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.
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.
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.
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.
The Benedictine Benefit
Allopathic Medicine (MD)
Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
Naturopathic Medicine (ND)
After graduating from Benedictine University in 2002, Jessica Gedraitis, M.D., attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. During medical school, she was actively involved in the student-run free clinic at Community Health, a clinic devoted to providing health care to the medically underserved. She was a member of the steering committee and served as the fundraising chairman. Upon finishing medical school, Gedraitis completed residency training in emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. During her residency, she was a flight physician for Flight for Life.
In 2009, Gedraitis moved to Peoria, Illinois where she works as an attending physician at OSF St. Francis Medical Center. She is also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Gedraitis is actively involved in educating medical students and resident physicians, and is the director of the swine lab in which residents learn critical procedures. She is also the medical director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, where she works closely with community outreach programs to provide resources to victims of sexual assault.
In her free time, Gedraitis spends time with her family and participates in long distance running. This year, she plans to run the Chicago Marathon for charity.