Department of Biology
Pre-Medicine - Preparation for a career in Health Care
Our Graduates enter multiple careers in healthcare:
Doctors - There are many
degrees in primary health care for which we can prepare you: Doctor of
Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Doctor of Podiatric
Medicine (D.P.M.), Doctor of Chiropracty (D.C.), Optometrist (O.D.),
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) andPhysician Assistant (PA). (Summary of each). Once licensed, a person with one
of these degrees can provide medical care for patients. Saint
Joseph's College Pre-Medical program advice page.
Medical Technologists or Clinical Laboratory Specialists perform medical, diagnostic laboratory tests.
YOU LOOK TO APPLY
- 1. ARE YOUR SIGHTS SET FOR THE
RIGHT LEVEL? If your interest is in providing health care, you can do
that as an MD, DO, DPM, Chiropracter or PA.
Your grades may be too low to get into one or two of these options but
just right for getting into another.
Look below for typical grade levels
- 2. ARE YOU WILLING TO GO TO SCHOOL AFTER GRADUATION? There are post graduate programs that have VERY GOOD acceptance rates into medical schools. Look at the "Post Graduate" section below.
M.D. DOCTOR - MD Medical schools are the HARDEST TO GET INTO. The average Medical school will expect you to have MCAT scores of 27 or more (total) which means an average of 9 on each individual area plus a GPA of about 3.6 or more. We find that our majors who get GPAs of 3.8 or better and get MCAT totals of 25 or more have a 90% acceptance rate at their home state's MD medical schools.
D.O. DOCTOR ("Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine") - In general, D.O.s have fewer options in specialties than an MD, but if your interest is basic medicine (family doc, pediatrician, obstetrician, etc.) the D.O. is an excellent profession with all the same rights as an MD. The average Osteopathic Medical school will expect you to have MCAT total scores of 23 or more plus a GPA of about 3.5 or more (a higher GPA can compensate for a lower MCAT and vice versa). We have students who do not get into M.D. schools but do get into D.O. schools.
PODIATRIST (DPM) - Don't think poorly of this career. The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) can choose from among various specialties in medical and surgical care of the foot, ankle and lower leg. A Podiatrist works shorter, more regular hours than a typical D.O or M.D. A Podiatrist's starting salary is around $80,000. The American Podiatric Medical Association says podiatrists in private practice can earn up to $260,000 annually.
- The Chiropractor is concerned with all the health needs of his
patients but concentrates mainly on the spine and nervous system, especially
chronic back pain. A chiropractor works shorter, more regular hours than a D.O
or M.D. The average Chiropractor salary is (rural) $100,000, (city) $200,000 or
more. Dr Jim Pucka, 866-4499 in
For admission to a school for Chiropractic or Podiatric Medicine, you should have a GPA above 3.20. You may or may not need to take the MCAT. You can get into Chiropracty or Podiatry with MCAT scores averaging 7.
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT - PA schools are increasing in number as the need for PAs increases. PA school takes about two more years after graduation from College, so you can be earning a living much more quickly than if you become a doctor. Not many of our majors go into PA, but a GPA above 3.2 should allow entry into Physician Assistant schools.
WHAT IF YOUR GRADES and or MCAT are not good enough to get into
FIRST, you can retake the MCAT. This only makes sense if you have reason to
believe you will get higher scores.
SECOND, you can choose another area of medical practice. The main options are listed above.
THIRD, you can seek to enter a Master's program that will let you get higher grades. This is especially useful if the school also has a medical school, since it will give you possible references or other avenues of entry. This option is discussed near the bottom of the main premed advising page