For degree, see Related Programs, below.
The pre-medical track is designed for students who have
demonstrated an interest in health-related fields. Students
declaring an interest in this track will be designated as
pre-professional and will be tracked for progress throughout their
academic career at MSMC. We prepare students for several
pre-professional programs which include medical, dental,
veterinary, chiropractic, podiatry and optometry.
Choice of major. No medical school requires a
specific major of its applicants. They do, however, recognize the
importance of a strong foundation in the natural sciences which
includes biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The current
"pre-med / pre-professional" curriculum offered at the college
follows the course requirements recommended by the American
Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is similar to that
offered by virtually all schools in the US.
- A year of Freshman Chemistry with laboratory
- A year of Organic Chemistry with laboratory
- A year of Biology with laboratory
- A year of Physics with laboratory
- A year of English
- A year of Calculus or other advanced math classes, including
Although these course requirements can be met while pursuing any
area of study at the college, they are embedded in the biology
major. The Division of Natural Science is of the opinion that
completion of requirements for a BA in Biology best prepares the
students for further studies in areas of their choosing. This is
supported by a recent report "Scientific Foundations for Future
Physicians" from the AAMC (Association of American Medical
Colleges) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which
recommended that medical and premedical education evolve from a
static listing of courses to a dynamic set of competencies.
The competencies defined as the knowledge, skill, or attitude
that enables an individual to learn and perform in medical practice
include the ability to:
- Apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to
describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.
- Demonstrate understanding of the process of scientific inquiry,
and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic physical principles and their
applications to the understanding of living systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of chemistry and some
of their applications to the understanding of living systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how biomolecules contribute to
structure and function.
- Apply an understanding of the principles of how molecular and
cell assemblies, organs, and organisms develop structure and carry
- Explain how organisms sense and control their internal
environment and how they respond to external change.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how the organizing principle of
evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on
All the competencies defined above are addressed in the biology
Development of Personal Attributes
Academic and scientific accomplishments, while important, are
not sufficient for entry into professional programs. A critical
aspect is the development of physician–patient relationship. It is
expected that the incoming students be altruistic and dutiful.
Students are expected to be aware of community and public health
issues and understand that there are several complex,
non–biological causes that can result in poor health. While a
commitment to making evidence-based decisions is required, it is
also expected that the future professionals will make ethical
decisions, based on compassion, respect and integrity.
Pre-Medicine at the Mount
There are many advantages to being a pre-medical student at the
Pre-professional advisor. A pre-medical advisor
is available for consultation about your progress towards
acceptance to medical school. Regular meetings of pre-medical
students, reminders about deadlines, formation of a
pre-professional committee for recommendations, and one-on-one
personal attention from our full-time faculty advisor are what you
can expect as a pre-med student at MSMC.
A strong peer group. Biology majors quickly
become a part of the science community at the Mount. Students who
have majors within the Division of Natural Science take their math
and science classes together and quickly form study groups,
supporting each other in their courses. This peer support is a
great way to make new friends with goals and attitudes similar to
Peer tutoring. Science majors work together
toward a successful college career as upper-classmen serve as peer
tutors (as one-on-one or drop-in tutors, or as recitation leaders)
and all students have the opportunity to get help to support their
learning efforts. Not only will tutoring provide you with income,
but it will also help you to build your resume and strengthen your
Research. All full time faculty members have
PhD degrees in a variety of different fields and can offer you the
opportunity to develop a research project which will help you to
apply your coursework to real problems. A research project not only
will enhance your knowledge and ability to integrate your learning,
but it will impress graduate schools and future employers, giving
you an edge when you move on from your studies at MSMC.
Learning science as a process. Many of our
laboratory courses use inquiry-based collaborative learning to
introduce students to the process of science and give you an idea
of what scientific research is all about.
Mentoring. All science students are assigned a
full-time faculty advisor to help you explore career options, plan
your course schedule and follow your academic progress. New
freshmen are assigned a “science sibling” before coming to campus
so that they have the opportunity to ask questions of an
upperclassman student to student.
Opportunities outside of the classroom. You
could be a student representative at Division meetings, an officer
in the biology and chemistry honor societies, or participate with
the American Chemical Society student chapter on campus. Students
organize speakers, museum tours, hiking trips, campus activities
like element bingo and faculty vs. student quiz bowl, and science
night for elementary school students. All of these things let you
get involved in things you enjoy, while providing you more
opportunities to meet new people, interact with the faculty, and
develop your leadership skills.
Students declaring an interest in this concentration will be
designated as pre-med / pre-professional and will be tracked for
progress throughout their academic career. The advisory committee
will write a joint recommendation letter in support of a student’s
candidacy only if student has met the criteria listed below.
- Maintain an overall GPA of 3.4 the first year and then an
average of 3.4 or better in science classes taken at the college,
with a minimum grade of B- in each of the required science
- Be an active participant in the “Pre-Professional Club”. This
would require an active participation in activities that
demonstrate a commitment to leadership, altruism and dutifulness in
the community. Students would be required to:
- Develop, organize and implement community activities such as
volunteering, talks and presentations
- Volunteer in both clinical and non clinical settings
- Be a mentor
- Attend a minimum of four club meetings per year
- Maintain a portfolio that documents both academic and non
academic activities. Students will be responsible for updating it
- Set up an advisory committee in their junior year.
- Meet with their academic advisor every semester to have a
continued dialog about meeting goals and expectations.
- Attend an orientation seminar during their first year at the
- Undertake an independent project / research here at the college
or at other institutions (optional but highly recommended).
- Take the appropriate graduate entrance exam, MCAT, DAT, GRE, in
the spring of their junior year.
- Complete the appropriate application to the graduate school of
choice in the summer of their junior year.
- Initiate an interview with the Pre-professional Advisory
Committee to discuss the application progress in the fall of their
- Inform the Pre-professional Advisory Committee of the
Where Mount students have interned
- Wadsworth Center, state health laboratory at Albany
- The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Minority Student
Summer Research Opportunity
- SUNY College of Optometry Collegiate Science and Technology
- University of Tennessee, Memphis Immunology Laboratory
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Microbiology
Medical Profession. The medical profession
comprises primary health providers who are typically allopathic
practitioners, medical doctors (M.D.) or osteopathic practitioners,
doctors of osteopathy (D.O.). The primary difference between the
two is that osteopathy relates to healing through the manipulation
of the musculoskeletal system and soft tissues, emphasizing the
relationship of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones, and organs.
Allopathic medical practice makes use of all remedies proven to be
of value in the treatment of disease including medication and
The medical practitioner or physician is primarily responsible
for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and management of
patient care. The Federal Government and the American Medical
Association recognize MDs and DOs as equal and each category of
physician can be licensed to provide comprehensive medical care in
all 50 states. MDs and DOs enter one of the medical specialties
that comprise the medical profession, including family practice,
internal medicine, general surgery, urology, pediatrics, and
obstetrics/gynecology. Homeopathic medicine is the practice of
using a microdosage of substances of animal, vegetable, or mineral
origin that can cure symptoms in a ill person. The practice can
include acupuncture, nutrition, and chelation therapy.
Chiropractic Profession. Chiropractic is a
profession comprised of primary health care providers who practice
a science concerned with the relationship between structure,
usually the spine, and function, essentially the nervous system.
The science is based on natural healing methods and does not
involve surgical procedures or the use of drugs. The doctor of
chiropractic (D.C.) attempts to restore and preserve health by
manipulating the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractic science
is based on the fact that the nervous system controls every aspect
of body function and that the spine can influence body functions
far removed from it because of direct and indirect effects on the
nervous system. Dysfunction, subluxation of a vertebral joint, not
only affects the joint of the skeletal system but there are also
changes in nerve, muscle, and blood flow associated with the joint.
Changes in function of these elements cause them to become
irritated and painful. Muscles in the affected area fatigue,
tighten, and go into spasm. Changes in blood flow contribute to the
continued deterioration and cause conditions most commonly treated
by the chiropractic physician: strains/sprains, bursitis,
headaches, disc problems, leg pain (sciatica), and arthritis.
Similar explanations are used and address more subtle conditions
affecting distant tissues and organs. There are three levels of
care that comprise the chiropractic health care system. Relief care
attempts to reduce and relieve pain by an adjustment specific to a
particular joint subluxation determined by a skillful and thorough
physical examination that may include x-ray.
Rehabilitation/stabilization care continues the healing process
after the immediate symptoms are relieved. Preventative care
involves periodic evaluation and treatment similar to periodic
Optometric Profession. “Doctors of optometry
(OD) are independent primary health care providers who specialize
in the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and management of disease
and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated
structures as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions”
(American Optometric Association 1992). Diseases or conditions
typically treated by doctors of optometry are abrasions, ulcers,
infections of the cornea, glaucoma, visual skills problems related
to reading or driving, problems in vision-body coordination as in
sports or special judgments, and clarity problems as in near or far
sightedness. Doctors of optometry are also concerned with the
diagnosis and management of systemic diseases that are first
detected in the eye such as hypertension and diabetes. They are
also concerned with preventative measures in the visual development
of infants and children as related to school and hobby related
tasks. Doctors of optometry may choose to specialize in a variety
of areas including pediatrics, learning disabilities, geriatrics,
occupational vision, and sports vision to name a few.
Podiatric Profession. Podiatry is a health care
profession that involves a variety of activities related to patient
care. The doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) performs surgical
procedures that include removal of heel spurs and soft tissue
masses as well as bunion and hammer toe corrections. Primary
podiatric care usually involves corns, calluses, and ingrown
toenail problems. However, the podiatrist also performs physical
exams, cultures, and blood testing, and urinalysis. There are a
number of specialty areas related to different clinical
Podiatric medicine relates to treatment of infections and skin
conditions of the foot, sprains, and arthritis, early diagnosis of
diabetes, and other systemic conditions. Podiatry or Orthopedics is
concerned with deformities of bones, muscles, tendons, and
ligaments. Biomechanical problems can result in specialty areas of
sports medicine if related to athletes and pediatrics if related to
infants through adolescence. The podiatrist also utilizes
radiological analysis to study the structural condition of the