Most schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine have similar prerequisites for admission. However, individual schools vary in details, so consult the admissions requirements for the schools and profession of interest to you. You can meet the requirements for most health career professions by taking the following sequences for each subject.
Many Oberlin students enter the college with AP or IB credits and want to enter the science and math sequences at an advanced level. In some cases, especially if you are contemplating a major in the area where you have advanced placement, using the credits and entering in upper level classes makes very good sense. In other cases, however, it is good to start the Oberlin course sequence at the beginning, since the rigor of these classes exceeds that of most AP classes, and you can be in for a difficult time entering the upper level class. Some medical schools will not accept AP or IB credit in place of the required courses. It is very important to talk with a health career committee advisor and with professors teaching the classes in question before you make a final decision on your schedule.
Also, be careful not to overload yourself with science and math classes in your first semester. Although it may not appear that way on paper, three classes in science and math is too many for the first semester. If you are a really strong science student, you may be fine taking both BIO and CHEM in the first semester, but some students start with a single science class. At some later point you will need two, possibly three, science courses in a semester. Always consult with a health career committee advisor to make sure you are on track, but not overloaded.
Because medical schools are seeking people who know what they are getting into, it is also essential that you have approximately a year's worth of medically-related volunteer experience during your college career. To gain this important experience you may combine several different experiences such as multiple winter term projects, a summer hospital volunteer stint, and a few hours a week at a local clinic or nursing home during the academic year. Medical schools also look favorably on a strong background in research as it is important to understand where information comes from and how scientists make the discoveries that impact the medical field. There are several opportunities for research with Oberlin faculty as well as summer research programs off campus for undergraduates. Because there are limited slots available in all of these settings it is important to make contact with faculty and programs early, and to apply to more than one off-campus program at a time. Remember, the point of engaging in volunteer work and research is to help you better understand issues related to health care and help you decide what you want to do. It is not simply a process used to add a new line on your resume. It is a chance for you to grow and develop into a stronger candidate for medical school and ultimately a better physician.