• A
  • |
  • A
  • Text size

Preparing for Medical School

One of the chief parts of becoming an MD is four years of education at one of the U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). After completing medical school, students earn a doctor of medicine degree (MD), although they must complete additional training before practicing on their own. (Note: Some physicians receive a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO degree)from a school of osteopathic medicine. For more information, refer to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine or the American Osteopathic Association.

What does it take to enter and succeed in medical school?

  • motivation and intelligence
  • well-rounded high school and college education, including classes related to the study of human beings
  • completion of college prerequisites for medical school entrance
  • good academic performance
    high grade point average—usually, between 3.5 and 4 on a 4-point scale (remember, satisfactory academic progress is required to be eligible for financial aid)
  • preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • timely and successful performance on the MCAT
  • evidence of motivation for medicine
  • evidence of interest in service
  • evidence of leadership
  • good recommendations
  • timely applications to medical schools
  • good communication skills

Students and graduates of LCME-accredited medical schools are eligible to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination. These graduates also have unrestricted eligibility to enter residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Resources from the Association of American Medical Colleges

Careers in Medicine

Considering a Career in Medicine: Making the Decision
AAMC Medical School Admission Requirements Directory (Copies are often available via high school career advisors or high school/college librarians.)

U.S. and Canadian medical schools