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PRE MEDICINE in Molecular and Biomedical Sciences
A BS degree in Biochemistry (BCH), or Microbiology (MCB) or Molecular Biology (MLB) is an excellent foundation for future pursuit of an allopathic medical degree ( MD) .
• The BCH, MCB and MLB degree requirements provide the course requirements for applications and the MCAT and enough flexibility to explore other interests through electives.
• The basic sciences within medical school curricula include – biochemistry, microbiology and immunology and molecular genetics- focal areas of our degrees and increasingly important with the evolution of molecular medicine.
• Successes of our graduates: Of UMaine graduates who applied through the Office of Health and Legal Professions to begin matriculation towards an MD or MD/PhD in 2011, eight of 24 ( one third) had degrees in BCH, MCB or MLB. 6 of those 8 students were accepted. Over the past 3 years Tufts Medical School Early Assurance Program has selected 5 students (of 18 students statewide) who were/are majors in BCH, MCB, or MLB. Some of the schools our students have graduated from as MDs (or MD/PhD) or are currently enrolled: University of Vermont, Dartmouth, Tufts University, University of Rochester, University of Virginia, Boston University , Sackler School of Medicine( TelAviv, Israel), Tulane,Case Western Reserve, SUNY Stonybrook, St. Georges ( Caribbean), Jefferson Medical College, Washington University (MO), Uniformed Health Services, Yale and Brown.
WE ALSO KNOW THAT CHANGES ARE ALSO IN PROGRESS….. AND WE ARE READY.
In 2009 the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) released a report entitled: “Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians” 08-209_AAMC-HHMI_report (click to see the report) For this report, a distinguished group of scientists, physicians and educators reevaluated student preparation prior to and within medical schools and made recommendations for the future. Several themes are evident:
• the importance of being inquisitive: Finding information and asking questions experimentally;
• the ability/skill to integrate new information into existing knowledge across disciplines when needed
• the ability to communicate effectively through written and oral work
• the ability to critically evaluate information and/or data
Entering students must “be able to demonstrate both knowledge of, and ability to use, basic principles of mathematics and statistics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology needed for the application of the sciences to human health and disease; demonstrate observational and analytical skills and the ability to apply those skills and principles to biological situations”
The report defines eight “competencies” to establish the scientific foundation for future studies that will be expected of entering medical students but the report also emphasized;
“undergraduate years are not and should not be aimed only at preparing students for professional school. ..but be devoted to creative engagement in the elements of a broad intellectually expansive liberal arts education.”
Our programs in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology are by nature- interdisciplinary –and require courses in math, chemistry, physics and biology in addition to courses within the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences. Importantly, there are also ample opportunities to achieve your own unique, broad liberal arts education- to help you attain your goal of medical school and a successful career in medicine.
Here’s how our curricula provide opportunities to establish your “competencies” and ensures “creative engagement for a broad liberal arts education”
• “Apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.”
Each degree requires statistics (MAT 232) and calculus. BCH and MLB require MAT 126 and 127; MCB requires MAT 126
Quantitative skills will be applied in some lecture classes (CHY and PHY, BMB 322, BMB 467) and laboratory experiences (BMB 323, 464, 490, capstone research projects)
• “Demonstrate understanding of scientific inquiry and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.”
Inquiry driven laboratories or components in required courses of biochemistry (400, 460, 464) and microbiology (305,420, 490), seminar (BMB 580/582) and capstone research experiences (BMB 491 or HON 498/499).
• “Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and some of their application to the understanding of living systems.” Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the understanding of living systems. “
Physics- 111/112 or 121/122 –recommend in year 1 or 2, general chemistry ( 121/123-122/124) and organic chemistry (251/253 and 252/254)
• “Demonstrate knowledge of the structure, biosynthesis and degradation of biological macromolecules.”
The core course in Biochemistry 322, 464, 400, 460 supplemented by seminars and research experiences
• “Demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to the structure and function of cells”. And “Apply understanding of principles of how molecular and cell assemblies, organs and organisms develop structure and carry out function “
BMB 280, 300, 305, 322, 400, 420, 455, 464, 490 – some options for science electives BIO 307, 377, 450,464, or 480, CHY 431, 443
• “Explain how organisms sense and control their internal environment and how they respond to external change.” (mechanisms of maintaining homeostasis, signal transduction, ion channels and chemo receptors, defense mechanisms- immunity)
BMB 280, 300, 305, 322, 400, 420, 430, 440, 455, 464, 490 – some options for science electives BIO 307, 377, 450,462 or 480, CHY 431, 443
• “Demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life of earth.” (Persistence of some mutations as advantageous, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, the influence of pathogenic and symbiotic relationships) BMB 280, 300, 305, 322, 400, 420, 430, 440, 455
Premedical students majoring in Microbiology may select Methods in Epidemiology (INT 479) as an elective
Some MBS pre-medical students have taken electives towards a minor in Philosophy- after taking Biomedical Ethics (PHI-235) ; others minor in Neuroscience through selection of electives from BIO and PSY (http://biology.umaine.edu- link to neuroscience for Prospective students)
Participation in a discipline based REQUIRED seminar class provides additional skills in critical reading of the scientific literature and in oral presentation skills (BMB 580/582).
Writing exercises throughout these curricula include writing intensive classes with opportunities to develop more effective written communication skills.
GENERAL EDUCATION (18 credits plus 3 ethics), SCIENCE and FREE ELECTIVES:
The choices you make to fulfill these allow you to customize your unique, individualized, broad learning experience. If you have Advanced Placement Credits you will have MORE elective opportunities. Minimum electives: BCH – 10 Science and 10 free electives; MCB – 8 free electives; MLB- choice of required genetics class (BIO 462 or 455), 9 program (limited science) electives and 3 free electives
Honors College students fulfill the General education requirements through the HONOR’s college 4 semester sequence and tutorials.