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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.
Pre-Health Professions Program:
Regina Schurman, Ed.D., RCEP, CPA
Phone: (630) 829-2171
Office Hours: by appointment
Pre-health Professions Advisor
Jennifer Salutric, M.S.
Phone: (630) 829-6563
Office Hours: by appointment
College of Science General Advisor:
My name is Sister Beatrice Kayombo. I invite you to join me on my journey to become a medical doctor so I can serve my people of Imiliwaha in Tanzania, Africa.
I was born in a small village in Mlangali and was not familiar with electricity, the internet or town life like other boys and girls who lived in the big cities in Tanzania. I come from a large family of 12 children. There are seven boys and five girls. My sister and I entered the Benedictine community of St. Gertrud in Imiliwaha, and one of my brothers became a priest in 2007. When I was growing up there was not running water. We used to walk many kilometers to find water for drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning. We also found our firewood in the bushes where it was dangerous as there were many harmful animals including poisonous snakes, and lions that had escaped from the animal reserve. My mother attended elementary school for two years, and my father completed up to standard 7. There was no school in my village so I entered elementary school in the next village when I was 7 years old. It took us one and half hour to walk to school. We left home early in the morning and came home in the evening and walked in groups. Even though it meant lots of walking, education was very important for me so I walked in all kinds of weather (rain and hot).
While in elementary school I felt that God was calling me to join a monastic religious life. I informed my parents about this calling and they seemed not to take it seriously and they said I was dreaming and that I was too young to make that decision. Additionally, my father was not happy because he wanted me to get married to that he could get a dowry. He also thought he would lose his prestige as I was famous in sports at school in playing netball (similar to basketball) and I did well in national exams. Besides being called by God to religious life, I really wanted to go to nursing school and work with sick people. I did the interview and took the entrance examinations while still home and then I went to the convent. Thanks be to God I passed my examination, so while in the convent, I went to nursing school and began to work as a nurse and midwife. I felt very blessed that while in the monastic life I was allowed to not only get my education but also to work as a nurse and do the job that made me happy.
After facing many challenges in my career I thought it would be important to get more education. My superior had thought this too. So she sent me for further studies her in America. I was in America, being sponsored by the Benedictine Monks and Sisters from Lisle, IL and Benedictine University for my education. At the completion of the 2009 semester, my dream and goal was to begin graduate work toward becoming a medical doctor. In 15 years I hope I will already be back to my country, working as a medical doctor and making a difference in people’s lives, not only physically but changing and enhancing the practice of medicine in Tanzania.
I graduated (undergraduate studies) in May of 2009 and then earned my Masters in Public Health degree at Benedictine University. In August 2010 I left the US for Poland to attend Poznan University Medical School to become a doctor. In April 2014 I'll be graduating!! I'm so grateful for the support of Friends of Imiliwaha, and my Sisters at St. Gertrude's.