Some schools integrate ayurvedic principles into the pre-medical courses students complete prior to enrolling in medical school. Pre-med bachelor's degree programs provide a baseline of knowledge about human health and health maintenance. Pre-med programs that include ayurveda teach meditation, yoga, herbal formulas and the mind-body connection in addition to biology, physiology and related sciences.
A high school diploma or equivalent as well as a minimum GPA and certain SAT/ACT scores may be required for admission into a pre-med program.
Pre-Medical Bachelor's Degree
Students hoping to attend medical school generally enroll in a preparatory pre-medical bachelor's program; those enrolled may then select coursework related to ayurveda and alternative healing modalities. They may be able to use some of these techniques in their clinical experience. Students are also encouraged to incorporate ayurvedic concepts into their lifestyle as a means of gaining practical experience. Pre-med programs may expect completion of clinical hours for graduation. Some course topics in these programs include:
- Molecular biology
- Preventive medicine
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Students who learn ayurvedic principles while earning a pre-medical bachelor's degree can go on to medical school to become a licensed physician or to a master's degree program to become a licensed physician assistant.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 30% job growth for physician's assistants and 14% growth for physicians and surgeons over the years 2014-2024. Both of these professions are projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. An aging population will drive growth for conventional medical services, while rising interest in alternative medicine will give additional support to practitioners trained in ayurveda. According to the BLS, physician's assistants earned a median salary of $98,180 and family physicians earned a median salary of $184,390 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Although ayurvedic medicine is not taught in graduate-level medical courses, a number of U.S. schools have been offering ayurveda seminars and symposia in recent years. Students may also consider studying ayurveda in Asia, where it is more widely practiced.
Students with an interest in ayurvedic medicine can find related courses within pre-medical bachelor's degree programs. After graduating, students can explore the option of medical school or master's degree programs, both of which can lead to careers in the medical field.