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What should my major be as an undergrad if I want to attend medical school?

What major would be best to have as an undergraduate if I later want to attend medical school? Would it be something like biology, chemistry, or biochemistry? Or include something like psychology or sociology? Double majors and dual-degrees would be an option, but what do med school interviewers look for the most? #college-majors #majors #college #university #medicine #med-school #premed #biology #chemistry #psychology


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Ken’s Answer

Your major for permed should reflect your interest areas and how your personality traits relate to other people in various specialities. There are several options that you can explore after getting to know yourself better to develop a focus and talking to people who have completed their medical training to see what they did to complete their education, what they are doing on their job, and what advice they may have for you.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
• It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply and providing me with some amazing advice and resources! I have already stored the websites you kindly referred. Your response definitely gives me a clear view of the importance of networking and I will undeniably get right to it! Thanks again! Mariya T.

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Vania’s Answer

My major was biology in college and most of the people in my class (Bio Majors) were pre-med students. I was one of the few who weren't. I actually wanted to do research. Anyway, the reason is that there are several courses in the biology track that are what they call "weed out" courses - one being organic chemistry. It's a tough class, and you would usually need to do well in order to be considered into med school, partly because I believe the MCAT has some organic chemistry or biochemistry component. Not being negative, just being honest. Hope this helps.

Vania recommends the following next steps:

Talk to a guidance counselor.
Do well in biochemistry or organic chemistry.

Thank you so much for your response! This definitely gives me some more insight on what I should expect! Mariya T.

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Estelle’s Answer

Choose a major that really interests you because your GPA, MCAT scores and recommendations matter more than the actual degree. Keep in mind, however, that natural science degrees like chemistry, biochem, and biology will be valuable in that fulfilling your degree requirements will also satisfy many of the pre-med requirements. You might end up saving time and money with a natural sciences degree, but college should be an opportunity to explore a wide variety of intellectual pursuits.

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Richard’s Answer

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.
Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses. I chose to major in biochemistry because there was overlap with the premed requirements and I wanted to complete my degree in 3 years.
Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

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Linda’s Answer

Mariya - I would definitely consider Biology, Chemistry or any of the other sciences if you wish to go to med school - hope this helps!

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