Pre-Med & Pre-Health Career Preparation
The Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) program equips our students to have a more direct path to their desired careers and to differentiate themselves from other applicants to medical and health professions schools. The following are a few ways, CAM prepares our pre-med and pre-health students.
- Challenging science courses in Human Physiology, Biochemistry and Cellular Sciences, Pharmacology, and Biostatistics are taught by the same faculty that teach at the Georgetown Medical School, preparing students for the rigor of medical school.
- The following courses: Evidence Based Medicine; Biostatistics; Assessing Evidence in CAM; Critical Readings in CAM teach students to think critically about study design and outcomes, learning to analyze scientific data, do literature search, read and analyze basic science publications, and improve understanding of clinical trials design.
- Courses that improve students’ understanding of the medical profession and issues in medicine: Bioethics; Reflective Writing and Self-Awareness Through Personal Essays; The Legal Issues in Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- CAM courses that are taught by experts in many areas of integrative medicine include Survey of Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Mind-Body Skills; Seminars in Physiology, Biophysics, and Integrative Medicine; Clinical Nutrition, Botanicals and Supplements; Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pathophysiological States; Mind-Body Medicine and Physiology; Western Practice of Eastern Medicine; Complementary & Alternative Medicine in Oncology.
- An eight-week experiential offered by experts in Mind-Body Medicine teaches the students self-care and self-awareness. They are taught how to handle academic stress, build long-lasting friendship and connection with their classmates, and acclimate to the new school environment.
- Students receive guidance from the faculty from the first moment they step on campus. Students are assigned a faculty mentor but also form close relationships with other faculty due to the high faculty/students ratio and the close knit community in the CAM program. The Program Directors act as pre-med advisors throughout the year. They have access to AAMC resources and guide the students in preparation of their application materials, in academics, etc.
- The Program Directors write a joint recommendation letter for medical school and other professional schools admissions. They also write a letter of good standing at the end of the Fall semester for students already in the admissions cycle.
- The CAM program runs the CAM Career Seminar Series. In addition, students can also attend events provided by the undergraduate pre-med group on campus.
- Workshops on MCAT preparation are offered based on student interest. We also offer an extensive library of MCAT prep books for borrowing in the CAM program library.
Students are taught in small classroom-setting by visiting clinicians, researchers and experts in various fields of medicine. Students also meet for lunch with seminar speakers. These interactions provide networking opportunities for further shadowing and collaborations. Furthermore, the CAM program works with many clinics in the DC area that accept our students for shadowing experiences.
Students can do basic science, clinical or social science research during the year in the “CAM Research Techniques” or in the “Complementary & Alternative Medicine Literature Research” courses AND they can do research during the summer Practicum. Many students have been published in the past.
Students can contribute to the exciting student life on campus by participating in a large number of student-run organizations both in the Medical Center and the main campus . These include but are not limited to Graduate Student Organization, Medical Center Graduate Student Organization, Medical School organizations such as Patient Safety and Advocacy group and many others on the main campus. Furthermore, students can help plan events and contribute in various ways within the CAM program.
In addition to courses and seminars, in the Spring semester students participate in integrative medicine hands on workshops and field trips. Furthermore, the eight-week CAM Practicum is an internship opportunity for the students to develop their real life skills in the field of integrative medicine or CAM research. They get the opportunity to showcase and apply what they learn in the classroom in the workplace. Their experiences have been very positive and life-long enriching.
Students are exposed to many different career paths while in the program. They learn about integrative medicine careers from material in various courses and by networking with visiting faculty and seminar speakers. These include but are not limited to careers in medicine, osteopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic, traditional Chinese medicine/Oriental Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga therapy, art therapy, music therapy, health coaching, functional medicine, law, bioethics, basic science and clinical research and others.
- Learn to collaborate and work in a team with health professionals in multiple areas of medicine.
- Advance critical thinking and how to assess evidence from research and clinical trials.
- Understand issues in integrative medicine.
- Nurture the promotion of preventative healthcare in our society.
- Learn about the importance of cultural heritage in medicine and medical practice.
- Receive thorough instruction in nutrition, botanical and supplements, which is limited in medical school.