Dec 12, 2015
5
0
Hi. I am currently a paramedic and I am finishing my associate's program right now. I currently am trying to decide on a major and am unsure of how to go about it. I can basically transfer into any Bachelor's of Science. I have a 4.0GPA currently. I am scared that if I go into a Bachelors of math or Bachelors of Engineering that I will be looked poorly on since I already have my paramedic certification and didn't major in biology. I just know that I can get a better GPA in math focused classes over science focused classed. I can get a A's in science. Just I know that I will have an easier time in math. Looking for advice? I know majors don't matter. I am just making sure it is still the case if I am already a paramedic.

Also: Does me working as a paramedic count as clinical experience? Should I still be volunteering and doing research?
 
Jan 3, 2013
414
566
Status
Medical Student
What makes you think that a math or engineering major would be easy? They are commonly regarded as the most difficult majors in college. If I were you, I would major in something that is both easy to get a high GPA and is actually useful for a doctor. I think Spanish is the perfect pre-med major.

Yes, your paramedic experience counts as clinical experience and it should be all you need in terms of clinical experience. You still need to volunteer, but it can be any kind of volunteering, not necessarily hospital volunteering.
 

vernhart

5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
457
592
Status
Medical Student
They don't care ever what your major is, even if you are a paramedic.
It isn't just about getting a high GPA. You will be better prepared for the MCAT if you challenge yourself in advanced science classes rather than taking the path of least resistance. If you can still get A's then do so in upper level bio classes in particular. Also, don't neglect reading/english.
Yes still volunteer (in something you are passionate about) and shadow a bit. Yes research if you want to go to a competitive research school or just want an extra edge.

Bottom line: don't take the easy way out. Focus on becoming the best you can be, not on checking boxes to get in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tracker102
Jan 3, 2013
414
566
Status
Medical Student
They don't care ever what your major is, even if you are a paramedic.
It isn't just about getting a high GPA. You will be better prepared for the MCAT if you challenge yourself in advanced science classes rather than taking the path of least resistance. If you can still get A's then do so in upper level bio classes in particular. Also, don't neglect reading/english.
Yes still volunteer (in something you are passionate about) and shadow a bit. Yes research if you want to go to a competitive research school or just want an extra edge.

Bottom line: don't take the easy way out. Focus on becoming the best you can be, not on checking boxes to get in.
The risk to GPA outweighs the marginal benefits to MCAT preparedness by several orders of magnitude.
 
Jul 21, 2016
4
0
As a fellow paramedic and former college instructor, I'll tack on the great input from above. Something to consider: is this a major you're prepared to make a living from? If you later decide against medical school, do you enjoy mathematics enough to work in this field? Could you envision yourself as an engineer? As a non-trad, my original degrees are in completely non-science related fields... but I loved every moment of it, and the skill sets I've learned have their value in the clinical setting.

The impact on your GPA could also be at stake since you're looking at a few years to go. I saw a lot of my students changing majors early on because they simply were not happy, and it impacts performance. It's hard to force yourself through the cost and the efforts of an entire bachelor's program, let alone with great grades, if it isn't enjoyable. You can get a bachelor's degree in several things and still complete the necessary pre-reqs in the process for medical school. Make the choice for you - majoring in something you truly want or take interest in will make class a much better experience.
 
Last edited:
Jul 20, 2016
44
19
Tennessee for now
Status
Pre-Medical
As a current paramedic and applicant, I would recommend just going the science route. You're going to need the courses for prereqs anyway. MCAT is very chemistry heavy. I went non-trad humanities/sociology route and felt horrendously underprepared for the MCAT.

Selecting schools with loose rules on prereqs is hard as crap and very time consuming.

If you don't get in without the prereqs you limit yourself to international programs or add an additional 2 years worth of freshman level sciences on the tail end.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

ROSC

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2015
206
118
South of the Mason Dixon
Status
Pre-Medical
If youre already trying to take the easy way out...... just stop now.

Get a Bachelors of Science degree and properly prepare yourself for the MCAT
 
Jul 21, 2016
4
0
I do agree with the above if you're looking at doing something drastically different from the sciences altogether. (i.e. I wouldn't recommend the humanities route if you're sold on medicine). Only reason I'm alright with the above is that I did not make the decision to do pre-med until after my other education was complete - and it required going back to do the pre-req's.
 
Jul 20, 2016
44
19
Tennessee for now
Status
Pre-Medical
If youre already trying to take the easy way out...... just stop now.

Get a Bachelors of Science degree and properly prepare yourself for the MCAT
I don't really think it's fair to say that engineering is "the easy way out." But op if you really want to get into medicine, a bio or biochem degree is going to do a lot more for your preparedness for admissions.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

mw18

5+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2014
890
959
Status
Medical Student
I'm not really sure that the wisest thing isn't to major in something that you are interested in, but that isn't overly challenging or time consuming. This allows you to focus on the science and MCAT prereqs. I didn't personally gain too much from any of the courses I took with regard to preparedness for the MCAT, with the exception of maybe genetics. The rest of it was just checking boxes and then buckling down and making sure I knew / teaching myself the stuff that will be on the MCAT in the months before the test. I definitely don't think any adcoms would even think twice about someone that's a paramedic not going the science route. Financially it seems smarter to major in a science because the MCAT courses will be a part of your major and since many of your elective requirements may be taken up with the paramedic courses you've already taken.
 
Jan 3, 2013
414
566
Status
Medical Student
If youre already trying to take the easy way out...... just stop now.

Get a Bachelors of Science degree and properly prepare yourself for the MCAT
Easy way out? What idiotic garbage. Prudence is almost always preferable to Quixotic foolhardiness.

BTW, Biology majors have lower MCAT scores on average than Humanities majors, Mathematics majors, and several other majors.

https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf
 
Jan 3, 2013
414
566
Status
Medical Student
I don't really think it's fair to say that engineering is "the easy way out." But op if you really want to get into medicine, a bio or biochem degree is going to do a lot more for your preparedness for admissions.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
This is patently incorrect as shown by data linked to above.
 

Gurby

5+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,933
5,186
Status
Medical Student
Music major / paramedic here. Only science courses I took were prereq's, I felt reasonably prepared and did very well on the MCAT. That said, I think my science classes were very rigorous, and definitely credit a lot of my success to that.

IMO, the big thing about the MCAT is that the skills it tests can't really be learned in a couple months - you need to be exercising those critical thinking muscles for a long time prior to preparing for the MCAT or you'll have a bad time. If you skate through undergrad without stretching your brain or being forced to grow as a student, the MCAT will probably run you over.