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Preparing for a Career in the
Health Professions

"Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art.
It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters;
it deals with the very processes of life,
which must be understood before they may be guided."


Practicing medicine engages mind, heart and body. As such, you will need to:

  • Refine critical thinking, problem solving and synthesizing skills.
  • Build a strong science foundation, not to mention acquire knowledge of social sciences and develop an appreciation for the humanities.
  • Validate your interest through complementary coursework, clinical exposure, laboratory endeavors and similar contexts.
  • Demonstrate empathy, generosity and compassion through community service.
  • Develop other passions to enrich your health professions-specific training. 

What are Health Professions?

Health Professions include both clinical and non-clinical paths such as physician (Allopathic and Osteopathic), podiatry, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, physician assistant, midwifery, public health, hospital care administration, biomedical research, etc.

Who is a "Pre-Health" student?

At any given time approximately 1000 Dartmouth students and alumni/ae are interested in health professions. They come from every background and bring all academic interests to the table!  About 10% of Dartmouth students apply to medical school.

Is medicine the right path for me? 

We urge you to connect with the Nathan Smith Society Shadowing Program at Dartmouth to volunteer in local medical settings, at home, abroad and during off terms. Engage in scholarly research to see if academic medicine is your thing. 

How do I decide what classes to take first, and when?

As there many ways to meet requirements, we can individualize your choices and formulate a successful plan! 

Interested in starting your Pre-Health journey?

Explore our Overview and Tips for Getting Off to a Good Start!

Last Updated: 8/4/17