Welcome to pre-med! We are excited that you have your sights set on becoming a physician. You have a long road ahead of you but we are here to help. We will provide information and support as you take the pre-requisite courses up until you start the application and testing process.
Allopathic medical schools are those that are considered “traditional” medical schools in which the treatment of disease is the underlying principle. The University of South Alabama College of Medicine and the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine are both allopathic programs. The first two years are focused on basic science. For example, at the University of South Alabama an “integrated organ systems-based approach” is taken. The last two years are clinical in nature where students are able to spend time learning vital skills in the treatment of patients. Upon completion, graduates of an allopathic program are awarded the Doctor of Medicine, M.D.
Students attending osteopathic medical schools, where disease prevention is the primary goal, have the same basic science training as their counterparts in allopathic programs. However, osteopathic students also undergo additional training in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. Through hands on diagnosis and manipulation, osteopathic physicians have an additional treatment modality. The last two years are also spend in a clinical setting. The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O., is awarded upon graduation.
- All medical schools require the following courses:
- General Chemistry I and II and labs
- Organic Chemistry I and II and labs
- General Biology I and II and labs
- Physics I and II and labs (either algebra/trigonometry based or calculus based)
- Up to two semesters of College Level Math
- English Composition I and II
- Some schools require biochemistry, statistics, calculus and/or behavioral sciences. It is important that you research the requirements for those schools in which you are interested. Your pre-health advisor can help you with this research.
- Specific requirements for some area schools can be found at the following links:
- Although not impossible, it is more difficult for students who are not a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. to gain acceptance to a U.S. medical school. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), 21.5% of foreign applicants were accepted at a U.S. medical school in 2014.
- In order to receive financial aid students must be a permanent resident or citizen of the U.S. Many medical schools, that do accept foreign applicants, require that students prove the ability to finance all 4 years of medical school prior to matriculation.
- The AAMC is a great resource for international students interested in pursuing a medical education in the United States.