This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
Jun 25, 2018
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
My name is Jorge and I am a rising sophomore at Rutgers University - New Brunswick pursuing a degree in Economics with a minor in Public Health, potentially a double major, while on the Pre-Med track. I am very passionate about the access and quality of healthcare/medicine in the United States as well as on a global scale. I also have strong interests in healthcare policy and administration. Currently, I am trying to decide whether I want to pursue Medical School or Graduate School. Here is my predicament:

Currently, I am majoring in Economics, a subject I genuinely enjoy and have a strong desire to learn about. In fact, from the beginning of my college career, I knew that if I were to do the pre-med track, I did not want to be a traditional science major. However, prior to selecting Economics I was focusing on Finance. This did not go so well because in order for me to major in Finance at Rutgers, I had to transfer from the School of Arts and Sciences to Rutgers Business School. Transferring in itself required a good amount of classes and credits that had to be completed, because of this I took 17.5 credits my first semester of college and 20 credits my second. I did this in order to stay on track for Medical School while also trying to complete the classes needed to transfer. Obviously this was a very bad choice because I wound up hurting my GPA as it was almost impossible for me to manage in addition to familial problems I had going on at the time. I completed my first semester with a GPA of 3.0 but after my second semester, in which I took 20 credits, I ended up with a 2.4.

In the midst of my second semester I reconsidered transferring to Rutgers Business School as I realized the path to major in Finance and remain pre-med, in my particular case, would be too overwhelming and with my GPA I would not have been able to transfer. After meeting with a Dean I realized that Economics was more for me as it applied to the career options I had been considering. This option works out better because at Rutgers it is considered a behavioral science and is offered in the School of Arts and Sciences which means that I do not have to transfer and overload with classes. After my second semester I was not feeling the pre-med track as much, however, I realized this was primarily because of my low performance in the classes and difficult time managing the immense amount of credits I was taking.

Today, I am in a place where I am set and focused on Economics as my major and Public Health as my minor but do not know whether Medical School or Graduate School is for me. I just can not manage to let the idea go of being a doctor, specifically a psychiatrist. If I were to pursue being a doctor, I plan to use my Economics background (in which I plan to attain a public policy focus in) to write healthcare policy on the side or even do healthcare consulting, but I do not know how feasible or realistic of an option that is since I know how time consuming a doctors life is. My other option would be to completely skip Medical School and go to Graduate School to then go straight into healthcare administration, consulting, or policy. Therefore, I am posting here just as a way to not only vent about my crossroad in career choice but to get some feedback. Considering my current GPA and indecisiveness what advice or feedback do you all have, I am open to everything and anything. Thanks for reading if you got this far!


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2015
Reaction score
I'm a current pgy-2 psychiatry resident and I'm 27. I also went to Rutgers New Brunswick but was in the school of Arts and Sciences. At this point, if your trying to get into medical school, you will have to do DO route. This is the most feasible. Take easier non-science classes. Do not rush the science classes. The science classes are very difficult at Rutgers NB. Been there, done that. Also, You will need to show upward trend. So get good grades and also do well on the MCAT and you should be fine for DO. That or the Carribean. You will need to really bust tail and change up your habits and lifestyle I you have even a chance. Resolve your family issues asap and make sure there are no more distractions.


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2017
Reaction score
You have a lot written and yet in no way answered WHY medicine. You don't become a physician because you want to write policy. You become a physician because you are dedicated to giving parts of your life to helping others. Go do some shadowing and when you see what doctors do and if that's something you truly have a passion for...
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users


2+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2018
Reaction score
I am very passionate about the access and quality of healthcare/medicine in the United States as well as on a global scale. I also have strong interests in healthcare policy and administration.

Well, considering this was the only thing you wrote about as being important to you, I'd say you should go the graduate school route (out of the binary choice you gave us). This paragraph was your thesis statement, and it definitely focused on non-medical practice aspects of your interests. Given that focus, what is actually telling you that medicine is the route you want to go?

The MHS/MPP/MPH/MHA route is totally legitimate. If you're concerned about these macroscopic topics in healthcare, why not go that direction instead of training to be a physician?

Definitely don't jump into medical school if you can't articulate a compelling reason both internally and externally as to why you want to do it. Internally, you need to be motivated enough to accept that you'll be doing the equivalent of 20+ hours worth of undergraduate credit work each semester. Externally, you need to convince adcomm that you have that motivation and can handle the work.

If you're seriously considering it, then take time to at least do some significant physician shadowing and clinical volunteering. If you're not doing well in pre-med track coursework, you need to ask yourself (a) am "I" (you) really that dedicated/motivated to do this; and (b) how can "I" demonstrate that dedication and motivation? You can kill a couple of birds with the same stone through shadowing and clinical hours. If you can't commit to that or find it horrible (which is fine by the way), then you can legitimately question what makes practicing medicine appealing/feasible for you.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user