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As someone interested in English, is it possible for me to become a doctor?

English is my passion, but my career goal is to become a doctor. Is it possible to study English in college and take the classes necessary to become a doctor?
#medicine #healthcare #hospital-and-health-care #english #education #career


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Stephanie’s Answer

Yes it is very possible, medical schools will have a list of what they call pre-requisite courses required for admission listed in their website. While most of them are pretty universal (biology, chemistry, etc.) each school may have a different number of credit hours required. Majoring in a science field helps you meet these requirements while you get a bachelor’s degree. You can consider double majoring or minoring in one of your areas of interest also. Medical school looks at how well you perform in these courses, so you want to approach it the way you think you can get the best grades. Just be prepared for a bit more extra work if you want to do both

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Richard’s Answer

Yes. English is a fine major for premed.

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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Calvin’s Answer

Hi Safina,


So great to hear about your dual passions! Before you decide on this yourself, you must ask yourself if you are willing to pay the cost of your program's tuition plus interest rates for all the loans compounded over several years and perhaps decades. If you are absolutely certain about following English in your professional career, then go for it! However, you state that you want to pursue medicine. Ask yourself if you really need to pay all that money to guide a passion? If a filmmaker were truly passionate about making films, he/she would go out and make films constantly regardless of if he/she were in a film program. English and literature is much more accessible than that. If you are passionate about English and literature, then read and write constantly. It is also certainly a possibility for you also sit in on those classes which you are passionate about for free if you ask the professor nicely (I've done this many times). If you were to pay for it, you would be paying for guidelines to learn more about that passion. You have to ask yourself, if you are truly that passionate about it, do you really need guidelines from an archaic institution? Do you really need to be that much more in debt for something that you will not follow professionally afterwards? All the literature in the world is already at your fingertips from your university library to online retailers.


To be a pre-med student and only a pre-med student will take up most of your time. There are certainly brilliant and talent students who can do it all and be pre-med as well as major in another field of their passion. Perhaps you are one of them! But if you are unsure, I would be cautious of this decision. Best of luck!


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Alejandro’s Answer

I would encourage you to pursue your passion. A doctor who commands the English language is well poised to communicate between the chasms of what is the medical field and its culture and its patients. There is a doctor who comes to mind, his name is Dr. Atul Gawande, and he is a brilliant mind who writes a column for the New Yorker as well as the author of several intensely interesting and engaging books. I don't know if he majored in English, but it is obvious that writing is his passion and he certainly commands the English language.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Safina! Yes, you can become an English major and take the prerequisites for medical school like chemistry, biology, physics, etc. Meet with a premed adviser because they have a sheet of the list of courses you need to take. Check out AAMC.org they give tons of information for students pursuing the field of medicine. Also make sure to volunteer clinically and shadow a physician because you want to get experience working in the healthcare field!

Best of luck!

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Othilia’s Answer

double major in English and Science...science courses are prerequisite for Med School!

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