Programs & Requirements
Doctor of Medicine
MDs are considered allopathic physicians. MDs typically have a 4 year undergraduate degree and spend about 4 years in medical school. Students must take and pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Students also apply for a residency after graduation; depending on level of desired speciality, residencies may take 3 - 7 years.
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
DOs are considered osteopathic physicians. DOs have a 4 year undergraduate degree and spend about 4 years in medical schools. Students must take and pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). DOs can compete for the same residencies as MDs, which may last 3 -7 years.
DOs and MDs use the same tools, treatments, and technologies to practice medicine. Osteopathy has a more holistic approach to working with and diagnosing patients and practicing medicine than allopathic. Osteopathic doctors also receive additional training in musculo-skeletal manipulation.
If you want to learn more about what it's like to be a DO, read here.
Students interested in becoming a medical scientist or conducting research can obtain an MD alongside a PhD. Sometimes this option means adding 3-4 years additional schooling to medical school. Occasionally, MD/PhD programs offer tuition waivers or stipends.
Schools in Alabama
- University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine (UAB) - Birmingham, AL
- University of South Alabama College of Medicine (USA) - Mobile, AL
- Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) - Dothan, AL
- University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) - Birmingham, AL
Course & GPA Requirements
Most schools have a minimum GPA of a 3.0, but to be a competitve student, we recommend a 3.5+ cumulative and science GPA. "Science" includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math.
All three schools in AL look for these classes:
- 8 hrs - General Biology
- 8 hrs - General Chemistry
- 8 hrs - Organic Chemistry
- 8 hrs - General Physics
- 6 hrs - Mathematics (Calculus and Statistics)
- 6 hrs - English
Courses positively adding to your application and your exam scores but are not required:
- Anatomy and Physiology I and II
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry (Strongly recommend)
Most upper level science courses will prove you are interested in science, enjoy an in depth look into these subjects, and will greatly assist you on the MCAT. There is a lot more you can do to make your application stand out, click here to read more.
The above courses support required and suggested coursework for Alabama medical schools. Please keep in mind this is a guideline and specific requirements differ amongst different schools.
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