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Jan 4, 2018
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Hi, I know there are a few similar threads on this topic but they are all from 2009, so I wanted a more updated response.
I am a senior in high school and have applied to colleges with an intended major of psychology. I love the topic and want to major in it and my plan was to take medical school pre-requisites along with my major. However, my father recently talked to his psychologist about it and said it may be beneficial for me to do a 7 year medical program, like one that is offered at Rutgers University in NJ. I may be interested in applying to something like this because I would not have to worry about getting into medical school, because I am afraid I may not get in. It would be awesome if any psychiatrists or people who are going to school for it right now could help me out. Thank you for any help, it is greatly appreciated!
 

notdeadyet

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Ugh, I really have a bad feeling for the combined programs that tie you into a particular medical school. I think you're much better off going to the best undergrad school (for you), followed by the best medical school (for you). Combined programs play on the anxious.

As for majors, quite literally major in anything you please. Major in whatever you are passionate about because you will get better grades by studying things you are passionate about (and you will enjoy it so much more too). Along the way, satisfy your prerequisites. And if you don't enjoy any of them, do some navel gazing as to whether or not medicine is a good career path for you. When you start to apply from medical school, having a solid and broad education will help you. Liberal arts and social science majors used to do better on the MCAT overall, thinking being that they learned how to read critically (which helps even on the science portions of the exam).

I have yet to hear a compelling reason to major in anything other than where your passion lies. If it's Chemistry or Biology, hab at it. If it's not, don't hab.
 

Merely

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The guaranteed programs are hard to get into, what's your gpa/ACT/SAT score/class rank? You need to be a strong high school student to get into a guaranteed program. Otherwise you can major in anything as long as you take the med school requirements and do well.
 
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Entadus

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Major doesn't matter. If you are interested in Psychology that could work. Biology is the most common pick. Chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, sociology would all be pretty logical ideas.

Feel free to major in the liberal arts ... philosophy, literature, etc.

Major doesn't matter, pick what interests you. Pick what you like
 

Entadus

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Hi, I know there are a few similar threads on this topic but they are all from 2009, so I wanted a more updated response.
I am a senior in high school and have applied to colleges with an intended major of psychology. I love the topic and want to major in it and my plan was to take medical school pre-requisites along with my major. However, my father recently talked to his psychologist about it and said it may be beneficial for me to do a 7 year medical program, like one that is offered at Rutgers University in NJ. I may be interested in applying to something like this because I would not have to worry about getting into medical school, because I am afraid I may not get in. It would be awesome if any psychiatrists or people who are going to school for it right now could help me out. Thank you for any help, it is greatly appreciated!
Bad reason to consider a 7 year BS-MD program. Besides, taking that road is NOT something you do because your dad's psychologist mentioned the idea. Do your research; there are countless threads about these programs on SDN. Enter with your eyes wide open!
 

darknecrosforte

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As long as your electives consist of the medical prerequisites, you can major in anything. Therefore, balancing between guaranteeing a high GPA and getting into a school that has decent prestige to the local area you think you want to attend med school is important.

Since less than a quarter of all who declare themselves "premed" during undergrad actually end up applying, make sure your degree will help you get a strong Plan B career, in case you are one of the 75%. So no lesbian dance theory. There are a lot of people who fail to get into med school after 3 cycles of applying and have a useless psychology/biology/chemistry/poly sci degree that generally requires more education to get a decent job in that field.
 
Jan 4, 2018
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Thanks for your reply! I figured as much, but I have not really looked into requirements to decide. I have a 1310 SAT, 4.275 GPA, and top 10% of my class. I know these are pretty good numbers for majoring in psychology, but you are right, I am not sure these would help me much to apply to a combined program.
 
Jan 4, 2018
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Bad reason to consider a 7 year BS-MD program. Besides, taking that road is NOT something you do because your dad's psychologist mentioned the idea. Do your research; there are countless threads about these programs on SDN. Enter with your eyes wide open!
Yeah I know, that is why I decided to do research and found this website to ask.
 
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As long as your electives consist of the medical prerequisites, you can major in anything. Therefore, balancing between guaranteeing a high GPA and getting into a school that has decent prestige to the local area you think you want to attend med school is important.

Since less than a quarter of all who declare themselves "premed" during undergrad actually end up applying, make sure your degree will help you get a strong Plan B career, in case you are one of the 75%. So no lesbian dance theory. There are a lot of people who fail to get into med school after 3 cycles of applying and have a useless psychology/biology/chemistry/poly sci degree that generally requires more education to get a decent job in that field.
This is the sort of advice that people kept giving me when I was in high school that led to majoring in chemical engineering. Having taken probably the most masochistic route to med school, I'd really temper your advice by saying OP needs to examine the level of sustained effort they were able to manage in high school, the rigor of their HS course load, their subsequent performance, and how much they've explored the idea of medicine. Long story short, if OP is a top 1% high schooler who's really thoroughly been exploring the idea of medicine, a fallback plan is not as necessary. This is doubly true if OP gets into an elite university, as there are plenty of "fallback" options open for literally anyone who goes to an ivy. (Whether that be another grad school or consulting/finance etc.) Of course, OTOH, if OP is a relatively averagely above-average type student, a fallback plan makes a lot of sense.
 

Psychotic

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Lib arts major here. I did not decide to try med school until after I finished college. I majored in what I found most interesting, a foreign language / area studies program - had a passion for it - and as a result I made great grades (think 3.95+), and after college I spent a year abroad as a Fulbright fellow, came back and did a post bacc program taking all the science pre reqs in just over a year. I believe my non cookie cutter, non traditional pre med background gave me an edge in med school interviews, in addition to giving me a strong analytical and verbal background that serves me well, particularly in psychiatry.
 
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Moose A Moose

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Your Dad's psychologist doesn't know **** about medical school.

Major what you want. Take a premed course load. Take the MCAT, and then apply to medical school.

A direct track isn't the best - a lot of things could change for you in the next few years, for better or for worse. It's best to keep your options open.
 
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Major does not matter. When you are in your third and fourth year of medical school, you will experience clinical rotations where you rotate in just about every single residency. That's how you know for sure which field you want to do. The real training and education for your specialty comes in residency. Take baby steps. You're trying to take really wide steps and you can fall and hurt yourself.
 

raiderette

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Major doesn't matter but neuroscience should cover all the pre-reqs and is much more interesting than biology. If you decide to do psychology, you would be set as well.
 
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Major doesn’t matter, as others have said. As for the combined programs, they have their pluses and minuses. I did one of them, so I obviously have a bias, but I loved it. If you’re dead set on med school and have the grades, go ahead and apply. Just because most people change their mind, doesn’t mean that you will. I didn’t. I was balls to the wall (not literally) medicine the entire time, and I never looked back.
That said, the fact that you “know” the specialty you want to enter concerns me. I wonder if it’s the psych portion that interests you, and not medicine itself. If the former, you may want to consider becoming a psychologist.
Also, how does someone get a 4.25 gpa? With extra credit or something? It’s that kind of thing that makes me look askance at gpas because 4.0 is supposed to be perfect scores.


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Major doesn’t matter, as others have said. As for the combined programs, they have their pluses and minuses. I did one of them, so I obviously have a bias, but I loved it. If you’re dead set on med school and have the grades, go ahead and apply. Just because most people change their mind, doesn’t mean that you will. I didn’t. I was balls to the wall (not literally) medicine the entire time, and I never looked back.
That said, the fact that you “know” the specialty you want to enter concerns me. I wonder if it’s the psych portion that interests you, and not medicine itself. If the former, you may want to consider becoming a psychologist.
Also, how does someone get a 4.25 gpa? With extra credit or something? It’s that kind of thing that makes me look askance at gpas because 4.0 is supposed to be perfect scores.


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Apparently it's very common for high schools to report grades with additional points for honors and AP/IB classes now, even on official transcripts--to the point that some universities now report their average weighted matriculant GPA and have their own method for weighting GPA.
 

Entadus

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Major doesn’t matter, as others have said. As for the combined programs, they have their pluses and minuses. I did one of them, so I obviously have a bias, but I loved it. If you’re dead set on med school and have the grades, go ahead and apply. Just because most people change their mind, doesn’t mean that you will. I didn’t. I was balls to the wall (not literally) medicine the entire time, and I never looked back.
That said, the fact that you “know” the specialty you want to enter concerns me. I wonder if it’s the psych portion that interests you, and not medicine itself. If the former, you may want to consider becoming a psychologist.
Also, how does someone get a 4.25 gpa? With extra credit or something? It’s that kind of thing that makes me look askance at gpas because 4.0 is supposed to be perfect scores.


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And if someone is entering medical school with the plan of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, would you have any similar concern? ;):D

Just playing devil's advocate here, since I entered medical school quite unsure about specialty choice.
 
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And if someone is entering medical school with the plan of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, would you have any similar concern? ;):D

Just playing devil's advocate here, since I entered medical school quite unsure about specialty choice.
Absolutely I would have concerns. I have mentioned this several times in my AMA and on other threads where I warn against “tunnel vision.”


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AllBleedingStops

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Whatever you want. Lots of docs were partial to sciences in school (for love of science or for practicality for pre-reqs) but you can major in anything you like. Do what you want and throw on a bio/chem/psych/neuro/whatever minor you can apply your pre-req courses towards. This is the list from Louisville's matriculants for 2016 by the way, I remembered it from my searching during the application process.

Biology - 71
Chemistry - 12
Biochemistry - 9
Psychology - 9
Accounting - 1
Behavioral Neuroscience - 1
Biblical Studies - 1
Bioengineering - 2
Biomedical Engineering - 2
Biomedical Science - 4
Business - 3
Cell & Molecular Biology - 3
Chemical Engineering - 2
Economics - 3
Exercise Science - 2
Finance - 1
Foreign Language - 4
History - 4
Human Nutrition - 2
International Studies - 1
Kinesiology - 2
Liberal Studies - 1
Materials Science & Engineering - 1
Mechanical Engineering - 1
Medicine, Health & Society - 1
Middle Eastern Studies - 1
Molecular & Cellular Biology - 1
Music - 2
Neuroscience - 2
Nursing - 3
Pre-Medical - 2
Zoology - 1
 
Feb 10, 2018
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Agree with everyone above saying major is ultimately irrelevant. There are certain undergrad requirements for medical school, and as long as you meet them you can literally major in whatever your heart desires. Study underwater basket weaving with a minor in feminist dance theory for all a prospective medical school will care (but get comfortable with the idea of poverty first). I know I would hate biology and chemistry with a burning passion, so I'm getting paramedic certification and transferring to a four-year with intent to double major in anthropology and psychology. My Plan B if things don't work out is clinical or forensic psych. Not everyone who goes pre-med and eventually washes out does so out of failure. You might just realize that medicine isn't for you, and in that case it would behoove you to have something you won't regret to fall back on.

I think it's okay to have an idea of what appeals to you in medicine, especially if you have direct experience with that field. But always remember to keep an open mind and don't get all tied up in one precise version of your future. We're the same age, and when I decided I wanted to take the leap and go pre-med in my sophomore year I had my sights set on psychiatry too. Truth be told, I still think I would absolutely love it. But personal, work, and volunteer experiences since then have shown me that I am also drawn to emergency med, gastroenterology/hepatology, hospitalist med, and hematology/oncology. We are basically little zygote losers in the grand scheme of our careers in health care, which means we have the awesome advantage of being able to do what feels right, screw up, and change our minds without it putting us in the poorhouse for life.

Just $0.02 from a stressed high schooler. ;)
 
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