Preparing for Medical School

Medical schools welcome students with a liberal arts background. A liberal arts education does not exclude the scientific and quantitative knowledge required for medical school. Rather, it includes such courses within a larger intellectual context. Wesleyan graduates are able to analyze and integrate new material precisely because they are already familiar with more than one field of learning.

The Association of American Medical Colleges has made a strong statement about the value of a liberal arts education:

"The medical profession needs individuals from diverse educational backgrounds who bring to the profession a variety of talents and interests. . . All [medical schools] recognize the desirability of a broad education: a strong foundation in the natural sciences, highly developed communication skills, and a solid background in the social sciences and humanities."

Research Experience

Students interested in the health professions should make sure that they understand the importance of research in health care. Experience in conducting research is very useful in learning about the field and developing the skills needed to contribute to ongoing research and to evaluate the work of others. Students with an interest in the natural sciences have the opportunity to participate in laboratory research projects under the supervision of Wesleyan faculty who are principal investigators with on-campus research groups that may also include graduate students. Wesleyan students are also encouraged to apply for research internship positions elsewhere—in social science, public health, clinical or laboratory settings—during the summer months. In recent years, undergraduates who have participated in research have been co-authors of papers published in scientific journals or presented the results of their research at scholarly meetings.

Volunteer Experience

Both the Career Center and the Office of Community Service provide information about volunteer opportunities—both on campus and in the local community—during the academic year for students considering the health professions. While volunteering at our local community hospital may be the best choice for some, there are many other Middletown-area organizations that offer valuable learning experience relevant to understanding the workings of our health care system and the needs of persons who are living with illness or disability, such as the Community Health Center, New Horizons Shelter, Middletown Health Department, Middlesex Hospital Smoking Intervention Program and Connecticut Valley Hospital. While some students seek opportunities specific to health care, others may prefer to offer their time and talent to endeavors that support the health of communities in a broader sense, such as tutoring projects, teaching English as second language or at local shelters for homeless persons.

Alumni Network

The Career Center connects pre-medical students with alumni physicians for vacation internships. During winter or summer vacation, a Wesleyan student who wants to know more about the day-to-day life of a medical professional can 'shadow' an alumnus/a at his or her practice. Wesleyan graduates are well-placed as top researchers, professors and administrators in hospitals, medical schools and medical research institutes throughout the country.

Wesleyan Graduates in Medicine

The success of Wesleyan's alumni attests to the quality of our undergraduate training and our career advising. The percentage of Wesleyan applicants (those with undergraduate degrees) accepted into medical school is significantly higher than the national average of 43 percent. Although the number varies from year to year, as it does with any school, the acceptance rate for all applicants to medical school with Wesleyan undergraduate degrees over the last five years has ranged from 65 percent to 76 percent. Wesleyan graduates with overall grade point averages of 3.5 or above have fared even better, with acceptance rates averaging 75 percent to 80 percent. Our graduates attend medical schools all over the country, including the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, University of Chicago, Howard University, University of Iowa, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, SUNY Syracuse, University of North Carolina, University of Pittsburgh and Yale University.

Mount Sinai Humanities and Medicine Program

The Mount Sinai Humanities and Medicine Program is an early admission option for students intent on a humanities major and a strong interest in medicine. While this program is now open to any sophomore at a four-year college or university in the U.S., it continues to attract a good number of Wesleyan students since its inception more than twenty years ago. Those applicants selected for the program are assured admission to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, provided that they maintain a record of academic excellence, complete a year of introductory biology and chemistry, a full summer of course work in physics and organic chemistry at Mount Sinai, and receive their undergraduate degree. To learn more about the program and admission requirements, visit the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai website.

Health Professions Advising

The Career Center provides advising to students considering the health professions, beginning with the first week of the first year, and also to graduates. Students are invited to call for an appointment at any time.   Students are encouraged to explore and test their interest in medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine before applying to graduate school. The health professions advisor provides assistance in preparing for and negotiating the application process and, as chairperson, oversees the work of the Health Professions Panel. Information about the Health Professions Panel and the letter of institutional support and recommendation (panel or committee letter) offered to any student or alumnus within five years of graduation who requests one and provides the necessary documents by the applicable deadline is available on the Career Center website here.

For more information about health professions advising, please contact the Career Center at (860) 685-2180.