Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm currently a Bio major, Pre-Med to be exact. It has been only 4 weeks. The Biology 211 class that I'm in for the first three weeks seemed to be easy because the stuff we went over I remember when I took Biology as a Sophmore year in high school. Now we are going into cellular respiration. It seems like a hard concept to tackle but I think I might be able to do it.... the problem is I took Bio major because I was strongly encouraged by everyone around me to take it in order to be a doctor. I really want to be a doctor, I took my time and graduated at the top of my class in high school. I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I did a lab in middle school where we had to cut up a frog. I know this sounds funny and "not good" enough for reasons to be a doctor but I really want to. I want to help those around me and I don't care how much I would earn. I just want to be a doctor. I need help in choosing the right college route. I think I'm beginning to realize that I hate most of the science classes except Anatomy and Physiology. I'm a Bio major and the class I'm taking is really, really boring. I have a really, really hard time getting interested in the topics. This means that I'm probably not going to do well in college which means no med school for me. I'm really annoyed that classes like Calculus 252 and 211 Physics are in my way from being a doctor. Classes that are not close to anything I'm passionate about. Yes there are Biology in A&P but taking Biochem and Orgo? Please help me. I find that I really like to learn about people so I thought switching to History major. I just want something interesting to study in college and succeed at so that I get into Med school. I have been telling myself everything is going to be hard but how can you study and learn about something that you don't love? Please could anyone give me some good advice maybe on some other alt. routes or ways to get interested in the major.

Thank you very much.
 
Last edited:

TheRhymenocerous

2+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2014
512
641
Status
Medical Student
I just see all the requirements as hoops I have to jump through to prove that I deserve to be a doctor. Sure, some of it is totally irrelevant to the practice of medicine and I find some of it really dull, but it's all getting me closer to where I want to go, and for me that's motivation enough to push through it. If it's not for you, you'll definitely need to rethink your plans because it's a long road to med school and it won't always be your favorite subjects. You should definitely spend some time in clinical settings to try to figure out how well suited medicine really is for you. And keep an open mind about your classes – I was dreading physics and it ended up being my favorite class.
 

Afford

5+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2014
604
268
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Medical Student (Accepted)
You don't have to be a biology major. Lots of people pick a science major because the pre-reqs for med school fufill lots of the classes for the major. Also, do some clinical experience early on, so you know more about the healthcare field.
 

SnakeOilForSale

Everyday I'm hustlin
Apr 12, 2013
250
192
New York City
Status
Pre-Medical
I mean as far as Orgo and Physics, too bad, we all have to take the pre-med sequence.

But you don't have to be a Biology major. Take the premed courses and gen eds at first, it's fine to decide your major in a semester or two when you're more adjusted and have a better idea.
 
Oct 7, 2011
269
41
Ann Arbor
Status
Medical Student
You can major in anything you like and still apply to medial school. You will still have to take all the pre-reqs, but if you love all of your other classes and don't have to study as much for them it should free you up to dedicate more time to studying for your core sciences.

And if you find that you just can't do well in the sciences or you hate all of those classes maybe it's a sign that medicine isn't the right path.
 
OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I just see all the requirements as hoops I have to jump through to prove that I deserve to be a doctor. Sure, some of it is totally irrelevant to the practice of medicine and I find some of it really dull, but it's all getting me closer to where I want to go, and for me that's motivation enough to push through it. If it's not for you, you'll definitely need to rethink your plans because it's a long road to med school and it won't always be your favorite subjects. You should definitely spend some time in clinical settings to try to figure out how well suited medicine really is for you. And keep an open mind about your classes – I was dreading physics and it ended up being my favorite class.

You don't have to be a biology major. Lots of people pick a science major because the pre-reqs for med school fufill lots of the classes for the major. Also, do some clinical experience early on, so you know more about the healthcare field.
I mean as far as Orgo and Physics, too bad, we all have to take the pre-med sequence.

But you don't have to be a Biology major. Take the premed courses and gen eds at first, it's fine to decide your major in a semester or two when you're more adjusted and have a better idea.
You can major in anything you like and still apply to medial school. You will still have to take all the pre-reqs, but if you love all of your other classes and don't have to study as much for them it should free you up to dedicate more time to studying for your core sciences.

And if you find that you just can't do well in the sciences or you hate all of those classes maybe it's a sign that medicine isn't the right path.

Thanks for the replies guys! How would I go out and get clinical experience? Do I just call the hospital and ask? I tried talking to my pre-med advisor but he told me along the lines of " survive the first term and we will talk about classes/other questions/etc." I honestly did not know that I needed Organic and Biochem for med schools because when I read their UG requirements it just said take a year of Bio, Chem, Physics, Math and pass MCAT, good GPA, etc, etc. On top of these classes I have to get my general classes out of the way like Art, History, English, PE. I'm currently taking Bio 211, Writing 135, English 104, and Math 112. All are pretty simple topics on their own, except Bio, but it feels like I'm double majoring because I have to switch my brain from Language Arts to Sciences. I can link the requirements sheet that my advisor gave me, maybe some one can help me build my schedule?

And what if I wanted to major in History instead of Bio, would that take me longer? Like 5 years instead of 4? Is it a bad idea, why?

Thank you for all the help!
 
Last edited:

DoctorSynthesis

Friendly osteopath
Jun 8, 2013
3,492
1,703
all over
Status
Medical Student
I'm currently a Bio major, Pre-Med to be exact. It has been only 4 weeks. The Biology 211 class that I'm in for the first three weeks seemed to be easy because the stuff we went over I remember when I took Biology as a Sophmore year in high school. Now we are going into cellular respiration. It seems like a hard concept to tackle but I think I might be able to do it.... the problem is I took Bio major because I was strongly encouraged by everyone around me to take it in order to be a doctor. I really want to be a doctor, I took my time and graduated at the top of my class in high school. I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I did a lab in middle school where we had to cut up a frog. I know this sounds funny and "not good" enough for reasons to be a doctor but I really want to. I want to help those around me and I don't care how much I would earn. I just want to be a doctor. I need help in choosing the right college route. I think I'm beginning to realize that I hate most of the science classes except Anatomy and Physiology. I'm a Bio major and the class I'm taking is really, really boring. I have a really, really hard time getting interested in the topics. This means that I'm probably not going to do well in college which means no med school for me. I'm really annoyed that classes like Calculus 252 and 211 Physics are in my way from being a doctor. Classes that are not close to anything I'm passionate about. Yes there are Biology in A&P but taking Biochem and Orgo? Please help me. I find that I really like to learn about people so I thought switching to History major. I just want something interesting to study in college and succeed at so that I get into Med school. I have been telling myself everything is going to be hard but how can you study and learn about something that you don't love? Please could anyone give me some good advice maybe on some other alt. routes or ways to get interested in the major.

Thank you very much,.
Don't post your name. Being anomous is key.
 
Last edited:
OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I mean as far as Orgo and Physics, too bad, we all have to take the pre-med sequence.

But you don't have to be a Biology major. Take the premed courses and gen eds at first, it's fine to decide your major in a semester or two when you're more adjusted and have a better idea.
How far into Physics do I actually need to go? Like there is 100 level Physics and then there is 200 level Physics. As far as I know 100 Bio is less rigorous than 200 level Bio but they still cover the same topics just more details in my 211 class.

Also I wanted to ask for what most med school and MCAT actually require. I think I know most of it but I just want to make sure, they generalize their requirements by having things like "applicants need a year in general Bio, a year in Physics, etc, etc."

Like here:
http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/schools/school-of-medicine/academic-programs/md-program/admissions/requirements.cfm

The Chemistry requirement is what interests me here. I know there is a class at my community college that goes general chem, organic, biochem in a year. And then there is a General Chem class that takes one year alone at my university, Organic (another year long class), and Biochem( two-terms). Which sequence do they mean? One that takes a year or one that take 2 and 2/3 years? I'm confused and I'm pretty sure that the class that is offered at the community college is easier than my Bio 211 class because I know a person that took it and is in Bio with me.

Like what do they mean by that? Sounds simple but then I realize I need a 200 level Physics class. Is the MCAT really that in-depth and is going to cover major and small, complex topics.

I'm just a little bit worried my friend is taking Physics 211 with no calculus and he said it took about 7 hours to do half of the homework.
 
Last edited:

SnakeOilForSale

Everyday I'm hustlin
Apr 12, 2013
250
192
New York City
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the replies guys! How would I go out and get clinical experience? Do I just call the hospital and ask? I tried talking to my pre-med advisor but he told me along the lines of " survive the first term and we will talk about classes/other questions/etc." I honestly did not know that I needed Organic and Biochem for med schools because when I read their UG requirements it just said take a year of Bio, Chem, Physics, Math and pass MCAT, good GPA, etc, etc. On top of these classes I have to get my general classes out of the way like Art, History, English, PE. I'm currently taking Bio 211, Writing 135, English 104, and Math 112. All are pretty simple topics on their own, except Bio, but it feels like I'm double majoring because I have to switch my brain from Language Arts to Sciences. I can link the requirements sheet that my advisor gave me, maybe some one can help me build my schedule?

And what if I wanted to major in History instead of Bio, would that take me longer? Like 5 years instead of 4? Is it a bad idea, why?

Thank you for all the help!
I agree with your adviser. Yes, you need clinical experience, but being you're already stressing out and in your first semester, get that out of the way first. Most people drop premed within the first sequence of courses (which for many is Gen Bio and Chem), and further than that, most people drop out of college in general during first term. It's a critical time so take it easy. After you finish this term, there's plenty of opportunities for clinical exposure: hospital/clinic/hospice volunteering, shadowing, paid jobs such as CNA, scribe, EMT. You will find something.

Yes, you have to take Orgo and Biochem. Many schools are now requiring Sociology and Psychology as well. As someone who spends most of the day tutoring and teaching English while majoring in Chemistry, I know it doesn't quite feel like it now, but this "double majoring" you're referring to might round you out as a person in ways you'd never expect. That's why a lot of people say to go for a non-science degree. There's so many areas of life and knowledge to be explored, and undergrad is the best place to do so. As much as you feel frustrated taking humanities and sciences together, I'd wager you'd feel a lot more overwhelmed taking only sciences!

It's quite possible that it could take you longer. But is graduating in 5 years a bad thing? Absolutely not. It's going to take me 5 years and I consider that an extra year to work on my EC's. Keep in mind to fulfill Gen Chem, Orgo, and Biochem will take 5 semesters, so if you plan to apply the year before you graduate, have an appropriate schedule to finish them in time for the MCAT. It's OK to feel lost or confused, but if you're dead set on the path of a physician, remember slow and steady is what wins here. Take it one day at a time and you will find a path, and not necessary one you set out to be on. Things do work out.
 

SnakeOilForSale

Everyday I'm hustlin
Apr 12, 2013
250
192
New York City
Status
Pre-Medical
How far into Physics do I actually need to go? Like there is 100 level Physics and then there is 200 level Physics. As far as I know 100 Bio is less rigorous than 200 level Bio but they still cover the same topics just more details in my 211 class.

Also I wanted to ask for what most med school and MCAT actually require. I think I know most of it but I just want to make sure, they generalize their requirements by having things like "applicants need a year in general Bio, a year in Physics, etc, etc."

Like here:
http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/schools/school-of-medicine/academic-programs/md-program/admissions/requirements.cfm

Like what do they mean by that? Sounds simple but then I realize I need a 200 level Physics class. Is the MCAT really that in-depth and is going to cover major and small, complex topics.

I'm just a little bit worried my friend is taking Physics 211 with no calculus and he said it took about 7 hours to do half of the homework.
I don't know exactly what the numbers mean because every college numbers the classes differently. Here's the requirements for MOST but not all medical schools:

1 year general biology with lab
1 year general chemistry with lab
1 year organic chemistry with lab
1 semester biochemistry
1 year general physics with lab
1 semester psychology
1 semester sociology
1-2 semesters of math
1 year of english

General physics is an intro survey course. You have the option to take either calculus-based (engineering/physics/chemistry majors usually take this) or algebra-based (biology and non-science majors usually take this). It does not matter which you take. I believe the only school that requires calc-based is Harvard's MD-PhD program. First semester is mechanics, second is electromagnetism, usually. Physical sciences must have a lot of time devoted to them in the form of practice problems. So yeah it might take your friend 7 hours, but there's very little memorizing or reading chapters that you have to do, it's all practice problems, whereas with biological sciences it's more heavy on the reading.
 

SpartanWolverine

I like dark rooms.
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Jun 28, 2012
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Edit: Well, Snake Oil just beat me to it, but here it is again anyways.

The following is a typical set of requirements.
    • 1 year of Inorganic Chemistry with any laboratory experience
    • 1 year of Organic Chemistry with any laboratory experience
    • 1 semester (or quarter) of Biochemistry
    • 1 year of Biology with any laboratory experience
    • 1 year of Physics with any laboratory experience
    • 2 semesters (3 quarters) of intensive writing courses
    • 6 semesters (9 quarters) of additional non-science courses
*1 year is typically defined as 2 semesters or 3 quarters

In the end, you just need to relax and do the best you can with what's in front of you. Yes, undergrad can be overwhelming starting out... but every step of the way is going to be a difficult step up. In HS, they say undergrad is going to be sooo difficult. In undergrad, you'll hear orgo is going to be the most difficult class ever. Then you'll hear that the MCAT is the hardest thing ever. Then you'll hear that your first semester of med school is the hardest thing ever. Then people will say it's USMLE I. Then it's residency hours... yada yada. See what I mean?

I don't want to talk you out of medical school, but more than 50% of premeds at the schools I have been at have changed their mind during the course of undergrad. Keep an open mind, explore your options... and have FUN.
 
Last edited:
Oct 7, 2011
269
41
Ann Arbor
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the replies guys! How would I go out and get clinical experience? Do I just call the hospital and ask? I tried talking to my pre-med advisor but he told me along the lines of " survive the first term and we will talk about classes/other questions/etc." I honestly did not know that I needed Organic and Biochem for med schools because when I read their UG requirements it just said take a year of Bio, Chem, Physics, Math and pass MCAT, good GPA, etc, etc. On top of these classes I have to get my general classes out of the way like Art, History, English, PE. I'm currently taking Bio 211, Writing 135, English 104, and Math 112. All are pretty simple topics on their own, except Bio, but it feels like I'm double majoring because I have to switch my brain from Language Arts to Sciences. I can link the requirements sheet that my advisor gave me, maybe some one can help me build my schedule?

And 1) what if I wanted to major in History instead of Bio, 2) would that take me longer? Like 5 years instead of 4? 3) Is it a bad idea, why?

Thank you for all the help!
1) go for it!
2) probably not, because you won't have to make time in your schedule for all of the extra labs that go along with being a science major.
3) even if it did take longer that's not really a problem unless you're really worried about it for financial reasons. People take 5 years all the time and it's becoming more and more common to take time off between undergrad and med school anyway, so it's not like you'll be at a disadvantage for taking a little longer or being older when you apply.
 
OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't know exactly what the numbers mean because every college numbers the classes differently. Here's the requirements for MOST but not all medical schools:

1 year general biology with lab
1 year general chemistry with lab
1 year organic chemistry with lab
1 semester biochemistry
1 year general physics with lab
1 semester psychology
1 semester sociology
1-2 semesters of math
1 year of english

General physics is an intro survey course. You have the option to take either calculus-based (engineering/physics/chemistry majors usually take this) or algebra-based (biology and non-science majors usually take this). It does not matter which you take. I believe the only school that requires calc-based is Harvard's MD-PhD program. First semester is mechanics, second is electromagnetism, usually. Physical sciences must have a lot of time devoted to them in the form of practice problems. So yeah it might take your friend 7 hours, but there's very little memorizing or reading chapters that you have to do, it's all practice problems, whereas with biological sciences it's more heavy on the reading.
I would just like to thank you for the time that you are setting aside for me. The list of classes that you gave me is basically what my advisor gave me. The 100 and 200 level difference that I'm talking about is the 100 level classes are classes that non-majors would take just to full fill their university's undergrad requirement. While 200 level classes are designed for those majors. As a freshman I could of taken Bio 101, it is called Intro to Bio I think. Or Bio 211, if I placed high enough on an entry test (which I did) and if I declared that I' am a Bio major. Does that makes sense, I know my grammar is suffering right now and I apologize for that (just had my first midterms and feeling the burn lol).
 

SnakeOilForSale

Everyday I'm hustlin
Apr 12, 2013
250
192
New York City
Status
Pre-Medical
I would just like to thank you for the time that you are setting aside for me. The list of classes that you gave me is basically what my advisor gave me. The 100 and 200 level difference that I'm talking about is the 100 level classes are classes that non-majors would take just to full fill their university's undergrad requirement. While 200 level classes are designed for those majors. As a freshman I could of taken Bio 101, it is called Intro to Bio I think. Or Bio 211, if I placed high enough on an entry test (which I did) and if I declared that I' am a Bio major. Does that makes sense, I know my grammar is suffering right now and I apologize for that (just had my first midterms and feeling the burn lol).
It's no problem. I'd say something that says "Intro to" for non-majors is probably not an intended course for premeds. At many schools the courses themselves are just called "General Bio" and Intro to is as you said for gen ed requirements or nursing students, etc. The "General"s are courses that first-years who are majoring in that field would take. I'd speak to your adviser to make sure though.
 
OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
1) go for it!
2) probably not, because you won't have to make time in your schedule for all of the extra labs that go along with being a science major.
3) even if it did take longer that's not really a problem unless you're really worried about it for financial reasons. People take 5 years all the time and it's becoming more and more common to take time off between undergrad and med school anyway, so it's not like you'll be at a disadvantage for taking a little longer or being older when you apply.
Hmm okay. So you are actually saying that it might take me longer with a Bio major because of extra labs than it would a history major? Like when I went to university orientation I told them I was interested in getting into medical school so they threw me into Bio major program. I have till Friday to add/drop classes. It would be pretty bad idea to start a class after four weeks but is it too late to change a major and not loose any time?
 

Noctámbulo

5+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2014
282
90
Even if you decide to forgo the bio major now, keep in mind that the first 2 years of medical school are nothing but that.
 
OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I would just like to thank you for the time that you are setting aside for me. The list of classes that you gave me is basically what my advisor gave me. The 100 and 200 level difference that I'm talking about is the 100 level classes are classes that non-majors would take just to full fill their university's undergrad requirement. While 200 level classes are designed for those majors. As a freshman I could of taken Bio 101, it is called Intro to Bio I think. Or Bio 211, if I placed high enough on an entry test (which I did) and if I declared that I' am a Bio major. Does that makes sense, I know my grammar is suffering right now and I apologize for that (just had my first midterms and feeling the burn lol).
Well my advisor told me that since I passed the placement test for Bio 211 and majoring in Pre-Med Bio, I should take 211. So I took it. But what if I was another major would I still need to take Gen. course or "Intro to" would suffice the med school requirement list. Thanks again.
 
Oct 7, 2011
269
41
Ann Arbor
Status
Medical Student
Hmm okay. So you are actually saying that it might take me longer with a Bio major because of extra labs than it would a history major? Like when I went to university orientation I told them I was interested in getting into medical school so they threw me into Bio major program. I have till Friday to add/drop classes. It would be pretty bad idea to start a class after four weeks but is it too late to change a major and not loose any time?

I'm not saying it would take longer to be a biology major, because most of your required pre-reqs for medical school are built in to the Biology curriculum (you have to take them all for Bio anyway, so it kinda evens itself out). I just don't think it would take longer to be a history major, because majoring in something non-science means you don't have to spend tons of extra time in lab (unless you do art, which can take forever).

I think you really need to just take a deep breath and relax a little. To say that you are "majoring" in Biology at this point doesn't really make any sense since you're taking all pre-requisite classes. If you decide to switch your path after this semester it really shouldn't put you behind. Just focus on doing well in the classes that you're taking now and worry about the major later.
 
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OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Edit: Well, Snake Oil just beat me to it, but here it is again anyways.

The following is a typical set of requirements.
    • 1 year of Inorganic Chemistry with any laboratory experience
    • 1 year of Organic Chemistry with any laboratory experience
    • 1 semester (or quarter) of Biochemistry
    • 1 year of Biology with any laboratory experience
    • 1 year of Physics with any laboratory experience
    • 2 semesters (3 quarters) of intensive writing courses
    • 6 semesters (9 quarters) of additional non-science courses
*1 year is typically defined as 2 semesters or 3 quarters

In the end, you just need to relax and do the best you can with what's in front of you. Yes, undergrad can be overwhelming starting out... but every step of the way is going to be a difficult step up. In HS, they say undergrad is going to be sooo difficult. In undergrad, you'll hear orgo is going to be the most difficult class ever. Then you'll hear that the MCAT is the hardest thing ever. Then you'll hear that your first semester of med school is the hardest thing ever. Then people will say it's USMLE I. Then it's residency hours... yada yada. See what I mean?

I don't want to talk you out of medical school, but more than 50% of premeds at the schools I have been at have changed their mind during the course of undergrad. Keep an open mind, explore your options... and have FUN.
Wow you are so inspirational! My parents tell me the same things and try to calm me down but hearing from a person who has gone through all that helps my spirit in a great way. Thank you for that, I wish I knew more people like you who could advise me and help with college. i live at home, to save money, and it really hurts me when I have to drive home instead of attending a study session with fellow students who might share something that I wouldn't know or other way around. But thank you anyways for that inspirational text, it really helps me.
 
OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm not saying it would take longer to be a biology major, because most of your required pre-reqs for medical school are built in to the Biology curriculum (you have to take them all for Bio anyway, so it kinda evens itself out). I just don't think it would take longer to be a history major, because majoring in something non-science means you don't have to spend tons of extra time in lab (unless you do art, which can take forever).

I think you really need to just take a deep breath and relax a little. To say that you are "majoring" in Biology at this point doesn't really make any sense since you're taking all pre-requisite classes. If you decide to switch your path after this semester it really shouldn't put you behind. Just focus on doing well in the classes that you're taking now and worry about the major later.
Ok I will take a deep breath and relax. I will do my very best to understand all the topics in class and not worry about anything else. I really thank you for your help. I dreamed for the past 8 years of being a doctor, I can wait 8 more.
 
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OP
E
Oct 18, 2014
14
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I would like to thank all those that answered in this forum. I think I'm overreacting a bit much right now. I will rest today and take on the challenges tomorrow with a new spirit, that you guys encouraged me with. I really appreciate all the comments. Thank you.
 

SpartanWolverine

I like dark rooms.
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Jun 28, 2012
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Very good idea. The path to medicine is a long and winding one, so if you only have your eyes on the end point... you're bound to get tripped up along the way. Learn to put one foot in front of the other, build up your study skills and base knowledge, and then you can start paying more attention to the distant future. Of course a general knowledge of the requirements, timeline, and next steps is important along the way, but don't get caught up in it.

Geeze, guess I'm feeling philosophical tonight. :laugh: