Medicine and Other Health Professions

Medicine is the most popular health-career area at Centre, but our graduates also choose specialized study in fields such as dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine, among others. Biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, and chemistry are the most popular pre-med majors at Centre, but students from every academic major are accepted to medical school. Diversity is, in fact, not only possible, but encouraged by many medical schools, which have come to realize that students who pursue interests in art, music, philosophy, history, literature, and other areas of liberal study tend to become well-rounded, highly effective physicians. In fact, the only science background generally required for admission to medical school is two years of chemistry and one year each of biology and physics. However, the MCAT exam, required of all applicants to medical schools, does require a strong understanding of biology, physics, and chemistry, as well as some study of sociology, psychology, and statistics. Centre has established a Health Professions Advisory Group comprised of seven faculty members. Each faculty member is in charge of advising for a different health profession. Each advisor is available to students throughout their four years at Centre (and beyond) to help them plan their courses of study and to assist them in exploring the many health-related professions. They maintain close contact with the medical and other pre-health schools to which Centre students apply most frequently. Advisors play an active role in making sure that the schools to which our students have applied process their materials in a timely manner. This continuing level of personal attention and concern is an important element in the success of Centre graduates in gaining acceptance to medical and other pre-health schools. Another important resource that helps Centre students prepare for careers in medicine is the Pre-Health Society. This organization of students who are aiming toward careers in medicine and other health-related fields engages in a variety of activities. These include taking field trips to pre-health schools and bringing their representatives on campus to speak with interested students, inviting recent graduates back to campus to talk about their experiences in medical or other pre-health school and in practice, and arranging for local health professionals to meet and talk with students. Centre College has partnered with Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center to support an internship program that enables students to work regularly in the hospital’s different departments to become familiar with hospital procedures in general and the roles of different health care professionals.