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Do medical schools really care what degree you have?

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futuredoctor99

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I have a choice between pursuing a combination of degrees. My first choice is to have a combination of an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor of Health Administration, and an RN degree that bridges on to the Health Administration degree.

My second choice is to have an Associate of Arts and a Nursing degree that are bridged together to form a Bachelor of General Studies with 2 majors: Nursing and Biology.

Which is the more prudent choice? The first choice is the more attractive option and comes with greater opportunities but it will likely take a year longer to matriculate to medical school due to the time it takes to finish the prerequisite courses. It will take only half a year longer to complete but I would be forced to apply a year later due to the nature of the application process.
 

GoSpursGo

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I'm pretty sure most med schools want a Bachelor's degree of some sort. What you major in is relatively inconsequential.
 

futuredoctor99

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I'm pretty sure most med schools want a Bachelor's degree of some sort. What you major in is relatively inconsequential.
But is it easier to matriculate to medical school with some majors more than others? With the first option, it shows I am well rounded. I will also graduate with 40 more credit hours and more career options than the latter option. I already have an Associate of Arts (82 credits) and 41 credits at my new school in various health sciences such as Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Anatomy and Physiology (1 and 2), Microbiology, Histology, ect and several computer courses.
 

FlaMedic

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You are going to get 2 answers from people that answer you here...

1) if the person has a B.S. in a hard science they will say you absolutely must have one and noone ever got into med school w/o a Bachelors in Biology.

2) if they have a bachelor's in something else or a non-science they will tell you you don't need one....

take it all with a grain of salt.
 

futIDdoc

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why would you get a nursing degree if you only want to go to medical school?
 

Confused2626

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why would you get a nursing degree if you only want to go to medical school?

I would imagine a nursing degree would be extremely helpful to get into med school.

1) You get all the pre-reqs
2) Great exposure during clinical rounds
3) If you don't get into med school, you are still in a solid healthcare field and can always try again later

As for your answer, I don't think it matters. I think nursing is a solid course of study...not to start any flame wars but, I think the whole biology as a pre-med major is a bit over played and it makes it really hard to stand out.
 

futuredoctor99

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why would you get a nursing degree if you only want to go to medical school?
Nursing is a career in which you can have an extremely flexible schedule. I can work part time as a nurse while going to medical school whereas most other careers are 9-5. I am going for health administration as well so that I have more than one option if I were to get cold feet about medical school. Nursing also provides a lot of clinical experience as well as knowledge about the medical field.
 

GoSpursGo

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You are going to get 2 answers from people that answer you here...

1) if the person has a B.S. in a hard science they will say you absolutely must have one and noone ever got into med school w/o a Bachelors in Biology.

2) if they have a bachelor's in something else or a non-science they will tell you you don't need one....

take it all with a grain of salt.

... No? I'm getting a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, but it's patently obvious that it doesn't matter what your major is for anyone paying any attention.

Anyone want to guess what major has the highest percentage of its applicants get accepted into med school? Music.

(Obviously, I'm saying that, of the people who apply with a degree in music, they get a higher proportion of applicants in than any other major, not that they comprise the highest amount of people in med school; the people who combine music with pre-med is very rare, but those who do it are very successful).
 

FlaMedic

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... No? I'm getting a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, but it's patently obvious that it doesn't matter what your major is for anyone paying any attention.

Anyone want to guess what major has the highest percentage of its applicants get accepted into med school? Music.

(Obviously, I'm saying that, of the people who apply with a degree in music, they get a higher proportion of applicants in than any other major, not that they comprise the highest amount of people in med school; the people who combine music with pre-med is very rare, but those who do it are very successful).

Spurs makes a solid point in spite of his poor choice of a basketball team to root for. Go Magic.

If I had to do it again I would have majored in the easiest thing there is...i.e., music as he points out. I majored in the most difficult thing there was and it stung my GPA.

You don't know frustration until you see your friends who majored in nutrition or some other easy **** coast into med school because they got a 4.0 by making food group pyramids while me and Spurs were doing 3 or 4 page biochemisty or analytical chem problems.

dammit.

major in music, learn how to play the trombone or something and take your 4 classes....
 

Anthony Hartsoc

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According to the MSAR it doesn't matter what your major is in but instead that, "Medical school admission committees seek students whose intellectual curiosity leads them to a variety of disciplines and whose intellectual maturity assures that their efforts are persistent and disciplined."

However, if you reference the applicant/matriculant tables, the overwhelming majority have degrees in bio.
 

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deleted. my bad...
 
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cpants

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You are going to get 2 answers from people that answer you here...

1) if the person has a B.S. in a hard science they will say you absolutely must have one and noone ever got into med school w/o a Bachelors in Biology.

2) if they have a bachelor's in something else or a non-science they will tell you you don't need one....

take it all with a grain of salt.

Yes, but only option 2 is correct. You simply do not need a hard science major to get into or succeed in medical school. The course work barely even relates to any undergrad bio classes, let alone one of the physical sciences, and regardless, everything is taught with the assumption that you are learning it for the first time.


According to the MSAR it doesn't matter what your major is in but instead that, "Medical school admission committees seek students whose intellectual curiosity leads them to a variety of disciplines and whose intellectual maturity assures that their efforts are persistent and disciplined."

However, if you reference the applicant/matriculant tables, the overwhelming majority have degrees in bio.

Yes, but that is due to the fact that vast majority of the applicant pool are bio majors to begin with, not because the schools are selecting against non-bio majors.

I have a choice between pursuing a combination of degrees. My first choice is to have a combination of an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor of Health Administration, and an RN degree that bridges on to the Health Administration degree.

My second choice is to have an Associate of Arts and a Nursing degree that are bridged together to form a Bachelor of General Studies with 2 majors: Nursing and Biology.

Which is the more prudent choice? The first choice is the more attractive option and comes with greater opportunities but it will likely take a year longer to matriculate to medical school due to the time it takes to finish the prerequisite courses. It will take only half a year longer to complete but I would be forced to apply a year later due to the nature of the application process.

Nursing is one of the few majors I would recommend against. Not only are you wasting your time learning a profession you will never use, but it could be an obstacle to your admission as well. I've heard stories of stiff questioning for nurses applying to med school. Why not just help people as a nurse? We have a nursing shortage, why would it be better for you to be a doctor when we are so desperate for nurses? Why did you become a nurse if you've always known you wanted to go to med school? On and on.
 
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LizzyM

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For the most part, major doesn't matter but nursing is a terrible major if you want to go into medicine. The science requirements for nursing students are not sufficient for med admission so you'll need to take additional classes to meet the med admission requirements. Nursing classes have a huge number of "labs" and "clinicals" which are a hideous time sink. Grading of nursing courses can hurt your gpa.

Nursing and hospital administration are other careers. Going into medicine after going into those other careers will lead people to wonder if you are able to make up your mind.

Finally, any indication that you plan to work as a nurse while in medical school may be considered a bit worrisome... might your work schedule have a negative impact on your studies? Some medical schools might not want to take a chance on that.
 

elderjack21

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1) Do whatever it is you think you will enjoy most + 2) ace your pre-med classes + 3) be an interesting applicant.

That is all you have to do.

1) If you go to medical school, you will spend four years taking classes they tell you to, when they tell you to, and not have so much time for things you would consider "fun" as an undergrad

2) This is a given, rock the MCAT as well

3) Hopefully this involves some meaningful volunteering somewhere (doesn't have to be medically related), some awesome travel, a unique hobby/interest, and of course a little medical shadowing of doctors so you can actually say you have an idea of what medicine is all about.

My class is filled with art majors, musicians, athletes etc. All very interesting and talented people. None of them just "majored in bio" without something else very cool going on in their lives.
 

futuredoctor99

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Nursing is one of the few majors I would recommend against. Not only are you wasting your time learning a profession you will never use, but it could be an obstacle to your admission as well. I've heard stories of stiff questioning for nurses applying to med school. Why not just help people as a nurse? We have a nursing shortage, why would it be better for you to be a doctor when we are so desperate for nurses? Why did you become a nurse if you've always known you wanted to go to med school? On and on.

I would tell them I went into nursing to gain clinical experience and have a reasonable backup plan. It's not wise to go into anything without having a backup. I am going for both nursing and health administration so that I have 2 or more backup plans if anything were to go awry. If all fails, I'll matriculate to law school instead, or go for a CRNA program (luckily, one I know does not require a BSN or Bachelor of Science but simply a bachelor's degree strong science background).
 

clinicallabguy

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For the most part, major doesn't matter but nursing is a terrible major if you want to go into medicine. The science requirements for nursing students are not sufficient for med admission so you'll need to take additional classes to meet the med admission requirements. Nursing classes have a huge number of "labs" and "clinicals" which are a hideous time sink. Grading of nursing courses can hurt your gpa.

Nursing and hospital administration are other careers. Going into medicine after going into those other careers will lead people to wonder if you are able to make up your mind.

Finally, any indication that you plan to work as a nurse while in medical school may be considered a bit worrisome... might your work schedule have a negative impact on your studies? Some medical schools might not want to take a chance on that.

Really? Is this true of all allied health sciences? I majored in clinical lab sciences, and had warm receptions at my interviews as well as a successfull application outcome. I could imagine that others in my college of health who majored in radiology, respiratory therapy, EMS, nursing, or whatever could have had just as successful an application as anybody.

The thing I don't understand about this statement is nursing isn't the only thing that "is another career." There are pre-meds studying engineering, business administration, or other things that are "careers." Are they looked at as if they cannot make up their mind because they majored in something that could potentially lead to employment?
 

futuredoctor99

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For the most part, major doesn't matter but nursing is a terrible major if you want to go into medicine. The science requirements for nursing students are not sufficient for med admission so you'll need to take additional classes to meet the med admission requirements. Nursing classes have a huge number of "labs" and "clinicals" which are a hideous time sink. Grading of nursing courses can hurt your gpa.
I only need 5 more classes of pre-med prerequisites. I am getting a 4.0 in all of my science classes involving labs.


Nursing and hospital administration are other careers. Going into medicine after going into those other careers will lead people to wonder if you are able to make up your mind.
It can also say that I am a careful person that likes to consider my options.



Finally, any indication that you plan to work as a nurse while in medical school may be considered a bit worrisome... might your work schedule have a negative impact on your studies? Some medical schools might not want to take a chance on that.

How else am I to financially survive without at least working overtime on the weekends?
 

FlaMedic

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FutureDoc has some solid points with this.

At UCF there is a degree called Cardiopulmonary Sciences. Basically a Respiratory Therapist/Cath Lab Degree. They give everyone straight A's for doing next to nothing.

People coast into med school w/ a decent MCAT after this degree. Plus they have a backup career.

Lot's of once-were-hopeful Pre-Med Biology majors w/ 3.2 GPA's and 4 years of education they can't do anything with...
 

clinicallabguy

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People majoring in the specialized health sciences are significantly less successful in medical school applications than those with academic majors.

http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgpabymaj08.htm

The average is lower. Yes. So, you mean the average success of people in health sciences is lower. Not, that everybody that majors in health sciences is less successful. That is not true. You're success is not dependant upon your major, despite what the average is.

But, you're not going to get into medical school by being average anyway, regardless of your field of study. You'll need to be above average for allied health, and you'll need to be above average for biology.

I'm not saying everybody should be allied health majors. But, if you have a passion for it don't let the fact that the average student in this major fares worse than the average student in that major.

You will excel at what you're passionate about, and you won't have to worry about what the "average" person is doing, b/c you won't be average.
 
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cpants

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I would tell them I went into nursing to gain clinical experience and have a reasonable backup plan. It's not wise to go into anything without having a backup. I am going for both nursing and health administration so that I have 2 or more backup plans if anything were to go awry. If all fails, I'll matriculate to law school instead, or go for a CRNA program (luckily, one I know does not require a BSN or Bachelor of Science but simply a bachelor's degree strong science background).

While that may make sense to you, it isn't really the best plan for getting admitted to medical school. When you get asked (and you will if you get any interviews) what your backup plan is if you don't get into medical school, the answer is improve my application and reapply. They want applicants who truly want to be doctors and are passionate about it. Why? Because medical school is a very difficult road. It places tremendous mental and psychological demands on the students. They don't want people who are going to flake out. A fallback option like nursing might be pretty tempting when you hit that first big exam block or call night. The adcoms realize this.

The average is lower. Yes. So, you mean the average succes of of people in health sciences is lower. Not, that everybody that majors in health sciences is less successful. That is not true. You're success is not dependant upon your major, despite what the average is.

But, you're not going to get into medical school by being average anyway, regardless of your field of study. You'll need to be above average for allied health, and you'll need to be above average for biology.

I'm not saying everybody should be allied health majors. But, if you have a passion for it don't let the fact that the average student in this major fares worse than the average student in that major.

You will excel at what you're passionate about, and you won't have to worry about what the "average" person is doing, b/c you won't be average.

I have never even heard of these health sciences majors. You can actually major in being a radiology tech or EMT and get a bachelors degree in that?
 

clinicallabguy

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I have never even heard of these health sciences majors. You can actually major in being a radiology tech or EMT and get a bachelors degree in that?

Ya, here is a link for my undergrad's rads program. It was the easiest to locate.

http://www.weber.edu/RadSci/Degrees_Programs/bsdegree.html

EMS is only an associates, though.

Other bachelors are nursing (of course), respiratory therapy, and medical laboratory (my personal favorite).
 
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GoSpursGo

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Spurs makes a solid point in spite of his poor choice of a basketball team to root for. Go Magic.

If I had to do it again I would have majored in the easiest thing there is...i.e., music as he points out. I majored in the most difficult thing there was and it stung my GPA.

You don't know frustration until you see your friends who majored in nutrition or some other easy **** coast into med school because they got a 4.0 by making food group pyramids while me and Spurs were doing 3 or 4 page biochemisty or analytical chem problems.

dammit.

major in music, learn how to play the trombone or something and take your 4 classes....

For the record, some music major I know had to absolutely bust their asses. 6+hrs of practice each day is not for the faint of heart...

However, if you reference the applicant/matriculant tables, the overwhelming majority have degrees in bio.

Just means that someone who's premed is more likely to also have an interest primarily in bio. Doesn't mean they're more likely to be succesful.

How else am I to financially survive without at least working overtime on the weekends?

Go into debt? I can't even begin to think of what it would be like to work during med school...
 

FlaMedic

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People majoring in the specialized health sciences are significantly less successful in medical school applications than those with academic majors.

http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgpabymaj08.htm

This data also seems to show that both applicants and matriculants who majored in humanities and social sciences had higher avg. MCAT scores.

I'm just wondering if that nullifies the argument that a hard science better prepares you for the MCAT seeing as how statistically you will do better if you major in Art or Philosophy.
 

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How else am I to financially survive without at least working overtime on the weekends?

Nobody works in medical school, dude. In fact, some schools absolutely forbid it.

You'll go into debt like everyone else who ever went to medical school...
 

shindotp

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You are going to get 2 answers from people that answer you here...

1) if the person has a B.S. in a hard science they will say you absolutely must have one and noone ever got into med school w/o a Bachelors in Biology.

2) if they have a bachelor's in something else or a non-science they will tell you you don't need one....

take it all with a grain of salt.

If that is the case, then I'd say that the people who got a BS in a hard science did so because they had the mind set that a BS in bio is necessary for med school while the people who got a bachelor's in something else did so because they knew (correctly) that a BS in bio is not necessary.
 

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The average is lower. Yes. So, you mean the average success of people in health sciences is lower. Not, that everybody that majors in health sciences is less successful. That is not true. You're success is not dependant upon your major, despite what the average is.
Obviously. I mean, 31% of those students are getting in to medical school. However, either the students in those majors are significantly worse (which I don't think is true) or medical schools want to see you with an academic major, and to do otherwise is a significant disadvantage. From a numbers standpoint, you can't argue against that.
 

clinicallabguy

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Obviously. I mean, 31% of those students are getting in to medical school. However, either the students in those majors are significantly worse (which I don't think is true) or medical schools want to see you with an academic major, and to do otherwise is a significant disadvantage. From a numbers standpoint, you can't argue against that.

I think that the medical schools have chosen pre-reqs that encompass the comprehension they'd like you to master. Then they look at your BCPM GPA and MCAT to see if you did. If you majored in english or education or molecular biology does not matter as much as you can talk about it in an interview or PS as if you're passionate about it, and you mastered the information that they said was pre-requisite.

When medical schools suggest that there is no recommended major and that the student should study something s/he enjoys, that's exactly what they mean. I don't think it's a trick, or a way to weed out people who can't read in between the lines.

I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy between health science and other majors. Other CLS majors that I have studied with have been very successful in their application to medical school. I wonder if there aren't many health science majors in various fields who overestimate how favorably their background will be viewed by medical schools, because they consider themselves at an advantage when they have studied clinically relevant fields. But the truth is, they are also missing the same point. No major is an advantage over another one if you can perform well on the MCAT and have a strong GPA.
 

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If I could do it over again (as a struggling sophomore, I dream of that opportunity), I'd major in Philosophy and put off taking pre-reqs until at least my second semester as a freshman. I'm a Biology major w/Philosophy minor right now and essentially I'm staying on this course because my BCPM GPA needs a veritable resurrection after my horrible first year.
 

futuredoctor99

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Nobody works in medical school, dude. In fact, some schools absolutely forbid it.

You'll go into debt like everyone else who ever went to medical school...

Well, if you are either living with a person who makes the car/house payments ect. or at the school, wouldn't it be prudent to work 1 (2 whenever possible but mostly unrealistic)16 hour shift per week as a nurse in order to help pay off the medical school tuition? It's not overwhelming and would help ensure me a future of considerably less debt.
 

Brent8927

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This data also seems to show that both applicants and matriculants who majored in humanities and social sciences had higher avg. MCAT scores.

I'm just wondering if that nullifies the argument that a hard science better prepares you for the MCAT seeing as how statistically you will do better if you major in Art or Philosophy.

I generally hear pre-med advisors say the reason humanities and social science majors probably perform slightly better on the MCAT than those in hard science because of two reasons:

A) You lean everything you need to know for the MCAT in the four pre-req courses. Upper division science work isn't necessary to do well on the MCAT.
B) Humanities and social science majors do a lot of reading--much more than those in the sciences. The MCAT is full of passages, and knowing how to read and pick out information quickly and correctly reading and interpreting the question is extremely useful.

I'm sure there are other reasons/theories as well, but this one seems to make a lot of sense to me. But by sheer observation, it also makes sense that the sun goes around the Earth, so just because it appears plausible doesn't make it so... :D
 

GoSpursGo

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Well, if you are either living with a person who makes the car/house payments ect. or at the school, wouldn't it be prudent to work 1 (2 whenever possible but mostly unrealistic)16 hour shift per week as a nurse in order to help pay off the medical school tuition? It's not overwhelming and would help ensure me a future of considerably less debt.

Just, no. Most people in med school average like 4-6 hours of sleep a night as it is in med school. Any amount that you cut into that for work is going to be overwhelming.

Honestly, debt is scary, but it's something we all face and something that everyone gets through. It's much better to go a little more into debt and make sure you match to the specialty of your choice than to try and cut your debt by, what, maybe $50-75k tops (and that's being extremely generous)? That's less than half a year's salary in the big scheme of things, and you WILL burn out from trying to hold a job at the same time as you're in school.
 

futuredoctor99

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Just, no. Most people in med school average like 4-6 hours of sleep a night as it is in med school. Any amount that you cut into that for work is going to be overwhelming.

Honestly, debt is scary, but it's something we all face and something that everyone gets through. It's much better to go a little more into debt and make sure you match to the specialty of your choice than to try and cut your debt by, what, maybe $50-75k tops (and that's being extremely generous)? That's less than half a year's salary in the big scheme of things, and you WILL burn out from trying to hold a job at the same time as you're in school.

I guess I wasn't thinking it through enough but the med school debt horror stories are leaving me a bit apprehensive. I want to match into a great residency above all and I see how working through med school can be counterproductive. Just how much debt is typical for the average med school graduate? The rates keep rising and rising.
 

GoSpursGo

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I guess I wasn't thinking it through enough but the med school debt horror stories are leaving me a bit apprehensive. I want to match into a great residency above all and I see how working through med school can be counterproductive. Just how much debt is typical for the average med school graduate? The rates keep rising and rising.

That's true, it can get a little scary; for a few years after med school, you'll definitely be scraping by. But I really think that those 16 hrs/wk would be better spent studying more to get the grades you need to get into a specialty that will help you comfortably pay the debt off as quickly as possible.
 

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For the most part, major doesn't matter but nursing is a terrible major if you want to go into medicine. The science requirements for nursing students are not sufficient for med admission so you'll need to take additional classes to meet the med admission requirements. Nursing classes have a huge number of "labs" and "clinicals" which are a hideous time sink. Grading of nursing courses can hurt your gpa.

Nursing and hospital administration are other careers. Going into medicine after going into those other careers will lead people to wonder if you are able to make up your mind.

Finally, any indication that you plan to work as a nurse while in medical school may be considered a bit worrisome... might your work schedule have a negative impact on your studies? Some medical schools might not want to take a chance on that.


I cannot recall a time that I have disagreed with Lizzy. I am not going to start now. Lizzy is absolutely ON TARGET with this response. A fair number of nurses apply to our MD program and few get accepted. Their academics are "soft" and usually their MCAT's prove it. Finally you will have a hard time justifying wanting to be an doctor in interviews after you have become a nurse.
 

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I cannot recall a time that I have disagreed with Lizzy. I am not going to start now. Lizzy is absolutely ON TARGET with this response. A fair number of nurses apply to our MD program and few get accepted. Their academics are "soft" and usually their MCAT's prove it. Finally you will have a hard time justifying wanting to be an doctor in interviews after you have become a nurse.
What would be the difference between having a Bachelor of Arts and a Nursing degree if both must take the same prerequisites? How will a Bachelor of Arts, for example, prepare you more for medicine than nursing? My health administration degree will also be a plus. I will take classes involving accounting, business, and financial management. variety of classes and experiences.
 
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