Enter the Vast Field of Medicine

Begin your career in an essential, effective, and rewarding field. When you pursue F&M’s pre-medical program — offered as a supplement to your chosen major — you’ll find all the guidance and support you need to build a sturdy foundation for a successful future in medicine.

About Health Professions Advising: Pre-Medical

The pre-med program is offered through F&M’s Health Professions Advising as a supplement to your chosen major. While you’ll declare your major at the end of your sophomore year, your pre-med experience will begin the moment you step on campus.

As a pre-med student, you’ll work with the Director of Health Professions Advising throughout your time at F&M. You’ll enjoy personalized guidance on recommended courses to take and specialized programming, resources, and more to help you develop the skills and experiences you’ll need to be a competitive applicant in medicine. Whether you are exploring which health profession might be right for you, looking for a summer internship, deciding when to apply to medical school, or trying to select which school to attend, the F&M’s Health Professions Advising is with you every step of the way.

Personalized Guidance & Workshops

As a pre-med student, you will work with Marissa Sheaf, M.S.Ed., director of health professions advising, throughout your time at F&M. Marissa provides one-on-one advising during drop-in hours and appointments, enabling you to get personalized guidance on the prerequisites for medical schools, how to become a competitive applicant, and more. She also creates and oversees experiential learning programs where you can gain clinical experience and helps connect you with alumni in different health professions. Additionally, Marissa presents on numerous topics and holds workshops throughout the year designed to provide insight and exploration into different careers in healthcare.

Clinical Opportunities

Immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of medicine prior to entering the field. Marissa Sheaf, M.S.Ed., director of health professions advising, creates and oversees experiential learning programs through which you can gain clinical experience and helps connect you with alumni in different health professions.

Many pre-med students volunteer at local hospitals and clinics, including University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Lancaster, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LGH), and Lancaster Health Center. Some students volunteer for F&M EMS and Lancaster EMS after gaining EMT certification. If you have a specific area of interest, you’ll receive guidance and support to find clinical opportunities.

Health Professions Advising also coordinates the True Blue Network Mentorship Program. If you’re accepted to the True Blue Network Mentorship Program, you’ll be paired with an alumni or community physician who will serve as your mentor. This program instills a deep understanding of a life in medicine from both professional and personal perspectives. Often, students have the ability to shadow their mentor, further developing their understanding of patient care.

Research Opportunities

While most undergraduate institutions reserve research opportunities for their graduate programs, we want you to engage now — not later. At F&M, you’ll dive into practice and enjoy hands-on experience in and out of the classroom. We offer summer research opportunities for a limited number of pre-med students through a partnership with University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Pre-medical students can also apply for funding to support their off-campus research projects. Past students have completed summer research at:
  • Human Epilepsy Project at Yale University
  • Penn State College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Carnegie Mellon Institute
  • Hadassah Medical Center in Israel
  • Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
  • University of Pennsylvania Institute for Translational Medicine

Benjamin Rush Pre-Health Honor Society

Clubs and organizations offer a fun and exciting way to get involved while supplementing your academic experience. In your sophomore or junior year, you can apply to be a member of F&M’s Benjamin Rush Pre-Health Honor Society, an organization that hosts programs and events and creates a sense of community among pre-med students.

Application & Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Preparation

Once you are set to apply to medical school, you will prepare your application with the assistance of the Director of Health Professions Advising and the Health Professions Advisory Committee. You will also prepare to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This exam tests biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and verbal reasoning, as well as concepts from biochemistry, psychology, and sociology. With the help of Health Professions Advising at OSPGD, you can prepare for this exam with customized study and preparation strategies. You will be provided official practice tests from the Association of American Medical Colleges. You can also receive guidance and tips compiled from F&M students and alumni who have scored in the 90th percentile or higher on the MCAT.

Early Assurance Program: Penn State College of Medicine

Early assurance programs allow undergraduate students the opportunity to apply to and secure spots in post-graduate programs prior to completing their degree. Through such a program, outstanding F&M students (3.5 minimum GPA) may apply to Penn State College of Medicine in the spring of their sophomore year. If selected, students receive a provisional acceptance. Students work closely with Marissa Sheaf, M.S.Ed., director of health professions advising, to prepare their application.

If you have questions about the early assurance program, please reach out to Marissa Sheaf at

Success Beyond F&M

Graduates who follow the pre-med track are distinctly prepared for success in medicine. Many go on to medical school before beginning their career as a leader in the field. 

Graduate School

In recent years, qualified applicants (3.4 GPA, 3.3 science GPA and 76% or better MCAT score) have been accepted to medical school at a rate of 91%. The individualized learning and hands-on experience F&M provides gives them an advantage in getting admitted into some of the nation’s top programs, including:

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Emory University School of Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Miller School of Medicine - University of Miami
  • Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
  • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical School - Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale School of Medicine

Career Paths

Many F&M alumni have become leaders in medicine, including in private practice, clinics, and other settings. They hold positions such as:

  • Anesthesiologist
  • Cardiologist
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • Chief Medical Officer
  • Chiropractor
  • Dermatologist
  • Emergency Physician
  • Endocrinologist
  • Family Physician
  • Gastroenterologist
  • General Surgeon
  • Internal Medicine Physician
  • Medical Director
  • Pathologist
  • Physician
  • Radiologist
  • OB/GYN
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Optometrist
  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Osteopathic Physician

Alumni Spotlight

Conducting Research at a Harvard Medical School Laboratory

When Holly Batchelder ’23 arrived at F&M, her plan was to enter medical school directly after graduation. Instead, the neuroscience graduate is taking a two-year gap after securing a job working as a research assistant for the director of the Center of Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury (CETRI) at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Batchelder said F&M’s pre-medical advising program influenced her decision to attend the College. “The educational structure and supportive post-graduate development not only enables health professional school enrollment, but also prepares F&M alumni for their next academic challenge,” she said. “I am very happy with my current path, as this incredible career opportunity has helped me develop a scientific clinical mindset and opened my eyes to the future of health care, focusing on personalized medicine within a whole-body system approach.”

Read More »

Alumni Spotlight

Alumnus Helps Pre-Med Students Get a Clearer View of Their Future

After graduating from F&M, Wenxin Wei ’02 studied a new form of eye surgery in California. Now, Wei is back in Lancaster, helping legally blind patients see again — and helping F&M pre-med students get a clearer view of what their future might hold. Over the years, students have shadowed Wei at his office and surgery center, where they have been able to watch examinations and surgeries. Wei feels it’s important for students to see firsthand what a career in medicine involves. “I think when you’re in college, being a physician or surgeon seems more like a distant concept than a reality. But time flies and I think it’s important for them to get a glimpse of what they’re working toward,” he said.

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Alumni Spotlight

“Being submerged in this environment is really giving me that other component of a liberal arts education I came to F&M for.”

Curtis Mark ’23, a public health major and pre-med student, landed an internship with Dr. Michael Fishman '05, M.D., director of research at the Center for Interventional Pain and Spine (CIPS). Mark shadowed patient visits and surgeries, learned about patient charts and how to include notes, learned how to read medications, and got insight into CIPS studies on chronic pain. Mark even began his own research study on a topic he always found fascinating: phantom limb pain, which is when patients report feeling pain in a limb even after it has been removed. "All these things I've never experienced before I'm getting to learn about," Mark said. "Being submerged in this environment is really giving me that other component of a liberal arts education I came to F&M for."

Read More »

Related Fields of Study


The biological sciences expand and advance frontiers of knowledge about all forms of life. From molecules to ecosystems, from oceans to deserts, from the distant past to present day, biology gives you insights into other species, ourselves, and our world.

Health Humanities (Certificate)

Health humanities is a growing field at the intersection of humanistic scholarship and health professions. This certificate blends rich perspectives from several academic fields to explore questions of health (including mental health and public health), illness, medicine, and disability.


As a student of neuroscience at F&M, you will not only learn how the brain works, but contribute to the ever-growing body of information on this unique organ. Using a blend of knowledge and tools taken from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and psychology, you’ll develop a rich understanding of both the physical and social functions of the brain.

Beyond Career Services

Health Professions Advising is offered through F&M’s Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD). Pronounced “os-puh-god,” OSPGD prepares F&M students and graduates for success in every aspect of life beyond college.

Learn more »

F&M Pre-Med Success

June 6, 2024

Success Beyond F&M: Conducting Research at a Harvard Medical School Laboratory

Holly Batchelder ’23, who majored in neuroscience and minored in applied mathematics at F&M, originally thought she’d go directly to medical school. But instead, she’s secured a job completing exciting research at a prestigious Harvard Medical School laboratory before attending med school.

February 7, 2024

'A Perfect Match': Alumni Eye Surgeon on Returning to Lancaster

After graduating from Franklin & Marshall, Wenxin Wei ‘02 found himself on the other side of the country, studying a new form of eye surgery in California. Now, he’s back in Lancaster, helping legally blind patients see again.

December 1, 2022

Rouse Scholar Turns Adversity into Curiosity

Stricken with a mysterious illness in high school, Franklin & Marshall student Sara Beqiraj took adversity and spun it into curiosity. That perspective is what put Beqiraj, a biochemistry and molecular biology major and Spanish minor, on the path toward earning the prestigious Rouse Scholarship. "It was a scary experience, but being able to see the medical world from that patient perspective was really valuable to me because I was able to see how doctors work together in a team and how they approach treating patients with conditions like mine," Beqiraj said.