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So Many Majors . . . . So Little Time . . .

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bhoover, May 31, 2000.

  1. bhoover

    bhoover Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2000
    North Eastern Ohio
    I'm currently considering Biology, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience. Any suggestions as to which major would better prepare me for the MCATs and Med School?

    Also, does anyone out there have any suggestions as to what "Non-Major" classes best compliment a Pre-Med Application? As of right now I'm planning to do a double major in 2 of the 3 majors that I've mentioned above. Depending on the work load I may even consider a French minor.

    I'm all ears here people! [​IMG]



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    **To Know is to Understand**
     
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  3. Stephen Ewen

    Stephen Ewen 10+ Year Member

    I think the best possible advice as to your choice of major is this: THE ONE YOU LIKE BEST. If your major is one you have a passion for you will develop who you are as person best within it, will bring up all your best energies into excelling within it, and will have much to speak about when the time comes. If you are not sure what to major in, consider defering college for now and going out and exploring some experiences. Then come back with a passionate focus head and shoulders above your peers. My best advice is to NOT choose a major based upon what you think admissions commitees will like best. I really do think they see enough panderers and parrots and want to see originality driven by integrity, passion, and excellence, no matter what the major.
     
  4. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    771
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    May 8, 2000
    I have some slightly less idealistic advice: if you really want to get into medical school, major in something that that you will do really, really well in. A B- biochem major will not look nearly as good on paper as an A+ French major, no matter how much harder you had to work for biochem. You will probably have much more fun in college, and avoid those nasty premed gunners, if you veer toward the humanities, and just take the basic science prereqs.

    Sincerely,
    A happy, well-adjusted Literature major and soon-to-be MS 1.
     
  5. Besyonek

    Besyonek Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 13, 2000
    PA
    bhoover,

    I agree with fiatslug. Major in what truly interests you, not what you think will *impress* the admissions committees. A high GPA (in whatever field) is imperative. The field itself is of secondary importance. Statistically, English, philosophy and history majors have the highest acceptance rate. You don't have to take a slew of science classes to do well on the MCAT. I was a history major undergrad and later took the bare minimum of prereqs in a post-bacc program. I did reasonably well on the MCAT (32S) and got several acceptances.

    In short, don't load up on science courses because you think it will particularly help your application or MCAT performance. Focus on a field you have a passion for and keep your gpa up. Get some volunteer, clinical and research experiences, do well on the MCAT, apply early, and your chances are good.

     
  6. Stephen Ewen

    Stephen Ewen 10+ Year Member

    I agree with this advise. Doing something you like usually equals doing something you will do well in. Assuming the pre med reqs, isn't that the main thing?
     
  7. bhoover

    bhoover Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2000
    North Eastern Ohio
    I agree with all of you. However, what i really wanted to know is which of those 3 majors would better suit a pre-med student. I love all 3 and consider each of them equally as interesting. I love science and I intend on making it my major...not b/c I want to become and MD...but b/c I love science.
    So, my question is: "Between Biology, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience which would better prep me for my future?" (regardless of how it looks on a resume)


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    **To Know is to Understand**
     
  8. Lt. Ub

    Lt. Ub Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2000
    Philly, PA
    You MUST major in what you ENJOY! Your college years will most likely be the most fun of your life. If you major in something just to "prepare" for med school, your taking your chances of ruining these years with your choice of studies. There is so much out there to learn and experience and this may be your only chance.

    I'm a first year in med school - med school is basically a trade school; there's nothing liberal about this education. I REGRET taking some of the courses that I thought would "better prepare" me for med school. Folly! You'll see more science in med school than you want, and non-science majors are at no real disadvantage. Trust me, you'd be a much more interesting and valuable person in your class if you contributed something other than your knowledge of physiology or metabolism. Preparation is learning about yourself, your role in society, your past, nurturing your interestes, and developing skills needed to interact with people (not lab rats).

    If those majors are truly what you enjoy (and by the way, against popular belief, you aren't required to have a passion for them to love medicine - apples and oranges), then just take my sermon for what it's worth. The core classes that med schools require are ALL you need - TRUST ME! Work hard in those 4 sciences and you'll be more than prepared for that MCAT and for a life of studying the body. You've got your whole life to learn about it - you've only got a few precious semesters to master French.

    When I entered college I had full intention of going to medical school, but I NEVER once considered myself "Pre-Med." Do you understand what I'm saying? I was an Environmental Science major with a passion for medicine. The "pre-med" culture is evil; it controls people and turns them into monsters they never intended on becoming. DON'T FOLLOW THAT PRECEDENT! Maintain your perspective or be swallowed in the bowels of competition, stress, and fear.

    I hope that I have gotten through to you a little bit. There is no external formula that will tell you the best way to prepare. Doctors would be carbon copies of each other otherwise - what is valuable to one person may be WORTHLESS to another. What prepares you most for medical school is developing the qualities you have to become a better person and contributor to society - it is certainly not having memorized the glycolytic pathway (it may sound like I'm trying to be ridiculous sounding - but that's is exactly what you seem to think). Do not be a cookie cutter pre-med! BE YOURSELF - PLEASE!!!

    Following my own dreams and not someone else's,
    Philly


    [This message has been edited by Lt. Ub (edited 06-02-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Lt. Ub (edited 06-02-2000).]
     
  9. bhoover

    bhoover Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2000
    North Eastern Ohio
    I couldn't agree with you more. You're a mighty fine preacher [​IMG]

    Honestly, I love to learn and "understand" things. Science just happens to be what interest me the most.

    "Close your eyes and follow your heart....for it knows the way."

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    **To Know is to Understand**
     
  10. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    771
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    May 8, 2000
    Lt. Ub, get yourself on the admissions committee of your medical school. I'll do the same. I'd love to screen some of the gunners out and interesting, non "premed" (ugh! what could be worse!) folks in!
     
  11. austinite

    austinite Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 27, 2000
    Austin, TX, U.S
    Hello!

    If u really love science that much, then perhaps if u have time, u should be an undecided for a while, and take classes in Biochem and Neuroscience, for I don't think Biology is any different from these two. Then, see which u like better. If u like Neuro, go for Neuro and Biology..though I seriously don't understand how they two would complement each other. I think they will overlap a lot, and u must might end up taking some ecology and botany classes. IF u like Biochem, good for u..u will take some chem classes.. In both cases, u will be well prepared for medical school. And, take french classes now itself..maybe u might instead end up being a french major.

    To be honest, I was like u. I was a Biochem/Zoology major..and that was what I wanted to..for the sake of science, and to be honest, for me it was a part of the equation. I loved science and I loved medicine. However, after going through many Zoology classes, I realized that I would better able to enjoy myself by taking extra Zoology classes as electives..but since I was a double major, I was not able to take them if I intended to get two degrees. During my first semester, junior year (I graduated in 3 years), I decided to do my Honors thesis in Zoology though that meant I might not be able to take some P.Chem classes...I loved it so much..I instantly stopped taking any classes pertaining to my Biochem major, and have happily enjoyed taking field ecology and comparative anatomy classes. Perhaps P.Chem would have better prepared me to make an A in Biochem more easily in Med school, but who cares!! To be honest, u can ace medical school even with ur 8 hrs of Biology!!! It doesn't matter. My only regret is that I didn't do this any sooner..and I wish that if I had started as an undecided instead of stern science major like everyone else, I might have found something even more interesting..such as classics..

    And, I agree with people. If u can have fun and still be able to go to med school. I wouldnt be worrying about if I will ace Biochem in med school... I would go for the French major. I have come across obnoxious premeds..and the funny thing..is I never considered myself a premed, once I got out of the Biochem/physiology/micro classes..it is the people around u that make u what u are..and the less u are around premeds..the better u are. For this reason alone, go for the French..go for something interesting. Take as many classes as possible!!

     
  12. austinite

    austinite Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 27, 2000
    Austin, TX, U.S
    And oh yes, even 3 years of haphazard Zoology classes...did get me into medical school.

    It is important to be able to show in the interviews..why you chose that major..and how it fits in to your rest of the application. Think of the entire application as a puzzle. Everything has to fit with each other..u can't say I love Biochem..and end up being a French major.
     
  13. joe__d

    joe__d Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 12, 2000
    Edmonton, AB
    All the previous advice rings true in my ears. You are always best off to pursue what you are passionate and enthusiastic about. I don't think admissions are particularly impressed by certain majors, per se...but rather by good grades in your chosen major. Keep in mind that Biochem is a pretty typically premed major...it'll be tougher to stand out. Someone also mentioned that you don't need to decide right now....they're right...you'll be better off taking a year of classes first (all the 1st year classes will probably be common anyway) to learn and decide what excites you.

    Best of luck to ya
     
  14. Lt. Ub

    Lt. Ub Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2000
    Philly, PA
    bhoover - Lt. Ub again,

    I'm sorry about the sermon I gave the other night. I was a bit tired when I wrote, and as you know, I have a very sensitive "Pre-Med" nerve - so my reflexes may be a little too quick on those issues.

    The basic sciences at my med school really do emphasize both biochem and neuro. Both are integral to our education. I would say that it's a toss up as far as better prep for med school. As far as the MCAT - like I said before, the basic required sciences are all you need to prepare.

    So my advice: Do your double major, but I would pick 2 of those 3 that overlap the most as far as required courses are concerned. That way you'd have a little extra time to pursue other intellectual interests.

    So there's my free advice, but as a signature says on this forum - to trust the advice to you get only to the extent that you paid for it! Follow your leanings and hunches and you won't make a mistake in this decision. Enjoy college and make the most of all the experiences that are out there waiting for you (not necessarily meaning frat parties).

    Philly

    (And I hope I didn't catch you TOO off guard with that sermon ealier.) [​IMG]

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    "They do certainly give very strange and newfangled names to diseases."
    - Plato
     
  15. bhoover

    bhoover Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2000
    North Eastern Ohio
    LOL [​IMG] That's all right. You're a very deep preacher who obviously has a lot to say.

    Your last message was exactly what i was looking for. You nipped it in the bud!
    CONGRATS [​IMG]
    Thanks to your information I'm considering Fench as a major. Next to Science, French is my most passionate subject and as u mentioned before......it will help me stand out.

    thnx again Philly.

    "Close your eyes and follow your heart, for it knows the way."

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    **To Know is to Understand**
     
  16. TMJoyner

    TMJoyner Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 20, 2000
    Charlotte, NC
    Great point-do what makes you stand out. A french major would separate yourself from all of the other premeds. Great advice everyone!!
     
  17. bubster9

    bubster9 Crown Prince 10+ Year Member

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    May 8, 2000
    IL
    As I'm looking at college majors, I too want to be a doctor but not a "pre-med". When you talk about humanities majors what specifically do you mean. Also what are the core classes I need?
     
  18. bhoover

    bhoover Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2000
    North Eastern Ohio
    There are all kinds of classes that one can take to help prep him/herself for Med. school. The CORE classes, however, are usually Biology I and II, Inorg. Chem., Org. Chem., and Physics I and II.

    But this all varys from school to school(as I'm sure someone will soon point out). [​IMG]

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    "Only fool fight man with Brisk?!"
    -Bruce Lee
     
  19. young guy np

    young guy np Member 10+ Year Member

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    Sep 5, 1999
    What about math. I've heard math majors do ok too, since its less hours, there is more time to pursue other interests.

    young guy np
     

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