Physician care is currently facing a workforce shortage and this occupation is in high demand as the overall population ages and access to health insurance opens. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, allopathic physicians diagnose and care for people who are ill or have been injured; take medical histories, perform physical examinations, conduct diagnostic tests, recommend and provide treatment, and advise patients on their overall health and well-being. There are several different types of physicians which fall into three categories. Primary care physicians are the doctors patients usually visit most frequently; they treat a wide range of illnesses and regularly provide preventive care. Surgeons perform operations to treat diseases and repair injuries. Lastly, specialists have expertise related to specific diseases as well as body parts, organs and systems.
NOTE: Pre-med is not a major or a program, and The University of Tampa does not have a medical school. Pre-med is an interest or path students choose that advisors help guide on their journey towards applying to medical school.
Preparing for Medical School
Earn a bachelor’s degree
Medical school is a graduate program; to become eligible to apply to medical school you need to earn a bachelor's degree and take specific pre-requisites (classes that medical schools require). At UT, students can earn a bachelor's degree and take pre-requisites courses. Then they will need to choose a major as pre-med is not a major or a program at UT.
Students who are interested in going to medical school typically major in biology, chemistry or biochemistry. These majors include most of the required courses for entrance into medical programs and will help prepare students for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). However, other degrees can also prepare students for health professions; thus students are encouraged to major in the field where they excel and should consult the pre-health professions advisor about course work.
Basic pre-requisite* courses required for medical school:
- Biology I and II with labs
- General Chemistry I and II with labs
- Organic Chemistry I and II with labs
- Physics I and II with labs
- Calculus and/or Statistics
- Intro to Psychology and Intro to Sociology: these behavioral sciences are needed for the MCAT
*Each medical school has its own set of pre-requisites and students need to research the admission requirements of each school they are intending to apply to. Search accredited medical schools in the U.S. and their pre-requisites
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- Completion of the basic pre-requisites is needed to be prepared to take the MCAT.
- The MCAT is required for all U.S medical schools. It is about 7.5 hours long and costs $305.
- Students who are on the traditional plan of going to medical school directly following graduation from UT should be prepared to take the MCAT in the late spring/ early summer of your junior year.
- Take the MCAT before applying to medical schools.
Build an extensive record of relevant experiences
- Community service/volunteer – students should have a passion for helping others; service could be both inside and outside of medical/clinical settings
- Shadow a doctor/clinical observation – gain knowledge of the medical field and confirm this field as your passion
- Research/lab experience
- Leadership – roles on and off campus
Medical school applications
- Students apply to medical school a full year before they intend to start (summer of junior year through fall of senior year).
- Applications open every May, and each school has its own deadline, usually between October and December.
- Most medical schools have rolling admissions, so they will review student files as soon as they are complete and submitted. It is highly encouraged to apply early!
- Take a look now at what is expected of the application: AMCAS sections and instructions.
Medical School Information and Beyond
- A traditional medical school program is four years long. In most schools, the first two years are spent in preclinical course work followed by two years of clinical rotations and electives.
- After completion, the students earns a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
- A residency program is required after medical school.
- Residency programs are between three and eight years long depending on the type of residency chosen.
- After residency is complete, students may choose to pursue further training in a subspecialty and complete a specialty fellowship, which can last between one and three years.
Pre-Health Professions Committee (PHPC)
Members of the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics and the Department of Biology offer guidance to students and write recommendations through UT's Pre-Health Professional Committee (PHPC)
composed of biology, chemistry, biochemistry and physics faculty.
Pre-professions advising has a dedicated program specialist to help students prepare for professional school in the health sciences. The specialist would like to see all pre-health students early on to ensure they are on the path for success. Please email Jackie Mikulski
to schedule an appointment.
Explore Health Careers - Allopathic Physician Association of American Medical Colleges