What does it mean to be a “pre-med” student?

A pre-medical student is a student on a path to gain entry to medical school. Gaining acceptance to medical school is extremely competitive so students must fully understand all that is required. A pre-med student must first earn a bachelor’s degree before entering medical school and the degree earned is irrelevant. Students typically major in a science-related field (i.e., Biochemistry, Biological Engineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or Microbiology) but are not necessarily required to. Pre-med students have majored in English, History, Music Education, Psychology, Philosophy, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. However, a pre-medical student must take medical school pre-requisite courses along with their degree requirements.

(Please note: Pre-med is not a degree program at MSU; it is only a concentration).

What is the difference between an M.D. and a D.O?

There are two types of physicians: MD is a Doctor of Medicine (Allopathic Medicine) and a DO is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Allopathic and osteopathic schools both teach the same basic science curricula necessary to becoming a fully qualified doctor, but they have two very different approaches and different admissions statistics. Click this link to find out more:

How long is Medical School?

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, and upon acceptance to medical school, students spend four years in medical school. At the end of the four years, students are granted either the MD or DO degree, depending on which path they followed. If a student wishes to specialize, an additional school is required and may be between 3-7 years, depending on the specialty.

How do I find someone to shadow?

MSU has a shadowing program with OCH Regional Medical Center. Application packets can be picked up in 116 Harned Hall. Here is more information:

  • Must be at least a Sophomore
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Health Insurance, completion of the MCAT exam would be very beneficial in the selection process.
  • Students can only shadow ONE (1) semester for 20 hours – NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Two orientation sessions – the selected students will have to come to the hospital.
  • If student has not been accepted into the program after one (1) year of submitting an application, they will have to re-submit.
  • FALL – August 1st (September – December)
  • SPRING – December 1st (January – April)

Information about the North Mississippi Shadowing program can be found here:

Information about the UMMC’s Health Careers Development Program can be found here:

Tips on finding a doctor to shadow can be found here:

Tips on finding a DO to shadow: