Preparing for Medical School

Thank you for your interest in pursuing a medical education at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Regardless of where you pursue your undergraduate degree, you should contact the premedical advisor at your college or university to help guide your preparation for medical school.

Students should pursue a broad and rigorous undergraduate curriculum and seek out extracurricular activities that will prepare them for a medical career.

Undergraduate Major Degree Programs

You may choose any major you wish. It is neither expected nor required that you major in a science field, and every field of study helps students develop skills that contribute to a successful medical career. Regardless of the field of study, all students must complete the following prerequisites to be considered for admission to the UK College of Medicine:

  • Two semesters in physics
  • Two semesters in the biological sciences
  • Four semesters in chemistry, including organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Two semesters of English with emphasis on communication skills such as reading, writing, and speaking

 

We recommend that students complete prerequisite science courses by the end of the junior year of college. Further, to be well-prepared for MCAT, we strongly recommend that prospective applicants complete courses in statistics, psychology, and sociology.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is required of all medical school applicants. The test assesses mastery of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics, and facility with scientific problem solving and logical reasoning. Students applying for medical school admission are strongly advised to take the MCAT in the spring of their junior year in college. Also, please be aware that it is the policy of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine to only accept MCAT scores that fall within the previous two years of the current application cycle. For the 2019 entering class application cycle, the oldest score accepted is January 2016. Learn more about preparing for the MCAT.

Evaluation Letters

Work with the premedical advisor at your college or university to determine your best strategy. If your college has a premedical committee, the UK College of Medicine requires that you use their recommendation process and forms. If a committee does not exist, your premedical advisor may provide a composite evaluation from contributing faculty at your school. If neither of those options exist, seek academic letters of evaluation from three of your college professors who know you well, at least one of the three recommendations from a faculty member in the major area of concentration and at least one from a science area.

Personal Qualities

Medical schools seek outstanding, well-rounded students that possess extraordinary interpersonal skills. Intelligence, caring for others, integrity and honesty, leadership, reliability, stamina and strongly tested motivation for medicine are necessary personal qualities. We recommend that students take time to develop self-health strategies, time-management skills, and personal support systems. It is important to deal appropriately with pressures of balancing educational or professional demands with personal life.

Exploration of Medical Careers

Take time to explore whether medicine is the right profession for you, and, more specifically, whether being a physician is your best role. Talk to physicians about their experiences. Shadow physicians in their offices or in the hospital. Volunteer in a health care facility. Check out AspiringDocs for more information on the medical profession. Your experiences should provide you with a realistic perspective to confirm your reasons for pursuing this profession.

Interests and Work Experience

Medical schools seek versatile and well-balanced individuals who have had a variety of life experiences. Hobbies are a means of expanding your talents and interests beyond your formal education. Work experiences enable applicants to develop special qualities including leadership, organizational skills, the ability to work with people, and proficiency in dealing with timelines and finances.