Sep 17, 2017
2
1
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Pre-Medical
I’m a biochemistry and cell bio major and incoming freshman (and dorming, probably for 2 school years) who's considering trying to get into med school. I don't plan on beginning a relationship, I didn't have a great social life in high school but still managed pretty well, and my family understands if I can't come home often, so I should have lots of free time to volunteer in clinical and non clinical fields, do homework, research, study, participate in extracurricular activities, and other miscellaneous stuff to complete the medical school app. I understand that this process should be begun early for it to be a solid attempt so I hope I can get answers before starting college. I also think I wouldn't mind the long hours of the job.

I'm most interested in the large job security the doctor profession holds, and more so than helping people (Don't get me wrong, the idea of being able to help people for a significant part of my life sounds wonderful, but I ashamedly admit the job security looks more alluring). I've heard the wage is good, yes, but honestly I think I would also be happy having a slightly large salary (much less than a doctor’s but still a comfortable one) and much less debt.

Given my major, the job market doesn't seem to be very good for me and the S in STEM doesn't seem to be well respected in the US. I could try switching to bioinformatics, since computers seem to be all the rage. But this wouldn't prepare me for med school as well as my current major and I've never even taken an AP Computer Science course in high school so I'd be going in somewhat unprepared. Also, the biological sciences appeal to me the most and I can't see myself doing any other major well.

So to those in med school and working in medicine, on a scale from 0-100, how certain were you that you wanted to try for med school?
0 being “I don't want to do medicine” and 100 being “Medicine is exactly the field I want to work in for my entire life. I have absolutely no doubts of this choice and no qualms on the large amount of time needed to achieve this”. I'd put myself at around 45 to 55. Yes I have a lot of doubt but if it's the best way to ensure I'm not unemployed or working a low paid, unfulfilling job, then I'm willing to put in the time needed to make it work.

Tl;dr: My major is bio related. Biology jobs aren't doing so well except bioinformatics, which I can't see myself doing AND trying for med school simultaneously. I'll have lots of free time in college and I'm considering trying to get into med school.
 

Perpetually Perplexed

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Sep 17, 2017
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1. Lots of med student are your typical "I knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 years old" while another good portion are uncertain like you and didn't decide until later in college. Also, there are quite a few people in my class who were originally post-college working in a completely unrelated field, decided they wanted to do medicine, and started over. There is no magical formula.

2. I don't think you should worry about this too much right now. The most important thing you can do to "prep" for med school applications is to do well in classes. If you really want to figure out if medicine is right for you, I'd try to shadow some physicians or work in the hospital alongside doctors (like an ED scribe) to really get a feel for it. With that said, medical school involves many, many years of schooling and some people just don't want to continue studying after college.
 

CyrilFiggis

5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2014
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When I was your age, my I would have been a -15. Go to college. Do well. Pursue activities outside of the classroom even if they aren't medically related. Heck, you don't even have to be a science major.

Just don't burn yourself out. Being a premed can be stressful cause you compare yourself to every other applicant. Just do well academically and be well rounded. That'll serve you better not only as an applicant but in life.
 
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VincentAdultman

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Jun 18, 2005
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OP don't do this if it's primarily for job security. That's the best way to make yourself miserable.
 

TypeADissection

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Jan 23, 2016
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0 - Had zero idea or inkling that I was ever going to do medicine when in high school or college or afterwards. Now I'm all in and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Generally speaking, your undergrad major doesn't mean that much in the grand scheme of things. I can't speak for adcoms but just because you're science major of some sort doesn't give you any preference. If you know you're going to be a doctor then choose a major you're going to enjoy studying while in college. Don't forget to have fun. Cheers.
 

stickgirl390

I tell chemistry jokes periodically.
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Oct 18, 2016
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I was a film major. I didn't know I wanted to pursue medicine until I shadowed a physician. Between that and changing my major to bio/chem, I went from 0 to 100. The position could pay $20/hr and I would still want to do it. I don't know if hearing that helps you with your decision though. Good luck.
 
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workaholic181

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May 29, 2017
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Get some clinical experience OP. I think that will help you decide, or at least it did for me.

In the meantime, just keep achieving at a high level and keep all doors open to you!
 

NotYou20

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Dec 23, 2012
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You're writing as if you're locked into your major. Why not change it?
 
OP
T
Sep 17, 2017
2
1
Status
Pre-Medical
0 - Had zero idea or inkling that I was ever going to do medicine when in high school or college or afterwards. Now I'm all in and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Generally speaking, your undergrad major doesn't mean that much in the grand scheme of things. I can't speak for adcoms but just because you're science major of some sort doesn't give you any preference. If you know you're going to be a doctor then choose a major you're going to enjoy studying while in college. Don't forget to have fun. Cheers.
What made you go for medicine? Shadowing a physician or doctor and volunteering?

You're writing as if you're locked into your major. Why not change it?
No other major really appeals to me. I have spent some time in labs, and I honestly didn't mind the quiet environment of theirs, so I have some confidence I'd be happy working in the Biology field (disregarding the poor job market). Also, taking on a non-science major would mean I'd have to take extra classes to fulfill med school requirements and courses to prep for the MCAT, while having to take other courses for the major requirements. I'll need all the time I can get to optimally prepare.
Of course, I suppose I don't NEED to do a science related career, but I doubt I could perform in them very well.
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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Shadow a physician. Then shadow another physician and yet another. Bonus points if they are in different specialties.
Take an opportunity to attend campus sessions on careers in a variety of topic areas. There are biologists working in government, in industry (many industries), in academic research settings. There are non-MD clinical roles and semi-clinical roles (who do you think is analyzing all that DNA that people are mailing to ancestry sites and handling the freezing of donor sperrm, eggs and embryos.)

If you like helping people, consider getting involved in doing something weekly or monthly through a campus group. If you like research, consider getting involved after you've finished 2 years of college (earlier than that, it is not likely you have any real skills to offer a lab). There are some labs that will take people with minimal skills and you can always keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.
 
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TypeADissection

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Jan 23, 2016
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What made you go for medicine? Shadowing a physician or doctor and volunteering?
Per chance, I stumbled into an operating room and saw for the first time that people of all sizes, shapes, backgrounds and sexes, get up in the morning and practice the craft of surgery. It was really an amazing thing to behold. To see tangible changes that one could make with their mind and hands. I then sat down and counted the cost, because there is a huge cost not just financially, but the sacrifice of your best years in a library or a hospital while your friends continue to live their lives. Talked with as many physicians as I could. Spent more time shadowing and realized I had to do this. All of my letters when I applied were from surgeons to which some adcoms asked if I considered anything else other than surgery. My reply, "I really didn't know there was anything else other than surgery." I don't think my narrative is typical and probably no one's really is, but I am thankful that my path was always clear. Had many friends in med school who liked everything or nothing and that becomes a tougher choice. Hopefully, you find clarity. Cheers.
 
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westbill

2+ Year Member
May 30, 2016
25
16
Status
Pre-Medical
I’m a biochemistry and cell bio major and incoming freshman (and dorming, probably for 2 school years) who's considering trying to get into med school. I don't plan on beginning a relationship, I didn't have a great social life in high school but still managed pretty well, and my family understands if I can't come home often, so I should have lots of free time to volunteer in clinical and non clinical fields, do homework, research, study, participate in extracurricular activities, and other miscellaneous stuff to complete the medical school app. I understand that this process should be begun early for it to be a solid attempt so I hope I can get answers before starting college. I also think I wouldn't mind the long hours of the job.

I'm most interested in the large job security the doctor profession holds, and more so than helping people (Don't get me wrong, the idea of being able to help people for a significant part of my life sounds wonderful, but I ashamedly admit the job security looks more alluring). I've heard the wage is good, yes, but honestly I think I would also be happy having a slightly large salary (much less than a doctor’s but still a comfortable one) and much less debt.

Given my major, the job market doesn't seem to be very good for me and the S in STEM doesn't seem to be well respected in the US. I could try switching to bioinformatics, since computers seem to be all the rage. But this wouldn't prepare me for med school as well as my current major and I've never even taken an AP Computer Science course in high school so I'd be going in somewhat unprepared. Also, the biological sciences appeal to me the most and I can't see myself doing any other major well.

So to those in med school and working in medicine, on a scale from 0-100, how certain were you that you wanted to try for med school?
0 being “I don't want to do medicine” and 100 being “Medicine is exactly the field I want to work in for my entire life. I have absolutely no doubts of this choice and no qualms on the large amount of time needed to achieve this”. I'd put myself at around 45 to 55. Yes I have a lot of doubt but if it's the best way to ensure I'm not unemployed or working a low paid, unfulfilling job, then I'm willing to put in the time needed to make it work.

Tl;dr: My major is bio related. Biology jobs aren't doing so well except bioinformatics, which I can't see myself doing AND trying for med school simultaneously. I'll have lots of free time in college and I'm considering trying to get into med school.
You seem like you've put considerable thought into your future, but I'm thinking you might want to relax for a second and allow the process to unfold to where you can gain some experience/exposure before fully committing to whatever it is you decide to do. It's unlikely quantitative polling of other folks will be particularly enlightening: rest assured there is a very wide swath of opinions to be had, and the only correct decision is the one you make based upon the particular circumstances of your life.
 
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