Skip to body

Health Careers

Pre-Medicine Career Resources

 

Considering a Career in Medicine

Deciding if Medicine is for You

Careers in Medicine

“A Personal Plea To Premeds”

Medical Careers

LCME’s Accredited MD Programs in the US

CWU does not offer a pre-medicine major. However, we do offer a set of prerequisite courses and advising that prepare you for success on the MCAT and entry into medical school. Please see the advisor

 

Applying to Medical School

Medical schools are looking for well-rounded applicants. While most people believe you must choose a field in the natural sciences for a major, many applicants from humanities or social sciences are accepted into medical school. Choose a major that is the best fit for you. Your major should reflect a career choice you would find fulfilling should you not be successful in earning a coveted and highly competitive spot in a medical school.  That said, keep in mind that you will benefit from taking as many of these prerequisite courses as you can prior to taking your MCAT; not only are they commonly required for admission, but taking them will help you prep for the MCAT.

Applying to medical school is a process that typically takes extensive planning and preparation. Be proactive and start creating a plan today.

The American Academy of Family Physicians [AAFP] summarizes the steps you should take to get into medical school.

See Also:

AAMC Applicant Timeline  & Applying to Medical School with AMCAS
The Parts of Your Medical School Application
Official Guide to Medical School Admissions
Medical School Admission Requirements [MSAR]
American Medical Association MCAT Info
Prepare for the MCAT Exam [AAMC website]

Paying for Medical School
Did you know assistance is available to help pay for preparing and applying to medical school?

Dennis W. Farrell Pre-Medicine Scholarship (CWU students only)
MCAT:  Free Planning and Study Resources (includes information on the Fee Assistance Program)
Scholarships and Funding Opportunities in Global Health [AAFP]
U.S. News & World Report: "How to Attend Medical School for Free"

 

Volunteering

Gaining sufficient experience of the medical field is essential before attending medical school. Volunteer work experience in some type of health care facility is highly recommended. Exposure to health related settings (e.g. hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, etc...) is becoming increasingly important as an admission factor. It is assumed that a qualified applicant will have not only a general understanding of the profession, but also a demonstrated interest and knowledge of what medicine is about.

Getting Experience including Shadowing a Doctor and What To Do During A Gap Year(s)

Finding Health Care-Related Volunteer Opportunities

Local Volunteer Opportunities:

Kittitas Valley Community Hospital Placement at KVCH depends on openings and availability of staff to train students.  After students are placed, they can remain if they continue to participate and/or until they graduate from CWU.

Community Health of Central Washington - Ellensburg

Yakima Valley Memorial

ScribeAmerica

 

Prerequisite Coursework Helpful To Prepare For A Field In Medicine

NOTE:  Along with a high gpa score (of 3.7 or above), admission committees look for you to have no (or very few) course withdrawals, incompletes, or repeated courses.  If you retake courses at CWU, your lower grade will be replaced with the most recent (and hopefully higher) grade for your CWU GPA calculation.  However, when you apply to medical school, all your classes will be factored into an admission GPA, even if you retook a course and got a better grade.

 

CWU Pre-Med Advisors and Faculty Mentors Are Available

Meet with the pre-medicine advisor and best-fit faculty mentor as soon as possible. They can advise you on strong coursework preparation that will generally support your admission.  Please check requirements for individual schools as you prepare your applications.

Advisor:
Mary Cairns Park, MS, CN
Phone:  (509) 963-1498
mary.cairnspark@cwu.edu
Advising for students with interest in pre-medicine program paired with Biology or Chemistry majors.

Faculty Contacts:
Dr. Lucinda Carnell
Department of Biological Sciences
Office: Science Building, Room 338K
Phone: (509) 963-3431
Lucinda.Carnell@cwu.edu

Dr. Blaise Dondji
Department of Biological Sciences
Office: Science Building, Room 338E
Phone: (509) 963-2715
Blaise.Dondji@cwu.edu

Dr. Levente Fabry-Asztalos
Department of Chemistry
Office: Science Building, Room 302F
Phone: (509) 963-2887
Levente.Fabry-Asztalos@cwu.edu

Dr. Ralf Greenwald
Department of Psychology
Office: Psychology Building, Room 428
Phone: (509) 963-3630
Ralf.Greenwald@cwu.edu

See also:
Building a Support Network

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I take the MCAT?
You’ll want to have taken the recommended introductory level prerequisite courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, psychology, and sociology prior to sitting for the MCAT.  You don’t have to take these courses beforehand but doing so will greatly aid you when it comes time to take the test.  Take the test when you feel best prepared.  Many people take the MCAT the same year they are applying to medical schools.  If school applications are due in the Fall, take the test in the previous Spring.

Are my chances better if I apply to an out of state school?
Normally, state-supported medical schools are required by law to give preference to residents of that state. Many schools, both public and private, also indicate some preference of residents of neighboring states, and some schools participate in interest and regional agreements. Your best chances for admission are at medical schools within your own state or at private medical schools.

How important are letters of recommendation?
Letters of recommendation are an important part of the selection process. Admission committees consider academic and character recommendations that applicants obtain from faculty members, physicians, and other persons. Your letters should discuss and critically evaluate your academic ability, strengths and weaknesses, motivation, maturity, the difficulty of coursework you attempted, and any special attributes and assets. Recommendations are usually written between the your third and fourth year of college. It is extremely important that you develop strong working relationships with faculty members to hopefully earn good letters of recommendation.

How important is the medical school interview?
Although applicants are first screened according to academic performance, the final choice is made after the medical school interview. During the interview, your motivation, maturity, poise, humanitarianism, and ability in expression are examined. A broad background in biological sciences and humanities, a knowledge of and exposure to the needs of individuals and society, and an awareness of health care delivery systems are desirable. Medical schools have repeatedly rejected students who present strong academic records but lack maturity or have only confused motivation for medicine.

 

Other Resources

Please also familiarize yourself with the following general resources:

American Association of Medical Colleges
American Association of College of Osteopathic Medicine
American Medical Association (AMA)
American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
Student National Medical Association
The Student Doctor Network

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.

Admissions@cwu.edu