Sep 7, 2016
3
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi there everyone!

This is my first post on SDN, but I've read through quite a few discussions and figured I'd seek some advice on something I've been contemplating.

Let me start by saying that I know it's not important to ADCOM's what your undergrad major is per se, as long as you've completed pre-med courses with acceptable GPA and MCAT. My question, however, is more or less geared towards eliciting advice based on what you (presumably MDs/DOs, medical students, ADCOMs, etc.) perceive to be the most beneficial towards developing the mindset needed to be a good physician. Since "good" is a relative term, feel free to define it in your own way, as that should also serve to help others who are also seeking to develop the tools needed to serve properly in this capacity.

In my case I'm stuck between majoring in Emergency Medical Services, a Bachelor of Science, or Philosophy. I've been speaking with a doctor at the hospital where I work, and he (along with a growing number in academia) has been informing me of how incredibly helpful majoring in the liberal arts, specifically Philosophy, can be for developing the critical thinking, open-mindedness, and humanity needed to be a good physician. To that point, I do love philosophical reasoning and discussion, with its postulations, argumentation, and teaching you to challenge your own beliefs. All of which are very helpful for developing critical thinking. As for the EMS route, at my University the program is run by the Emergency Department at the Medical School. It includes going through a formal, for college credit, 1 semester EMT-B course, as well as a full-year of paramedic school, concluding in the senior year with a 400-level Epidemiology and Statistics course, and a 400-level Research and Analysis course. The program allows for you to work in pre-med courses as electives, if that is the path you are looking to follow.

Either way, I know I'd love either major. The downside to Philosophy is that as a fall-back for work, should I not succeed in this pre-med endeavor, I would have really zero marketability. Whereas with the BS in EMS, at least I'd have a paramedic certification. The downside with the EMS major, is that a full academic year has to be devoted solely to paramedic school, which will force me to condense my pre-med courses into the three other years of my degree, whereas with the Philosophy major I'd be able to spread out the pre-med courses.

Like I said, I know I'd be happy with either one. I would just like some advice on what you think would help the most in setting up the best foundation for medical education, and ultimately, practice.
 

jcve34

Hic Sunt Leones
2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
331
340
WAMI
Hi there everyone!

This is my first post on SDN, but I've read through quite a few discussions and figured I'd seek some advice on something I've been contemplating.

Let me start by saying that I know it's not important to ADCOM's what your undergrad major is per se, as long as you've completed pre-med courses with acceptable GPA and MCAT. My question, however, is more or less geared towards eliciting advice based on what you (presumably MDs/DOs, medical students, ADCOMs, etc.) perceive to be the most beneficial towards developing the mindset needed to be a good physician. Since "good" is a relative term, feel free to define it in your own way, as that should also serve to help others who are also seeking to develop the tools needed to serve properly in this capacity.

In my case I'm stuck between majoring in Emergency Medical Services, a Bachelor of Science, or Philosophy. I've been speaking with a doctor at the hospital where I work, and he (along with a growing number in academia) has been informing me of how incredibly helpful majoring in the liberal arts, specifically Philosophy, can be for developing the critical thinking, open-mindedness, and humanity needed to be a good physician. To that point, I do love philosophical reasoning and discussion, with its postulations, argumentation, and teaching you to challenge your own beliefs. All of which are very helpful for developing critical thinking. As for the EMS route, at my University the program is run by the Emergency Department at the Medical School. It includes going through a formal, for college credit, 1 semester EMT-B course, as well as a full-year of paramedic school, concluding in the senior year with a 400-level Epidemiology and Statistics course, and a 400-level Research and Analysis course. The program allows for you to work in pre-med courses as electives, if that is the path you are looking to follow.

Either way, I know I'd love either major. The downside to Philosophy is that as a fall-back for work, should I not succeed in this pre-med endeavor, I would have really zero marketability. Whereas with the BS in EMS, at least I'd have a paramedic certification. The downside with the EMS major, is that a full academic year has to be devoted solely to paramedic school, which will force me to condense my pre-med courses into the three other years of my degree, whereas with the Philosophy major I'd be able to spread out the pre-med courses.

Like I said, I know I'd be happy with either one. I would just like some advice on what you think would help the most in setting up the best foundation for medical education, and ultimately, practice.
I would say pursue something that interests you the most and will keep you wanting to learn more. Obviously take the pre req courses but I think in general studying something you're interested in is much better for you. You'll have a higher GPA because you actually liked studying. I did a dual degree engineering route and got a lot of it.

School won't make you a good doctor it will make you capable of becoming a medical expert. Volunteering will show committees that you have the right intentions of caring for people less fortunate than yourself.

I think philosophy would be cool to study especially if you have some emphasis on bioethics
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,708
79,053
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
It doesn't matter. Although I'll have to add that some of our students who have been paramedics sometimes get into trouble in their clinical years because they have this "I already know that attitude.

Do what you love and love what you do.

Let me start by saying that I know it's not important to ADCOM's what your undergrad major is per se, as long as you've completed pre-med courses with acceptable GPA and MCAT. My question, however, is more or less geared towards eliciting advice based on what you (presumably MDs/DOs, medical students, ADCOMs, etc.) perceive to be the most beneficial towards developing the mindset needed to be a good physician. Since "good" is a relative term, feel free to define it in your own way, as that should also serve to help others who are also seeking to develop the tools needed to serve properly in this capacity.
 
OP
A
Sep 7, 2016
3
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you both for you advice! It's a tricky decision; I might end up having to flip a coin.


I think philosophy would be cool to study especially if you have some emphasis on bioethics
That's what I thought too, but my school only has one Bio-ethics class :/
 

jcve34

Hic Sunt Leones
2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
331
340
WAMI
Thank you both for you advice! It's a tricky decision; I might end up having to flip a coin.




That's what I thought too, but my school only has one Bio-ethics class :/
I'm a pretty cautious person so I like to have options. So I did engineering and earned a commission in the army. I had 3 career paths and the medical school one fell through. So if you want options do the BS route.
 
OP
A
Sep 7, 2016
3
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm a pretty cautious person so I like to have options. So I did engineering and earned a commission in the army. I had 3 career paths and the medical school one fell through. So if you want options do the BS route.

I am too; I have two little ones and am already 24, so I have added emphasis to be practical. My goal is to actually go into the military should I become a physician. Thank you for your service!

In an ideal world I could double major, but that would take 5-5.5 years.
 
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