What Subjects Should You Take to Become a Doctor?

Hundreds of thousands of students enter colleges and universities with the intent of continuing on to medical school. Your academic choices at both the high school and college levels will have a large impact on your applications to medical schools. Although there is no required major for medical school admittance, you will be expected to have met certain requirements in course subjects. Those courses are standard to any premed program, and all the following subjects, except mathematics, are covered on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

  1. Mathematics

    • At least two semesters of college-level mathematics are required. Doctors use math daily in determining medicine dosages, and they must be able to perform calculations quickly and precisely. Math will also benefit your chemistry and physics coursework.


    • Premed programs usually suggest having eight semesters of coursework in the biological sciences, which include anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Doctors must be able to identify parts of the human body and understand how they work in order to diagnose illnesses and treat patients.


    • You will likely need to take two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of organic chemistry. Knowledge of chemistry comes into play when understanding drug interactions. It is also important as a supporting subject of biology.


    • Most medical schools will require you to have taken two semesters of college-level physics. Physics hones reasoning and problem-solving skills, both essential in practicing medicine.


    • High-level communication skills are absolutely necessary for anyone in the medical profession. You will be expected to communicate professionally through both writing and speaking in a variety of situations, including writing articles for medical journals, giving presentations at conferences, and communicating clearly with patients.

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