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smuwillobrien

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I'm not sure what program to go into. I'm almost done my first year, and I know that it will be either biology, chemistry, or both. I found certain aspects of biology like cell structure, cell signalling, protein synthesis, ... to be interesting, however, the other aspects of general biology such as plants and development I found boring. I enjoyed literally all aspects of chemistry though, but I understand biology much easier (I had in A+ in both classes, but biology required less work than chemistry).

If I don't get into medical school I'd like to end up with a degree I can use to go on into some sort of a stable and lucrative career. I'm much more microscopically inclined; I like molecules, proteins, pathways, ... as opposed to ecology, biospheres, ecosystems, ...

Would a biology and chemistry double major be best, or would it be better to pick one or the other and do an honours major? I realize that it's hard to tell me the right thing to do, but I've tried my best to give an indication of what sorts of things I'm into.

Pre-emptive thanks. Have a good weekend, and don't get too drunk.
 

ad_sharp

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I've had the same problem. I love the molecular and human biology aspects of my program, but I hate the wildlife (Botony and Ecology especially). I decided to do a double major just because I thought that Chemistry offered a lot more challenge and I knew that the double would make me look a little better to the adcoms. However, I will graduate with a full Biology major and lack two classes on having a full Chemistry major when I leave for med school this fall. This was due to schedule conflicts with the required prereqs of the medical school that I had to do this semester. I am a freshman once again. My opinion...Do what you think you like the best. Double majoring in four years can be a little rough. I went during the summers to keep up. If you have the time, do both. However, it doesn't hurt to do one or the other. I certainly think that upper-level chem looks good on the transcript if you can get the grades, but some bio classes like human anatomy, histology, cell biology, etc look very good too. Talk to your top med school and see what they recommend.
 

musiclink213

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do biochem. problem solved. you don't need to take any courses on plants or anything. if you graduate and don't get into med. school, you can get a good job in a lab, you'll have the ability to do either bio or chemical research. biochem really gives you the most oppurtunities, IMO.
 
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Tiki

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Originally posted by musiclink213
do biochem. problem solved. you don't need to take any courses on plants or anything. if you graduate and don't get into med. school, you can get a good job in a lab, you'll have the ability to do either bio or chemical research. biochem really gives you the most oppurtunities, IMO.

That is what I did.

I hate Ecology and plant stuff, so I went for the biochem. I have been able to take all the Bio courses that I liked (Molecular Genetics, Immunology, Cell Bio), as well as Biochem, Physical Chem, Organic and General Chem.
 

lukeday99

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I disagree completely. I think that, if you are only interested in gaining ultimate admitance to med school, go with what you like and complete the pre-reqs a la carte, as it were. I was a double major in History and Religious studies, I studied abroad, and it looks like I'm off to med school myself. The people at my interviews really liked that I did a humanities major. I think that it rounds out the human being, is good for the soul, and will make you a better, more compassionate doctor, and certainly more interesting to talk to than the hundreds of 3.9 Biochem majors whom I've met who aren't versed in literature, politics, history, rhetoric, religion, or even godamn pop culture!
 

logos

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Yeah...i bet the adcoms like humanities majors pretty well...if for no other reason than them being a little different....but unfortunately, to gain that advantage one has to actually take classes in the humanities ....*shudder* ;)


I've found myself in pretty much the same position. I like biology, but I dont like plants, animals, ecosystems, etc etc. My solution to this was microbiology. Its much more interesting than the regular bio classes i've had and also has a much greater quantitative aspect (spectrophotometry, growth rates, standard curves, dilutions, lots of statistical analyses). I'm also thinking about picking up a biochem minor. I think that if I could start at the beginning I would do a biochem major, but now it would be a challenge as I would have to go back and take at least one calc class and the whole calc based physics series...just so that I could take a year of biophysical chemistry ...which is not required for the minor.

As far as something lucrative in case medschool falls through...biotech is huge...but you need at least a masters to do much of anything in it...of course you can always do the more buisness side...or the interface between the buisness side and the science side...

But yeah...do what you enjoy...school isnt nearly as much work when you like what you're doing. But at the same time keep in mind that not all majors are created equal in terms of difficulty and work load. Oh...and if you havent taken ochem yet...make sure you like that ok before you commit to chemistry.
 

goobernaculum

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if you're ultimately aiming for med school, another angle at looking at this decision is to do what's easiest. med school's don't really emphasize what courses you've taken (aside from the pre reqs) or what major you choose. so if you're hardcore and you really wanna get into med school, pump up your gpa and don't stress yourself out by taking unneccessarily difficult courses. those kinds of courses/majors might make other people's jocks swell, but it won't mean much to adcomms when you have a 2.0 gpa.

remember though...what's most enjoyable to people is often the easiest for them as well (hence, the sadistically large number of bio and - to a lesser extent - chem majors in med school).
 

Tiki

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Originally posted by lukeday99
I disagree completely. I think that, if you are only interested in gaining ultimate admitance to med school, go with what you like and complete the pre-reqs a la carte, as it were. I was a double major in History and Religious studies, I studied abroad, and it looks like I'm off to med school myself. The people at my interviews really liked that I did a humanities major. I think that it rounds out the human being, is good for the soul, and will make you a better, more compassionate doctor, and certainly more interesting to talk to than the hundreds of 3.9 Biochem majors whom I've met who aren't versed in literature, politics, history, rhetoric, religion, or even godamn pop culture!

I think the kind of liberal arts background you get depends on what school you go to. I'm a biochem major and I have taken plenty of courses in art history, music, religion, and history, because that is what my school requires us to do in order to graduate. Some of them I have liked, some of them I did not, but I appreciate the reason why we are taking those classes to begin with.

You shouldn't be a humanities major to impress someone on the admissions committee. You should be a humanities major because you love humanities. Just as I am a biochem major because I love biology and chemistry.
 

musiclink213

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Originally posted by lukeday99
I disagree completely. I think that, if you are only interested in gaining ultimate admitance to med school, go with what you like and complete the pre-reqs a la carte, as it were. I was a double major in History and Religious studies, I studied abroad, and it looks like I'm off to med school myself. The people at my interviews really liked that I did a humanities major. I think that it rounds out the human being, is good for the soul, and will make you a better, more compassionate doctor, and certainly more interesting to talk to than the hundreds of 3.9 Biochem majors whom I've met who aren't versed in literature, politics, history, rhetoric, religion, or even godamn pop culture!

well see, i'm a biochem major myself, and i will be studying abroad this summer, i've taken way more humanities classes than are required for my school. i have a french minor, i'm taking a mass media course this semester, i'm taking a bunch of music classes, it's really very easy to take a lot of fun classes, because we aer only required to take about 2 classes a semester to fulfill the major requirements in science. and besides, the OP said he had an interest in either science or chemistry already.
 
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