Is there a reason why Medical schools don't like vocational majors ?

Sep 19, 2017
17
13
I keep hearing this but its conflicting because not all vocational majors are less scientifically rigorous. In fact, my major is probably more rigorous than a typical biochemistry or biology major.

I'm taking up MLS at the University of Maryland school of Medicine. Why ? Because I find the course work more interesting than bland and boring pure chemistry/biochem/biology. Instead, I'd be looking at the more clinical sciences like Pathogenic microbiogy, parasitology+ mycology, clinical chemistry, etc.

I keep hearing this but its conflicting because not all vocational majors are less scientifically rigorous. In fact, my major is probably more rigorous than a typical biochemistry or biology major. I'm taking up MLS at the University of Maryland school of Medicine. Why ? Because I find the course work more interesting than bland chemistry/biochem/biology. Instead, I'd be looking at the more clinical sciences like Pathogenic microbiogy, parasitology

plus, the degree gives me access to research opportunities galour, med school admissions staff and plenty of clinical opportunites. What do you guys think ?
 

Blanky

2+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2017
1,659
1,392
Status
Medical Student
MLIS? I don't mean to challenge the rigor of your degree although it's strange you consider your choice more rigorous than other degrees of which you have no experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isoval and jm192

Eleithyia

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
299
543
Status
Medical Student
I'm near certain it's not about rigor at all. Medical schools don't like vocational majors because they are meant to be vocational. When a pre-med takes a vocational major with no intention of entering that field, someone who would have entered that field is out of a spot.
We need nurses and medical lab scientists, etc, in order for our health care system to function, so we need to encourage people who are actually going to become nurses and medical lab scientists to study nursing and MLS.
 
About the Ads

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
I'm near certain it's not about rigor at all. Medical schools don't like vocational majors because they are meant to be vocational. When a pre-med takes a vocational major with no intention of entering that field, someone who would have entered that field is out of a spot.
We need nurses and medical lab scientists, etc, in order for our health care system to function, so we need to encourage people who are actually going to become nurses and medical lab scientists to study nursing and MLS.
Who's to say he didn't enter the major intending to be a medical lab scientist and fell in love with the idea of med school later (not necessarily the OP, but in general)? Many vocational programs are less rigorous though.
 
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
What is MLS and why do people use initials for things that would be uncommon on this forum? If I take a wild guess...medical lab science? Is that even a major?
Of course it is. :)

It is technically called "Medical Research and Technology". I'd post a link if I had that option.


I'm near certain it's not about rigor at all. Medical schools don't like vocational majors because they are meant to be vocational. When a pre-med takes a vocational major with no intention of entering that field, someone who would have entered that field is out of a spot.
We need nurses and medical lab scientists, etc, in order for our health care system to function, so we need to encourage people who are actually going to become nurses and medical lab scientists to study nursing and MLS.
I completely understand. Actually, I'll be a practicing Med Lab tech in a few months after I finish my clinicals. I'll be doing that part time while finishing off my BS at the UMD Med school. I find the whole subject rather interesting and that's mainly why I want to go to Medical School, for more "in depth" knowledge than what an education in Medical science can give me. Like Pathogenesis is probably my most favorite class in the history of my education and I'm pretty damn excited to be studying it more in-depth at the Med school and their professors.

Less importantly, but important none-the-less, everything I've studied is more than enough pre-requisite to take the MCAT and enter medical school and should I need to take a gap year, I'd have a 60-70k per year career (in the state of Maryland) to help build up resources prior to matriculation. Not too shabby I'd say lol !
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
What is MLS and why do people use initials for things that would be uncommon on this forum? If I take a wild guess...medical lab science? Is that even a major?
Medical Lab Science. It's pretty common.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,824
32,275
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
My impression of why adcoms do not favor vocational majors is a mix of the following. Keep in mind these are the general perceptions. This isnt a judgement on the major nor does it neccessarily represent the reality. However, adcoms see thousands of applications with hundreds of majors from a vast number of institutions and general perceptions can matter greatly

1) Many are perceived as less rigorous and/or less in depth in the basic sciences.
2) Many have a narrow and specific focus with emphasis on applicability and only learning the science for that focus
3) Some, such as MLS or nursing, can be considered professional vocational majors and imply choice and commitment to that field. If you are now looking at moving to physician, it begs the question of "if the applicant isnt committed to their previous chosen field, how do I know they wont have commitment issues with medical school?"

The data on specialized health care majors show they have the worst acceptance rates to medical school with 527 matriculating out of 1607 applying in 2016-2017 for about 33% matriculation rate compared to 40% nationally in the aggregate applicant pools https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf
Additionally both applicants and matriculants of specialized health majors have the lowest MCAT scores across the broad undergraduate major classifications, which implies the reality for my #1 and #2 items.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
My impression of why adcoms do not favor vocational majors is a mix of the following. Keep in mind these are the general perceptions. This isnt a judgement on the major nor does it neccessarily represent the reality. However, adcoms see thousands of applications with hundreds of majors from a vast number of institutions and general perceptions can matter greatly

1) Many are perceived as less rigorous and/or less in depth in the basic sciences.
2) Many have a narrow and specific focus with emphasis on applicability and only learning the science for that focus
3) Some, such as MLS or nursing, can be considered professional vocational majors and imply choice and commitment to that field. If you are now looking at moving to physician, it begs the question of "if the applicant isnt committed to their previous chosen field, how do I know they wont have commitment issues with medical school?"

The data on specialized health care majors show they have the worst acceptance rates to medical school with 527 matriculating out of 1607 applying in 2016-2017 for about 33% matriculation rate compared to 40% nationally in the aggregate applicant pools https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf
Additionally both applicants and matriculants of specialized health majors have the lowest MCAT scores across the broad undergraduate major classifications, which implies the reality for my #1 and #2 items.
Gotta give a shout out to my fellow mathematicians for outscoring those dirty biology majors.
 
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
My impression of why adcoms do not favor vocational majors is a mix of the following. Keep in mind these are the general perceptions. This isnt a judgement on the major nor does it neccessarily represent the reality. However, adcoms see thousands of applications with hundreds of majors from a vast number of institutions and general perceptions can matter greatly

1) Many are perceived as less rigorous and/or less in depth in the basic sciences.
2) Many have a narrow and specific focus with emphasis on applicability and only learning the science for that focus
3) Some, such as MLS or nursing, can be considered professional vocational majors and imply choice and commitment to that field. If you are now looking at moving to physician, it begs the question of "if the applicant isnt committed to their previous chosen field, how do I know they wont have commitment issues with medical school?"

The data on specialized health care majors show they have the worst acceptance rates to medical school with 527 matriculating out of 1607 applying in 2016-2017 for about 33% matriculation rate compared to 40% nationally in the aggregate applicant pools

Additionally both applicants and matriculants of specialized health majors have the lowest MCAT scores across the broad undergraduate major classifications, which implies the reality for my #1 and #2 items.

I do appreciate the response. Hopefully, adcoms wont be so hard on my chosen major lol! By the end of the day, my major goes far beyond the basic medical school admissions required classes .

Honestly, I'm probably going to stick with MLS just because the type of science that I'd be doing vs say a Chem or Biology major is just so much more interesting...and relevant. (I mean, who actually "likes" analytical chemistry?)
 

allantois

5+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2013
3,848
4,163
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Because it's not what most physicians themselves studied/ are familiar with.
 
Last edited:

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,233
6,915
Status
Medical Student
I do appreciate the response. Hopefully, adcoms wont be so hard on my chosen major lol! By the end of the day, my major goes far beyond the basic medical school admissions required classes .

Honestly, I'm probably going to stick with MLS just because the type of science that I'd be doing vs say a Chem or Biology major is just so much more interesting...and relevant. (I mean, who actually "likes" analytical chemistry?)
..but you ARE taking those uninterest pre-reqs, correct?
 

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,824
32,275
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
I do appreciate the response. Hopefully, adcoms wont be so hard on my chosen major lol! By the end of the day, my major goes far beyond the basic medical school admissions required classes .

Honestly, I'm probably going to stick with MLS just because the type of science that I'd be doing vs say a Chem or Biology major is just so much more interesting...and relevant. (I mean, who actually "likes" analytical chemistry?)
BTW, the current dean of CCOM and former president of the AOA spent five 5 or so as a lab tech before going to medical school
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack
About the Ads

fourandtwo

7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2012
720
734
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
As long as you have the prereqs done with good grades and an MCAT score, there's no reason for adcoms to undermine your major. It's what you get out of it. Everything a premed does shouldn't be gear toward "what would an adcom think?"
 
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
..but you ARE taking those uninterest pre-reqs, correct?
Oh, I've passed organic chem,
..but you ARE taking those uninterest pre-reqs, correct?
of course. You have to take calculus, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, 2 semesters of Biochemistry, 2 semesters of physics, 2 semesters of biology, 2 semesters of Anatomy and physiology, 1 semester of micro and several weeks of clinical rotations as a tech to get matriculated into the MLS program at my school.

The subjects we do at my upcoming school are the clinical application of those subjects. Based off what I've read, not having fundamental knowledge of Biochemistry and Micro especially would be disastrous when learning about Clinical chemistry, Pathogenic Micro and Hematology.

but see, that's why I am so into this degree track. No regular bio or biochemistry major would have the opportunity to participate in these type of applied sciences. Youd be at best studying theory and irrelevant concepts youll just forget next semester.
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,680
65,469
4th Dimension
At top schools, these majors are viewed as less rigorous. You simply aren't at the level of a Harvard physics major when you're coming from MLS at a state school. But that's probably a minor factor. The greater factors are that these degrees are less appt to prepare one for the MCAT, and often have clinical time that takes one away from research. Furthermore, such programs tend to be difficult to get As in due to the way grading is structured, leading to lower GPAs. It's just a bad combo all around for medical school.
 

Planes2Doc

Residency is ruff!
7+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2012
2,748
2,320
The South
Status
Resident [Any Field]
3) Some, such as MLS or nursing, can be considered professional vocational majors and imply choice and commitment to that field. If you are now looking at moving to physician, it begs the question of "if the applicant isnt committed to their previous chosen field, how do I know they wont have commitment issues with medical school?"
Yeah you rarely see pre-meds that become nurses, paramedics, medical assistants, or other healthcare professions. Typically these involve more of a career-track, rather than just taking more general courses and then applying to professional school. Sometimes you have people that may have worked as nurses or PAs apply to medical school later on, but you don't see pre-meds taking the courses to do these things. These are also CAREER tracks, and not stepping stones.

For example, I know someone that runs a medical office. The girls at the front desk and his medical assistants have not gone to college. The reason he prefers them over a pre-med from a top university is simple. He is looking for people that are here to work for the long-run. Pre-meds work entry-level clinical jobs with the expectation to go to medical school. No pre-med is realistically expecting to be a permanent CNA, scribe, or EMT. Pre-meds are also more flakey and if they drop the pre-med route, they will drop the job too. He has a business to run, and money is on the line. He doesn't have the resources to run a revolving door with pre-meds going in and out. This is why he steers clear of anyone that is currently in college. That's why pre-meds tend to do entry-level clinical jobs like CNA, scribe, EMT, phlebotomist, or other similar gigs with turnover. There is also no respective college major or track that would lead to these careers either (vocational schools do not count). Leave the BSN track for those that want to be a nurse, not someone that wants to only do it for kicks.
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,233
6,915
Status
Medical Student
At top schools, these majors are viewed as less rigorous. You simply aren't at the level of a Harvard physics major when you're coming from MLS at a state school. But that's probably a minor factor. The greater factors are that these degrees are less appt to prepare one for the MCAT, and often have clinical time that takes one away from research. Furthermore, such programs tend to be difficult to get As in due to the way grading is structured, leading to lower GPAs. It's just a bad combo all around for medical school.
I dropped out of nursing school. My nursing courses obviously had clinical components, but the application of these courses did not help me for my pre-reqs/mcat. They're foundational for a reason. Just because it is applied science and has clinical relevance, doesn't mean it will help you through MCAT and whatnot. Hell, most of MS1 was just foundational science and didn't have a ton of clinical relevance. That really got upped this year, though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Planes2Doc
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
I dropped out of nursing school. My nursing courses obviously had clinical components, but the application of these courses did not help me for my pre-reqs/mcat. They're foundational for a reason. Just because it is applied science and has clinical relevance, doesn't mean it will help you through MCAT and whatnot. Hell, most of MS1 was just foundational science and didn't have a ton of clinical relevance. That really got upped this year, though.
Ah, I see many people seem to equate Nursing to Medical lab science but that's not fair given the fact that in most universities, including mine, all the pre-reqs just to be approved for the program are classes that as a pre-med I'd have to take anyway. With all due respect, nursing programs have pretty shallow science requirements.
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,233
6,915
Status
Medical Student
Ah, I see many people seem to equate Nursing to Medical lab science but that's not fair given the fact that in most universities, including mine, all the pre-reqs just to be approved for the program are classes that as a pre-med I'd have to take anyway. With all due respect, nursing programs have pretty shallow science requirements.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I wasn't comparing them. I was just stating a personal example/anecdote. I have zero idea what your program entails nor will I presume to.

I absolutely agree with that. The chemistry I had to take was a joke. We got up to stoichiometry and that was it. I did more in AP Chem in high school than I did that class. A&P was appropriately challenging, though.
 
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
Oh, don't get me wrong, I wasn't comparing them. I was just stating a personal example/anecdote. I have zero idea what your program entails nor will I presume to.

I absolutely agree with that. The chemistry I had to take was a joke. We got up to stoichiometry and that was it. I did more in AP Chem in high school than I did that class. A&P was appropriately challenging, though.
Actually, I spoke to the Dean of Admissions for the UMD School of Medicine. It seems I'm in the clear as far as Adcoms in their school go. She basically mentioned that many of their Medical Research and Technology graduates do get accepted into their medical school due to professor familiarity, course work and a UMD system making UMD grads much more preferable.

Was a load off my chest lol !
 
Last edited:

Eleithyia

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
299
543
Status
Medical Student
Who's to say he didn't enter the major intending to be a medical lab scientist and fell in love with the idea of med school later (not necessarily the OP, but in general)? Many vocational programs are less rigorous though.
That's definitely possible, and I'm sure a med school would take into account the perceived commitment to their new path (as well as when that decision was made, if that info is made available to them).
I was really thinking of people who see nursing or medical lab science only as some kind of stepping stone to medicine. The medical lab science program at my university is hard to get into, and their course requirements include internships where nearly all of the students end up getting hired by their internship site when they graduate. Choosing that program with the end goal of getting into medical school instead is kind of a slap in the face to someone who wanted to do medical lab science as a career and missed out on a probable job offer.

Part of the reason I doubted it was too much about rigor was because adcoms really have no quantifiable way of evaluating comparative rigor, across majors or otherwise. There are some vague feelings about liberal arts and nursing being easier, but schools seem to have no problem with admitting English majors, etc. To me, that says it probably has more to do with commitment than scientific rigor.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
That's definitely possible, and I'm sure a med school would take into account the perceived commitment to their new path (as well as when that decision was made, if that info is made available to them).
I was really thinking of people who see nursing or medical lab science only as some kind of stepping stone to medicine. The medical lab science program at my university is hard to get into, and their course requirements include internships where nearly all of the students end up getting hired by their internship site when they graduate. Choosing that program with the end goal of getting into medical school instead is kind of a slap in the face to someone who wanted to do medical lab science as a career and missed out on a probable job offer.

Part of the reason I doubted it was too much about rigor was because adcoms really have no quantifiable way of evaluating comparative rigor, across majors or otherwise. There are some vague feelings about liberal arts and nursing being easier, but schools seem to have no problem with admitting English majors, etc. To me, that says it probably has more to do with commitment than scientific rigor.
@gonnif seems to disagree. Additionally, since health specialty majors do poorer overall in GPA and MCAT, it seems to indicate that their courses are not adequately preparing them. Also, you can look at the course descriptions for those courses. Many of those degree programs have fluff courses that are not academically rigorous.

This is, of course, not to downplay the importance of those professions.
 
About the Ads

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,824
32,275
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
@gonnif seems to disagree. Additionally, since health specialty majors do poorer overall in GPA and MCAT, it seems to indicate that their courses are not adequately preparing them. Also, you can look at the course descriptions for those courses. Many of those degree programs have fluff courses that are not academically rigorous.

This is, of course, not to downplay the importance of those professions.
Many specialized health majors have courses designed specifically for them (eg chemistry for allied health; A&P for nursing). since medical schools may not have detailed info about what coursework for each major across schools exists, the general perception that vocational majors are less rigorous. Obviously an associated medical school to an undergrad program will have more detailed info thus changing the perception
 

Eleithyia

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
299
543
Status
Medical Student
@gonnif seems to disagree. Additionally, since health specialty majors do poorer overall in GPA and MCAT, it seems to indicate that their courses are not adequately preparing them. Also, you can look at the course descriptions for those courses. Many of those degree programs have fluff courses that are not academically rigorous.
Many specialized health majors have courses designed specifically for them (eg chemistry for allied health; A&P for nursing). since medical schools may not have detailed info about what coursework for each major across schools exists, the general perception that vocational majors are less rigorous. Obviously an associated medical school to an undergrad program will have more detailed info thus changing the perception
Ah, I see. My understanding is different, but possibly specific to my university, where a course like o-chem in the nursing program has a nursing course number rather than a chemistry course number, and could not be used as a pre-req for med school.
From that perspective (i.e. even health specialty majors must take the same pre-reqs as other premeds), if the MCAT/GPA trend holds I don't think I could say it's the courses not adequately preparing them at my school, but I see how you could say that about specialized health majors elsewhere.
 
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
@gonnif seems to disagree. Additionally, since health specialty majors do poorer overall in GPA and MCAT, it seems to indicate that their courses are not adequately preparing them. Also, you can look at the course descriptions for those courses. Many of those degree programs have fluff courses that are not academically rigorous.

This is, of course, not to downplay the importance of those professions.
At my school, you have to take a variety of hard science class to be admitted into the program. The pre-requisites are:
-Two semesters of General Chemistry
-Two semesters of Organic Chem
-College level math + Statistics
-Biology and Molecular Biology
-Microbiology
-Two semesters of Physics

(sounds familiar, does it not ? )

A typical Junior course load is :

Scientific & Technical Writing
Introduction to Laboratory Techniques
Biochemistry
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Clinical Immunology

Lab Management/QA/Reg Issues 3
Instrumentation/Analytical Methods 4
Pathogenic Microbiology 4
Hematology I
Parasitology/Mycology

Then Senior level

Urinalysis/Body Fluids 2
Clinical Microbiology 3
Blood Banking 4
Hematology II 3
Clinical Chemistry

Clinical Practice Chemistry 3
Clinical Practice Hematology 3
Clinical Practice Blood Banking 3
Clinical Practice Microbiology

Now, Clinicals are kinda iffy, I know. But according to the UMD School of Medicine Dean, the clinicals are actually pretty damn intense. Plus, by default of getting into the degree line, you're education is good enough for the MCAT save that one semester of Biochemistry (which you could just take before-hand anyways).
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
At my school, you have to take a variety of hard science class to be admitted into the program. The pre-requisites are:
-Two semesters of General Chemistry
-Two semesters of Organic Chem
-College level math + Statistics
-Biology and Molecular Biology
-Microbiology
-Two semesters of Physics

(sounds familiar, does it not ? )

A typical Junior course load is :

Scientific & Technical Writing
Introduction to Laboratory Techniques
Biochemistry
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Clinical Immunology

Lab Management/QA/Reg Issues 3
Instrumentation/Analytical Methods 4
Pathogenic Microbiology 4
Hematology I
Parasitology/Mycology

Then Senior level

Urinalysis/Body Fluids 2
Clinical Microbiology 3
Blood Banking 4
Hematology II 3
Clinical Chemistry

Clinical Practice Chemistry 3
Clinical Practice Hematology 3
Clinical Practice Blood Banking 3
Clinical Practice Microbiology

Now, Clinicals are kinda iffy, I know. But according to the UMD School of Medicine Dean, the clinicals are actually pretty damn intense. Plus, by default of getting into the degree line, you're education is good enough for the MCAT save that one semester of Biochemistry (which you could just take before-hand anyways).
A single data point does not a trend make. We're not saying med schools will look down on your program or on you. We are saying that they have some justification to be leery of health specialty majors because of their general performance and the general rigor (or lack therefore) of their curricula.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
At my school, you have to take a variety of hard science class to be admitted into the program. The pre-requisites are:
-Two semesters of General Chemistry
-Two semesters of Organic Chem
-College level math + Statistics
-Biology and Molecular Biology
-Microbiology
-Two semesters of Physics

(sounds familiar, does it not ? )

A typical Junior course load is :

Scientific & Technical Writing
Introduction to Laboratory Techniques
Biochemistry
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Clinical Immunology

Lab Management/QA/Reg Issues 3
Instrumentation/Analytical Methods 4
Pathogenic Microbiology 4
Hematology I
Parasitology/Mycology

Then Senior level

Urinalysis/Body Fluids 2
Clinical Microbiology 3
Blood Banking 4
Hematology II 3
Clinical Chemistry

Clinical Practice Chemistry 3
Clinical Practice Hematology 3
Clinical Practice Blood Banking 3
Clinical Practice Microbiology

Now, Clinicals are kinda iffy, I know. But according to the UMD School of Medicine Dean, the clinicals are actually pretty damn intense. Plus, by default of getting into the degree line, you're education is good enough for the MCAT save that one semester of Biochemistry (which you could just take before-hand anyways).
Also, are these the same courses the hard science majors take, or are they designed just for MLS students?
 

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,824
32,275
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Ah, I see. My understanding is different, but possibly specific to my university, where a course like o-chem in the nursing program has a nursing course number rather than a chemistry course number, and could not be used as a pre-req for med school.
From that perspective (i.e. even health specialty majors must take the same pre-reqs as other premeds), if the MCAT/GPA trend holds I don't think I could say it's the courses not adequately preparing them at my school, but I see how you could say that about specialized health majors elsewhere.
But adcoms wont know in that much detail about your school, except for the deep dive into your transcript, and the general perception about specialized healthcare major may impact you
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matthew9Thirtyfive

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
But adcoms wont know in that much detail about your school, except for the deep dive into your transcript, and the general perception about specialized healthcare major may impact you
This is totally unrelated, but I love MedEd's stuff and Dr. Gray. Old Premeds and the MCAT podcast are awesome.
 
OP
T
Sep 19, 2017
17
13
Also, are these the same courses the hard science majors take, or are they designed just for MLS students?

Just a little background information I read up on...

These courses were designed by the UMD school of medicine staff themselves. Actually, they intentionally didn't call it "Clinical Laboratory Science" because it is by their standards a rigorous course load. They've named it, "Medical Research and Technology" simply because you're expected to do intensive research while in school.

To answer your question, no it's not the same courses a Biochem or Biology major would take except for the Biochemistry and Analytic methods and the lower classes like Gen Chem, Organic, Biology, etc. The upper level courses are designed to incorporate the foundations you learn in biochem, organic, biology,etc and apply a more clinical approach to them. So no, they're not available to Biology/Biochem majors apart from watered down electives.

But I think it's safe to say, every CLS degree is different. For some, it's probably watered down science but for others it's on a different level. In my case, a high number of MRT degree holders do, in fact, matriculate from their MRT degree straight into their medical school.
 

FNP_Blix

Membership Revoked
Removed
Jul 21, 2017
475
50
Status
Non-Student
There are vocational nurses like LPNs but yea, our degree is not vocational. That said, I know a few nurses that wen't on to medical school and did quite well. They were actually looked at favorably because of their background.
 

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,824
32,275
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
This is totally unrelated, but I love MedEd's stuff and Dr. Gray. Old Premeds and the MCAT podcast are awesome.
Just a little background information I read up on...

These courses were designed by the UMD school of medicine staff themselves. Actually, they intentionally didn't call it "Clinical Laboratory Science" because it is by their standards a rigorous course load. They've named it, "Medical Research and Technology" simply because you're expected to do intensive research while in school.

To answer your question, no it's not the same courses a Biochem or Biology major would take except for the Biochemistry and Analytic methods and the lower classes like Gen Chem, Organic, Biology, etc. The upper level courses are designed to incorporate the foundations you learn in biochem, organic, biology,etc and apply a more clinical approach to them. So no, they're not available to Biology/Biochem majors apart from watered down electives.

But I think it's safe to say, every CLS degree is different. For some, it's probably watered down science but for others it's on a different level. In my case, a high number of MRT degree holders do, in fact, matriculate from their MRT degree straight into their medical school.
But only UMD and perhaps some nearby medical schools know that!
 
About the Ads

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
There are vocational nurses like LPNs but yea, our degree is not vocational. That said, I know a few nurses that wen't on to medical school and did quite well. They were actually looked at favorably because of their background.
Are you saying a nursing degree isn't vocational? A vocational degree is one that prepares the graduate for a specific trade, craft, or job. Nursing programs by definition prepare their graduates for nursing careers. That is the very definition of a vocational degree.
 
  • Like
Reactions: njtrimed and gyngyn

FNP_Blix

Membership Revoked
Removed
Jul 21, 2017
475
50
Status
Non-Student
Are you saying a nursing degree isn't vocational? A vocational degree is one that prepares the graduate for a specific trade, craft, or job. Nursing programs by definition prepare their graduates for nursing careers. That is the very definition of a vocational degree.
Im just saying that nursing is its own science. They have their own body of knowledge, theories, and philosophy for practicing. So yes I guess you are right that its a vocation but its also much more than that.
 

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,824
32,275
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
Nursing would be considered a vocational degree especially at the CC level where your obtaining your RN only. A BSN would be considered near a professional degree and MSN a professional degree .
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matthew9Thirtyfive

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
Im just saying that nursing is its own science. They have their own body of knowledge, theories, and philosophy for practicing. So yes I guess you are right that its a vocation but its also much more than that.
My wife is a nurse with a BSN, and I was an OR tech for 10 years. I'm aware of the job. "Nursing theory" is not considered academically rigorous and is one of the main sources of frustration of NP programs. Nursing programs are vocational, with BSN programs being slightly more professional. Neither are academically rigorous, but that does not discount the importance of nursing or how difficult the job can be.
 

calivianya

2+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2017
832
1,008
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Ah, I see many people seem to equate Nursing to Medical lab science but that's not fair given the fact that in most universities, including mine, all the pre-reqs just to be approved for the program are classes that as a pre-med I'd have to take anyway. With all due respect, nursing programs have pretty shallow science requirements.
It really depends. I only had to have gen chem, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology - plus some nursing prereq classes - to get into nursing school. My prereqs were light. However, some of my coworkers took orgo 1&2 as prereqs for nursing school... some also reported taking physics. Why any nursing program would require orgo or physics is beyond me. I'm thinking they were only used to weed out applicants.

My wife is a nurse with a BSN, and I was an OR tech for 10 years. I'm aware of the job. "Nursing theory" is not considered academically rigorous and is one of the main sources of frustration of NP programs. Nursing programs are vocational, with BSN programs being slightly more professional. Neither are academically rigorous, but that does not discount the importance of nursing or how difficult the job can be.
I'm going to have to remember your phrasing... this is a whole hell of a lot more polite than what I usually say when people ask me why I'm applying MD/DO instead of NP this year. I usually say something along the lines of, "I'm not interested in researching feelings, lateral violence, or butt cream."
 

Blanky

2+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2017
1,659
1,392
Status
Medical Student
Its more likely that they took orgo and physics and then decided on nursing school. I could be wrong.
 

Blanky

2+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2017
1,659
1,392
Status
Medical Student
It really depends. I only had to have gen chem, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology - plus some nursing prereq classes - to get into nursing school. My prereqs were light. However, some of my coworkers took orgo 1&2 as prereqs for nursing school... some also reported taking physics. Why any nursing program would require orgo or physics is beyond me. I'm thinking they were only used to weed out applicants.


I'm going to have to remember your phrasing... this is a whole hell of a lot more polite than what I usually say when people ask me why I'm applying MD/DO instead of NP this year. I usually say something along the lines of, "I'm not interested in researching feelings, lateral violence, or butt cream."
Im actually super interested. Can you link me any programs that require Orgo (not a nursing version)/Physics?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
Im actually super interested. Can you link me any programs that require Orgo (not a nursing version)/Physics?
My wife's program at UT required orgo.
 

Blanky

2+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2017
1,659
1,392
Status
Medical Student
UT Health School of Nursing for the BSN
American Government 3
Texas Government 3
U. S. History 6
Intro to Psychology 3
Intro to Sociology 3
Human Growth & Development (Lifespan) 3
Statistics Math or psychology only 3
Anatomy & Physiology Lecture & Lab 8
Microbiology Lecture & Lab 4
Chemistry Lecture & Lab 4
Nutrition 3
English Literature courses do not qualify 6
Intro to Philosophy 3
Visual & Performing Arts Course prefixes ARTS, DANC, MUAP, MUEN, MUSI, DRAM, or equivalent 3
Electives (college-level only) 5
She did a masters program at UT?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matthew9Thirtyfive

Coltuna

2+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2015
1,540
1,130
Status
Medical Student
MLS Biochemistry, Immunology, chemistry are drastically different from the bio or chem versions of these classes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AnatomyGrey12

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
UT Health School of Nursing for the BSN
American Government 3
Texas Government 3
U. S. History 6
Intro to Psychology 3
Intro to Sociology 3
Human Growth & Development (Lifespan) 3
Statistics Math or psychology only 3
Anatomy & Physiology Lecture & Lab 8
Microbiology Lecture & Lab 4
Chemistry Lecture & Lab 4
Nutrition 3
English Literature courses do not qualify 6
Intro to Philosophy 3
Visual & Performing Arts Course prefixes ARTS, DANC, MUAP, MUEN, MUSI, DRAM, or equivalent 3
Electives (college-level only) 5
She did a masters program at UT?
She did an accelerated BSN that doesn't exist anymore. It was a one year program where she had to have a bachelors already and did the RN and bachelors courses concurrently for 12 months. They stopped it because only 30% of the students were passing. But my wife's year, 100% of the students who graduated passed the NCLEX the first try.
 

AnatomyGrey12

2+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2015
9,525
19,608
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
Im just saying that nursing is its own science.
Lol....


OP, the big issue is that vocational majors do not train you to think the same way that other majors do. They focus way more on how those subjects apply to that specific vocational field. Knowing how biochemistry applies clinically in X scenarios is not the same as a deeper understanding of how the ETC functions. This shows up on the MCAT as vocational majors perform very poorly as whole. The truth is that the majority of vocational majors ARE less rigorous and adcoms have lots of data and good reasons for making that assumption.

Now your specific program appears to not fit this generality and is most likely a very solid program that will set you up well for a career in medicine, but beware that schools outside of your home school and those nearby will most likely not be aware of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matthew9Thirtyfive

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,410
23,186
Status
Medical Student
Lol....


OP, the big issue is that vocational majors do not train you to think the same way that other majors do. They focus way more on how those subjects apply to that specific vocational field. Knowing how biochemistry applies clinically in X scenarios is not the same as a deeper understanding of how the ETC functions. This shows up on the MCAT as vocational majors perform very poorly as whole. The truth is that the majority of vocational majors ARE less rigorous and adcoms have lots of data and good reasons for making that assumption.

Now your specific program appears to not fit this generality and is most likely a very solid program that will set you up well for a career in medicine, but beware that schools outside of your home school and those nearby will most likely not be aware of that.
It's hard to tell though. The MLS courses for biochem, etc are available only to MLS students and are separate from the bio/biochem/chem majors. They very well could be at that same level, but they also could be less rigorous. You never know. They could also be harder, but there's not really any way to know, as OP has likely not taken both.
 

Certified Corsair

2+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2017
148
146
Trapped in a blizzard somewhere
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I've mentioned this a while ago with LizzyM etc., but saw this thread so I'll give my input again. I completed a BS in a good MLS program last year from my state school in MA. Our chairperson was also the the director/advisor of the pre-health committee for our school. I was interested in further schooling at the time and asked her these same questions, as she had been doing it for 20 years. In the last 5 or 6 years from our MLS program alone, we have had 4 graduates go on to UMass Medical, Harvard, BU, and Brown. There have also been 3 or 4 students go into podiatry as well.

She makes it a tough curriculum, only passes people capable of working for patients in the real world without killing them, and has no problem telling you if she thinks you are capable of med school or not. Therefore, when she thinks someone is capable, they usually get in.

I also thought it was a great major because you won't find an easier way into research, getting an MPH, or specializing somewhere within the lab. Also, our major is affiliated with roughly 30 hospitals/medical centers in the state, including MGH, Boston Children's, BMC, Tufts, etc., where you spend a full semester internship in the lab getting to meet people.

I'm not saying it's an easier/harder major than something else, just that you can have no problem going on to further schooling with an MLS major. Or, just enjoy a med tech job with plenty of career potential in life on just a BS.
 

Gurby

5+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,935
5,203
Status
Medical Student
I think it's less that "AdComs don't like vocational majors", and more that people who pursue those degrees tend to be less likely to put together a strong application for a variety of reasons mentioned above. Probably most relevant is that statistically they have by far the lowest MCAT scores.
 

PreMedMissteps

The Great West Coast
2+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2017
1,665
1,732
The traditional thought was that adcoms prefer "academic majors" (bio, english, history, math, philosophy, the classics, chem), and not occupation majors (education, communications, business, etc).

Their thinking may have been that academic majors require more developed objective critical thinking skills.
 
About the Ads