What does medical practice mean?
"Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare."
"There are two types of physicians: M.D. (Medical Doctor) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). M.D.s also are known as allopathic physicians. While both M.D.s and D.O.s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, D.O.s place special emphasis on the body's musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care. D.O.s are most likely to be primary care specialists although they can be found in all specialties. About half of D.O.s practice general or family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics."
"Physicians work in one or more of several specialties, including, but not limited to, anesthesiology, family and general medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery." - United States Department of Labor
Getting into Med School after ASU
The national average acceptance rate is 44%.
Most schools favor a GPA of around 3.7 (anything below acts as a red flag), and prefer only A’s and a few B's on coursework. Even though most set a minimum of a C, it is very difficult to get accepted with a C in a course. In calculating your GPA, MD schools court every grade, regardless of whether or not you have retaken it, whereas DO schools count only the retaken grade.
Almost all medical schools require the same basic courses:
- At least one year of Biology with labs
- At least one year of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with labs
- At least one year of Physics with labs
- At least one year of Organic Chemistry with labs
- A year of English (a writing-intensive course)
- A semester of Calculus
- Biochemistry is highly recommend
- Principles of Sociology
- Introduction to Psychology
In addition, many schools have additional courses they recommend students taking:
- Foreign language courses, specifically Spanish
- Motor manipulation course (Sculpting, Drawing, etc.)
- Technical Writing
- Any courses related to the medical field (e.g. Medical Ethics, Issues in Health Care)
- In-depth studies of at least one focus area (i.e. Biology, Chemistry, English, etc.), usually upper-level Biology courses (e.g. Histology, Embryology).
- Many schools emphasize a diverse field of study and a curiosity of academic interests, including studies of history, literature, art, political science, humanities, and psychology.
Online courses, community college courses, and distance-learning courses are often not looked upon favorably.
Each school may have different requirements, potential applicants need to familiarize themselves with their desired program qualifications.
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- University of Tennesse - Memphis
To create your four year plan, contact a pre-professional advisor.
The MCAT, the Medical College Admissions Test, is the entry exam for medical schools. The core classes (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and English) will help you prepare for it. The average accepted MCAT is a 30 and anything above a 35 is very good.
Almost all medical schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, and while there is no one ideal degree, most students earn a degree in either Biological Science or Chemistry. Medical schools favor diverse interests, and having a minor increases your marketability and shows a range of interests and abilities. Some common minors include Biological Science, Chemistry, Spanish, General Business, and Psychology.
Experience in the medical field is also required for most medical schools, and it is recommended that all students have at least one year of consistent related work, though some specify required hours. Volunteer work is highly favored.
For more information about how you can gain experience in the medical field, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.
To apply for medical school, you need to fill out the AMCAS (the American Medical College Application Service), which will then be submitted to the schools you have selected. This needs to be submitted June 1 of the summer before your senior year, so it is recommended you begin gathering the materials you need during your second semester of your junior year. It costs $45 for the first school, and $25 for each additional school. If the school you send it to requests additional information, it will cost an additional $60-$125.
Letters of Recommendation
With your application, you will need three letters of recommendation from faculty, with at least two of those letters coming from science faculty. Those letters should be directed to Ronald Johnson, Biological Sciences. Letters of recommendation from non-faculty are acceptable but should be limited to a maximum of two and should be from individuals you know quite well. ASU has a pre-professional committee that will collate these letters and send them, along with an overall evaluation, partly based on an interview, to your requested medical schools. The interview is held during September and October of your Senior year.
For further information, contact our pre-professional advisor.
You will need a personal statement, a very important description of why you want to become a doctor. This is often the very first thing that application committees review and needs to convey your depth of character and your passion and desire for a career in the medical field.
It is very important to be well-rounded; the selection committee favors students who participate in extracurricular activities, who are good communicators with effective interpersonal skills, good leadership skills and professionalism, and those who show a genuine care for people and a love of life. They search for individuals who have enriching life experiences, who have an obvious personal integrity, emotional maturity, depth of character, and ethical and moral integrity, and it is not uncommon for schools to do background checks on applicants they are seriously considering. Many schools also look favorably upon students who engage in undergraduate research opportunities, who seek opportunities to better themselves and their community. Individuals who have actively sought opportunities to work in the medical field, either through a job or a volunteer program, are highly considered. Consistent, extended volunteer work is a critical factor in many of their decisions.
After you apply, you may be asked for an interview with their admissions committee. Selection for an interview is based on an appraisal of intellectual and personal characteristics that are desirable for future physicians, taking into account both academic success and extracurricular involvement. It is very important that you are prepared for it: arrive early, dress appropriately (no strong smells), be enthusiastic and positive, and don’t be nervous. Make sure you know the materials you submitted, and be able to address topics such as the medical profession (current controversial medical issues, e.g. the Health care system, stem cell research, etc.) and the specific university to which you are applying (their specialties, particular faculty, etc.). Practice having friends and family ask you questions that may come up, such as, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” “What is the most important issue in medicine today?” and “What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?”
For mock interview practice, contact our pre-health professional recruiter.
There are 162 medical schools in the United States and Puerto Rico.
There is one medical school (allopathic) in the state of Arkansas - UAMS in Little Rock. Of the 174 slots, 152 of them are guaranteed to Arkansas students. 70% of the first 150 positions in accepting class must be equally distributed among the four congressional districts, meaning that a minimum of 27 will come from each district.
Because there is no osteopathic medical schools in Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education awards grants to qualified students so that they can attend out-of-state schools. To find out what osteopathic schools are available to you, click here and scroll down to "Arkansas Health Education Grant."