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Your Major?

r123

Junior Member
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Jun 30, 2006
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  1. Medical Student
    I was just wondering what other people are majoring in and how they decided on it. It might help others too who are still deciding on their major.

    One other question.

    Which would you choose?

    Biological Science with
    1. Standard Concentration
    2. Biotechnology Concentration

    OR

    Chemistry with

    3. Standard Concentration
    4. Biochemistry Concentration

    Thanks a lot!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After reading your posts, I am surprised that so many people are majoring in Biochem. I thought no one was going for it b/c the future wasn't looking good for it (that’s what I read on other posts).
    Is there an advantage on doing minor or double major along with your degree? I mean for getting into Med School.

    What is MSTP?
     
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    TMP-SMX

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      natusss said:
      what is your major?

      Biology with a Specialization in Microbiology. Minor is Anthropology.

      If I was to do it again I probably wouldn't have majored in Anthropology even though I like it. I think the Biology is more relevant and recommended for medical school preparation.

      (Classes like Human Physiology, Genetics, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Developmental Biology)

      And by that point you might as well be a biology major.
       

      Johannen

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        If you're unsure about your major, you don't really, really have a preference (because doing what you want is by far the most important) and you want to be well-versed in the advanced sciences, the vote is to be cast for biochemistry. With more and more schools adding a biochem prereq to their admissions requirements, you can see how important this field is becoming. This trend will only continue.

        Biochem touches on so many of the other science fields out there that it is really a blanket to a plethora of scientific careers. Medicine is no exception. :D
         

        omgwtfbbq?

        yes, really, I'm a girl
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          I double majored in English Lit and Biochemistry. I write fiction and I love cell biology and pathways. The combo worked well for me. The English lit was going to be a minor, but then I managed to work it into a major with some serious last year heavy scheduling. It was worth it though, as I got a deferral to study creative writing before starting the med school I was accepted at.

          moral: major in what you love.

          most of the people i met at my school's second look were really into the arts. at some other schools, most people were hard core science. etc. etc. so just do something you love and keep in mind that, unfortunately, grades are super important. so if you want to prove to yourself that you can understand differential equations, you may want to audit the course if you're not applying mstp. I had to go through calc for my degree, but if it wasn't required i'm not sure i would have gone past calc 2.

          Although I'd suggest every pre-med take advanced cell biology and Elizabethan revenge tragedies in the same semester. Makes for interesting homework!
           

          omgwtfbbq?

          yes, really, I'm a girl
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            and as for your question, i'd seriously suggest biochem. it focuses on the human aspect of metabolic pathways and cell biology as opposed to biology which can focus too much on ecology and zoology for my personal tastes. I found biochem to better prepare me. Also, so many schools have biochem requirements, it's good to just have done it. (plus, my friends in med school who have had biochem aren't nearly as bogged down by all the pathway stuff.... i find that people who enjoyed o-chem, liked biochem,,, but its different at every school)
             

            Johannen

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              omgwtfbbq? said:
              and as for your question, i'd seriously suggest biochem. it focuses on the human aspect of metabolic pathways and cell biology as opposed to biology which can focus too much on ecology and zoology for my personal tastes. I found biochem to better prepare me. Also, so many schools have biochem requirements, it's good to just have done it. (plus, my friends in med school who have had biochem aren't nearly as bogged down by all the pathway stuff.... i find that people who enjoyed o-chem, liked biochem,,, but its different at every school)

              I would agree. :)

              Why are we poking badgers with spoons, meanwhile?! :eek:
               
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              Pose

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                Major:
                Economics, minors in photography and chemistry. I'm sort of doing an international relations/development concentration with my major.

                The why:
                Medicine is increasingly looking like business. Patients are clients, malpractice insurance is a deadly gamble, there's a struggle for power. I want to secure my future in medicine, and follow my other interests: international relations, international/crisis medicine, disaster prep/aid, epidemiology, among others. Economics, believe it or not, does and will help with that. I'm a firm believer that you should tie your interests and passions into your career -- medicine in particular. Why not?

                Oh, and I couldn't stomach 3-4 years of a full course load of science, right before embarking on years of upper-level science in medical school and beyond.
                 

                TypeA

                Hola peeps.
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                here.
                  My school allowed me to do a kind of different thing. I ended up with a concentration in Marketing with an internship in Television Production. Meanwhile, about half of my degree hours were done in Healthcare Adminstration and Communication Disorders/Speech Pathology. How's that for all over the place?
                   

                  LifetimeDoc

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                    gapotts2003 said:
                    Do what:

                    1) You like
                    2) What will increase your MCAT scores
                    3) What will prepare you for medical school
                    4) won't kill your GPA
                    5) You like
                    Oh... And don't take calculus unless you plan to do MSTP.

                    I would rearrange that list, with hindsight...

                    1) Don't take calculus, ever
                    2) What won't kill your GPA
                    3) What will increase your MCAT scores
                    4) What will prepare you for medical school
                    5) What you like.
                     

                    cobalt31

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                      you put major in what you like... fifth...?

                      i only looked at two things when deciding a major -- what i like and what im good at. you should do the same. then pick COURSES you like or build up a minor or something based on what will prepare you for the MCAT. don't plan your undergraduate education around preparing for the MCAT, thats just silly. better to do what you enjoy doing.

                      ps. calc roolz
                       

                      MinnyGophers

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                        Double major in Chemistry/French

                        I used to be bio, but I got sick of it so I switched. Which is funny because I used to hate chemistry too.
                        Funny what college does to you.

                        Oh and I'm standard chemistry.
                         
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                        deleted106503

                          I majored in Economics, Bachelor of Science in Business Admin. Took only pre-med classes and got all As in those. Have a major you like, take classes you want to, and fill the rest with pre-med.
                           

                          ESzczesniak

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                            For the most part, I'd have to disagree with a lot of the posts here. Don't think about what it will do for your MCAT or GPA. Pick something you like and then go from there. I double majored in biochemistry and mechanical engineering myself and mech e defintiely went against the idea of not taking calc.

                            Key thing for me is if you enjoy it, the GPA will fall into place. When you hate a major, it's hard to get good grades.
                             

                            pingouin

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                              Punkn said:
                              yay another SW major! :) I've also got a minor in math.

                              whoa. a SW who likes math? someone hit you on the head or something? :smuggrin: (I've got an MSW too. My colleagues think I'm insane b/c they "hate math and science! why do you think I went into SW?")
                               

                              medrad

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                                r123 said:
                                Which would you choose?

                                Biological Science with
                                1. Standard Concentration
                                2. Biotechnology Concentration

                                OR

                                Chemistry with

                                3. Standard Concentration
                                4. Biochemistry Concentration

                                Hmmmm. Doesn't sound like you'll get into medical school with any of those combinations. Better go with nuclear physics, social work, poetry triple major with a fist full of minors and then volunteer your little heart out.

                                or you could do what I did: computer science -> never talk to anyone in person -> become an intolerable dingus -> apply with ~no people skills -> barely get in.
                                 

                                Vizious

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                                  IMO, I wouldn't solely base a major on being able to get a high GPA or being prepared for the MCAT. And at many schools, it's impossible to find a major that does both. ie. You might be able to get a better GPA as history major, but it may not prepare you for MCAT science as well as a biochem major. Similarly, a history major (or any major that involves much reading and writing) may prepare you better for MCAT verbal more than a science major would.

                                  I picked psychology because psych courses are by far the most interesting courses that I have taken at school. Plus, my favorite class in high school was psychology.

                                  Note, that if you dont pick a BCPM major, then all of your BCPM GPA depends on med school prereqs. Do bad on those, and then it is harder to increase it through major coursework.

                                  Since the majors you are considering are both science, I'd say look at the required coursework for each major/concentration and see which seems more interesting to you.
                                   

                                  sistermike

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                                    I would agree that you shouldn't pick a major that is necessarily "easy", thus yielding a high G.P.A. You should look at all of your different options and pick a major that you enjoy! Pick a field that you would be willing to work in if medical school doesn't become one of your options later on.

                                    I know of people who graduated with biochemistry, chemistry, and biology degrees and decided NOT to go to medical school. Some of them were stuck with degrees that wouldn't help them because it wasn't an interesting field to them. That being said, you don't necessarily have to pick a science field. If you look at medical school acceptance statistics, the majority of medical students obtained a degree in the science field. However, if you look at those students who majored in something they enjoyed outside of the science realm, and still managed to do very well in the pre-req courses, they have a higher acceptance rate. That doesn't mean you should go major in Greek Mythology hoping to have a highe chance of acceptance.. it means, major in something you ENJOY! If that means biology, then major in biology.... if that means business, then major in business.

                                    I am personally a nursing major, and although many say that is a horrible idea, I don't think it is. I have done very well in my pre-req courses and I have a high G.P.A. (> 3.80), so I don't think I will have a ton of explaining to do once in front of the admissions board.
                                     
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                                    Punkn

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                                      jlw9698 said:
                                      whoa. a SW who likes math? someone hit you on the head or something? :smuggrin: (I've got an MSW too. My colleagues think I'm insane b/c they "hate math and science! why do you think I went into SW?")

                                      Hehe, yeah I get that a lot. :p I definitely know what you mean about people thinking you're crazy! Oh well.
                                       

                                      Slide

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                                        I'm a standard Chem major (well slight emphasis on organic). I've learned a lot of skills, but if I knew I were going full pre-med earlier in college, I would have picked an easier major. The chem curriculum is honestly not worth the huge amount of time, effort, and heartbreak (not to mention lower GPA) if you know 100% you're going to med school.
                                         

                                        NiteOwl

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                                          I am a Liberal Studies major, if no one knows what that is (a lot of people I have told, don't know what it is, maybe some colleges call it interdisciplinary studies or something?), its basically a 4 yr degree where you take all electives along with the general course requirements required by all the degrees. So all I had to do was take the basics like english, a semester of history, pre-calculus, etc., then for the actual degree course requirements I get to choose just about any of the classes I want.

                                          I choose this because I was originally a Bio major/Psy minor but after I transferred to my college I changed my mind after the first semester. I had already completed a some of the bio pre-reqs though so I just thought about changing to Psy major and Bio minor but it would require me to go another semester or 2 longer than I had planned and I don't want to do that. So I decided on Liberal Studies and it worked out really well. Since I am still interested in Bio and Psy classes I can take the ones I am interested in along with my pre-reqs for med school, and if there are any other classes that look interesting I can take those too.
                                           

                                          Dr Durden

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                                            Chemical engineer here. Came in a civil engineer as a freshman, but figured ChemE would be a happy medium between environmental engineering and biomedical engineering, the two careers I was debating at the time. It's certainly been a challenging ride, but I credit it with my success on the MCAT and also credit it for keeping my sanity. Gotta love being the sole pre-med in your department.
                                             

                                            durfen

                                            I see plans within plans
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                                              r123 said:
                                              I was just wondering what other people are majoring in and how they decided on it. It might help others too who are still deciding on their major.

                                              One other question.

                                              Which would you choose?

                                              Biological Science with
                                              1. Standard Concentration
                                              2. Biotechnology Concentration

                                              OR

                                              Chemistry with

                                              3. Standard Concentration
                                              4. Biochemistry Concentration

                                              Thanks a lot!

                                              --------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              After reading your posts, I am surprised that so many people are majoring in Biochem. I thought no one was going for it b/c the future wasn't looking good for it (that’s what I read on other posts).
                                              Is there an advantage on doing minor or double major along with your degree? I mean for getting into Med School.

                                              What is MSTP?

                                              Double majored: Computer Science, Biological Sciences
                                              Why: Because I could.
                                               

                                              durfen

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                                                medrad said:
                                                Hmmmm. Doesn't sound like you'll get into medical school with any of those combinations. Better go with nuclear physics, social work, poetry triple major with a fist full of minors and then volunteer your little heart out.

                                                or you could do what I did: computer science -> never talk to anyone in person -> become an intolerable dingus -> apply with ~no people skills -> barely get in.

                                                Word.
                                                 
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