Students aspiring to be medical doctors generally share the following characteristics:
- Care deeply about other people, their problems, and their pain;
- Use their skills and knowledge to help people;
- Enjoy learning and gaining new understanding;
- Are interested in how the human body functions;
- Are intrigued by the ways in which medicine can be used to improve life.
Curriculum and Career Planning
- Timeline - Students should refer to Alfred University's Pre-Health Timeline and Checklist to assist them in career planning.
- College Major and Required Courses - There is no specific major that is required, or that is "best" to pursue. Medical schools are looking for well-educated and well-rounded individuals. Students should complete the Pre-Med Curriculum Worksheet to be sure that they have met all requirements.
- The MCAT - Most medical schools require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The usual time to take it is in the spring semester of the Junior year. Adequate preparation for this test is essential, since admission to medical school is competitive.
- Extracurricular activities are a very important part of the applicant's materials. Most medical schools place emphasis on volunteer community service. Some volunteer experience in a medical setting is a must. Undergraduate research is a plus.
- It is important to get to know faculty members so that they can write appropriate letters of recommendation. The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee at Alfred University can prepare a Pre-medical Committee Letter for students.
Most medical schools accept applications through the American Medical Colleges Application Service. This application should be submitted in the summer before your last year in college and can be downloaded from the AMCAS website.