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Christine Nguyen '15
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Pre-Health Profession Studies
If you are considering pursuing a career as a physician, dentist, veterinarian, physician assistant, or other medical careers requiring an advanced degree, you should consider Curry's Pre-Health Profession Studies Program (This encompasses what are popularly called pre-med programs, pre-dental programs, pre-vet programs, etc). This program is designed to offer advice, guidance, and coursework to prepare students for a variety of career paths in medicine.
The admissions requirements for programs offering advanced degrees, including prerequisite courses, are specified by the appropriate national organization (e.g., the Association of American Medical Colleges, The American Dental Association, and the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine). Minimally, the courses required for most schools include two semesters of Introductory Biology (BIOL 1055 and 1065), two semesters of Physics (PHYS 2010 and 2020), four semesters of Chemistry, including Introductory (CHEM 1010, 1110, 1020, 1120) and Organic (CHEM 2510, 2610, 2520, 2620), and two semesters of English. In addition, most schools also require two semesters of Calculus (MATH 2130 and 2140). Strongly recommended are Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL 1075, 1175, 1085, and 1185), Statistics (MATH 1150), and Human Development (PSY 2400). Research experience in a science is also highly recommended, as is a strong grounding in the liberal arts, which can be provided through our General Education courses.
In addition, Curry's Pre-Health Profession Studies program offers specific content required for standardized entrance exams (MCAT, DAT, OAT, or GRT) for all health-related professions.
While students can major in any subject area, all the course requirements are most easily fulfilled by majoring in Biology. Since individual schools differ in some of the specifics, students should consult schools in which they are interested. For most Physician's Assistant programs, there is an additional requirement not necessary for the other professions: at least 1000 clinical hours must be completed BEFORE applying. These can most easily be done by working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). In addition, many of the health professional schools other than medical schools (such as Dental and Optometry) require a number of hours shadowing a professional in the field.
If you are considering a post-graduate health professional career path, it is recommended that you consult as early as possible in your college career with the Pre-Health Professions advisor, Dr. Marlene Samuelson at email@example.com.
Dr. Samuelson brings decades of experience to her role as an advisor. Her formal training is in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. After completing two post-doctoral fellowships in these areas, she went on to broaden her learning and interests to include Social and Political aspects of Science, and Mind-Body Connections in human health. She teaches a wide variety of courses, including Introductory Biology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, and Introduction to the Sciences. In her teaching, learning, and research, Dr. Samuelson is an interdisciplinary thinker and has helped to create and teach cross-listed interdisciplinary courses, such as "Sex and Gender: Biological and Sociological Perspectives," and "Human Sexuality." In addition, Dr. Samuelson is a Research Consultant with the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School.
When Kenley Preval, '15, transferred to Curry from a large university, he was looking for a more hands-on Biology program. He wanted to be able to work one-on-one with professors while developing his research in the medical field.