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Pre-Health Professions

Interested in a career in the medical field?

Students in LabThen you should know that some of the best physicians and other health-care professionals started out in the liberal arts. Think about it.

What makes a good doctor?

When someone posed this question on Twitter, 200 people replied. Their top two responses: having empathy, and being a good listener.

Top on babycenter.com's list of signs of a good doctor are "a caring, sincere, and empathetic attitude" and "an open and responsive manner."

One commentator said, "Most people assume physicians meet a threshold of intelligence, knowledge, and judgment, and therefore what differentiates good doctors from mediocre ones is the ‘soft' stuff."

The "soft stuff"--empathy and good communication skills--is the realm of the liberal arts.

Consider this: About ¾ of medical students majored in a science, but medical schools want to diversify. A medical school student who majored in religion commented, "If you do well in your science courses, it's probably to your advantage to be a non-science major because you're contributing to the school's diversity."

The fact is, you can major in what you love the most, and where you do your best, while you also fulfill a minor in Pre-Health Professions to get the math and science you'll need to do well on the MCAT or become a dentist, a chiropractor, a veterinarian, or physician's assistant.

You can still participate in one of the College's exciting learning communities during your first year as long as you take a lab science in your first semester, preferably chemistry.

Courses required to earn the Pre-Health Professions minor are:

General Biology I and II (BIOL 111 and 112) with labs: 8 credits
General Chemistry I and II (CHEM 121 and 122) with labs: 10 credits
Other Science/Applied Science/Social Science prerequisite courses relevant to goal discipline: 12 credits (eg, Organic Chemistry I and II, Physics for Life Sciences I and II with labs, Biochemistry I and II, Microbiology with lab, Anatomy & Physiology I and II with labs, Cadaver Anatomy, Nutrition, Sociology, Abnormal Psychology)
Calculus (MATH 104) or Biostatistics (MATH 125 or 225): 3 credits
Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 101): 3 credits
Total Credits = 36 credits

The Pre-Medical and Health Professions Program is a University-wide program for students interested in pursuing a career in medical and health professional programs. Students in the program meet regularly with a Pre-Medical and Health Professions advisor to evaluate the student's academic progress and receive professional guidance regarding volunteer and community service, academic and standardized test requirements.

Meet Mark Stoddard

Mark graduated with a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in Spanish from Duquesne, then worked as a researcher at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is currently a MSTP (Medical Science Training Program, or M.D.-Ph.D.) student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is doing research on the hepatitis C virus.