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Welcome to the Medical Sciences First & Second Year Q & A. Medical Sciences Office. Located in the back of 148 Smith Campus Center (Career Development Office is up front). Medical Sciences Coordinator: Paula Goldsmid Administrative Assistant: Brenda Reynolds. No need to take notes!.

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Medical Sciences Office

  • Located in the back of 148 Smith Campus Center (Career Development Office is up front).

  • Medical Sciences Coordinator: Paula Goldsmid

  • Administrative Assistant: Brenda Reynolds

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No need to take notes!

  • This will be available on the Pomona Medical Sciences web soon www.medsci.pomona.edu

  • Please feel free to just listen and think. You might want to jot down questions for later.

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MD may not be the Best Choice for you

  • Osteopathic Medicine

  • Public Health

  • Podiatry

  • Optometry

  • Veterinary Medicine

  • Dentistry


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What courses should I take?(and when should I take them?)

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Science Subjects Required by 10 or more U.S. Medical Schools

No. of schools

(Total= approx. 120) Pomona courses


Biology 2 semesters 119 Bio 40,41M/C

Physics 2 semesters 119 Physics 51 a,b

Gen Chem 2 semesters 118 Chem 1a,b or 51

Org Chem 2 semesters 113 Chem 110 a,b

Calculus/Math 1 or 2 sem 15 Math 30, 31

College Math 1 or 2 sem 17 Stats/other math

Biochemistry 1 semester 10 Chem 115

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Non-Science Subjects Required by 10 or more U.S. Medical Schools

No. of schools

(Total N=120) Pomona courses


English 1 or 2 sem 81 Many possible

Behavioral Sci 1 or 2 sem 10 Many Possible

Social Sci 1 or 2 sem 10 Many possible

Humanities 1 or 2 sem 13 Many possible

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What should I major in? Schools

No One College Major is best!

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Grades Schools

You must maintain a strong GPA in college, in both science courses and overall, if you expect to be admitted to a health-science professional school. Although many factors are taken into account in the admission process, grades from college are probably the most important single evaluative factor.

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Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) Schools

  • When should I take it?

  • Depends on when you finish courses and when you want to start medical school.

  • Usually have 3 years BUT check because schools differ.

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Other Considerations Schools

  • Study Abroad

  • Letters of Recommendation

  • Health Care Experience

  • Research Experience

  • Activities, leadership

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What should I be doing now? Schools

  • Explore fields you may want to major in – and follow your passions when you choose.

  • Build good relationships with faculty.

  • Start the required basic science courses for the MCAT, DAT or other exams relatively early in your academic career.

  • Think seriously about stretching out these basic science courses, especially if you do not have strong high school preparation in the sciences, or if you know you have difficulties with quantitative science.

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What should I be doing now? Schools

  • Seriously consider Study Abroad, and plan carefully for this program.

  • Learn very good study habits and excellent time management right from the beginning of your college career.

  • Always keep your grades up -- you will need a strong GPA, both in the sciences, and overall, if you are going to be a serious applicant.

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What should I be doing now? Schools

  • Get involved in College and community service.

  • Talk with faculty and family about your career choices, throughout college.

  • Get involved in first-hand health-care experiences.

  • Visit the Career Development Office library soon to explore the full range of possible health-related careers.

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For more information Schools

  • VISIT our Medical Sciences web frequently, and bookmark it.


    ( linked under Academics on Pomona’s home page)

  • JOIN the medical sciences email distribution list. Instructions are on the website above.

  • CHECK health professions links on this site, and explore the range of health professions.

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The End Schools

Any Questions?

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Pre-medical Students Schools

Entering professions related to health constitutes the single largest career goal stated by students at Pomona College.

At Pomona, “pre-medical” refers to preparation for any of the health professions. Many exciting possibilities await you: “medicine” means more than M.D.!

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Purpose of this meeting Schools

This meeting is to provide you with some information about the medical sciences program at Pomona College, and to eliminate some myths about the process of getting into health professions schools. In brief, there is not any one way you must follow to enter these professions -- there are many paths toward your goal.

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This meeting is Schoolsintended to be informal -- To make best use of our time, unless something is unclear, please hold questions until the end.

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Medical Sciences Committee Schools

Nicole Weekes (Chair), Psychology and Neuroscience Program

E.J. Crane, Chemistry

Wayne Steinmeitz, Chemistry

Frances Hanzawa, Biology

Kirk Jones, Physical Education

Elizabeth Crighton, Politics

Kyla Tompkins, English and Women’s Studies

Neil Gerard, Associate Dean of Students

Paula Goldsmid, Medical Science Office

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Pre-Med Liaisons Schools


Ellie Tokar

Jon Lee

Samantha Nadella

Mary DeBoer

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Pre-Med Liaisons Schools


Christa Lovett

Alice Yoo

Noah Rosenberg

Julia Chang

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Pre-Med Liaisons Schools


Vivek Charu

Hal Jakle

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Academic preparation for health professions Schools

  • What should I major in?

  • What courses do I need to take?

  • When should I take these courses?

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What should I major in? Schools

No health professions school requires that applicants major in particular subjects to the exclusion of others. Schools are interested in broadly-educated students, which is what Pomona College provides with its liberal arts education. Your chance of acceptance is not increased if your major in science, or if you choose not to major in science. We advise you to major in the academic area in which you are most interested.

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Familiarize Yourself with Requirements Early Schools

Requirements for each allopathic (M.D.) medical school, plus a lot of other useful information, are described in the book Medical School Admission Requirements, which may be purchased from the Association of American Medical Colleges, 2450 N Street, N.W., Washington DC 20037-1126, for about $25 on www.aamc.org . Also available in CDO library.

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Familiarize Yourself with Requirements Early Schools

More information on osteopathic medical school is in the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book, available online or free in print on http://www.aacom.org/

Requirements for other health professions schools are on their respective websites. See www.medsci.pomona.edu for links.

The Career Development Office library has a huge amount of information about careers in health-related professions.

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“Typical" Application pattern Schoolsfor pre-medical students

Most “pre-meds”:

  • apply to medical schools in summer between junior and senior year,

  • take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or its equivalent in spring of junior year. These tests include material on general biology, general and organic chemistry, and general physics, as well as testing reasoning, verbal abilities, and writing skills.

  • The usual pattern of taking these required courses is as follows, with math and English fitting in where convenient.

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Non-typical patterns may be best for you! Schools

  • An increasing number of applicants do not follow this “typical" pattern!

  • If you are under prepared in the sciences, you might seriously consider stretching out taking these pre-med courses.

  • Consider taking Math 29 (“Problem Solving in the Sciences”) first rather than Math 30

  • Take only one science course per semester rather than doubling up. Many health professions schools actually prefer their first-year students to be a bit older and more mature. The average age of first-year students in medical school is 23-24 years.

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Getting into Medical School: SchoolsEnrollment Trends

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Applicants, Acceptees & Matriculants Schools1991-2000 More recent Tables are available atwww.aamc.org/data/facts/start.htmSource: AAMC Data Warehouse: Applicant Matriculant File as of November 22, 2000

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Grades Schools

  • Introductory Sciences courses are not designed to “weed you out”.

  • In 1999, 83% of accepted applicants to medical school had an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 (9.9 on Pomona’s scale) or above.

  • Only 4.6% of accepted applicants had a GPA of lower than 3.0 ( 9.0)

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Study Abroad Schools

  • Valuable experience

  • Will need to plan carefully to fit it into your schedule.

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Study Abroad Schools

  • Take Physics during the sophomore year (along with Bio 41M/C and Chem 110a,b).

  • Take Physics 51a during Spring of sophomore year and go abroad Fall of Junior year and return to take Physics 51b Spring of Junior year.

  • Taking a year-long physics or organic chemistry course in summer session somewhere else: get approval in advance from relevant Pomona academic department!

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Study Abroad Schools

  • Apply to health professions schools after you graduate

    • take physics/O Chem during your senior year after returning from abroad, and take the MCAT (if applicable) during your senior year.

  • Study abroad in the fall semester of your senior year. But, we do not necessarily recommend this.

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Letters of Recommendation and Advice on your future Schools

  • Get to know a number of your professors well from both inside and outside of the sciences.

  • Cultivate relationships with your instructors early in your academic career.

  • Ask questions inside and outside of class.

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Letters of Recommendation and Advice on your future Schools

  • Demonstrate your interest in the course subject and activities including labs, discussions, writing assignments, and exams.

  • Get to know faculty outside of the classroom-visit during office hours; take them to lunch in the dining halls.

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Letters of Recommendation and Advice on your future Schools

  • Don’t wait until you have a problem to talk to faculty--crisis times aren’t good for building new relationships.

  • Keep up the relationships you cultivate early in your academic career--you can’t expect the professor who gave you the ‘A’ three years ago to write a good recommendation unless you’ve kept her informed about your progress.

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Letters of Recommendation and Advice on your future Schools

  • Keep a copy of work in each course. Presenting this work to faculty will facilitate thorough and timely letters of recommendation.

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Health Care Experience Schools

Most health professions schools look for evidence that applicants have first-hand knowledge of health care, as part of their assessment of the depth of your commitment to such careers. You can demonstrate this in a wide variety of ways, including, for example, working or volunteering in hospitals, in physician offices, in health care clinics and screening agencies, or in public health programs. Don’t wait until right before you apply.

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Research Experience Schools

Many students find it both enjoyable and worthwhile to do independent research, during the academic year and/or during summers. Research experience can enhance your application and provide more in depth and distinctive letters of recommendation, but it is not required unless you are considering a career with more emphasis on research than on patient care.

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Activities Schools

High grades and high MCAT scores alone will not get you into medical school. Medical and professional schools are interested in well-rounded applicants, those who have shown interest and ability to work with people.

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Activities and Leadership- Ideas Schools

Seek internships through the Career Development Office. Get involved in on-campus activities relating to health care, such as AIDS awareness committees, Medical Sciences Society, and consider becoming a Pre-Med Liaison. Take on leadership positions in student or community organizations, or in student and dormitory government. Become a Sponsor or RA. Write for Student Life or Collage.