RichHobo

Emory '12
10+ Year Member
May 3, 2008
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Pre-Medical
First of all, hello! I'm a new dude who just came here to get some advice and info.

Anyway.. I'm going to be attending Emory in the fall as a freshman and would like to know the generalized path to success as a pre-med. I will be majoring in something dealing with biology and minoring in music. I am probably going to retake Bio 101 (although I get credit for it, I feel that I need to relearn the material) and Chem 101. I will be exempt from intro Physics.

So, basically, what's the general path of science courses a pre-med should take in undergrad? I've heard to avoid orgo until a later year (sopho/junior), but I've not gotten advice on bio, physics, and inorgo.

Thanks yall
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
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Shoot, I would suggest you major in music and either minor in biology or just take the pre-reqs without "minoring" or dual majoring.

The key to a successful college record for a pre-med is to study what interests you the most AND will allow you to earn the highest possible grades. If for you that is Biology, then by all means major in Biology, but just know that you do not NEED to major in bio or any other science to gain admission to med school.

Med schools don't give a darn about dual majors or minors, either, and they sure don't place any higher value on a Bio major over a music major (or any other major for that matter) as long as you have stellar grades, complete the pre-reqs with stellar grades, and get a pretty MCAT score, too.

Other suggestion: start getting clinical and volunteer experiences NOW. Don't defer this until junior year - that is too late.

Finally - most people seem to take Bio and Chem first (and Chem is typically a prereq for Organic), then they take Physics either before or after Organic - do NOT take a calculus based physics course - take the minimum course acceptable to med schools.
 

nonesuchgirl

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Nov 10, 2007
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Anyway.. I'm going to be attending Emory in the fall as a freshman and would like to know the generalized path to success as a pre-med. I will be majoring in something dealing with biology and minoring in music.
So, basically, what's the general path of science courses a pre-med should take in undergrad? I've heard to avoid orgo until a later year (sopho/junior), but I've not gotten advice on bio, physics, and inorgo.
Major in the thing you love most.

Physics: wait. If you don't need calc-based, don't take it. Do it before you take the MCAT, though.

Bio: general bio, bio chem, maybe some genetics/whatever. Check with the schools you're interested in to make sure they don't have some weird req.

Inorganic you don't need. (I assume you don't mean general here)

Get some clinicals, ec, whatever in, starting now. There's no need to gun, but you don't want to wait it.
 
OP
RichHobo

RichHobo

Emory '12
10+ Year Member
May 3, 2008
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Well, I'm thinking that I wouldn't need to take the calc based one because I'm getting credit for the non calc-based one from AP Physics B. As for getting volunteer experience - I volunteered at a local hospital last summer while also shadowing a surgeon. I won't be in the states for a month+ during the summer (from mid june to late july), so I probably won't get many opportunities prior to college.

As for your suggestion about majoring in music.. It is EXTERMELY tough. I will need to practice at least 4-5 hours a day, and with all the goes along with college (pre-med courses, clubs, intramurals, volunteering, job, etc), I'll be stressin my a** off. BUT, is your science GPA more important to med schools than general GPA?

Btw, any advice on "clinicals?" What exactly does it mean?
 

nonesuchgirl

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Well, I'm thinking that I wouldn't need to take the calc based one because I'm getting credit for the non calc-based one from AP Physics B. As for getting volunteer experience - I volunteered at a local hospital last summer while also shadowing a surgeon. I won't be in the states for a month+ during the summer (from mid june to late july), so I probably won't get many opportunities prior to college.
You've got a few years, don't worry about it- just don't leave it until fall of junior year. WRT to physics- some schools will not accept AP credit for their required pre-reqs. Check with them.

As for your suggestion about majoring in music.. It is EXTERMELY tough. I will need to practice at least 4-5 hours a day, and with all the goes along with college (pre-med courses, clubs, intramurals, volunteering, job, etc), I'll be stressin my a** off. BUT, is your science GPA more important to med schools than general GPA?
The premed courses get melded into your major. It's really not that much you won't have to do anyway, with your general ed reqs.

The trick is only do things that you want to do. The things that make you light up when you think about them. If that's majoring in music, do it. Only do the things that you're going to commit to- things you'd do anyway- don't try to pad your resume.

Both of your GPAs need to be high, along with your MCAT. Right now you're looking at 3.6, trending to 3.7.

Btw, any advice on "clinicals?" What exactly does it mean?
Hospital volunteering. EMS. Etc. Something you can point at on your app that says, yeah, I've seen the business, I know what I am getting into.
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
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Well, I'm thinking that I wouldn't need to take the calc based one because I'm getting credit for the non calc-based one from AP Physics B. As for getting volunteer experience - I volunteered at a local hospital last summer while also shadowing a surgeon. I won't be in the states for a month+ during the summer (from mid june to late july), so I probably won't get many opportunities prior to college.

As for your suggestion about majoring in music.. It is EXTERMELY tough. I will need to practice at least 4-5 hours a day, and with all the goes along with college (pre-med courses, clubs, intramurals, volunteering, job, etc), I'll be stressin my a** off. BUT, is your science GPA more important to med schools than general GPA?

Btw, any advice on "clinicals?" What exactly does it mean?
Clubs and intramurals should only be done for self enjoyment and relaxation and should NOT be taking up much of your time.

"Clinical" refers to doctor shadowing or volunteer/job experiences that place you in contact with patients - usually a hospital or clinic.

All GPA components are important. Median matriculant overall GPA is currently around 3.7, and science GPA (the BCPM) should be very close to that, maybe a hair below being OK. But your goal should be 3.8+ in both, and higher if possible, and you should major in whatever interests you the most AND you can make the highest possible grades.

Between what I am saying and nonesuchgirl's similar advice, we have given you EVERYTHING you need to know about selecting a major - this is valuable and hard earned information. Don't follow it at your own peril...
 
OP
RichHobo

RichHobo

Emory '12
10+ Year Member
May 3, 2008
8
0
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Pre-Medical
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'll think about majoring in music, but I feel Biology may give me a strong foundation for med school courses

One more question, though.. where should I start looking as far as EMS training goes? and 1. is it going to be expensive? and 2. is it necessary? (i'm probably going to be doing hospital volunteering/shadowing, interning, and researching anyways)
 

nonesuchgirl

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Nov 10, 2007
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Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'll think about majoring in music, but I feel Biology may give me a strong foundation for med school courses

One more question, though.. where should I start looking as far as EMS training goes? and 1. is it going to be expensive? and 2. is it necessary? (i'm probably going to be doing hospital volunteering/shadowing, interning, and researching anyways)
Bio majors are a dime a dozen. Do what you love. People get in with random majors all the time- ug bio doesn't help much.

EMS is not required. A lot of people do it because it's a job and sometimes fun. Try the local community college.
 

SCRdoc

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Nov 4, 2007
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Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'll think about majoring in music, but I feel Biology may give me a strong foundation for med school courses

One more question, though.. where should I start looking as far as EMS training goes? and 1. is it going to be expensive? and 2. is it necessary? (i'm probably going to be doing hospital volunteering/shadowing, interning, and researching anyways)
You don't have to do EMS training. You can volunteer at a hospital, or for an organization like the American Red Cross first aid team. As long as you get some form of "patient contact", you should be fine. But like others said, start EARLY. Don't wait until your junior year to begin volunteering/shadowing. It's also nice to do some research while in undergrad, to boost your med school application. Good luck.
 

nu2004

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Mar 7, 2008
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You don't have to do EMS training. You can volunteer at a hospital, or for an organization like the American Red Cross first aid team. As long as you get some form of "patient contact", you should be fine. But like others said, start EARLY. Don't wait until your junior year to begin volunteering/shadowing. It's also nice to do some research while in undergrad, to boost your med school application. Good luck.
This is an oversimplification. Not all patient contact is the same, and admissions committees can pretty clearly see through "i volunteered in the hospital cafeteria for three weeks" versus "i was a tech in the ICU for a year and a half."

EMS training isn't necessary for many clinical positions, but it isn't terribly expensive (example: EMT-B course at a local community college might cost $500) and it's a good credential to have if you want to work as an ER tech at a big, bustling ER.

OP: it's good that you're thinking about this now, but i would suggest that the concept of a "generalized path of success" to med school is increasingly non-existent. non-traditional applicants are making up and larger and larger part of each entering med school class, which means that bio majors are a shrinking group. and for god's sake, don't major in something unless it really interests you.
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
4,795
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Medical Student
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'll think about majoring in music, but I feel Biology may give me a strong foundation for med school courses

One more question, though.. where should I start looking as far as EMS training goes? and 1. is it going to be expensive? and 2. is it necessary? (i'm probably going to be doing hospital volunteering/shadowing, interning, and researching anyways)
Consensus from med students is this is BS.

Talk to some biology majors - lots of the classes they take are tedious and have next to nothing to do with med school classes.

Beyond the basic pre-reqs, people often recommend Biochemistry (it is a req at a small handful of schools), and lately I have seen people suggesting physiology, usually taught as "Anatomy and Physiology" in college. You need to carefully check the pre-reqs at each school you are interested in, because there a few state schools with some odd ones (some Illinois school requires Psychology) and there are some schools with extensive requirements for humanities classes (english, history, etc) so beware.

I am a non trad pre-med from a liberal arts background, will finish the basic prereqs this year, and plan to take at most one Biochem class.

Oh, and as others have said, EMT training & experience is fine, but by no means necessary.

Purchase or borrow a copy of the MSAR - this is a great overview of each med school and its course reqs.