Natural Sciences and Mathematics | Biology and Biochemistry | FAQ: Medical, Dental, Pharmacy & Veterinary

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Preparation for Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and Veterinary Careers (Health Professions)

  1. Since Biology or Biochemistry are popular majors for the medical/health career paths, can you tell me more about the programs?
  2. What track do I take if I want to become a doctor (or pharmacist, veterinarian, dentist, physical therapist) ?
  3. What does Pre-Med mean?
  4. Do you have an advisor for students interested in medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, and physical therapy careers?
  5. What is the Pre-Med Seminar course?
  6. What kinds of outside opportunities are available that will help me get ready for medical school?
  7. How can I get involved in research experiences and conference opportunities?
  8. Where do Chaminade graduates attend medical school?
  9. What is the Pre-Professional committee?

 

1. Biology or Biochemistry are popular majors for the medical/health career paths. Can you tell me more about the programs?

At Chaminade our biosciences programs are organized into two majors: Biology or Biochemistry. This means you will graduate with a BS in Biology or a BS in Biochemistry on your diploma.

Students in these majors all do very similar core courses in their first 1-2 years. These core courses cover the entire range of biological processes from the molecular level all the way to whole organisms and ecosystems. As you go through the core courses you'll discover which areas of biology interest you most, and we offer specializations (tracks) that will enable you to develop those interests through specific courses. In Biology the two specializations are "Cellular and Molecular" and "Integrative and Organismal." When you declare your major you'll declare which track.

Biochemistry is a separate major and represents a specialization for those who are interested in developing their understanding of the chemical processes that underlie life.

2. What track do I take if I want to become a doctor (or pharmacist, veterinarian, dentist, physical therapist) ?

Any of the 3 biosciences tracks at Chaminade are solid preparation for medical school and other health professional schools.The programs were designed in 2010-2011 as part of a complete curriculum overhaul. The specific course progressions have a number of features that are designed to enable your success in applications to medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, and physical therapy schools, and well as for entry to graduate school for masters or PhD programs. Guidelines from organizations such as the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), and input from medical school faculty and administrators were used in our curriculum development. Some of these features include:

  • Two-semester course sequences that prepare you intensively in core areas such as molecular biology, physiology and developmental biology;
  • "Hot topic" courses such as infectious disease/microbiology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, public health/epidemiology, pharmacology and neuroscience;
  • Two semesters of science writing preparation that will focus on the specific reading, writing and analytical skills you need
  • Courses that allow for professional internships (for example physician-shadowing) and the development of an undergraduate research portfolio

3. What does Pre-Med mean?

Students wishing to pursue health careers must plan their program of study carefully and early. When you apply to Chaminade you should register your interest by indicating your major interest as 'pre-med' . Later on, you will declare and obtain a specific degree, but the designation of pre-med on your application will enable us to identify and advise students in a timely fashion who should be in activities such as the BI190 pre-med seminar series. The Office of Health Professions Advising, as well as your biology or biochemistry advisor, will work with you throughout your time at Chaminade to keep you on track for your desired career.

4. Do you have an advisor for students interested in medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, and physical therapy careers?

Yes, the Office of Health Professions Advising provides extra guidance, support and opportunities for students interested in these career paths. In addition you will be assigned a major advisor in your program area for all of your academic advising needs.

5. What is the Pre-Med Seminar course?

The Pre-med Seminar is recommended for your first year. The course helps to introduce you to career options within the medical fields as well as many topics pertaining to preparing for and applying to medical school.

6. What kinds of outside opportunities are available that will help me get ready for medical school?

It is highly recommended that you participate in internships and enrichment experiences to prepare for medical school. Chaminade has numerous options available to you, please seek them out! The Office of Health Professions Advising can help.

7. How can I get involved in research experiences and conference opportunities?
If you are a biology or biochemistry major, Dr. Jolene Cogbill, Coordinator of Academic Enrichment and Outreach Programs, co-ordinates summer research internship opportunities and conference travel. She can advise you how to take maximum advantage of our funding and partnerships.

8. Where do Chaminade graduates attend medical school?

The Office of Health Professions Advising pages have in-depth information on the medical schools our alumni attend as well as the medical school placement agreements we have with certain institutions.

9. What is the Pre-Professional committee?

Chaired by Ms. Patricia Lee-Robinson, Associate Provost and head of the Office of Health Professions Advising, the pre-professional committee is composed of biology, chemistry and physics faculty who will work with you to prepare your applications to medical schools or other health profession schools and co-ordinate the letters of recommendation that you need. All of the members of the committee are available to you for guidance and input as you follow your path to a health career.

Pre-professional Committee members:
Ms. Patricia Lee-Robinson, M.S
Eric Dodson, M.S.
Janet Jensen, M.S.
Lisa Duich-Perry, M.S.