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What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jazzebelle, Aug 24, 1999.

  1. Jazzebelle

    Jazzebelle Junior Member

    Aug 23, 1999
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    Hi, I'm currently entering my senior year in highschool and I am planning on being pre-med in college. I have been looking at a variety of majors offered at different schools because I don't think I want to be a Bio major like most pre-meds, but I wanted to keep SOMEWHERE close to the sciences. I was wondering what is the difference between majors in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Biopsychology and Psychology. I think I want to study Neoruoscience but many colleges do not offer Neuroscience majors for undergraduates. So, I was also wondering if any of these majors would be more helpful to me than others on the road to becoming a doctor. Thanks for your time, I greatly appreciate it. J
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  3. chiari

    chiari Junior Member

    Aug 6, 1999
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    While it is true that most medical students were science majors, it really does not matter what your major is as long as you do really well in those required premed courses like bio and chem. I have several people in my class who majored in things like English Lit, Philosophy, computer science.

    The bottom line is to study what interests you. Don't make the mistake of majoring in something that you don't like, you'll be miserable and your performance will reflect it. Study hard, have fun, do well in your premeds and on the MCAT, but beyond that study whatever the heck you want.
  4. drhenderson

    drhenderson Senior Member

    Jul 24, 1999
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    Neuroscience and biopsychology are similar in that they focus more on the biological mechanisms of thought, etc. Neuroscience is the more concrete and technical of the two, and will probably have the most application in medicine.

    Psychology and cognative science are the more common majors and usually have less of a biological emphasis. A good behavioral science background is always good for docs to have!

    As an undergrad, choosing one of these majors over another probably won't affect your chances for medical school admission. However, if you are interested in a particular area of research the distinction may be important.

    Of all of the majors listed, neuroscience would be the closest to a traditional "pre-med major" though you are right... not many colleges offer it.

    Best wishes,

    Jim Henderson, MD of Medicalstudent.net
  5. HeatherR

    HeatherR Member

    Nov 22, 1998
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    I have to agree with chiari. Study what you are most interested in. If you're not sure, don't worry too much, you don't have to decide on a major right away in your first year, and at most universities you can switch quite easily between majors like psyc, biopsyc and bio because they are quite similar. Use your pre-med years to study something you enjoy - plus, if you enjoy the subject it will be much easier to put in the studying time necessary to get the marks that med schools like. Don't just limit yourself to the sciences either - many people in my med school class have degrees in music, art, literature, and engineering just to mention a few.

    Also, get involved in lots of activites right away when you get to university and maybe consider volunteering. Besides being lots of fun, it'll look really good on your med school application if you can show that you have a long history of volunteering and extra-curricular activites, and that you have life outside of school.

    And lastly, enjoy yourself! College is a lot of fun.

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