​​Physicians diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses in patients. Physicians examine patients, take medical histories, prescribe medications, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests.

Careers within medicine are diverse and provide many opportunities for challenging and rewarding service. Most physicians are general practitioners, handling a variety of health needs. Other physicians practice one of the 26 specialty areas. Some specialties include:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Family and general medicine
  • General internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery

​Allopathic Medicine

A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic physicians differ in the philosophy of medicine learned during their training — a holistic approach that focuses on "finding health" rather than only treating illness. Their education also includes extensive additional training on the role of the neuromusculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and nerves) as the foundation upon which the body's overall health depends.

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine based on the idea that the body has an innate capacity to fight disease and heal itself. Naturopaths improve health and treat illness by treating the person holistically, tapping a person's own internal body, mind, and spirit resources. Naturopathy comprises a blend of different therapies, all attempting to restore the body to health in the most natural, noninvasive way possible by stimulating the body's own healing powers.

Admission Requirements for Medical School

The common path to practicing as a physician requires 8 years of education beyond high school and 3 to 8 additional years of internship and residency. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories require licensing.

From the time you begin college, you are assembling a complete universal application to apply to these professional schools. Medical schools will review your application holistically, and you can work with your advisors to provide a competitive application.

College Major

You are not required to select a particular major in order to be eligible for admission to a medical school.  In selecting a college major, consider how you will satisfactorily complete the prerequisite courses for your designated medical school in addition to the college/university's degree and major requirements.  Work with your academic/or pre-medical advisor to plan your course schedule.

​You have the option to choose from a wide variety of undergraduate majors to prepare you for a medical school. Suggested undergraduate majors include. Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, Psychology, Neuroscience and Exercise Science.


Keep in mind these numbers are averages and various schools can have their own averages that are higher or lower. Also, these averages are climbing higher each year and admission to a medical school is more competitive than ever. Be sure you take your studies seriously and put in the proper time for reading, studying, and review for each course.

Allopathic Medical Schools
Overall: 3.7+
BCMP (Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics GPA): 3.6+

Osteopathic Medical Schools
Overall: 3.5+
BCMP: 3.4+

Naturopathic Medical Schools
Overall: 3.4+
BCMP: 3.3+

MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test)

A high score on the Medical College Admissions Test is essential for entrance into medical school because acceptance is highly competitive. The test, required by most medical and osteopathic schools, is administered January through September every year. It is strongly suggested that you plan on taking this test in late spring/early summer, just prior to the beginning of the application process.

A minimum MCAT score of 25 is typical with the average for matriculates for allopathic medical schools as 31/45 and for osteopathic medical schools 27/45. You should aim to have a score between 27-32 in order to stay competitive.

The MCAT will be changing the way the test is scored beginning in January 2015.  The MCAT2015 will be scored from 118 to 132, with a midpoint of 125.  Scores for the four sections are combined to create a total score. The total score ranges from 472 to 528. The midpoint is 500.

In order to register for the MCAT you will need to complete the following:

For more information on the MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test

Quick look at the 2015 MCAT

​Content ​QuestionsTime
Tutorial (optional)​-​-​10 minutes
1. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Biochemistry (25%)
  • Biology (5%)
  • General Chemistry (30%)
  • Organic Chemistry (15%)
  • Physics (25%)
​59​95 minutes
Break (optional)
--10 minutes
2. Critical Analysis and Reasoning SkillsNon-sciences.  All information necessary to answer the questions can be reasoned from the passages.

90 minutes
Mid-Exam/Lunch Break (optional)​-​-​30 minutes
3. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Li​ving Systems
  • Biochemistry (25%)
  • Biology (65%)
  • General Chemistry (5%)
  • Organic Chemistry (5%)
​59​​95 minutes
Break (optional)​-​-​10 minutes
4. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Psychology (65%)
  • Sociology (30%)
  • Biology (5%)
​59​​95 minutes
Total Content Time​-​-​6 hours, 15 minutes
Total "Seated" Time (approx.)​-​-​7 hours, 30 minutes

Where is the MCAT administered?

On CMU's campus and in many locations throughout the United States

What is the cost of the MCAT?


How should you prepare for the MCAT?

  • Begin at least 3 months before your test date
  • Questions emphasize problem-solving abilities, not rote memorization
  • Essential to obtain practice tests

Experience in Medicine

It is expected by most Medical schools that candidates will exhibit a confirmed interest and motivation in a medical career by participating in career-related activities such as job shadowing, community service and other volunteer opportunities. Having strong career experiences and life accomplishments will allow you to validate your professionalism and maturity, which are strongly considered in the application process.

Other qualifications. Physicians must have a desire to serve patients, be self-motivated and be able to survive the pressures and long hours of medical education and practice. You must be willing to study throughout your career to keep up with medical advances.

Michigan Medical Schools

Applying to Medical Schools

Most medical schools use one of the application service websites.

Allopathic Medicine
Most allopathic medical schools participate in AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service). Remember that regardless of the number of AMCAS schools to which you apply, you submit just one application to AMCAS.

  • To apply follow the steps in the AMCAS website.
  • Submit your application accurately but early if possible.

Osteopathic Medicine
Most osteopathic medical schools participate in AACOMAS (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service). Remember that regardless of the number of AACOMAS schools to which you apply, you submit just one application to AACOMAS.

  • To apply follow the steps on the AACOMAS website.
  • Submit your application accurately but early if possible.

Naturopathic Medicine

The AANMC (Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges) offers seven affiliated North American schools to choose from. These superior colleges are accredited and meet both federal and academic standards. In order to apply to these programs you will need to contact the schools individually.

Course Requirements

Many pre-med students choose to major in biology or chemistry, but this is not required. The choice of an undergraduate major while preparing for medical school is not especially critical for successful admission, but the selection of certain coursework and the right combination of sciences, social and behavioral sciences and electives is important.

Certain basic requirements must be fulfilled before you can be accepted to medical school. This is a GUIDE only. Students must consult with their advisors AND the appropriate medical schools on a regular basis for revisions to course requirements and to identify and ensure completion of all required courses. The common requirements include: 

  • 1 year General Chemistry with labs
  • 1 year Organic Chemistry with labs
  • 1 year Physics with labs
  • 1 year Biology with labs
  • 1 year English
  • 1 year Behavioral Sciences
  • 1 semester Biochemistry
  • Math competencies

Below are the CMU courses we recommend to meet these requirements:

Subjects Course Numbers Credits
General Chemistry CHM 131 & CHM 132 8 credits
Organic Chemistry CHM 345, CHM 346 & CHM 349 8 credits
Physics PHY 130, PHY 131, PHY 170 & PHY 171
or PHY 145, PHY 146, PHY 175 & PHY 176
10 credits
​Biochemistry ​CHM 425 or CHM 521 & CHM 522 ​4-6 credits
Biology BIO 110 & BIO 208 7 credits
English ENG 101 & ENG 201 6 credits
Behavioral Sciences PSY 100, SOC 100 and/or higher 6 credits
​Math Competencies ​MTH 107 or higher or statistics ​3-4 credits

Some medical schools may have additional courses required or recommended. Review the admission requirements of the medical schools you plan on applying in advance.

All required courses must be taken for a grade. Each school has its own policy regarding AP credit. Usually, AP credit in these areas should be followed with additional upper level work in the discipline including labs.

Additional Courses

To further strengthen you application and your ability to succeed in medical school, here are some additional CMU courses you could take:

Subjects Course Numbers
Anatomy HSC 214 or BIO 337
Calculus MTH 132
​Cell Biology ​BIO 324
Computer Science CPS 100
Genetics BIO 326
Physiology BIO 392


Pre-Med and Osteopathic Society

The Pre-Med and Osteopathic Society at CMU enables students interested in the medical field to learn more about the different areas of medicine. Activities include guest speakers, tours of various medical schools, volunteering, fundraising and social gatherings.

The club meets bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in Brooks Hall 176.

For more information, contact the club at

Job Outlook

Physicians held about 691,400 jobs in 2012. Many physicians work in private offices or clinics, often helped by a small staff of nurses and administrative personnel.

Employment of physicians is projected to grow 18 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will occur because of continued expansion of healthcare-related industries.



Earnings of physicians are among the highest of any occupation. According to the Medical Group Management Association's Physician Compensation and Production Survey, median total compensation for physicians varied by their type of practice. In 2012, physicians practicing primary care had total median annual compensation of $220,942, and physicians practicing in medical specialties earned total median annual compensation of $396,233.

Self-employed physicians—those who own or are part owners of their medical practice— generally have higher median incomes than salaried physicians.


Online Resources

For a list of medical schools and residency program:

For information on licensing:

For general information on physicians:

For information about various medical specialties:


Pre-Health Professions Academic Advisor

Pre-Health Professions advising is available to assist and support students in a holistic process of education and preparation for medical school. Students are encouraged to meet with the pre-health advisor before meeting with a faculty advisor to learn the basics in preparing for medical school.

Lisa E. Snider
Emmons Hall 136B
(989) 774-2711

Biology Faculty Advisors

Steven Gorsich (A-E)
Brooks Hall 230A
(989) 774-1865
Jennifer Schisa (P-T)
Brooks Hall 193
(989) 774-2203
Stephen J. Juris (F-J)
Dow Science Complex 338
(989) 774-3257
Michelle Steinhilb (U-z)
Brooks Hall 206
(989) 774-1866
Xantha Karp (K-O)
Brooks Hall 183
(989) 774-1267

Chemistry Faculty Advisor

Ajit Sharma
Dow Science Complex 346
(989) 774-3303

Engineering and Technology Faculty Advisor

Mohamad S. Qatu
ET Building 100
989-774-3033 ​