ihopetobeado

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While I wasn’t a biology major in college, I do know quite a few biology majors who were unsuccessful in gaining admission to medical school. In the intervening years, I saw many of them unsuccessfully try to find gainful employment with a biology degree. Many of them just settled on something outside their field of study. A few have decided to just enroll at the local community college in order to get “marketable skills” and to become a nurse, respiratory therapist, etc. Many them are bitter, especially the community college enrollees, and have said if they had to do college all over again, they would’ve majored in something more marketable, like chemical engineering, computer science, and just added the premedical course work. Although this might have added a year to college, they said this would have been well worth it to ensure they could get a good paying job in the worst case scenario they didn’t get into medical school, and also to major in something more marketable would’ve enhanced their medical school applications by showing a more diversified educational experience. What are your thoughts?
 

DrHate

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Yeah, as bio major you have many disadvantages especially if you're in a "brand name" school classes are more competitive, it'd hurt your GPA ... Once you're done with your degree with nothing to do ... maybe TA or research jobs ...but those are hard to come by unless you have sky high GPA or something ... but sky high GPA, then you can get in meds school... I'm talking about the average biomajor 3.0 GPA.

If I have a chance to do over again, I definitely doing something "easy", then take pre-req for electives. To enhance my chance...because they only look at numbers - High GPA and High MCAT scores.
 

stookie

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Yes I do regret being a Biology major. I should have majored in Acting like I wanted to, then take my pre-req classes after.
 

HooahDOc

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stookie said:
Yes I do regret being a Biology major. I should have majored in Acting like I wanted to, then take my pre-req classes after.
I don't think that would have helped any job prospects.
 

NRAI2001

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Is premedical studies an actual major at some schools? I ve always wondered that.
 

HooahDOc

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NRAI2001 said:
Is premedical studies an actual major at some schools? I ve always wondered that.
I think it is at a couple.
 

bkpa2med

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I don't know about everyone else. But if medicine is your goal, eat, ****, sleep medicine. Make sure no matter what that is where you end up by any means necessary. Also, bio is a nice degree to have. Whether it be teaching or a doctor. Why would an actor want to be a doctor if acting is their true passion. I think it is also difficult for adcoms to judge how well non-science majors can perform in medical school.
This is my $0.02
 

uL007

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bkpa2med said:
I think it is also difficult for adcoms to judge how well non-science majors can perform in medical school.
This is my $0.02
not true!

first, the purpose of the mcat is to judge how everyone will perform in med school. in addition to the mcat, all schools have pre-med science requisites that also aid in determining a student's abilities.

second, i recently learned that med schools actually want students with non-science majors! my cousin is in a program that guarantees her a spot in med school after she finishes her undergrad. her pre-med advisors/mentors are strongly urging her to choose a non-science major! from the med school's perspective, i suppose they want students with non-science degrees that will increase the diversity of the class and help students become more rounded physicians. i now understand why 2 of my friends, who are in competitive med schools, intentionally chose business majors to stand out in the pool of bio majors.

as for myself, i was a bio major. i don't regret majoring in biology too much. i think taking higher level histo, biochem, and genetics classes helped me immensely in med school. in some respects, it helped make my first year of basic sciences somewhat of a review.

the only reason that i would regret choosing a bio major is because i didn't give myself time to learn about my other interests. i'm in med school now and am probably going to work as a physician for the rest of my life! when am i going to have time to learn about art history or the ancient civilization of rome?

as a med student, i know science and medicine will always be a part of my life. but i only want it to be one part. i want to be able to enjoy and do other things in my life. so in essence, i don't think it's necessary to eat, ****, or sleep medicine. instead, try to find a balance somewhere.

lastly, if you did do a bio major and are struggling with admissions, i agree with NRAI2001: anyone can get in. don't view your degree as a waste. keep working hard and im sure you'll reach your goals.
 

CrazyPremed

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Honestly, I think it depends on who is asked. For the Bio majors that got in to medical school, they seem to agree that Bio was a great preparation. For those that don't, they seem frustrated that they have to retrain for other fields.
As nontrads, this factors in big time to our overall frustration! Oh, well. :mad:

CrazyPremed
 

NRAI2001

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CrazyPremed said:
Honestly, I think it depends on who is asked. For the Bio majors that got in to medical school, they seem to agree that Bio was a great preparation. For those that don't, they seem frustrated that they have to retrain for other fields.
As nontrads, this factors in big time to our overall frustration! Oh, well. :mad:

CrazyPremed
Everyone I know who wanted to go to med school got into a med school somewhere. If it wasn't a US md school then it was a DO or carribean school.
 

jackets5

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I would most definatley not have been a Bio major. i would have majored in something like political science or communications. something easy and less time consuming, and taken a bio minor or something to get the pre-med prereqs in.
 
M

MSc44

bkpa2med said:
I don't know about everyone else. But if medicine is your goal, eat, ****, sleep medicine. Make sure no matter what that is where you end up by any means necessary. Also, bio is a nice degree to have. Whether it be teaching or a doctor. Why would an actor want to be a doctor if acting is their true passion. I think it is also difficult for adcoms to judge how well non-science majors can perform in medical school.
This is my $0.02


i agree, if your numbers are not excellent then go to a carib school they offer an excellent education, if u want it bad enough dont let low numbere stop you, unless your really just stupid and cant add or somthing.......in all my years in academics ( undergrad and grad school) i can really say i never met one real stupid person...unmotivated and lazy yes but not stupid even if their gpa was not stellar, as a matter of fact the people im thinking of are currently at ross and sgu as ms111. my father was a music major then went to medical school and told me he had a tuff time cause he did not have the deeper knowledge that his friends with extensive science backgrounds had
 

FutureDocDO

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CrazyPremed said:
Honestly, I think it depends on who is asked. For the Bio majors that got in to medical school, they seem to agree that Bio was a great preparation. For those that don't, they seem frustrated that they have to retrain for other fields.
CrazyPremed
I couldn't agree more! I was starting to think my Biology degree was a waste of time until I got accepted into medical schools. I often question myself why I hadn't gone into nursing directly out of high school and then apply to medical school. If I don't get in I could always work as a nurse and be working with patients. On the other hand, now that I have been accepted to medical school I think my knowledge in Biology will make first and maybe even second year of medical school a little more manageable compared to those with only the prerequesites.
 

jgl1980

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FutureDocDO said:
I couldn't agree more! I was starting to think my Biology degree was a waste of time until I got accepted into medical schools. I often question myself why I hadn't gone into nursing directly out of high school and then apply to medical school. If I don't get in I could always work as a nurse and be working with patients. On the other hand, now that I have been accepted to medical school I think my knowledge in Biology will make first and maybe even second year of medical school a little more manageable compared to those with only the prerequesites.
I was accepted into med school and biology I regret being a biology major. There is very little you can do with that major. If you are trying to decided get a degree you can use and just take a lot of science classes with that degree.
 

cosmicstarr

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I was a bio major and graduated back in '94. At the time, the job market wasn't very good and trying to find a job as a bio major sucked. There were offers for lab tech positions at $6-8 an hour. It was difficult to accept going to 4 years of college to make that much.

If you KNOW that you will attend a professional program, then the bio major provides a lot of the science to be successful. But if you want to work after obtaining your B.S., I would recommend something more useful like Engineering, Nursing, etc.

I ended up going into a different field altogether and got a second degree in Engineering.

Now, years later, I am looking into medicine. It's funny how things come back full circle. But at least this time, I do have marketable skills, an engineering degree, and I still have a good career to fall back on if medical school doesn't work out.
 

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dr.z said:
I don't regret being a bio major. I liked biology aside from trying to get into medical school.

I dont regret it either...I chose bio because I find to be a very interesting subject. (Actually realized this in highschool and went from there--before I knew it was a popular choice for premed) If med school doesnt work out, there is always a PhD.....or I wouldnt mind being a teacher for a few years either.....
 

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I somewhat regret NOT being a biology major. I am a Computer Engineering major (electrical engineer and computer science combined). Within engineering there is no grade inflation and it is quite common for the vast vast majority of the class to be far below average. The great majority of engineering students face rather low and average GPAs.

I knew that I wanted to do medicine coming into college but was uninformed about the GPA issue within engineering. The main reason I entered into engineering was because I am primarily strong in math and science and freshman engineering fulfilled most of the prerequisites for medical school.

If you have been and will continue to be dead set on medicine and are just planning to get a straight MD/DO then be happy that you chose biology. I do and don’t regret my choice to go into engineering. It has been an extremely fulfilling and lifechanging experience but it presents me with a giant GPA obstacle to overcome with admissions to medical school.
 

jbone

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I started out as a zoology major and almost graduated in it. However, while shadowing a physician one day, he told me about his experience of trying to find a job after he graduated with a degree in zoology. He couldn't find any (that paid a decent wage). And while it took him several attempts to get into medical school, he was stuck with the fact that he might not get into medical school and that his degree in zoology was basically worthless (unless he wanted to be a forest ranger :eek: ). He advised me to drop the program and start in another dept, so I did. I was a senior and decided that if I didn't get into medical school, I wanted a job that I could support my family with. So I enrolled into Clinical Laboratory Sciences and it was definitely worth the extra time and effort.
I personally believe that laboratory medicine (chemistry, micro, blood gas, hematology, UA etc.) is the backbone of medicine and I feel more prepared for medical school because of it. And when my fellow students are struggling with their labs in medical school, I will be breezing through it all with little problem.
Just my $0.02, it took me longer to graduate but I am a stronger applicant/doctor because of it. And my job today, as a licensed medical technologist is paying well and I am actually using my degree for a change.
(I work nights as you can tell by the post time :sleep: )
 

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DrHate said:
If I have a chance to do over again, I definitely doing something "easy", then take pre-req for electives. To enhance my chance...because they only look at numbers - High GPA and High MCAT scores.

That is actually an incorrect statement. Schools DONT only look at numbers. They also look at personality, maturity, diversity and a whole bunch of unmeasurable qualities. Secondly the idea of doing something "easy" to boost your GPA may hurt you in your application if you can't convince the adcom that you really wanted to major in such and such.
 

em8r

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No...I did for awhile, but thinking about it today, I don't. I might've had higher grades in a humanities major, but I guess I appreciate the preparation. I hated chemistry, but I love biology, esp. human anatomy. Putting myself through all those science classes when I would have chosen to be an art major in a perfect world just really made me realize that I really did want to be a doctor, because why else would I have done it?
 

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I agree with the "depends on who you ask" assesment. i plan on completing a microbiology degree because i think its cool. i've gotta job, who cares about a job, if its not something you want to do. personally i want to work in infectious diseases as a lab assistant, if they only pay me a small wage i'll keep my day job in the hospital and do both, but atleast one will be interesting to me. there's so many people out there just doing something for a paycheck when they're completely uninterested in what they're doing.

I will not fill out "TPS reports" all day long just because they pay a little more.
 

Angel eyes

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To begin, most biology majors who do not go to med school usually become involved in the following areas: biotechnology, genetics, microbiology, zoology, mycology, entomology, biological photography, education, bioinformatics, marine and aquatic biology, and in technical writing. In all these areas there can be opportunities such as medical or economical research and development, laboratory testing, teaching, genetic counseling, and animal behavior and training.

A bachelor's degree in biology will allow work as a lab assistant, technician, technologist, or research assistant respectively. These positions are great to have if you want to further your preparation for medical school or in the field of medicine if you prefer nursing school......

One important fact to know is that, if you are a biology major and you intend to use your degree for advancement into a career outside of the medical school arena, the federal gov't happens to be the largest employer of biologists. So it would not be a bad idea if you would take the time to familiarize yourself with the gov't job application process.

Anyways, most students who do major in biology want to go to med school. Like me particularly, I majored in biology for two years at a private university. I enjoyed all my classes, except it was such a hassle taking stuff like Botany or Ecology. That is so not my interest. Now I am a transfer student at a public university and I decided that the best thing for me to do was to change my major to Biomedical Sciences. I love this major because it integrates areas such as Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Public Health. So I don't have to worry about plants anymore :). It allows you to pursue the classes you enjoy and that are beneficial to you for schools of medicine, pharmacy, optometry, and other health professions.

If you do have a biology major, however, do not stress! Anyone who has the heart and great determination to get into medical school can! Just look at it this way, if you do not get into med school, try again, and if you still don't get in, I doubt it's because of your biology major. Besides, you have plenty of other reputable options to choose from. If anything, these occupations could further prepare you for a future in medicine. Experience is something that medical schools consider of utmost importance. Without experience, who's to say that you're going to have the discipline and guts to survive med school and who's to say that after all your hard work, you won't be able to stomach a corpse or even a live human body? Med schools do not want to take this chance, so make sure you make the best use of your time! :)
 

gbleeker

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Well I kind of fit the bill for alot of this discussion; I am a biology major and a music minor hence I do have the preparation for medical school curricula and I also have a minor in something I absolutely love in addition to science; music!

To go along with the usefullness (or lack of) of the biology major, I have this story. I will keep it quite short but very to the point;

I graduated.
I applied for over 40 positions in patient care so that my reapplication for med school would be improved. I received one interview for a pharmacy tech position. All 23 CNA positions I applied for I received NO call backs or interviews for. Why? Who knows.
I am working as a pharmacy technician now.
I reapplied to medical school again (ok that was redundant, I know).
I got in!
I will quit my job soon, can't wait, night shift sucks.
Soon I will be starting med school!


Ok ok so it was a lame story but my point is that with my bio major (and a 3.97 GPA) I couldn't land a job in medicine to save my life. Everything requires a small technical degree that has the same coursework a biology degree does, minus the shadowing hours, and from a technical school. It was VERY sad that all I could get from 40 applications was the position I have now. If I didn't get into medical school this year, and decided to not try again, then I would either a) go to get my doctorate or masters to do research or teach or b) go to PA, dental, or pharmacy school.

Otherwise, I think I would have had a terrible time finding a good job (to make a living off of) coming out of undergrad with a bio major. Shoot, I make twice as much teaching sax lessons per hour than I do at my current pharm tech job.

Just my $0.02
 

karirunner

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I don't regret being a bio major- I loved the subject and enjoyed most of my classes. If the only reason I had been majoring in it was to get a leg up on the MCAT, I would regret it. If people major in something they are interested in, they can easily get good grades.
Jobs for people with 'only' a bio degree are scarce unless you live near a college or university where research jobs are available. (I am a research tech at a medical school.) Plus, you usually need to have previous undergrad or volunteer research experience. Most medically related professions (pharm tech, cna, EMT, nursing) have their own required courses and certifications. If you want to be a CNA/PCA, check with your local nursing homes; some will have programs that pay for you to take a CNA class and certification in exchange for agreeing to work for them (and get paid) for a year. Some nursing schools have a one year BS to BSN degree program, complete with full scholarships- and nurses can make 50K a year in major cities.
So, yeah, I heart bio but a BS Bio prepares you to (1) go to grad school (2) go to med school or (3) make under $24,000/yr as a research tech.
 

stookie

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I do regret being a bio major because I'm not that in interested in biology. I did it because I thought it would help me get into medical school. If I could do my undergrad years over again, I would choose a major that was easy like english or some B*ll-S*it major where I would end up working in starbucks after, just so I can have a really high GPA, and take my pre req classes after I graduate. But I was stupid when it came to choosing a major. (You don't wanna know how I chose Bio as my major)