Doctors are healthcare professionals who promote, maintain, and restore health through studying, diagnosing, and treating illnesses, injuries, and other ailments. There are three types of physicians in the United States:
- Doctor of Medicine (M.D.): refers to allopathic physicians
- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine ( D.O.): refers to osteopathic physicians
- Doctor Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M): refers to podiatric physicians
The curriculum for each type of program is very similar; however, D.O.’s are usually trained in an additional technique called Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. Traditionally, Osteopathic Physicians have been trained using a holistic view of medicine and focus on caring for the whole patient. M.D. ’s focus on treating disease by the use of medicine that produces effects different from those the disease produced. A D.P.M. specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, disorders and injuries. They can specialize in areas such as sports medicine, dermatology, or surgery.
As an undergraduate student, you may choose any major in preparation for attending medical school. Medical schools do not have a specific preference on a particular major, so you are encouraged to choose a major based on your own personal interests and strengths. What’s important is that you have completed the prerequisite courses required by the institution you are applying to.
Requirements may vary from school to school, so you will want to research different program requirements. In general, most medical schools will expect applicants to have completed the following types of courses:
- Biology (one year)
- Chemistry (two years, through organic chemistry)
- English (one year)
- Physics (one year)
To find school-specific requirements, see the MSAR Online.
The MCAT includes the following test sections:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills