There are many benefits associated with attending community college versus going to a traditional college or university. For one thing, tuition tends to be much more affordable at a community college and there is often greater flexibility in terms of taking classes online, at night, or in different locations. When it comes to certain career paths like medicine, however, having a degree or college credits from a community college can sometimes be a problem. Keep reading to learn more about getting into medical school with a community college degree.
What are the Prerequisites for Medical School?
Many students who know that they plan to pursue a career in medicine choose a pre-med degree or concentration with their undergraduate schooling. You can certainly get into med school with other degrees, but you do need to have certain prerequisites if you want your application to be considered. Each school may be slightly different but the general prerequisite requirements and recommendations for medical school are as follows:
- One year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics
- Related lab work for each of the courses listed above
- Knowledge of healthcare issues and volunteering and awareness of healthcare activities
- Well-rounded experience with electives and extracurricular activities
In addition to these requirements and recommendations, you should think about what kind of degree you will pursue in undergrad if you don’t go pre-med. Science majors are the most common in medical school but many medical schools express an interest in well-rounded students by taking applicants from other degrees such as music,
What the Numbers Show
The current report by Community College Week shows that over the past decade, the number of associate degrees offered by community colleges in the health care field grew by an astonishing 111 percent. Certificates offered by community colleges in the health care industry grew by 240 percent during the same time frame. By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, community colleges across the country awarded more than 177,000 health care degrees alone.
- Working with elderly or physically or mentally disabled patients to help them live independently
- Helping patients recently discharged from hospitals as they recover from illness, injury or surgery
- Providing psychological support and instruction to patients they visit
- Performing light housekeeping duties like changing linens and cooking meals
- Checking a patient's vital signs and keeping a record of the results for doctors
- Assisting patients with basic functions like bathing, grooming or dressing
Once a patient receives a prescription for glasses or contacts from an optician or ophthalmologist, the dispensing optician is responsible for creating the eyewear for the patient's specific needs. This professional uses a host of diagnostic equipment to measure the thickness, width and curvature of the cornea to fit contact lenses precisely to the patient. In some cases, the dispensing optician will be responsible for actually cutting the lenses and placing them into the frames, as well as adding tinting or protective coating to the lenses themselves.