Frequently Asked Pre-Health Questions

MSUM Pre-Health pathways frequently asked questions, how can I prepare for a healthcare profession, how do I become a doctor and more.

To become a doctor, you would normally begin by receiving a bachelor’s degree (approximately four years), and then continue to medical school (approximately four years). After medical school, you would go on to a residency training program, where you’ll specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as: family practice, obstetrics, pediatrics or surgery. Most residencies are approximately three years, though some can last up to nine.

Medical and professional schools require courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math and English. It is not required to take these courses in high school, though you are encouraged to enter college with skills to prepare you for these types of courses.

Many professional schools will accept college credit received in high school, though AP courses are not always accepted because they are not on a 4.0 grading scale. Each individual program will have their own policies on AP or IB credits.

Develop good time management and study skills while you’re in high school. Practicing skills like time management, note taking, and different study and test-taking strategies will make your transition from high school to college much easier. You need to do very well academically to get into professional school, so it’s important to develop these skills now.