Medical school

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Medical school

Medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, that teaches medicine, and awards a professional degree for physicians and surgeons.


Med-i-cal School (/'medɪkəl sku:l/)


The term "medical school" is derived from the Latin "medicus" meaning "physician" and the Old English "scol" meaning "place of instruction".

Related Terms

  • Pre-medical: An educational track that undergraduate students in the United States and Canada pursue prior to becoming medical students.
  • Medical education: Education related to the practice of being a medical practitioner.
  • Medical student: A student studying in a medical school.
  • Medical degree: Academic degree awarded for studies in fields associated with medicine and/or surgery.
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): A standardized, multiple-choice examination used for prospective medical students in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Caribbean Islands.
  • Residency (medicine): A stage of graduate medical training.
  • Internship (medicine): A period of medical training that a doctor or a student undergoes after completing their undergraduate studies.

Structure of Medical School

Medical schools can be stand-alone institutions, or part of a larger university, and they can often be partnered with hospitals for clinical practice. The structure of medical school can be divided into two distinct sections: pre-clinical and clinical years.

Pre-clinical Years

The pre-clinical years of medical school, usually the first two years, are focused on teaching the basic sciences relevant to medicine. This typically includes anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and medical ethics.

Clinical Years

The clinical years, usually the last two years of medical school, involve clinical rotations in different specialties. Students work with patients under the supervision of experienced physicians in hospitals and clinics, learning acute, chronic, preventive, and rehabilitative care, as well as social skills.


Admission to medical school varies with the school, but generally requires a combination of a general application to the university, an entrance exam (such as the MCAT), a personal statement, and interviews. Some medical schools also require a commitment to serve in underprivileged areas after graduation.

See Also

External links


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