MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: How should go about getting into medical school?

Date: Wed Mar 9 09:38:22 2005
Posted By: Stephen Lattanzi, M.D., Hematology/Oncology, New London Cancer Center
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1109825865.Me

Congratulations on your interest in a career as a physician! I can think of no more challenging and rewarding profession, and recommend it highly to you. As a mentor once told me, medicine "affords one the luxury of becoming a perpetual student." I don't know your individual situation, but I would never rule out the possibility of getting into medical school and pursuing your dream. Not all successful applicants to medical school come directly from high school and undergraduate school without any interruptions.

The Association of American Medical Colleges ( has a lot of valuable information on the application process and how to go about it. The best resource is "Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) 2005-2006", published by AAMC. You can order it at: fuseaction=Product.displayForm&prd_id=55&prv_id=44

An applicant to medical school must have completed a bachelor's degree. One does not need to have a major in biology, or even in any scientific field. However, applicants generally must have completed one year of biology, one year of mathematics (calculus), one year of physics, and two years of chemistry (general chemistry and organic chemistry)--the so-called "premed courses." If you've already completed your bachelor's degree but didn't take all the required courses, many colleges offer "premed" programs designed specifically for postgraduates who need to complete these courses. More general information on admission requirements can be found at:

Applicants to medical school also need to take a standardized test called the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Information on this test is available at:

If any of these links don't work, they can all be found at

I wish you the best of luck in your new career!

- Stephen C. Lattanzi, M.D.

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