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non-science major - concerns?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by phonotactician, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. phonotactician

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    Hi all -

    So I'm a linguistics major/chemistry minor. I'm halfway thru undergrad, and if I wanted I theoretically *could* pull off a double major (it'd be hard, but I could squeeze in both chem and ling majors).

    I've heard a lot about premeds who aren't science majors, so I know it happens all the time. But I'm wondering how non-science majors can really show that they're motivated and dedicated to healthcare. Like I'm really into linguistics, and I want to do undergrad research in linguistics, and will probably do a senior thesis on a linguistics topic. Would any of this reflect poorly on and/or allow adcoms to question my dedication to healthcare?

    I'm also trying to get something medically-related for next summer - an internship, research, etc. It seems like a lot of opportunities (esp. research) require a science major - has anyone else who isn't a sci major had to deal with this?

    I'm currently toying with going with the chem major...not that that's gonna solve all my problems :).

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. biogirl215

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    Why not just do both majors if it's doable and you enjoy both?
     
  4. Ella Shepherd

    Ella Shepherd Screen. Stage. Studio.
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    You can show you're motivated to go into healthcare by shadowing, observing at hospitals, volunteer work and those kinds of things. Your great interest in linguistics will not reflect poorly at all, as long as you show your great interest in healthcare as well.

    I'm a Public Health major, but many of the research opportunities are given only to Chemistry or Biology majors so I feel for you. But I don't think that the research you have to do should really have to be a scientific one. You could get into research on linguistics and just figure out a way to connect it to something medically-related if you want. Maybe those kids with deformities or brain problems or something. I'm not sure what exactly but at least that gives you an idea. :) I think it would also look good if you do that because your connecting the two things you're very much interesed in.

    I suggest you don't push through with the Chem major, unless you're really good at it and you're 101% sure you have the time to do all that Chem work! With labs and everything. You don't really have to do it unless you really want to. Just make sure to take the chem subjects required for med school. :)

    I hope I helped! Good luck! :luck:
     
    #3 Ella Shepherd, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  5. socmob

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    Majoring in chem (or any other science) doesn't show "a dedication to healthcare." Applicants show a dedication to healthcare by doing clinical work and/or getting involved in medical related extracurriculars. Getting involved in your linguistics major would be positive for your app - it makes you a more interesting applicant and shows off your intellectual passion (something that a lot of science majors don't actually have).

    Get the chem major if you really want it b/c you want to take those classes, but otherwise I think you'll regret all the interesting non-science classes that you'll miss taking (that you won't ever be able to take again). I was a non-science major and don't regret it for a second.

    Forgot to add: if you pursue the chem major and it's difficult for you (time-wise or content wise) and you don't do well in some of those classes, that WILL hurt you, by both killing your overall and science gpa and cast doubt upon your ability to do science. So don't forget to consider that.
     
  6. Oxygen206

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm sure you've heard over and over again...medical schools are looking for more "well rounded" individuals. Linguistics major (with pre-med prerequisites of course) would make you much more well rounded...you can do other things in addition to science.
     
  7. DrMattOglesby

    DrMattOglesby Grand Master
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    the advice i've always heard is study what you really want to study now; because in med school--you'll get more science than you can shake a stick at...
     
  8. phonotactician

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    Great advice - I guess one reason why I am considering switching to chem is because it gives me more/better opportunities, not just now but I think even if I *don't* go to medschool. It's not that I dread chemistry (only sometimes!), I just don't get as obsessed over it as I do linguistics. I've already had chemistry ding my GPA a little with an extra chem course I didn't have to take lol, but I think taking more chem would actually help my sci gpa.

    Getting involved with linguistics would be positive for my app...it's a valid point, and not that I doubt you, but I'm just foreseeing an interview question like, "so I see you were very involved with linguistics...is that what you want to do with your life? You're willing to just drop something you evidently have such a strong passion for?"
     
  9. Rooni

    Rooni Ph.D in Horribleness
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    I agree with socmob and Ella Shepherd; it's my understanding that it's not your undergrad major but your ECs that show your dedication to medicine. I think as long as you've done well in what science you have taken, it doesn't much matter whether you got your degree in chemistry or in French.

    Yeah, I would imagine you probably are going to get asked something like that a lot. I have to assume you have an answer for it, though, or you wouldn't be going into medicine...right? I was a music major, and am actually having to go through a post-bacc program because I didn't take any of the pre-reqs during my undergrad years at all. I'm sure I'm going to get asked why I'm going into medicine instead of music. I think we just have to be honest.
     
  10. socmob

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    Well,first off, like other posters have said, you will have to have a good explanation of why/how you're interested in both fields. Even better if you can find a connection btw. skills you use in medicine and ones you use/learned in linguistics. But the fact is that chemistry and other science majors have to answer the same questions. Pursuing hard science and pursuing medicine do not necc. go hand in hand (unless you're applying for md/phd). I interview science major applicants all the time who did hardcore research after college, for example, and they get the same question "why medicine, why not continue with your research." And I get the same answer 8/10 times: some variation on how they really enjoy learning the basic science but want to apply it to people. =p I'd take a passionate linguistics major w/ a good explanation of his/her interests any day over that.
     

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