Please click here for the latest information regarding Benedictine University's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Benedictine University is an inclusive academic community dedicated to teaching and learning, scholarship and service, truth and justice, as inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition, the social teaching of the Church, and the principles of wisdom in the Rule of St. Benedict.
Benedictine University aspires to be a thought leader in Catholic higher education. We seek to provide a transformative and integrative educational experience grounded in Benedictine values, helping students shape lives of meaning and purpose as engaged citizens who care for the earth, welcome people of diverse faiths and cultures, and promote the common good.
You want to be a physician. You want to be a surgeon, or pediatrician, or anesthesiologist, or any of a number of medical specialists. Begin your path to a medical career with us. Benedictine University has a tradition of excellence in undergraduate science programs, and a well-deserved, outstanding reputation for preparing students for entry into medical school. Please take some time to explore our offerings.
Declaring yourself to be “pre-med” simply means that this is your career aspiration. To get there, you must meet specific requirements, and these can vary from medical school to medical school. To be clear, medical schools are not looking for students with a specific major. Before applying to any medical school, students must first complete a bachelor degree program that incorporates specific prerequisite course requirements. However, medical schools are also looking for applicants that demonstrate commitment to the profession, community engagement, a well-rounded education, and leadership skills.
At Benedictine University our pre-health professions program, including pre-med, is designed to provide you with professional advising additional to your academic advisor. Our liberal arts programs provide you with the breadth of knowledge and experiential learning prized by medical schools. We have relationships with healthcare providers surrounding our region to help you gain shadowing, clinical, and volunteer experiences. Our Health Profession s Recommendation Committee guides provide unparalleled recommendations that are recognized by medical schools across the Chicagoland area, and beyond.
Medical professional schools do not require that you study a specific academic major. Many students choose Health Science or Biology because there is significant overlap of major courses and premed prerequisites. However, we recommend hat if you have a passion in another area, you can and should major in that area. Graduates who do this find they can incorporate this area of passion into their professional life for a more satisfying career. You can enter Benedictine University with a specific profession in mind, or without immediately declaring a field of specialization and be assured that you can begin course work needed by all medical professional programs. Our expert pre-health profession advisor will help you understand and choose courses that are required for entry into the medical schools of your choice. Academic preparation needed for a many careers in medical and healthcare science professions integrate readily with majors in the College of Science and others.
Aspiring medical and health profession students engage in volunteer service in the healthcare arena. This serves many purposes, and should be considered seriously and deliberately.
Students who care
Health profession schools look for evidence of a sincere commitment to healthcare. Medical school admissions staff look at how long a candidate volunteered and what the work entailed. In addition to volunteering at hospitals, working at clinics, supervised homes for physically or developmentally disabled people, and nursing homes are great opportunities to demonstrate your commitment, and learn more about what healthcare providers do and how to interact with patients. Students who want to be able to more actively participate take steps to become a more distinguished volunteer by obtaining EMT or nurse's aide certification.
Volunteering at organizations that aren't directly linked to medical care can also be of great value in demonstrating commitment to serving communities. Volunteer work with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or soup kitchens demonstrates a commitment to serving others. If a prospective student is able to become a leader within the volunteer organization, that's also a plus.
Making an informed choice
Doing volunteer work in a health care setting shows a student has tried to understand the realities of a career in a health profession. Be mindful of balancing volunteer work with classes, jobs and other responsibilities to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Make a plan with goals. A reasonable time goal would be 10 to 15 hours per month. This may be variable, with more time spent during summer and school breaks.
Volunteer work should be discussed with your pre-health professional and academic advisors.
You want the chance to perform hands on research, gain clinical experiences, and interact with advisors who know how to guide you to make the right choices. At Benedictine University you'll have all of that and more. Experienced faculty provide investigative research opportunities. You'll have exceptional opportunities to become engaged in investigative and applied research. We can connect you to clinical experiences that will enable you to dig deeper into your field of interest. Volunteering opportunities are plentiful with the large number of clinical sites in the greater Chicagoland area with whom we partner.
The Benedictine Benefit
Allopathic Medicine (MD)
Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
Naturopathic Medicine (ND)
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) provides high school seniors and Benedictine University students opportunities for early acceptance into medical school. For more information on qualifications and application processes please see our pages for High School and Undergraduate students or M.S. Integrative Physiology students.
Visit Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine's web site for more information.
Students can begin the application process with LECOM with an Early Acceptance Program Inquiry.
Marian University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) has a program that will give Benedictine University pre-medical students opportunities for early decision admission into, or a guaranteed interview with, MU-COM. Click for more information on qualifications and application processes for Undergraduate students or M.S. Integrative Physiology students.
Visit Marian University's College of Osteopathic Medicine web site.
Erik Johnson is a native of Chicago. He attended Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights prior to his time at Illinois Benedictine College. He completed his thesis in the Fine Acids Division at the Amoco Research Facility under the supervision of his advisor, Dr. David Rausch. Johnson graduated Cum Laude in 1991 with a degree in Biochemistry.
After graduation, Johnson began his medical career at Loyola University-Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. His plans of being a surgeon quickly changed, and he completed his residency in Pediatrics at The University of California-Irvine. He received numerous accolades during his residency including Resident of the Year and the P. Colin Kelly award for the “Pediatrician Who Teaches.”
Johnson and his wife, Cheryl, decided to remain in Long Beach, California where he practiced and taught residents and medical students.
In 2000, they returned to Chicago and Johnson began practicing at Alexian Brothers Medical Center and St. Alexius Medical Center with The Medical Care Group. He continued teaching at Midwestern University in the Physician Assistant Program.
In 2014, his focus shifted to administration with his appointment as medical director-pediatric services for Alexian Brothers Health System and the Alexian Brothers Women’s and Children’s Hospital. He has been influential in advancing centers of excellence in Neurology and Endocrinology.
Johnson is on the Board of Directors of the AMITA Health Medical Group and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation. He has served on the Executive Leadership Team for the March of Dimes Walk for Babies for the last two years.