Interested in becoming a physician? Great!! There are four medical schools in the state of Alabama.  They are:

  • University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine
  • University of South Alabama College of Medicine
  • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine- Auburn
  • Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dothan, AL

You can major in any academic discipline, although the majority of UNA pre-medicine students choose either biology or chemistry. Don't know the differences between allopathic and osteopathic medical school?  Well, that is your first assignment!  Please go here for allopathic medicine and here for osteopathic medicine.

So what courses are required for medical school?  At the moment, those courses are:

  • 8 semester hours of biology
  • 8 semester hours of general chemistry
  • two classes in organic chemistry
  • 8 semester hours in physics (algebra-based is fine)
  • Biochemistry

However, the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) now tests knowledge from the following disciplines:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology

We recommend taking introductory courses in both psychology and sociolo prior to sitting for the MCAT.  Click here for more information on the MCAT.

As a person interested in health care you must consider these points:

  • You must be well-rounded in your liberal arts education.
  • You must demonstrate a desire to help people, either through paid or volunteer work. Such activities should be long-term commitments on your part, not just something you do for an hour or two.
  • You must engage in significant job shadowing so that you really know what a physician does in the course of a day.  This activity needs to be initiated by the end of your freshman year at UNA.  Talk to your Pre-Health advisor about how to arrange this activity. It is best to shadow primary care doctors as they are the ones who are interacting constantly with patients. You may shadow physicians who are specialized, but the majority of your hours need to come from primary care shadowing as you observe the doctor-patient relationship.
  • You must demonstrate the intellectual ability to handle difficult courses and a difficult courseload (14-16 semester hours).
  • You must be able to score well on standardized tests.  After all, you will be taking board exams and licensure exams your entire professional life. 

Medical schools, as well as other health professions schools are interested in how you have developed the core competencies to be a successful physician.  To see what those competencies are, click here. It is very important that you can demonstrate how you developed these competencies, not just say that you have them! That is what all of the above is about.