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Premedical & Health Professions

Medical and Health Professions Programs

Overview of the Medical and Health Professions Programs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services.” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm. This is an excellent time to pursue a career in healthcare.

The RIT Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program provides information, guidance and assistance in earning admission to the graduate programs listed in this section of the website. In general, all graduate programs in the healthcare fields require candidates to do the following:

  • Complete a series of published pre-requisite courses with grades of C or better.
  • Earn a competitive cumulative and science Grade Point Average (GPA). A common goal is 3.5 in a 4.0 system.
  • Complete and earn a good score on a standardized examining (MCAT, DAT, PCAT, OAT, GRE).
  • Obtain relevant practical experience in the field, which includes at least shadowing practitioners.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to service, as evidenced by volunteer work.
  • Develop key intrapersonal qualities (ethics, resilience, adaptability, responsibility, professionalism).
  • Develop key interpersonal qualities (communication skills, leadership, team-work, appreciation of diversity).

The application process is often long, taking nearly one year or more to complete. Most applications are submitted in the summer following the third year of undergraduate study or in the fall of the fourth year. Medical schools are now recommending that students take a “gap year” and apply in the summer following graduation. In all cases, admission is highly competitive.

Typically, the application process includes submitting an application form. Often there is a standard application submitted to an electronic platform, which then assembles and sends the application, with the standardized test score, to each graduate program. On occasion, students apply directly to each program. Additionally, the candidate must arrange to have a certain number of letters of recommendation submitted in support of the application. Letter writers may submit their letters directly to the application service, or they may utilize the services of the Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program to submit a single “committee letter” which contains all letters in a single packet.

The most competitive applicants are those who develop a plan early and work diligently to carry out that plan. The system does not reward procrastination. The best advice we can offer is to meet early with a premedical adviser and to develop a plan.

Medicine—Doctoral Programs in Allopathic and Osteopathic Medicine

The two doctoral programs that provide the training for students to become physicians are the MD (allopathic medicine) programs and the DO (osteopathic medicine) programs. Upon completion of additional specialty residency programs, the graduates of both MD and DO programs become licensed to practice medicine, prescribe drugs, and perform surgery in all 50 states. There is no distinction between the two degree titles by the licensing boards. Both are practicing physicians. The MD programs have been around the longest and are familiar to most students. Because of that, most students equate being a doctor with being an MD. The DO degree (doctor of osteopathic medicine) has been offered only since the mid-nineteen century and may not be familiar to students who live in areas where there are few practicing DO physicians. In all ways, the medical training of those who become MDs and those who become DOs is identical, except for one aspect. The DO physician has also learned to diagnose and provide treatment for certain conditions using manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, called osteopathic manipulative techniques