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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by 777, Jan 10, 2000.

  1. 777

    777 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2000
    I am a biology major planning on going to med school, but I have heard that it is harder to get into med school with that major, due to the many applicants being a biology major, where you would have to stand out. I was wondering if that is true, and if it would be good idea to be a humanities major, for example, instead to set themselves apart from the other applicants?
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  3. Paul's Boutique

    Paul's Boutique B====D 10+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 1999
    Pomona CA
    sound's like you're already committed to bio; why not stick with it? The name of the game is enjoying what you're doing---don't switch majors just because that's what you think will get you into med school.

    Switch to humanities if you've got a (burning) desire to switch because you like humanities. Don't switch if you're lacking the desire because you may not do well, and that will -definitely- hurt your chances of admission!
  4. dlbruch

    dlbruch Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 1999
    777- You may want to think about doing a double major or a minor in a non-science subject. After taking general ed. requirements you may be able to pull off a minor with only a few more classes. As for the statistics, I wouldn't worry too much about them. Tons of bio majors get into med school every year- far more than any other major, I believe. So numbers-wise you may actually be better off as a bio major- who knows. Studying what you enjoy is the best way to ensure that you will learn and perform well in your classes and get good grades. I guarantee that you are better off with a 3.5 in bio than a 3.1 in philosophy. I was a bio major and I think it helped tremendously on the bio and physical section of the MCAT- and, as you know, you must do well on the MCAT. Moral of the story (as far as I'm concerned) go with what you love, work hard, pursue other fields if they interst you, but most importantly, do well and study like a banshee for the MCAT!
  5. 777

    777 Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2000
    I do plan on staying a bio major, I was just wondering whether a person with a humanities major and the same grades would have the advantage over me. Thanks for the replys.
  6. Ian Wong

    Ian Wong Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 1999
    BC, Canada
    My gut feeling is that when the marks are roughly the same, as they will usually be when the admissions committee has hit the interview stage, is that non-academic qualities then pre-dominate.

    I might be a bit biased regarding this, but up here in Canada, a couple years back, this was the admissions criteria for UBC medical school, my school.

    GPA: 40%
    Interview: 50%
    MCAT/Extra-curriculars: 10%

    I suspect this ratio is skewed towards valuing grades more in the American medical schools. UBC, my school, usually only receives 600-700 applications for the 120 spots, and so has the resources to focus a great deal on the personal qualities of each student (interview counts for a whopping 50%). As most American schools are relatively easy to apply to via AMCAS, there are often over a thousand applicants per American medical school. You simply can't interview everyone, so you use a GPA/MCAT cut-off to weed out a large proportion of people.

    Short answer: If your marks are the same as the humanities guy, then you'll both either make or fail the cut-off. You'll be on the same playing ground, and all the other factors of the admissions process (interviews, reference letters, travel experiences, luck, etc) come into play.

    Ian, MS1

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