Does the smell of latex make you smile? Think Grey’s Anatomy is the coolest show ever? Can you imagine yourself becoming a cardio-thorasic surgeon like Dr. Burke or Chief of Surgery like Dr. Webber? (do NOT, I repeat, do NOT put yourself though being pre-med if you only want to hang out with McDreamy…there are plenty of Patrick Dempseys in the business world, I’m sure.)
A lot of MIT students enter their senior year without a clue as to what they want to do after graduation. Unfortunately, anyone who wants to go to medical school must make this decision very early on in college, probably around sophomore year. Why? Because medical schools require that applicants have taken certain classes that they feel are pre-requisites to the med school classes. If you’re planning to major in chemistry or biology, most of these classes will overlap with your major’s requirements. However, if you want to major in engineering, humanities, math (whatever, basically, though it makes it more difficult. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering, for instance), then you have to make sure your schedule accommodates these classes. Here’s a list of the requirements:
-Introductory Biology:7.012, 7.013, or 7.014 (everyone takes this anyway, or doing well on the AP Biology test can give you credit)
-A biology laboratory (there are couple to choose from, focusing in either pure bio, biological engineering, chemical engineering, or neurobiology)
-Principles in Chemical Science: 5.111/5.112 (everyone takes this anyway, too! You also have the option of taking 3.091 (Solid-State Chemistry), though it’s not recommended because the 5.11-s have a more biological approach while 3.091 is more applicable to materials.)
-Organic Chemistry I
-Organic Chemistry II
-General Biochemistry (7.05 or 5.07, depending on whether you want to focus on biology or chemistry)
-1 year of physics with lab. Usually, 8.01 and 8.02 suffice.
-18.01/18.02 (which you have to take anyway)
-18.03 for the Harvard-HST Program
-2 terms of Literature or Writing subjects
So those are the classes you have to take. Pretty simple. Unfortunately, I’ve faced a lot of scheduling conflicts, but hopefully you’ll be luckier!
When I told people I wanted to come to MIT, they said it wasn’t a good school for premeds. In some cases, this is regrettably true. Medical schools pay a lot of attention to your GPA and MIT doesn’t have grade inflation like many other universities (I’ve heard Harvard is B+/A- centered.) There is pressure to get good grades, but you’ll get a premed advisor who will help you find med schools that are right for you. I have spoken to my friends who have been through the admissions process and they say that during their interviews, they always got the same reaction: “Wow, you’re from MIT? I’m sure you can handle medical school.” Basically, med schools use your GPA to see if you’re hard-working, successful, and can handle the rigors of their program, and MIT has a reputation for preparing you well!
Also, you have to take the Medical College Assessment Test (MCAT) sometime before your senior year. It’s like the SAT’s for med school, basically, and it’s highly recommended that you take a prep class. I’m taking the class and test this summer, since I’ve finished the classes needed for the MCATs. Most MIT students I’ve talked to have taken the August MCAT either after their sophomore year, so keep this in mind.
Any other questions? Leave a comment or check out the Premed advising site.
(Image from amazon.com)