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How To Pursue An Alternative Route To Medical School

There are a few non-traditional ways to receive an education in medicine. Many institutions are diversifying their required criteria and o...

There are a few non-traditional ways to receive an education in medicine. Many institutions are diversifying their required criteria and opening their doors to students who may not have studied the traditionally accepted subjects. If you are interested in studying medicine and are open to looking at less direct methods of getting into med school, they will be listed here.

HuMed Program

This stands for the Humanities and Medicine program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. It is a well-established program in the U.S. The program is accepting of the humanities subjects and other disciplines outside of the realm of standard medical fields. In keeping with this non-traditional methodology, the program states that all applicants for the HuMed are not permitted to take the Medical College Admission Test.

Usually, sophomore year students are the ones who apply to the HuMed program since it was founded in 1987. However, it is a very competitive application process, and only about five percent of the students who apply are accepted.

During the undergraduate years, there is a minimal emphasis placed on the science courses. Interestingly, these students perform overall just as well as the ones that are science-focused. This is because medical schools are increasingly aware that effective communication with patients is an important factor in medical education.


QuARMS stands for Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School in Canada. It is a chance for Chancellor’s Scholarship nominees to get into med school after just two years of studying computing, arts or science programs as an undergraduate.

The goal of the QUARMS application process is to choose ten students for a two-year curriculum in the Faculty of Arts and Science. It will result in admission into the first year at the Queen’s University School of Medicine.

Students from all over Canada can apply for this accelerated route to med school. It is a unique program among all Canadian universities. The key is to not apply directly to QuARMS itself but to complete the application process once you have met the admission requirements.

The International Alternative

At Cornell University in Qatar, the Weill Cornell Medical College may be an excellent alternative overseas. Any student who wants an M.D. and experience doing clinical rotations in Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Manama can apply. Why this is a good international substitute is because Arabic is not a requirement, but you will be able to learn a few words during your time there.

The university offers a pre-med program as well. This allows applicants to apply for the medical school separately. The admissions requirements are similar to those for Cornell University with the only exception being your clinical rotation will be in cities where there are cutting edge treatments and state of the art medical facilities.

As more med schools diversify and augment their clinical opportunities and their student bodies, more of them will endeavour to offer variations to their standard medical school applications process.

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