Degree Programs Schools in Alabama Recommended Courses Entrance Exam Outside the Classroom Doctoral Degree of Medicine Students wanting to pursue a career in medicine can choose to pursue one of two doctoral programs to become a medical doctor: a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). DOs and MDs use the same tools, treatments, and technologies to practice medicine. Osteopathic Medicine uses a holistic approach in working with and diagnosing patients. Students will apply to their desired doctoral programs one year before they hope to begin. After graduating from UAH, medical school training is an additional 4 years followed by specialized training in a residency. MD & DO PROGRAM COMPARISON Doctoral Degrees of Medicine and Philosophy The Doctorate of Medicine and of Philosophy (MD–PhD) is a dual doctoral degree for physician-scientists, combining the professional training of the Doctor of Medicine degree with the research expertise of the Doctor of Philosophy degree. This may mean adding 3-4 extra years of training. Medical 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 Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) - Auburn, AL University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) - Birmingham, AL Recommended Courses & GPA Requirements At UAH, we can help you become a competitive applicant for your future professional school. These courses support required and suggested coursework for Alabama schools. The combination of courses are guidelines. Specific requirements may vary among schools. Entrance Exam MCAT The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is the entrance exam required by US medical schools. A fee assistance program is available. Many schools will not accept scores more than 3 years old. Classes You will want to take as many of the required courses as possible before the test. Taking upper level classes may assist in developing problem solving and critical thinking skills. Preparation The strongest way to increase a score is to utilize a combination of study materials and take multiple practice tests. In between each test, it is vital to assess strengths and weaknesses, identify ways to improve on weaknesses, and then re-assess with another practice test. UAH Pre-Health students can check out exam prep materials from the Pre-Health library to assist in their preparation for their exams. Timing and Organization Take the exam when ready. Most students do so in the Spring semester of the year they are planning to apply to professional school. Many programs begin to fill seats as soon as their application cycle opens. Plan ahead and apply early. Important Making an appointment with your Pre-Health Professions Advisor is crucial before taking the MCAT. Book an appointment Outside the Classroom Health Care Experience What better way to make sure you want to be in healthcare than by shadowing? Gain experience and possible references. Shadowing will go a long way in, not only making you a mature applicant, but making sure others see you as prepared. Keep a Journal Use a journal to record thoughts on your experiences. Activities come to life with reflection. Topics to consider writing about may include: Why one chose their profession, shadowing, or volunteering. This journal may be helpful when writing your personal statement. Community Service and Volunteering Working in healthcare means having a heart of service. This means wanting to give back to the community. Find something enjoyable and go forth! Research Research experience can provide you with opportunities to work with faculty, learn skills beyond the classroom, use research methods, and engage in critical analysis. Research allows a better understanding between theory and practice using innovative and creative thinking.