Home page



Programs in medicine prepare people to work as medical doctors.

Programs in medicine teach people about the health needs of the human body. Students learn how to diagnose and treat diseases and disorders. They also learn to counsel and instruct patients. Doctors may prepare for work in general practice or they may choose to specialize. To specialize, they choose a medical residency program other than general or family practice.

Medical school programs include topics such as:


During medical school, you spend two years working as an intern in a hospital or clinic. As an intern, you rotate through internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics, oncology, and other hospital departments.


In medical school, students pick a specialty. A few specialties include:


Many universities and medical schools offer medical degrees. Students earn a Medicine Degree (MD). This typically takes about four years of full-time study beyond a bachelor’s degree.

A few schools offer accelerated combination programs where students can get a bachelor's degree and an MD at the same time. These generally take between six to eight years of full-time study.


After graduating from medical school, students spend between three to seven years in a residency. This is paid on-the-job training where they get more in-depth exposure and experience working in the medical specialty they have chosen.

See schools that offer this program.

Graduate Admissions

Admission to medical school is very competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). You also need letters of recommendation and a personal interview.

Most schools require that some of your letters of recommendation be written by someone on your college's pre-health professions committee and some of your college science professors.

Although you don't need to major in a particular subject, you need to take the following college classes:

Course prerequisites vary from program to program. You may also be required to take biochemistry and courses in a second language.

Typical Course Work

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in medical school is usually divided into two parts: the basic clinical sciences and clinical rotations. You typically take the clinical sciences courses in the first and second years of the program. These courses usually include some combination of the following:

A few programs require you to write a thesis before graduation.

You participate in clinical rotations in the third and fourth years of medical school. These are hands-on opportunities to learn how to apply the information you already learned to real-life specialized clinical settings. An experienced doctor supervises you.

Each rotation lasts several weeks - long enough to experience a fair-sized range of experience in each specialty, and short enough to participate in different areas as well. Some of these specialized areas may include:

Things to Know

Taking the required courses and doing well on the MCAT are not guarantees of admission to medical school. Medical school admission committees want to see applicants who have an understanding of and even practical experience in medicine. You may consider volunteering in a hospital or a clinic.

You may find that taking courses in Latin or Greek may help you learn medical terminology.

You need a license to practice. During your residency, you train for certification in your chosen medical specialty and take the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLEs).

After a residency program, you can take an exam to become board-certified.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Washington State University Health Sciences - Spokane