Pre-Medicine

Pre-Medicine
PreProf

Introduction

Pre-Professional Pathways are not offered as majors at Western, nor are they at most other universities, but they can be incorporated into or taken alongside any degree-granting major offered at Western.

At any given time Western has an estimated 450 students on a pre-medicine track. Medical schools emphasize the importance of a liberal arts education and do not recruit students from one specific major or discipline. Thus, you have flexibility in planning your Pre-Med educational program.

Use your undergraduate years to explore many academic fields, to develop basic skills and knowledge, to demonstrate expertise, and to experience a field of study (major) of your choice. Pick one in which you excel and enjoy. Popular majors for Pre-Med students are Biology and Chemistry, but students have majored in a diverse range of academic disciplines including Anthropology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Communications, Psychology, History, Philosophy, Languages (i.e. Spanish), and Fairhaven self-designed programs. Some pursue combined majors such as Anthropology/Biology, Biochemistry, and Cellular & Molecular Biology. 

What does it mean to be Pre-Medicine at Western?

At any given time, Western has more than 400 students on a pre-medicine pathway. Pre-Med students are those who identify themselves as such, formally or informally. Western does not offer a "Pre-Med" major, and there is no formula for getting into medical school. Selection committees evaluate applicants across multiple areas through a holistic review process. Important components include MCAT score, GPA (both cumulative and science/math), letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, community service, diversity awareness, and an interview, as well as background checks (including legal, conduct, and social records).

Pre-Med Education

Medical schools emphasize the importance of a liberal arts education and do not recruit students from one specific major or discipline. This gives you flexibility in planning your Pre-Med educational program. Use your undergraduate years to explore many academic fields, to develop basic skills and knowledge, to demonstrate expertise and to experience a field of study (major) of your choice. Align with a major in which you both excel and enjoy. While Biology and Chemistry are popular choices, Pre-Med students have majored in a diverse range of disciplines including Anthropology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Business, Kinesiology, Languages (i.e. Spanish, French), Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Fairhaven self-designed programs. Some pursue combined majors such as Anthropology/Biology, Biochemistry, and Cellular & Molecular Biology.

Beyond the Classroom

Western's Pre-Healthcare Professions Advising Office provides mentoring and advising to students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare professions. The office works with students to enhance their chances of gaining successful admission to the professional school of their choice. Services range from individual academic advisement to preparing students for the final application process.

Pre-Med Club: Join this and other WWU Associated Students clubs at www.as.wwu.edu/clubs/

Careers and Graduate Studies

There is no formula for getting into medical school. Applicants are evaluated in multiple areas by medical school selection committees. All are important: MCAT, grade point average (both cumulative and science), letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and interview, as well as legal and social records.

Shadowing

Students should gain at least 40 hours shadowing experience with an MD physician (or with a DO physician for application to osteopathic medical schools). Discuss your shadowing options with Pre-healthcare advisors.

MCAT

The Medical College Admission Test is offered January-September. Applicants must take the exam no later than August of the year preceding anticipated admission. MCAT information is available at www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat.

Additional Resources

Pre-Medicine Events

Health Professions Advising Events

Typical programming events offered include (but are not limited to):

Fall

Orientation Session: Getting you from WWU to professional school (MEDIC)

Health Professional & Grad School Info Fair, October 18, 2018 in MAC gym

Winter Registration Walk-in Advising: Nov 14 and Nov 15, 12-2 in BI 415

Winter

Kaplan-sponsored practice MCAT

Spring Registration Walk-in Advising: Feb 27 and 28, 12-2 in BI 415

Spring

The Healthcare Professional School Application: A session overviewing the process

Fall Registration Walk-in Advising: May 15 and 16, 12-2 in BI 415