The medical profession offers a wide variety of exciting, challenging, and rewarding career options. Although the environment in which medical services are provided has been changing rapidly and will continue to evolve, the physician's role as diagnostician, healer, and patient advocate remains central to the provision of health care in our country. Although most physicians provide direct patient care, some M.D./D.O. degree recipients concentrate on basic applied research, medical education or administration, or some combination of these areas.
Specific admission requirements vary per medical school. You should consult with schools of interest to determine their specific admission requirements.
Suggested academic preparation:
- Bachelor's degree- A bachelor's degree plus prerequisite courses in the sciences are the required for most medical schools.
- Competitive academic record- Heavy course loads (17-18 credit hours by junior year), multiple science courses with labs in the same semester, and high grades in all courses, especially the sciences, are recommended.
- Major in anything
We recommend you meet with an advisor once a semester to ensure you are progressing with the correct academic coursework.
WCU offers early assurance (EA) programs for Medicine at PSU, PCOM, and LECOM. For more information on these programs click here
MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) Information
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required. The MCAT is computer-based and offered on set dates throughout the year. You should obtain the Official Guide to the MCAT as soon as possible and use it as a guide while preparing for the MCAT exam.
Centralized Application Service- AMCAS and AACOMAS
- American Medical College Application Service
- Texas Medical Schools Application Service (For Medical Schools in Texas Only)
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service
AMCAS, AACOMAS, or TMDSAS will duplicate the application and forward it to the medical schools the student is interested in. The schools will then contact applicants to verify receipt of the application and inform applicants of any additional materials they require to complete the application, such as secondary applications and letters of recommendation/evaluation.
Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
There are two common types of medical degrees: the M.D. or the D.O. An M.D. degree is awarded to students who graduate from one of over 150 allopathic medical schools. Students interested in osteopathic medicine can earn a D.O. degree from one of 35 osteopathic medical schools in the nation. Both types of physicians can work in one or more specialties (family and general medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, surgery, etc.) and in various medical environments (clinics, hospitals, healthcare organizations, etc.). They diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, and perform surgery. Osteopathic medical education also includes training in hands-on manipulative therapy. M.D. and D.O. programs generally consists of four years of academic coursework at a medical school and clinical experiences leading to the medical doctorate degree. Medical school graduates then begin residency, which can take 3-8 additional years to complete. Residency training is completed at a training hospital and is considered paid employment.
Explore This Career
- American Medical Association
- Association of American Medical Colleges
- AAMC’s Aspiring Docs
- American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Pennsylvania Professional Schools
- The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Temple University- Lewis Katz School of Medicine
- University of Pennsylvania- Perelman School of Medicine
- Thomas Jefferson University - Sidney Kimmel Medical College
- Cooper Medicine School of Rowan University
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine