FAQ

(Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can a pre-med student at Gustavus study abroad for a semester?
  2. Do AP and CLEP credits count for medical school admission requirements?
  3. Is calculus a required course?
  4. What is a CNA and where can I go to get CNA certification in this local area?
  5. What is a medical scribe?
  6. What service/volunteer opportunities are available locally with a pre-health focus?
  7. Does Gustavus have a committee or pre-health advisor that writes letters of recommendation for Gustavus applicants?
  8. How do I find out about Information Sessions for medical school?

 

1. Can a pre-med student at Gustavus study abroad for a semester?

Yes, and we think it is a great idea. Being pre-med and studying abroad is possible and Gustavus pre-med students have been able to successfully fit a semester abroad into their undergraduate experience with careful planning.

In order to spend a semester abroad you need to plan your timeline for application and map out your four-year plan. See profiles of pre-medical students four-year plans and take note of how different students fit in their pre-requisite courses to spend a semester abroad.

Pre-Medical Profiles of student that spent a semester abroad:

Timeline for studying abroad matters. If you are planning to apply to medical school directly following graduation from Gustavus, the application process opens in May of your junior year and the interview window is typically from September to mid-March of your senior year.

Many of the science courses are sequenced at Gustavus and the first two years you most likely will be enrolled in sequenced biology and chemistry courses that are required for the MCAT and admission to medical schools. During the junior year is typically when students take physics and biochemistry. Medical schools do not accept pre-requisite courses taken internationally.

Click here for a list of Pre-Health semester Study Abroad programs that are available through the Gustavus International and Cultural Education Office.

Click here for the Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad.

Another great option is a one-month travel course during the January Interim. Gustavus students may choose to travel and learn with other Gusties on a Gustavus course taught by a Gustavus professor, or take a course organized through a consortium of liberal arts colleges. These one-month travel courses change destinations and course subjects every year. Learn more about one-month January travel course option.

 

2. Do AP and CLEP credits count for medical school admission requirements?

Yes and no.

This is a question that needs to be researched and directed at the specific medical school programs you are interested in applying to because policies vary.

If you are a Minnesota resident and planning to apply to the U of M, below are the guidelines for the University of Minnesota's Medical School.

University of Minnesota Medical School guidelines:

· Requirements cannot be fulfilled with College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits.

· Requirements cannot be fulfilled by AP credits. If you received AP credit for courses such as general chemistry or biology, you’ll still need 1 semester of chemistry and biology with labs. This can be an advanced chemistry, organic chemistry, or any advanced biology course. Do not re-take coursework for which you already received AP credit.

Source:http://www.med.umn.edu/medical-school-students/medical-school-admissions/prerequisites/index.htm


 

3. Is calculus a required course?

We recommend that you take two math courses:

  • MCS 121 or MCS 118/119
  • Stats

There are 164 U.S. accredited medical schools and pre-requisite math requirements do vary. Looking at the specific programs you are applying to will help to clarify this further.


Q: “I love Math and already took Calculus in high school, now what?”

A: Take Calculus II and Stats


Q: “I hate Math and I heard some medical schools only require one math class can I just take stats?”

A: Yes and NO. Where are you applying? This might be possible, but it may limit some of the medical programs you will be eligible to apply to. You do not need to take calculus right away, focus on your science pre-requisite course. When it is time for application you can decide to take calculus at that time.

 

4. What is a CNA and where can I go to get CNA certification in this local area?

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, helps patients or clients with healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Things to consider for CNA training:

Community College: Hours/schedule are more full-time in nature and college credit is also awarded along with certification. Therefore, cost might be higher for credit/certification.

Other Organization: Course offerings tend to be more part-time in nature to accommodate working/students schedules. Cost might also be slightly lower because of no academic credit earned.


 

5. What is a medical scribe?

"Scribes are typically recent college graduates that do the medical documentation who assist a medical provider throughout his or her shift. They serve as a personal assistant to the provider to help make them more efficient and productive. The primary function of a scribe is the creation and maintenance of the patient's medical record, which is done under the supervision of the provider. The scribe will document the patient's story, the provider's interaction with the patient, the procedures performed, the results of laboratory studies, and other pertinent information. This is accomplished by using a laptop or tablet computer, which the scribe takes with him or her throughout the shift.

Additional functions of a scribe may include assisting with the patient's disposition, documenting consultations, and notifying the provider when important studies are completed."

*Source: Elite Medical Scribes: http://www.elitemedicalscribes.com/scribes.html

Scribe Companies in Minnesota:

Emergency Care Consultants- ECC (MN Emergency Departments) (Six 2014 Gusties working for ECC)

EPPA- Emergency Physicians Professional Association (MN emergency departments)

Elite Medical Scribes (MN and National, clinic and Emergency Room)

PHYSASSIST- Scribes (National locations, 95% Emergency Room placements, some clinic)

 

6. What service/volunteer opportunities are available locally with a pre-health focus?

Gusatvus Service Programs: https://gustavus.edu/servantleadership/communityservice/serviceprograms/

Gustavus Service Programs pre-health focus: Wednesday Friends, Gustie Buddies, Elders, Hoffman Learning Center

Applications for the above Service Programs are available at the start of the academic year.

Mayo Clinic Emergency Department Volunteer Program: Positions are available Monday-Sunday in the evenings.


 

7. Does Gustavus have a committee or pre-health advisor that writes letters of recommendation for Gustavus applicants?

Gustavus does not have a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor that writes a committee letter. Three different types of letters can be sent to AMCAS; at Gustavus the method used is an individual letter written by one author.
Below is a description of the types of letters that can be forwarded to AMCAS on your behalf.

Source https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/faqs/147736/amcas_2010_faqs-17.6.html

  • Individual Letter: An individual letter refers to a letter authored by, and representing, a single letter writer. (Method at Gustavus- Individual Letter. Typically one science faculty, one non-science faculty, and one "other").
  • Committee Letter: A committee letter is a letter authored by a pre-health committee or pre-health advisor and intended to represent your institution's evaluation of you. A committee letter may or may not include additional letters written in support of your application.
  • Letter Packet: A packet or set of letters assembled and distributed by your institution, often by the institutions career center. A Letter Packet may include a cover sheet from your pre-health committee or advisor; however, in contrast to a Committee Letter, a Letter Packet does not include an evaluative letter from your pre-health committee or advisor.
  • Source https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/faqs/147736/amcas_2010_faqs-17.6.html

8. How do I find out about Information Sessions for medical school?

Attending an information session, preview day, or visiting campus is a great way to learn more. Here are links to various opportunities.


Updated 4/21/2021 HAB