Post Bacc Premedicine Certificate Program

The premedicine post-baccalaureate certificate program is intended to allow career changing students the opportunity to build a core scientific foundation in preparation for careers in medicine. The program admits post-baccalaureate students seeking core sequences in biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics required for the application to most medical, dental, veterinary, and related professional schools.

Premedicine students complete courses with Northwestern curriculum and faculty, which offers students the opportunity to build a deep and strong science foundation. Premedical coursework is primarily offered in evening and weekend classes, and can be completed in 15, or 21 months, depending on the student's needs.

This program is designed for career changers and students who have not completed the core coursework needed to apply to medical school. Students who need only some of these courses should consider the Premedicine Completion program. Students who have completed core premedical coursework may want to consider the Advanced Studies in Biology for the Health Professions certificate program, or designing a specialized post-baccalaureate certificate to meet their needs.

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Fiona Fimmel

(the science curriculum) way over-prepared me, in a good way. I’m sure that there were questions that the MCAT could have thrown at me that I only would have been able to answer because I took specific classes with professors who taught at a distinguished level.”

Fiona Fimmel, SPS Premed ’19, accepted to George Washington University School of Medicine through Northwestern's linkage program

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About the Premedicine Certificate Program

I definitely think the science curriculum is preparing us well for the MCAT. It (the premed program) sets you up really well for success — in medical school and going forward.”

Abigail Paras, premed student

Premedicine Required Courses

 

John Stracks, MD

Having been out in the world made a huge difference in how I handled medical school. At Northwestern I learned how to manage my time. I didn’t pull any all-nighters. I knew what was relevant.”

John Stracks, MD (SPS premed alum)

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Program Features

Professional Health Proseminars

Professional Health Proseminar 1 covers topics including adjusting to life as a science student, academic resources, guidance for finding research and clinical opportunities, and generating a timeline to prepare a competitive professional/medical school application.

Professional Health Proseminar 2 Provides opportunities for students to develop and discuss major application components, including AMCAS activities listing, personal statement,  medical/professional program selection, navigating the centralized application, and interview preparation. 

* No tuition is charged for the proseminar courses

Careers in the Health Professions (elective)

PRO_HLTH 390 Careers in the Health Professions is an optional for-credit elective course will serve as an opportunity to reflect on the first half of the pre-medicine program and familiarize students with the variety of professional careers in the health sciences. Students will also strategize for success in the remainder of the program: MCAT preparation, application preparation, extracurricular opportunities, and academic resources. 


Northwestern University Pre-Health Professionals Student Group

The NUPP student group is first and foremost a community dedicated to the success of its members pursuing careers in medicine, health, and veterinary practice. NUPP serves as a forum for the discussion and presentation of professional and academic experiences, a collective resource of relevant information, as a social network, and as a representative voice for the body of non-traditional pre-health students. Pre-Health students are eligible to run for election to the leadership board each spring.

Physician Shadowing Program

Thanks to a collaboration between SPS and Northwestern Medicine, SPS premedicine students have the opportunity to shadow physicians at several clinics in the Chicago area. Shadowing is an integral part of the preparation needed for medical school. Students are selected in for these shadowing opportunities in fall, winter, and spring, through an application process during their program.

Linkage Agreements

Sarah Clarke

I knew that level of instruction at Northwestern would be rigorous. You want professors that hold students to a high standard because that is exactly what you need to be a competitive medical school applicant.”

Sarah Clark, pre-med student

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Linkage agreements with select medical and dental schools enable eligible Northwestern University premedicine students to apply for admission during their final year in the post-baccalaureate program, and bypass the glide (application year). If accepted to a medical or dental program through a linkage, students can put their medical education and career on a faster track.

Premedicine Student Performance

The rigor of Northwestern's Premedicine post-bacc program prepares students for successful application to and completion of programs at top medical schools nationwide.

514Average MCAT score of Northwestern Premed post-bacc students (U.S. national average is 506*)

* 2019 data from American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS®) 

Medical School Acceptances

SPS premedicine students are competitive candidates for medical school application and have been accepted to prestigious schools such as Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, Washington University, University of Michigan, Yale University, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, and Northwestern University. View the list of recent medical school acceptances.

Transfer Credit Policy for Premedicine

Students in the Premedicine post-baccalaureate certificate program may transfer up to eight semester hours or twelve quarter hours of academic credit. A transcript and grade of B or better are required to transfer courses for this program. Courses audited or taken with the pass/no credit option cannot be applied toward the program requirements. Courses earned for a bachelor's degree at SPS may not be applied retroactively toward certificate requirements. Students who have completed up to two courses as a student-at-large may apply for a certificate and ask that those courses be included in the certificate. If students complete additional courses (beyond two) as a student-at-large, a petition to the Student Affairs Committee requesting  an exception to policy should be submitted. All transfer credit must be approved before course work is started at SPS.

Admission for Premedicine

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found on the Admission page.

Premedicine Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students at Northwestern's School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

Premedicine Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records systems. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

Premedicine Sample Course Plans

Review Sample Course Plans for the Premedicine Certificate Program offered by Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.

Premedicine Medical School Acceptances

Learn which medical schools students have been accepted to after completing the premedicine post-baccalaureate program on the Medical School Acceptances page.

Premedicine Pre-Health Professional Student Group

Learn how students support one another through forums, resources and social networks on the Premedicine Pre-Health Professional Student Group.

Premedicine Frequently Asked Questions

Review frequently asked questions about Premedicine Certificate Program on the Premedicine Frequently Asked Questions page.


Find out more about the Premedicine Certificate Program

Program Courses:Course Detail
Molecular Biology <> BIOL_SCI 201-CN

This course is part of the four-course introductory biology sequence. Students will learn about the basics of molecular biology, including the structure of macromolecules, DNA replication, transcription, and translation and the mechanisms by which these processes are regulated. Students will also learn current biotechnology methods used to study molecular biology.

Credit not allowed for both BIOL SCI 201 and BIOL SCI 215. Students who have previously completed BIOL SCI 215 should not register for this course.


View BIOL_SCI 201-CN Sections
Cell Biology <> BIOL_SCI 202-CN

This course is part of the four-course introductory biology sequence. The cell biology course covers mechanisms the cell uses to compartmentalize and transport proteins, to move, to regulate growth and death, and to communicate with their environments.

This course should be taken concurrently with BIOL SCI 232. Credit not allowed for both BIOL SCI 219 and BIOL SCI 202. Students who have previously completed BIOL SCI 219 should not register for this course. 

Prerequisite: Students must have completed BIOL SCI 201 or 215 with a grade of C- or better to register for this course.

 


View BIOL_SCI 202-CN Sections
Genetics and Evolution <> BIOL_SCI 203-CN

Fundamentals of genetics and evolution. From the rules of heredity to the complex genetics of humans, the methods and logic of genetics as applied to inheritance, development, neurobiology, and populations. The process and tempo of evolution, from natural selection to speciation, emphasizing how genetics plays a critical role.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed BIOL SCI 202-CN or BIOL SCI 219-CN with a grade of C- or better to register for this course.


View BIOL_SCI 203-CN Sections
Genetics and Molecular Biology <> BIOL_SCI 215-CN

This course is the first of a four-course sequence that is completed with BIOL SCI 217 in the fall quarter, BIOL SCI 308 in the winter and BIOL SCI 219 in the spring. The genetics and molecular biology course covers the principles of inheritance; gene function; mechanisms by which DNA is replicated, transcribed into RNAs, and translated into proteins; and the basics of the process of natural selection. This is an asynchronous, remote course.

Prerequisite: one year of general chemistry with laboratory (CHEM 101, 102, 103 or CHEM 110, 131, 132).


There is no available section.
Cell Biology <> BIOL_SCI 219-CN

The cell biology course covers mechanisms that cells use to compartmentalize and transport proteins, to move, to regulate growth and death, and to communicate with their environments. This course was formerly BIOL SCI 216. Students who have previously taken BIOL SCI 216 should not register for this course.

A lab course, BIOL SCI 222, may be taken concurrently with this course. Prerequisite: CHEM 103 or 132.

 


View BIOL_SCI 219-CN Sections
Genetic Molecular Process Lab <> BIOL_SCI 220-CN

Laboratory techniques and experiments in fundamental aspects of transmission genetics and molecular biology. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Prerequisite: C- or higher in both BIOL_SCI 221 and CHEM 103 or 132.


There is no available section.
Cellular Processes Laboratory <> BIOL_SCI 221-CN

Laboratory techniques and experiments in fundamental aspects of cell biology. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Prerequisite: grades of C- or higher in CHEM 103 or 132.


View BIOL_SCI 221-CN Sections
Investigative Lab <> BIOL_SCI 222-CN

The Investigative Laboratory is a hypothesis driven, discovery based laboratory class. During the quarter, students will be engaged in independent laboratory research projects where they will design and implement their own experiments centered around a central theme. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Prerequisite: grades of C- or higher in both BIOL SCI 221 and CHEM 103 or 132.


View BIOL_SCI 222-CN Sections
Cellular and Molecular Processes Lab <> BIOL_SCI 232-CN

This is the first course in a three-quarter sequence of introductory biology laboratory. The course is designed to provide students with an authentic laboratory experience that investigates relevant scientific research and teaches scientific inquiry skills such as experimental design, writing research proposals, data collection, data analysis/interpretation, and the presentation of results. The experimental model revolves around atherosclerosis and macrophage phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Students will learn and become proficient at various cell and molecular biology techniques.

This course should be taken concurrently with BIOL SCI 202. Credit not allowed for both BIOL SCI 221 and BIOL SCI 232. Students who have previously completed BIOL SCI 221 should not register for this course.


View BIOL_SCI 232-CN Sections
Genetics and Molecular Processes Lab <> BIOL_SCI 233-CN

This is the second course in a three-quarter sequence of introductory biology laboratory. The course is designed to provide students with an authentic laboratory experience that investigates relevant scientific research and teaches scientific inquiry skills such as experimental design, writing research proposals, data collection, data analysis/interpretation, and the presentation of results. The experimental model revolves around aggregate prone proteins in nematodes and how RNA interference (RNAi) can be used to affect protein folding and the clearance of protein aggregates. Students will learn and become proficient at various cell and molecular biology techniques.

Credit not allowed for both BIOL SCI 220 and BIOL SCI 233. Students who have previously completed BIOL SCI 220 should not register for this course.

Prerequisite: BIOL SCI 232


View BIOL_SCI 233-CN Sections
Investigative Lab <> BIOL_SCI 234-CN

This course is the culminating life-science lab experience in the biology lab sequence. Students design and generate reagents that can be used in larger experiments. The topic varies from year to year, but typically revolves around the sub-cloning of a specific gene fused to a reporter for detection.

Credit not allowed for both BIOL SCI 222 and BIOL SCI 234. Students who have previously completed BIOL SCI 222 should not register for this course.

Prerequisite: BIOL SCI 233.


View BIOL_SCI 234-CN Sections
Biochemistry <> BIOL_SCI 308-CN

This course covers basic concepts in biochemistry, emphasizing the structure and function of biological macromolecules, fundamental cellular biochemical processes, and the chemical logic in metabolic transformations.

Students who have previously completed BIOL SCI 218 should not register for this course.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed, or be currently enrolled in, CHEM 215-A or CHEM 215-B or CHEM 215-C.


View BIOL_SCI 308-CN Sections
Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry <> CHEM 110-CN

Solution strategies for traditional word problems and their application to basic chemistry quantitative problems: dimensional analysis, chemical equations, stoichiometry, limiting reagents


View CHEM 110-CN Sections
General Chemistry 1 <> CHEM 131-CN

Quantum mechanics, electronic structure, periodic properties of the elements, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, intermolecular forces, properties of solids and liquids, special topics in modern chemistry. Must be taken concurrently with the CHEM 141-CN General Chemistry I Lab. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 110-CN (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 110-CN.


View CHEM 131-CN Sections
General Chemistry 2 <> CHEM 132-CN

Solutions and colligative properties, chemical equilibrium, aqueous solution equilibria, chemical kinetics, metals in chemistry and biology, oxidation-reduction reactions and electrochemistry, special topics in modern chemistry. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 142-CN General Chemistry Lab 2. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 131-CN and CHEM 141-CN (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 131-CN/CHEM 141-CN.


View CHEM 132-CN Sections
General Chemistry 1 Lab <> CHEM 141-CN

Chemical analysis of real samples using basic laboratory techniques including titration, colorimetric analysis, density measurements, and atomic spectroscopy. Planning, data collection, interpretation, and reporting on experiments. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 131-CN General Chemistry 1. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 110 (grade of C– or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 110-CN.


View CHEM 141-CN Sections
General Chemistry Lab 2 <> CHEM 142-CN

General Chemistry Lab 2 is a laboratory course in which techniques applied to materials science and nanotechnology, acid-base chemistry, and chemical kinetics will be employed. Major objectives involve work involving planning, data collection, interpretation, and reporting on experiments. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 132-CN General Chemistry 2. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 131-CN and CHEM 141-CN (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 131-CN/CHEM 141-CN.


View CHEM 142-CN Sections
Organic Chemistry <> CHEM 210-A

This course is the first of a three-course sequence that is completed by CHEM 210-B in the winter quarter, and CHEM 210-C in the spring quarter. Basic concepts of organic chemistry will be presented, including hybridization, resonance, nomenclature, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms. The preparation and reactions of alkyl halides, alkenes, alkynes, and alcohols will also be covered. There will be some additional lectures, to be arranged once the quarter begins. Prerequisite: completion of General Chemistry Sequence (CHEM 110, 131, 132 and 141, 142) with a grade of C- or better, or equivalent transfer credit with qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement Exam.


There is no available section.
Organic Chemistry <> CHEM 210-B

CHEM 210-B is the second course in a three-term sequence in organic chemistry. It covers the chemistry of the major oxygen- and nitrogen-containing functional groups, as well as the chemistry of aromatic compounds. Mechanism is emphasized in the study of these materials. The course includes a laboratory component which includes an introduction to basic organic laboratory techniques, as well as the preparation, purification and characterization of organic substances. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 230-B Organic Chemistry II Laboratory. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 210-A (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 210-A.


View CHEM 210-B Sections
Organic Chemistry III <> CHEM 210-C

This course builds upon the fundamentals developed in CHEM 210-A,-B. It covers chemistry of polyfunctional compounds of biological and medicinal interest, as well as modern organic synthesis, bioorganic chemistry, and recent developments in organic chemistry. The laboratory provides training in qualitative organic analysis and multistep synthesis. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 230-C Organic Chemistry III Laboratory. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 210-B (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 210-B. 


View CHEM 210-C Sections
Organic Chemistry I <> CHEM 215-A

Foundational concepts in organic chemistry will be introduced. Topics include structure and properties of common functional groups, acidity/basicity, conformational analysis, stereochemistry, and reactivity of organic compounds. The chemistry of hydrocarbons, alkyl halides, and alcohols, ethers, and carbonyl compounds will be included.

This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 235-A Organic Chemistry Lab I.

Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 132 and CHEM 142 with a grade of C- or better, or equivalent transfer credit with qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement Exam.


View CHEM 215-A Sections
Organic Chemistry II <> CHEM 215-B

Fundamental concepts in organic chemistry will be covered. The topics will include important functional groups and will include: nomenclature, structure, properties, and multi-step synthesis. Reaction mechanisms for organic transformations will be presented, and synthesis strategies will be covered. The chemistry of pi systems and aromatic ring system, amines, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives, and enol/enolate species will be included.

This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 235-B Organic Chemistry Lab II.

Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 215-A and CHEM 235-A with a grade of C- or better.


View CHEM 215-B Sections
Advanced Organic Chemistry <> CHEM 215-C

Advanced concepts in modern organic chemistry will be introduced. The material will focus on recent developments in synthetic organic chemistry, including: concerted/pericyclic reactions, catalysis, green/environmental chemistry, automated synthesis, and combinatorial/screening methods. Additional topics will include an introduction to materials and polymer chemistry.

This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 235-C Advanced Organic Chemistry Lab.

Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 215-B and CHEM 235-B with a grade of C- or better.


View CHEM 215-C Sections
Organic Chemistry II Lab <> CHEM 230-B

This is the laboratory course associated with CHEM 210-B Organic Chemistry II. The lab provides instruction in experimental techniques of modern organic chemistry emphasizing chemical separations, spectroscopic characterization, and reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkyl halides, alcohols, carbonyls, esters, and aromatic compounds. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 210-B Organic Chemistry. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 210-A (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 210-A.


View CHEM 230-B Sections
Organic Chemistry III Lab <> CHEM 230-C

This is the laboratory course associated with CHEM 210-C Organic Chemistry III. The lab covers experimental techniques of modern organic chemistry emphasizing chemical separations, spectroscopic characterization, and reactions such as amide synthesis, Grignard reaction, aldol condensation, Robinson annulation, and Diels-Alder reaction. Credit for this course is 0.34 units. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 210-C Organic Chemistry III. Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 210-B (grade of C- or better), or current enrollment in CHEM 210-B.


View CHEM 230-C Sections
Organic Chemistry Lab I <> CHEM 235-A

Standard laboratory techniques in organic chemistry will be covered. Techniques will focus on the isolation and purification of organic compounds as well as the use of spectroscopic methods to determine identity and purity. The results of the technique-based modules will be communicated by completion of short on-line worksheets. One complete organic experiment, including reaction set-up, product isolation, and preparation of samples for characterization will be performed. The results of the complete experiment will be communicated in a full formal lab report.

This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 215-A.

Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 132 and CHEM 142 with a grade of C- or better, or equivalent transfer credit with qualifying score on the Chemistry Placement Exam.


View CHEM 235-A Sections
Organic Chemistry Lab II <> CHEM 235-B

Complete laboratory experiments focusing on standard synthetic organic chemistry will be conducted each week. Students will complete a prelab worksheet including stoichiometric calculations, prediction of reaction outcome, and identification of safety protocols. During lab sessions, experimental work including chemical measurement, reaction setup/workup, and product purification will be performed. Product characterization using spectroscopic techniques will be required. Reports from experimental work will be reported in formal lab reports following guidelines from peer-reviewed journals.

This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 215-B.

Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 215-A and CHEM 235-A with a grade of C- or better.


View CHEM 235-B Sections
Advanced Organic Chemistry Lab <> CHEM 235-C

Advanced concepts in modern organic chemistry will be introduced. The material will focus on recent developments in synthetic organic chemistry, including: concerted/pericyclic reactions, catalysis, green/environmental chemistry, automated synthesis, and combinatorial/screening methods. Additional topics will include an introduction to materials and polymer chemistry.

This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 215-C.

Prerequisite: completion of CHEM 215-B and CHEM 235-B with a grade of C- or better.


View CHEM 235-C Sections
College Physics I <> PHYSICS 130-A

This is the first quarter of a three-quarter algebra-based physics course with lecture and laboratory. Physics is the most basic of the sciences, dealing with the behavior and structure of matter. Lectures and labs illustrate physical principles: mechanics, motion, momentum and energy, and fluids. Continues in winter and spring quarters as PHYSICS 130-B, C. 

Requires concurrent enrollment in the PHYSICS 131-A lab. Two lab sections are available in in Fall 2021; lab times are Tuesdays 8:00-9:50 pm or Saturdays 2:00-3:50 pm.

Prerequisite: college algebra or higher college math course.


View PHYSICS 130-A Sections
College Physics II <> PHYSICS 130-B

This course is the continuation of PHYSICS 130-A algebra-based physics with lecture and laboratory; the sequence concludes with PHYSICS 130-C in the spring quarter. Harnessing the forces of electrical power; how they have altered the way we live and perceive ourselves in the universe. Lecture demonstrations illustrate physical principles: electricity and magnetism, DC and AC circuits. Must be taken concurrently with PHYSICS 131-B Physics Laboratory II. Labs will meet for the first time after the first lecture session. Prerequisite: completion of PHYSICS 130-A or current enrollment in PHYSICS 130-A.


View PHYSICS 130-B Sections
College Physics III <> PHYSICS 130-C

This course is the continuation of PHYSICS 130-A,B. Wave motion, optics, and introduction to the basic concepts of modern physics including quantum mechanics, relativity, and atomic physics. The course focuses on conceptual understanding of basic physical principles and their real-world applications. Demonstration experiments will be used to illustrate physical phenomena and concepts. Must be taken concurrently with PHYSICS 131-C Physics Laboratory III. Lab times are Tuesdays 8:00-9:50 pm or Saturdays 2:00-3:50 pm. Labs will meet for the first time after the first lecture session. Prerequisite: completion of PHYSICS 130-B or current enrollment in PHYSICS 130-B.


View PHYSICS 130-C Sections
Physics Laboratory I <> PHYSICS 131-A

This is the laboratory course associated with PHYSICS 130-A and must be taken concurrently. Credit for this course is .34 units.


 


View PHYSICS 131-A Sections
Physics Lab II <> PHYSICS 131-B

This is the laboratory course associated with PHYSICS 130-B and must be taken concurrently. Credit for this course is .34 units.


View PHYSICS 131-B Sections
Physics Lab III <> PHYSICS 131-C

This is the laboratory course associated with PHYSICS 130-C and must be taken concurrently. Credit for this course is .34 units.


View PHYSICS 131-C Sections
Professional Health Careers Proseminar I <> PRO_HLTH 396-A

Prohealth Proseminar I will meet during the first fall quarter of the students’ pre-health program to prepare students to succeed in the professional health careers program. This proseminar series will be completed by PROHLTH 396-B: Prohealth Proseminar II in the students’ final spring quarter. This non-credit course covers topics including adjusting to life as a science student, academic resources, extracurricular resources, and preparing for the professional/medical school application process. There is no tuition charged for this course.

Enrollment in this course is limited to students in SPS professional health careers certificate programs. Only students in those programs will be able to register for the course.

 


View PRO_HLTH 396-A Sections
Professional Health Careers Proseminar II PRO_HLTH 396-B

This non-credit proseminar is for students in the Professional Health Careers certificate programs. This course prepares students for the year-long application cycle beginning in the summer. This course will provide opportunities for students to work on major application components as part of the coursework, including their AMCAS activities listing, preparing a strong personal statement, selecting target medical/professional schools, and navigating the centralized application. The course will also allow students to practice their interviewing skills and plan for their glide year.

There is no tuition charged for this course.

Enrollment in this course is limited to students in SPS professional health careers certificate programs. Only students in those programs will be able to register for the course.

 


View PRO_HLTH 396-B Sections