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Health Professions Advising Program

Health Professions Advising Program
Advisor: Dr. Meledath Govindan
Office: Sanders 104N-6; 978-665-3628
Email: mgovindan@fitchburgstate.edu

About the Program

The program assists students in pre-professional preparation for careers in the medical sciences, including:

  • Medicine (allopathic and osteopathic)
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Podiatric medicine
  • Chiropractic medicine
  • Optometry
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Physical therapy
  • Other allied health professions

Because medical science professions require specific preparation, students must work closely with the Health Professional Advisor to plan a suitable program of study. This generally involves:

  • Selection of an appropriate major
  • Required courses
  • Internships and volunteer service opportunities in the health profession
  • Clinical exposure to medical fields
  • Research

Students are also expected to consult the catalogs (or websites) of the particular health professional schools he/she is interested to determine the specific requirements for admission. This is the responsibility of the student. The information provided here and elsewhere is only intended to guide you.

Admission to Health Profession Schools

Admission to most health professions schools is extremely competitive, requiring strong academic performance. Students will also need satisfactory scores on standardized admissions tests (e.g., MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, VAT, GRE, etc.). Evidence of leadership, service, and a working knowledge of the health professions is helpful.

Academic preparation generally includes a minimum of two semesters each of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, mathematics, and English. Beginning with the 2016 admission cycle, there will be new MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) that includes an additional test: Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior. This necessitates that students acquire the necessary competencies by taking courses in these areas. Introductory courses in psychology and sociology will also be required.

Competency in biochemistry is required. Additional advanced biology electives, such as cell biology, genetics, developmental biology and microbiology are strongly recommended.

Note: at this time these additional requirements apply only to admission to M.D. programs in U.S. medical colleges; however it is anticipated that the others will follow the lead and change their requirements as well.

Preparation for Health Profession Schools

To complete this preparation at Fitchburg State, the following courses are recommended:

  • General Biology - BIOL 1800-1900
  • Anatomy and Physiology – BIOL 1200-1300
  • General Chemistry - CHEM 1300-1400
  • Organic Chemistry - CHEM 2000-2100
  • Biochemistry – BIOL 3450 or any new course developed.
  • Mathematics (Pre-calculus, Applied Statistics and Calculus I) – MATH 1300, 1700, 2300
  • General Physics – PHYS 2300-2400
  • General Psychology – PSY 1100
  • Introduction to Sociology – SOC 1100
  • English – Writing I and II and possibly two additional literature courses

Pharmacy, Physician’s Assistant, Dentistry (some), and certain other programs may also require microbiology. It is strongly recommended that students also take courses in cell biology, genetics and developmental biology, if possible.

While it is advisable for students to follow the B.S. Biology/Health Sciences program, pre-health professional students can major in any of the available majors at Fitchburg State. However, since many of the above courses are required courses for the biology major, it is likely that the student will major in biology. Careful planning is required to complete the required coursework in a timely manner with an excellent grade-point-average.