​​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 speciality areas.  Some specialities include:

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

Allopathic Medicine (MO)

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 (DO)

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 (ND)

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, mid, and spirit resources.  Naturopathy comprises a blend of different therapies, all attempting to resotre the body to health in the most natural, noninvasive way possible by stimulating the body's own healing powers.

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 biweekly on Mondays at 7pm in Biosciences 1010.
  • For more information, contact the club at cmupmos@gmail.com.

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 rerequisite 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, and Neuroscience.

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.

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+

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:
General Chemistry: CHM 131 & 132, 8 credits
Organic Chemistry: CHM 345, 346, & 349, 8 credits
Physics: PHY 130, 131, 170, & 171 or PHY 145, 146, 175, & 176, 10 credits
Biochemistry: CHM 425 or 521 & 522, 4-6 credits
Biology: BIO 111, 112, 211, & 392, 16 credits
English: ENG 101 & 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 it's own policy regarding AP credit.  Usually, AP credit in these areas should be followed with additional upper level work in the discipline including labs. 

Anatomy, HSC 214 or BIO 337
Calculus, MTH 132
Cell Biology, BIO 324
Computer Science, CPS 100
Biology, BIO 211
Physiology, BIO 392
Career Outlook
Physicians held about 691,400 jobs in 2014.  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 14 percent from 2014 - 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.  Job growth will occur because of continued expansion of helathcare-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 specialities earned total median annual compensation of $396,233.

Self-employed physicians - those who own or are part of their medical practice - generally have higher median incomes than salaried physicians.
MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test)
A high score on the Medical 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 suggeste that you plan on taking this test in late spring/early summer, just prior to the beginning of the application process.

The MCAT is broken into four sections, each scored from 118 - 132, with a midpoint of 125.  Scores for the four sections are combined to create a total score, with an average of 502 for osteopathic medical schools and 508 for allopathic medical schools.

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

Click here for more information on the MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test

A Quick Look at the MCAT
Tutorial (optional)
  • 10 minutes
Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • 95 minutes
  • 59 questions
    • Biochemistry 25%
    • Biology 5%
    • General Chemistry 30%
    • Organic Chemistry 15%
    • Physics 25%
Break (optional)
  • 10 minutes
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  • 90 minutes
  • 53 questions
    • Non-sciences. All information necessary to answer the questions can be reasoned from the passages
Mid-Exam / Lunch Break (optional)
  • 30 minutes
Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • 95 minutes
  • 59 questions
    • Biochemistry 25%
    • Biology 65%
    • General Chemistry 5%
    • Organic Chemistry 5%
Break (optional)
  • 10 minutes
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • 95 minutes
  • 59 questions
    •  Psychology 65%
    • Sociology 30%
    • Biology 5%
Total Content Time
  • 6 hours, 15 minutes
Total Seated Time (approx.)
  • 7 hours, 30 minutes
Where is the MCAT administered?
  • Approximately 10 testing centers in Michigan and many locations throughout the United States
What is the cost of the MCAT?
  • $310
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
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 must submit just one application to AMCAS.

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 must submit just one application to AACOMAS.

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.