I have spoken to many GW undergraduates over the years as an informal advisor for those interested in the health professions. One common complaint is that most of their classes are large and Professors don’t get to know them very well. For those undergraduates interested in health professions, the Anatomy Minor is an excellent way to test the waters. The four courses, described in this website are all taught by medical school faculty. Furthermore, much of the content is directly related to Anatomy courses in health professional schools. The classes have a small number of undergraduates in them at present. Therefore, enrolled students would have a much better chance of establishing a mentor/protégé relationship with a faculty member, each of them getting to know one another more comprehensively, so that a faculty might then be able to write a more meaningful letter of recommendation on behalf of the student. If I were an undergraduate seeking a career as a physician, dentist, physician’s assistant, or physical therapist, I would definitely enroll in this minor.
Some of you may worry that you will have difficulties fulfilling requirements in a major in some nonanatomical discipline. Health professional schools look more at the courses in your portfolio and worry much less about your major. It would be a good idea to have undergraduate courses that challenge you and test your ability to master material central to the academic programs of health professional schools on your transcripts. The Anatomy Minor, offered by the Department and Anatomy and Cell Biology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences is an excellent way to demonstrate that you are well-trained in preparation for health professional schools.
I would recommend taking some introductory biology courses early on in your time at GW and then, if you decide to pursue the Anatomy Minor, you could take our four courses during your subsequent years at GW. Two are offered every fall semester (Human Embryology and Human Microscopic Anatomy) and two are offered every spring semester (Human Gross Anatomy and Human Neuroanatomy). For example, you might want to take Human Embryology in fall of your second year and Human Gross Anatomy in the spring of that year. Then during the fall and spring of the next two years, you could take the other two courses to complete the Anatomy Minor requirements. We are flexible regarding prerequisites for taking these courses. I have even approved motivated entering GW students to take Human Embryology in their first semester at GW, if they have had a solid course in AP Biology in high school. If you have questions, I welcome you to contact me directly.
Kurt E. Johnson, PhD
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Program Director, Anatomy Minor
Course Director, Anat 2130, Human Embryology
Course Director, Anat 2150, Human Microscopic Anatomy