Cassandra Shaffer Johnson
Coordinator of Pre-Health Programs
Scofield Hall, Room 9
711 E. 51st Street
(816) 235-6085
shafferjohnsonc@umkc.edu

Students following the pre-medicine/pre-health track can enhance their preparation for health care careers through any major in the College of Arts and Sciences. While the relationship to majors such as chemistry or physics is clear, students may be surprised to discover how their interests in other majors within the College of Arts and Sciences will strengthen their abilities as future health care providers. For example:

  • Students combining a major in psychology with the pre-medical/pre-health track will learn how psychology influences health and wellness, the prevention of disease and the healing process.
  • Students majoring in communication studies will learn the critical importance of communication in health care, from the doctor-patient relationship to the interpersonal communication between members of a health care team to the power and politics of mass media.
  • Philosophy majors will apply bioethical principles to "real world" dilemmas such as physician-assisted suicide.

Pre-medical and pre-health students can easily combine any major within the College of Arts and Sciences with the prerequisites for medical, dental or other health professions schools. First-year students in the College of Arts & Sciences pre-professional tracks who have not yet declared a major are required to enroll in the A&S Career Development sequence during their first two to three semesters. A&S 115, A&S 215 and A&S 315 are for one credit hour each and they are offered in a sequence starting in the fall semester. These courses are also highly recommended for all pre-professional freshman students with a declared major.

The College also offers:

  • The pre-medical/pre-dental curriculum which may be combined with any major within the College of Arts and Sciences. This allows students the opportunity to complete the necessary prerequisite courses for admission to medical/dental schools in the United States and Canada.
  • Interdisciplinary courses that examine the complicated nature of health care. Topics include the doctor-patient relationship, other aspects of health communication, health promotion and prevention and controversial issues in bioethics.
  • Medically related research projects in such areas as clinical health psychology, chemistry, and physics. Current topics include disease prevention, psychological and communication barriers to adherence, and factors linking obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, diet and exercise with cancer, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS. Research partners include the Mid-America Heart Institute, Saint Luke's Hospital, UMKC Schools of Dentistry and Medicine and the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.
  • Dental-related research projects which investigate topics such as pain management, disease prevention, psychological barriers in the healing process and the use of chemistry and physics to identify and construct new polymers for use as posterior restorations.
  • The Gerontology Certificate allows students to explore relevant medical and social issues of the new millennium as people live longer, our population ages, and "care" becomes as important as "cure."
  • The Healing and Humanities Minor. Faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences offer courses that enhance a student's ability to understand the complicated world of health care and the relationship of healthcare with the humanities and social sciences. Students can combine the healing and humanities minor with any major in the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Biological Sciences. Through courses for the healing and humanities minor, students may strengthen their preparation for health careers by improving their communication skills, their appreciation of diversity and the arts, their understanding of bioethical dilemmas and their knowledge of the values, economics, and politics of health care. See the Healing and Humanities Minor for more information.
  • The Bioethics and Medical Humanities Minor. Students can combine a minor in Bioethics and Medical Humanities in conjunction with any other major or as part of the BLA degree. See the Bioethics and Medical Humanities Minor for more information.