Undergraduate major and professor! (HELP)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ERMED, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. ERMED

    ERMED Junior Member

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    Hey

    I am pretty confused right now. I was talking to one of the biology professors here at UCLA and the conversation turned very upseting. He asked me what my major was and plans for the future. I told him I was a psychology major and that I wanted to go to med school. You know what he told me? He said, you aint going to get into med school because of your major. "If you want to get into med school you better change your major to biochem, chem, or a general bio field, have a 4.0, done lots on medical internships, research or otherwise you wont get in", he said. "With a degree in Psychology you wont get in anywhere". He really made me upset, brought my hopes down. I am doing psychology because I love the field, if I wasnt interested in med school I would definitely become a Clinical Psychologist. So what should I do? Change majors? I have a very decent gpa ( 3.82)and will take the MCATs in 1 year. he also said that a pysch major will not be prepared for the MCAT for the shortage of science in the major. After taking the bio requirement I will take physiology and micro, I believe this can prepare me well enough. So, indeed what do you guys think? Any advice will be really appreciate it.

    Also, whats the highest math requiremet to apply to med school? I have taken a course in stats and 1 in calculus, is this enough or what else do they require? Thanks

    Eduardo
     
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  3. jdub

    jdub Senior Member

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    hey,

    your professor has no idea what he is talking about. there are so many things that he said that are completely wrong i don't know where to begin.

    go and buy yourself a book called the msar(medical school admissions requirements). they publish one each year and it has info from the year before.

    you will find most of the info you need in that book regarding every school in the us and canada and regarding the whole numbers game. somewhere towards the front you will notice what majors are accepted, psychology majors are just slightly below average for acceptance. if one is truly being practical with all things considered they will find out that YOUR MAJOR DOES NOT MATTER!

    although schools will tell you that they like to see people with a liberal arts background, this only helps slightly if one looks at the numbers. you have to take all of the med school prereq's no matter what major you are and these classes WILL prepare you for the mcat (of course most people get a mcat book or take a course too).

    the things that do matter: getting good grades (yours are excellent so far), doing well on the mcat (national average for people being accepted is about a composite of about 30, there is a wide range though), and getting in plenty of extra-curriculars (i really don't believe it is necessary to be a good doctor, but schools seem to love people who have done their own research and the ones who have been published get double kudos, also volunteer in a hospital or just in some area that you like).

    besides that, you should just ignore anybody that tries to dash your hopes and the most important thing is to realize that it is a long process and that stressing-out isn't going to help you at all.

    buena suerte y que te vaya super bien.
     
  4. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member

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    Don't listen to him. Plenty of other majors besides biology and chemistry get into medical school. Major in what you like! You also don't need a perfect 4.0 GPA. A 3.82 is excellent. Just because you're a psych major doesn't mean you won't do well on the MCAT. You still have to take the general requirements for medical school, not matter the major, so you should be prepared for it. As far as the highest math, many schools don't have a requirement, some say one year of math, some say calculus, etc. It just depends on the school. I hope this helps and don't get discouraged. :)
     
  5. sz

    sz Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Don't listen to that prof. he obviously didn't know what he was talking about. Talk, instead to a good premed advisor or med schools directly. Most med schools have a student info/recruitment center.
    Finishing your core science reqs will prepare you well enough for the MCAT and your GPA is fine. If you're interested in medicine ... you should be involved in MEANINGFUL extracurriculars. that you must be involved in a "ton" of stuff to be accepted is a myth.

    Hey ... good luck with everything! Don't let anything discourage you if medicine is really what you want. all you have to do is read some of the posts on this forum to realize what incredible odds some pple have overcome to finally make it. you will too.


    :)
     
  6. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Ignore him. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Med schools actually like, and sometimes prefer, non-science majors. Your plan is fine, your math is fine, your GPA is better than fine. You'll be fine.

    That said, it is extremely hard to get into medschool in California, so you should probably apply to a wide range of schools in addition to the California schools. Your Hispanic status may help you wherever you apply. Make sure that you have really good extracurriculars, that your essays are fantastic, that you do well on the MCAT (take a review course, or at least have a very organized study plan), and get your application in the minute AMCAS starts accepting them. Get your transcripts and letters of recommendation organized before you apply.
    Good luck, and here's hoping you don't have to go through the hell that AMCAS has put us through this year!
     
  7. 007flint

    007flint Member

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    Don't worry about your major. If you enjoy psych, they keep it as a major. Actually many schools view the nontraditional premed majors favorable...provided you have demonstrated you can handle the tough science coursework. Just make sure you do well in your premed classes, and possibly take some upper level bio or chem to prepare you for med school. As for being prepared for the MCAT. Having a science major might make studying for the material easier, however there really isn't anything on the test that you don't learn in your premed classes. One of my friends is an education major and she scored a 34 on the MCAT. I'm sure others around here will offer the same advice: study what you like best, not what you think will look good. The material will be much more interesting and easy to learn if you have a genuine interest in it. Good Luck!
     
  8. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    He's lying to you. You might want to check out the psychology major thread in the everyone forum. By the way if that were true,it would mean that psychiatrists were better served with a chem degree than a psych degree.
     
  9. jmejia1

    jmejia1 Senior Member

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    Eduardo:

    Was it a Psychology professor who spewed all this wrong information out or was it a hard science professor? I have found that there is a common misconception among laypersons. They assume that you have to be a genious with a 3.98 gpa and a major in biochemistry or the like to become a doctor.

    Many people deep down inside wanted to be doctors so they may persuade others that they'll find it very hard to reach that goal.

    I am a psychology major and I don't have a 4.0 gpa, and thus far I have one interview offer (my letters of rec. went out very late so I'm hopeful that more interviews await me). Just keep in mind the average stats of those admitted to med school: 3.54+ science gpa and 30+MCATs. You'll have to stand out with interesting extracurricular activities. Volunteering in the ER won't make you standout unless you have other volunteer work. You'll have to be creative when picking volunteer work. DO something psych related.
     
  10. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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  11. nerfornothin

    nerfornothin Member

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    Ignore the prof! I was a psych major and went to a school quite a few cuts below UCLA and I did both well on the MCAT and have had multiple interviews (UCSF, UCSD, Dartmouth, U Penn, you get the picture). You will be prepared for the MCAT with the basic science classes you have taken! As for additional classes I guess the more familiar you are with science in general the better but I had nothing beyond the basics and a physio class and as I said before had no problem. Just make sure to study! ;)

    Get a hold of practice MCATs and the PR Science Review book. Med school admission is about one's drive and potential to become a competent and caring physician (at least this is what I delude myself with after a long hard day of driving myself insane with minutia and stats!) This drive comes out in a variety of ways ECs, GPA, etc but as long as that drive is genuine I like to believe that at least one adcom will recognize it. (Probably more than a little idealized but hey might as well think positive.) The most stringent math requirements I've seen call for two semesters/three quarters of Calculus. Best of luck to you and don't drop psych!
     
  12. SnudgeMuffin

    SnudgeMuffin Senior Member

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    HispanicMD2BE,
    he absolutely doesn't know what he is talking about. You will be fine. You won't have an advantage b/c of your major. ALSO, you won't have a disadvantage b/c of your major. As for MCAT preparation, you don't need advanced bio courses to do well. All you need is G-Bio like they say. I took Biochem and it didn't help me with MCAT at all, because I sucked at G-Bio. Also, you are fine with your math preparation. Maybe you want to finish up that second semester of Calc, though. But don't let him discourage you, b/c you are doing just FINE.
     
  13. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member

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    In my four years at UCLA, I have never met a professor who has been positive toward anyone about their career goals. So don't worry about what he said. Your gpa is excellent, so just study hard for your MCATs. And make sure that you are getting all of your prereqs for med school (year organic chem, year regular chem, etc). Your math should be fine, but you may want to throw in another quarter of calc (look at the requirements for some of the schools that you are interested in before you take another class though!). Your major is fine...so good luck!!

    PS The premed advisors have finally changed at UCLA. The old ones were pretty mean and negative, like the professors. But I think the new ones might be pretty good so try them out. They are at the career center by lot 8.
     
  14. none

    none 1K Member

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    Well...why not go buy a practice test (AAMC III, IV, or V only) and find out how you do? You can see if the prof was right or wrong. And as far as math goes, I don't think any want more than first semster calculus, but stats will satisfy most.
     
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  18. ERMED

    ERMED Junior Member

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    Hi

    Thank youso much fr your respons, I eally feel much better. I agree with you guys, this professor either has soething against our wanted profession or doesnt know nothing about the process. Muchas Gracias!

    Eduardo
     

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