committee needs to receive the following minimum of basic docs upon your apply, which include:
- High school degree;
- Rating transcript;
- Degree of pre-medical study or specialized secondary educational program in the field of health (recommended by most universities);
- Bachelor's degree (for admission to the magistracy);
- Certificate of IELTS or TOEFL language exam;
- MCAT (as required by the school);
- PCAT (for admission to pharmaceutical departments);
- CGFNS (for nursing students);
- NBDE (for admission to dental offices);
- Additional diplomas and certificates (if any);
- Motivation coursework;
- Recommendation letters;
- Student resume (at the request of the committee).
There is a huge competition among applicants to medical schools. That is why it is so important to pass specialized admission tests with high MCAT score and, in some cases, to successfully pass a talk with the admission committee. In addition, having a background in healthcare services or just working with people will be an extra benefit for you.
How long does it take to become a doctor?
After completing 4-year undergraduate programs, future medical students can enter med schools, which require successfully earning a high MCAT test score. There are various higher med college institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and the time required to prepare at home and obtain a degree in one depends on its rules and the selected specialty programs. Typically, it takes another 4 years to complete. However, the complete doctorate together with the license to actually operate in the selected area requires at least 1 year of internship and quite likely 2-5 more years of practice plus certain financial aid in most cases.
Does not sound too early for you? Well, higher medical education in the U. S. (at home or on international scale) provides its students’ community with many good career options. According to forecasts of American researchers, in the next ten years, unemployment will bypass the following industries: medicine, engineering, and education. Statistics and research surveys also show positive results: unemployment among young majors will be around 4%, and it will be less than 2% among experienced doctors. What is more, medical science experts can expect getting some of the highest wages varying from $48,000 to $64,000 per year. Therefore, if you still doubt whether medical degree is worth of years spent in medical colleges and universities, the above figures include strong arguments for you to pursue your interests. So search for the medical school and send your application for MCAT.
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