David1991

7+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
324
1
141
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys, I don't mean to be redundant with my post but this is a big decision for me so I just want to be completely sure before taking action.

I have read countless times that the undergrad major doesn't matter. I've heard this from this site, the medical careers advisory committee at my school, a book, admissions boards, etc..

So I planned on switching from psychology to health and exercise science, but I had some concerns about not being taken seriously as a health and exercise science (HES) major, because there is definitely a stereotype that it is an easy major. My worries seemed to be abated from what I read but when I emailed a previous chem professor for a recommendation he seemed very surprised and explained that he saw HES as a fallback major. He also sent me this link http://www.colorado.edu/aac/table1.pdf and http://www.knox.edu/statistics.xml

and although the "major doesn't matter" trend seems to follow for almost everything, "health related professions" majors seem to be significantly lower. What is the reasoning, does it matter then? It seems like "Health and Exercise Science" would fall under that category.

Before I was thinking how it's probably more correlation than causation (i.e. the people who are health majors on average aren't as prepared or smart as bio majors and I just wouldn't fall into that average) but nursing and physical therapist majors from what I can tell definitely aren't "dumb" so what's the reasoning?? I want to switch, and I would still have a bio minor, but there's definitely a nagging feeling now after looking at those statistics.
 

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
181
Status
Pharmacist
You don't like Psych? Why are you ditching it?

Well, I can't speak for med school adcoms/application process or anything, but go with a major YOU ENJOY. As long as you have a compelling reason why you switched, then it really shouldn't matter. Do you enjoy that topic?

At least it isn't the same boring ass biology degree that everyone else has. As for nurses and PT...they aren't "dumb", you are right. The notion that people majoring in bio are smarter is ridiculous. In fact I have to :rofl: at that.
 

David1991

7+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
324
1
141
Status
Pre-Medical
You don't like Psych? Why are you ditching it?

Well, I can't speak for med school adcoms/application process or anything, but go with a major YOU ENJOY. As long as you have a compelling reason why you switched, then it really shouldn't matter. Do you enjoy that topic?

At least it isn't the same boring ass biology degree that everyone else has. As for nurses and PT...they aren't "dumb", you are right. The notion that people majoring in bio are smarter is ridiculous. In fact I have to :rofl: at that.
I find psychology interesting, but more so just learning about it. It seems like half of the courses are about statistical analysis and how to perform psychology studies but that's completely uninteresting to me. I actually do have a strong interest in exercise/nutrition which is the main reason I want to switch into a health and exercise science major, but how can the statistics in the link I posted be explained?? It seems like the "major doesn't matter" rule applies to nearly everything but not other health profession related majors. Its hard to tell because it doesn't fall under Pharmacy, Nursing, or Medical technology but that category seems to be the closest to "health and exercise science"
 

edfig99

15+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2003
688
11
351
NYC
Status
Attending Physician, Academic Administration
health and exercise science probably is closer to a physiology major (or exercise physiology) major...

you can major in whatever you want...it's best to choose something you will enjoy, have a passion for, and do well in. being intellectually curious helps!

also do well in the premed courses.

looking back through the retrospectascope, I wish I hadn't majored in bio and done something more interesting. or at least, something that would've given me some useful skills had i decided not to pursue medicine.

good luck.
 

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
181
Status
Pharmacist
First of all, where are you getting your statistics? You should know, from your psych classes, that where you get your info is just as important as what the info is. Secondly, when you get into upper division psych, it is all about the brain and body! I took psychpharmacology, health psychology, abnormal psych, neuroanatomy, biological bases of behavior, physiological psych, bioethics for my psych degree...the lower level courses = lame. But upper division is the gold mine! I learned more from those classes than from my stupid bio and other science pre-reqs. But, if you are dead set on health and exercise science and that is what you really will enjoy, do it. You have a genuine interest and that is what adcoms look for. Besides, it will stand out amongst all those boring bio degrees, like I said. :)
 

Dwindlin

ASA Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2009
2,533
205
181
Status
Attending Physician
I was a percussion performance major.
 

David1991

7+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
324
1
141
Status
Pre-Medical
I was a percussion performance major.
Yea I guess the concern is more about the statistics I saw, seeing that every major (including art, music, etc..) had about equal acceptance rates except the health related profession majors but I guess Health and Exercise science doesn't technically fall under those listed.

First of all, where are you getting your statistics? You should know, from your psych classes, that where you get your info is just as important as what the info is. Secondly, when you get into upper division psych, it is all about the brain and body! I took psychpharmacology, health psychology, abnormal psych, neuroanatomy, biological bases of behavior, physiological psych, bioethics for my psych degree...the lower level courses = lame. But upper division is the gold mine! I learned more from those classes than from my stupid bio and other science pre-reqs. But, if you are dead set on health and exercise science and that is what you really will enjoy, do it. You have a genuine interest and that is what adcoms look for. Besides, it will stand out amongst all those boring bio degrees, like I said. :)
I guess it depends. Some of the psych classes, like some you mentioned, actually do seem really interesting. I just love exercise/nutrition :D, but also like I said the statistical classes and writing so many papers really isn't my thing. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to just get through those though to get to the more interesting ones but I think even those have lots of papers (I don't really know though).
 

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
181
Status
Pharmacist
Yea I guess the concern is more about the statistics I saw, seeing that every major (including art, music, etc..) had about equal acceptance rates except the health related profession majors but I guess Health and Exercise science doesn't technically fall under those listed.



I guess it depends. Some of the psych classes, like some you mentioned, actually do seem really interesting. I just love exercise/nutrition :D, but also like I said the statistical classes and writing so many papers really isn't my thing. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to just get through those though to get to the more interesting ones but I think even those have lots of papers (I don't really know though).
Good point. I had a rigorous upper division experience. Lots of papers and presentations, projects, and case studies/article analyses.

You gotta do what you love, man! Go for it! :)
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,297
381
I think you'll be fine with any major you choose so long as you actively pursue opportunities outside the major such as volunteer opportunities, shadowing, research, etc.
 

David1991

7+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
324
1
141
Status
Pre-Medical
I think you'll be fine with any major you choose so long as you actively pursue opportunities outside the major such as volunteer opportunities, shadowing, research, etc.
OK well I'm set up to volunteer at princeton this summer and will probably continue with that throughout my 4 years in college. I've done 15 hours of shadowing with a dentist but I'll have to get some more in.

My main concern was really just about those statistics I saw, but now as mentioned I'm not even sure HES would fall under of Health Related Professions category, but if not that then I don't know what. Maybe other?
 

organdonor

7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
863
178
181
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I would assume that HES would fall under "other health related majors." I hate to be the one to say it, but I would think (I have no stats to back this up) that most who apply with a health major have lower stats, partially because many of them didn't have medicine in mind when they began.

If you will enjoy it, if you do well in it, and you can do well in all the pre-reqs, you will do fine. Some schools also like to see upper level science classes regardless of what major you are, so you may need to take some classes over the summer or maybe stay another semester/year.

I don't know much about a major in HES, but is this something that would need clinicals like a nursing major? If so, keep in mind that you will be working full time without pay during that time especially if it is MCAT study time.
 

David1991

7+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
324
1
141
Status
Pre-Medical
I would assume that HES would fall under "other health related majors." I hate to be the one to say it, but I would think (I have no stats to back this up) that most who apply with a health major have lower stats, partially because many of them didn't have medicine in mind when they began.

If you will enjoy it, if you do well in it, and you can do well in all the pre-reqs, you will do fine. Some schools also like to see upper level science classes regardless of what major you are, so you may need to take some classes over the summer or maybe stay another semester/year.

I don't know much about a major in HES, but is this something that would need clinicals like a nursing major? If so, keep in mind that you will be working full time without pay during that time especially if it is MCAT study time.
I was definitely thinking it falls under "health related profession" majors too but when you look at the 3 they list it definitely isn't Nursing, Pharmacy, or Medical technology so I'm not really sure. I agree with what you're saying about people from those particular majors likely not having medicine in mind from the start. Are you saying they would be less prepared though or that med schools would think they weren't passionate about medicine or something?

I'm only a freshman and definitely know that I want to go into medicine and will be taking all of the pre reqs of course (already taken chem 1&2 and bio) and I plan to minor in bio as well since I'll only be 2 classes or so away after taking the med pre reqs so I will have a number of upper level bio courses. Not sure if they will all be done before applying to med school though...I'll definitely be trying to get biochem in though.
 

organdonor

7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
863
178
181
Midwest
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Are you saying they would be less prepared though or that med schools would think they weren't passionate about medicine or something?
Not necessarily. Just that someone who begins college as a nursing major may not put in that extra effort to get an A instead of a B. It just doesn't matter for a nursing major, likewise for most other majors. However, if you know from the start that your GPA will affect your admittance to graduate school, the case may be different.

I think a minor in bio would be a good idea. That will probably cover all your pre-reqs and by the time you finish those you are likely only a couple classes away from the minor.
 

GH253

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2009
834
109
181
Status
Umm I happen to think excercise science is a good pre-health major and frankly that's pretty much all it's good for.
 

David1991

7+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
324
1
141
Status
Pre-Medical
Not necessarily. Just that someone who begins college as a nursing major may not put in that extra effort to get an A instead of a B. It just doesn't matter for a nursing major, likewise for most other majors. However, if you know from the start that your GPA will affect your admittance to graduate school, the case may be different.
Well yea if that's all you mean then I'm not concerned because I know I'll be working to get straight A's from the very beginning (I'm a freshman now with all A's so far). If you meant something in addition to that please let me know

I think a minor in bio would be a good idea. That will probably cover all your pre-reqs and by the time you finish those you are likely only a couple classes away from the minor.
Yup that's the plan

Umm I happen to think excercise science is a good pre-health major and frankly that's pretty much all it's good for.
So you're saying it would fall under that "health related profession" major category even though it's not one of the 3 listed? Sorry just a little confused as to what you mean (i.e. someone could say a psych major is only good for if you want to go into that field but for premeds that wouldn't be the case so I don't know if that's all you mean or if it (HES) is a bad choice for premed).


Thanks for the opinions guys, and any other advice/suggestions/opinions are appreciated. If I do switch I want to make sure it's because it's a good decision and not because I'm just looking for the info I want to hear and disregarding everything else.