Introduction Admission to programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD) is competitive. Typical requirements for US-style programs include a Bachelor's degree in any major and courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics and general biology. Applications usually require scores from the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), personal essays, and 3-6 letters of recommendation. Many exceptions to these requirements occur, including fewer requirements or inclusion of specific courses (analytical writing, biochemistry, calculus, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, statistics), specific subject areas within courses (computational approaches, homeostasis, protein structure and function, thermodynamics), laboratory components of science courses, and faculty-supervised research experience.
Each program may have different requirements and a different process of application. Deadlines for application may be as early as October of the year before matriculation. The MCAT is offered only at specific times and venues. The relative importance of grades, essays, MCAT scores, letters of recommendation, and the perceived quality of the undergraduate institution may vary, but one should assume that all components of the application are regarded carefully.
Medical College Admission Test See the official MCAT website for extensive descriptions and advice, including deadlines and registration procedures. The MCAT has four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. No official policies exist as to appropriate preparatory coursework, though recommendations are available from other organizations (for example, see the recommendation of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: http://www.asbmb.org/asbmbtoday/asbmbtoday_article_print.aspx?id=16052).
Medical Doctor Programs in Lebanon
American University of Beirut (AUB). See Faculty of Medicine section in the latest Graduate Catalogue (requirements are included in tables 1 and 2) at the Office of the Registrar: http://www.aub.edu.lb/registrar/Pages/catalogue.aspx
Note the application deadline is on the current application form: http://www.aub.edu.lb/admissions/applications/Pages/GraduateAdmission.aspx
Lebanese American University (LAU). See: http://medicine.lau.edu.lb/admission/ Note there are two deadlines, one for early acceptance and one for late acceptance.
University of Balamand (UOB). See: http://www.balamand.edu.lb/Academics/Faculties/FOM/AdmissionsAndRegistration/Pages/MedicineAndMedicalSciences.aspx
Note there are three deadlines see admissions criteria: http://www.balamand.edu.lb/ProspectiveStudents/AdmissionsCriteria/Pages/AdmissionsFOM.aspx
Advice for Pre-Medical Students Interested in US Programs Pre-medical requirements in the US would include an undergraduate degree from a four-year program in the US or Canada (if the degree was acquired abroad, a supplemental year of college or university training in the US or Canada may be required). Rarely is a specific major required, though science majors are most common. The US does not have a high school baccalaureate system, and despite legal equivalence of the baccalaureate in Lebanon to the freshman year, its educational equivalence is rarely considered such in the US. Thus, each school may require this issue be addressed by different means, including coursework in the US. Traditional pre-medical programs include 1 year general chemistry with laboratory, 1 year organic chemistry with laboratory, 1 year general physics with laboratory, and 1 year general biology with laboratory. In recent times, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and analysis have been emphasized. Compared to Lebanon, more weight is likely placed on essays, research experience, the verbal reasoning scores of the MCAT, and letters of recommendation. Convincing letters of recommendations are written by those who have direct and substantial experience with the applicant and can comment on those qualities poorly assessed by grades and scores.
For first review of medical school applications, most US schools use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS): https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas which has many useful resources for pre-medical students, including: https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/
Primary application materials include the applicant's background, transcripts, standardized exams, essays, letters of recommendation, and a list of schools to apply to.
For non-US citizens applying to medical schools in the US, this may be useful: http://web.jhu.edu/prepro/Forms/International.Students.MS.Policies.pdf
Advice from Professional Organizations Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Aspiring Docs: https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/ Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) MD-PhD: https://www.aamc.org/students/research/mdphd/ American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS): https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/
Requirements and Information Concerning Specific Schools
Where AUB students have been accepted abroad: Boston University: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/admissions/programs/md/ and http://www.bumc.bu.edu/admissions/applicationprocess/requirements/ Tufts University: http://medicine.tufts.edu/Education/MD-Programs/Doctor-of-Medicine University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: http://medicine.umich.edu/medschool/education/md-program/md-admissions University of Nicosia/ St George's University of London: http://www.nicosia.sgul.ac.cy/admissions/admissions-requirements Washington University in St. Louis: http://mdadmissions.wustl.edu/
Highly selective: Harvard Medical School Admissions FAQs: http://hms.harvard.edu/departments/admissions/admissions-faqs Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program FAQ page: http://www.hms.harvard.edu/md_phd/faq/ Johns Hopkins:http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/ National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist Training Program (NIH MSTP) http://www.cc.nih.gov/training/mrsp/index.html Stanford: http://med.stanford.edu/md.html University of California San Francisco:http://meded.ucsf.edu/admissions Yale: http://medicine.yale.edu/education/index.aspx
Diverse: Boston University: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/busm/admissions/ Case Western Reserve University: http://casemed.case.edu/admissions/process/requirements.cfm Duke University: http://dukemed.duke.edu/modules/flash_articles/ Emory University: https://med.emory.edu/education/admissions/md/how_to_apply/application_requirements.html Florida State University: http://med.fsu.edu/?page=mdAdmissions.home George Washington University: http://smhs.gwu.edu/academics/md-program/admissions Georgetown University: https://som.georgetown.edu/prospectivestudents Loyola University Chicago: http://ssom.luc.edu/admission/applying-to-stritch/ McGill University: http://www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/programs/mdcm St. Louis University: http://www.slu.edu/medicine/prospective-medical-students University of California Los Angeles: http://apply.medschool.ucla.edu/ University of California San Diego: http://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/front/SOM.html University of Texas at Austin: http://www.utexas.edu/dell-medical-school/faqs/prospective-students University of Texas Medical School at Houston: https://med.uth.edu/admissions/ University of Texas San Antonio: http://som.uthscsa.edu/Admissions/student_info.asp University of Toronto: http://www.md.utoronto.ca/admissions/information.htm Wake Forest School of Medicine: http://www.wakehealth.edu/School/MD-Program/Admissions/Admissions.htm
Frequently Asked Questions Which AUB courses should I take if I want to apply to medical school?
As mentioned above, those applying to AUB should refer to official information comprised in the Graduate Catalogue.
A typical undergraduate program of study that would allow application to most medical schools includes general biology (BIOL 201 and BIOL 202), general physics with at least one lab (PHYS 204, PHYS 204L, PHYS 205, and PHYS 205L), general chemistry, possibly with lab (CHEM 201 and CHEM 201L), organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 211 and CHEM 212). These courses would be in addition to FAS requirements that include English and Humanities. Some programs may require additional courses in biochemistry (BIOL 220), cell biology (BIOL 270), general chemistry (CHEM 203), genetics (BIOL 223), and statistics (STAT 210). See recommended programs of study for BS in Biology, all of which satisfy AUB requirements: http://www.aub.edu.lb/fas/biology/Pages/fas.aspx
What are the requirements to apply to the MD program at AUB? See the Faculty of Medicine section in the latest graduate catalogue at the Office of the Registrar: http://www.aub.edu.lb/registrar/Pages/index.aspx
How does AUB FM decide on admission to the MD Program?
Admission is competitive and the responsibility of the Faculty of Medicine. Direct inquiries to Mahmoud Harb, Office of the Dean of Medicine. Also note that the interview is factored into the composite score used to rank applicants.
Are there means to predict the likelihood of a particular student being admitted?
Anecdotal information is unreliable, but students have been above average.
Do I have to be a biology major to be a pre-med? No. It is not entirely clear why so many pre-medical students major in biology. Possible reasons include: those interested in medicine see biology as related to life sciences, the biology BS program satisfies AUB FM MD program admission requirements, and there is a traditional belief that one must be a biology major to apply to medicine. Do I have to take certain courses before I take the MCAT?
No course is required to take the MCAT, but the coverage of some courses is similar to what the MCAT tests: General Biology (BIOL 201 and BIOL 202), General Physics (PHYS 204 and PHYS 205), General Chemistry (CHEM 201), Organic Chemistry (CHEM 211 and CHEM 212), Psychology (PSYC 201, PSYC 212, PSYC 222), Sociology (SOAN 201).
What extra-curricular activities can I get involved in that are relevant to the field?
No doubt there are numerous opportunities! Try out the following: AUB's Medical Research Volunteer Program which allows undergraduate students to get involved in program: https://www.aub.edu.lb/FM/MEDICALRESEARCH/MRVP/Pages/MRVPProcess.aspx AUB's Red Cross Club: https://www.aub.edu.lb/sao/activities/org/clubs/inf/Pages/redcross.aspx AUBMC's St. Jude's Cancer Center: http://www.cccl.org.lb/ For volunteers: http://www.cccl.org.lb/volunteer.php#.Vg6fFn0po3g