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Honors Pre-Med FAQs

Covid Note: What should I do about revealing grades or using P/F, particularly if I had a B+ or A-?Keep in mind that the medical school admissions process is holistic, meaning that your ability to master complex scientific material will be assessed across your entire academic record. It will never come down to one or two classes taken as a P during this period. If you feel that your performance in a premedical course was significantly affected by the move to remote learning, then that would be a reason to consider covering your grade with a P. Worried about showing that B+ or A-? Don’t be; those are solid grades. Want to talk about covering a grade of B or lower? Make an appointment to discuss your thought process with an advisor. You can also use this Honors Covid FAQ, which covers additional questions.

Who can help me in this process?   
You probably will encounter plenty of folklore about what med schools “like to see,” but the truth is that your pre-med journey will be unique and there is no one-size-fits-all advice. Attend an Honors Pre-med Roundup in the fall semester for more specific information about preparing yourself at the undergraduate level for a career in health care.  Whenever you feel the need for a conversation about pre-med issues, feel free to make an appointment for advising with Honors Pre-health Academic Advisor, Stephanie Chervin.

Where can I find a guide to classes I'll need for medical school?  
Medical and other health graduate schools have specific requirements for competencies in biology, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and sometimes math and other subjects. In addition to your knowledge of the core sciences, the MCAT will test your knowledge of the behavioral sciences, especially as these relate to health outcomes, and your ability to reason critically. The good news is that with its emphasis on acquiring a broad education across all disciplines and developing the skills of a critical thinker, your Honors liberal arts education will provide you with top-notch preparation and the opportunity to excel in meeting these requirements. View our guide to courses that will help you meet coursework or competency requirements for the majority of medical schools. 

What should I major in?
Major in the subject that interests you most! The hundreds of LSA graduates who matriculate medical school each year majored in subjects across the humanities, social science, and science disciplines. Don’t let the arbiter of your decision be what you think will “look good” to a medical school admissions committee, because what really matters is making authentic choices and taking ownership of your academic journey. 

Do I need experience in a health care setting? 
Yes, patient contact and clinical exposure (and a substantial amount of it!) are essential parts of preparing for a career in health care. These experiences help you learn what it means to devote your life to helping people in this way and helps you develop the personal and communication skills that you will need to be an effective and caring physician.  

Are you planning on applying to medical school this year? If so, we invite you to attend an Honors Program workshop “Operation Med School” held each January. We'll talk about the timeline of the whole process from primary application to interview and everything in between: choosing target medical schools, writing your personal statement, obtaining letters of recommendation, and balancing competing priorities such as school, MCAT, Honors thesis, and the MD application (just to name a few)! Can’t make this event? If you have questions about the AMCAS application process (or other health graduate applications) feel free to make an appointment for advising with Honors Pre-health Academic Advisor, Stephanie Chervin.

What are the MD acceptance rates for LSA Honors Program graduates? 
The acceptance rate for Honors graduates to MD granting programs hovers around 80% every year. This compares to an overall acceptance rate of 56% for U-M graduates as a whole compared to a national acceptance rate of about 42%.

Applying to medical​ school this summer and need a chemistry exemption letter because you placed into Chem 210 but don't have AP credit for general chemistry?
The Chemistry Exemption Letter​ certifies that you have demonstrated knowledge of university-​level general chemistry content via a standardized chemistry exam developed by the American Chemical Society and therefore were exempt from Chemistry 130, 125 and 126, the introductory general chemistry lecture and lab sequence at U-M. The letter may stand in lieu of credit awarded for Chem 130, 125 and 126. This letter typically works in combination with one or more general/inorganic Chemistry lectures, such as Chem 230. Request a letter by contacting Stephanie Chervin, Honors Pre-med Advisor, at Include in your correspondence your AAMC identification number. 

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