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What should/can i major in in college if I am aiming to be in the medical field?

I am currently a junior in high school and I am not sure about what I can or what I should major in in college if I want to work within the medical field later on. I have heard that you can major in anything in college as long as you take some required classes for medicine but I am not completely sure... #majors #double-major #classes #physical #neurology #classes #majors #physical


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Lisa’s Answer

Great question, Charlotte! As a college career coach who works with a lot of pre-med students, I can confirm that what you heard is correct - you can pretty much major in anything you'd like in college as long as you take the required prerequisite classes for med school. The reason for this is that med schools want a diverse cohort of students, and choosing all students who studied biology usually will not provide that diversity they're looking for. There is data out there about the top majors that are included in med school admits, like this USA Today article (https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/articles/top-undergrad-majors-at-the-best-medical-schools). I'm not sure how accurate this data is necessarily, but the overall message is clear - any major can lead to med school as long as you take the prerequisite courses and are able to articulate what you learned from your major in your med school application.

If you are planning to apply to medical school in the United States, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) is the "expert" on the medical school admissions process since they're the ones who coordinate it. They have a TON of helpful information on their website for students who are looking to get into medical school in the future. I'd highly recommend looking around all parts of their website, but in particular the section about the required prerequisite classes: https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/required-premedical-coursework-and-competencies/. You'll notice that it does differ by school, but there are definitely some themes. Keep in mind that these prerequisite classes do not have to be completed by your major - you could choose a minor that includes these classes or even take them as electives.

So, when it comes to your college major, the best advice I can give is to choose a major that you will enjoy, and therefore is likely to help you achieve good grades and a high GPA. As you probably have heard, GPA is one of many important factors that med schools consider for admissions. The higher GPA, the generally better chance you have at getting in, and the more you enjoy your major, the more likely your GPA is to be high. The last thing I'll mention is that most schools have a program for students who are still exploring major options ("exploratory" or "undecided") - though some people think these types of programs are keeping students behind and will delay graduation dates, this isn't really true. They can be really helpful (I participated in one myself, so I can attest to this first hand)!

Hope this helps.

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Maria’s Answer

That is a great question Charlotte!
Most medical students have majored In science, and most in biology. Here is an article about it https://www.earnest.com/blog/best-pre-med-majors/
I majored in chemistry because I loved it, I was good at it and in my times it was the toughest.
I took electives in literature, art, PE and languages, so my education was well rounded and I could have gone into other fields if not accepted into medical school.
But if your goal is Medical School, what you major in is as important as the other requirements for your school of choice including MCAT scores.
So look at your medical school of choice and study them. Look at their percentages, how many applied, what was their major, what is their GPA, what is their MCAT scores, etc.
Do you see yourself as a clinical doctor or researcher doctor?
If you see yourself more into research you may want to try for the MD/PhD programs and add some research into your undergraduate.
The MD/PhD Programs were not available in my times but I would have chosen it if it was available.
Best wishes! Aim High!

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Charlotte!

My recommendation is you can major in medical related courses such as biology, biochemistry, physiology, exercise science or nursing for your undergraduate degree.

However, echoing to Lisa’s answer above, medical schools would want a diverse cohort. I personally think English can also be an interesting major to consider as communication with patients is an important aspect of working in the medical field. Best of luck and hope this helps!

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Linda’s Answer

Charlotte - most med school students major in the sciences such as Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry and then specialize in things like Genetics or Neurobiology, Psychology or other specialty depending on what field of medicine you wish to pursue - hope this helps!

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Laurie C.’s Answer

I recommend majoring in biology, if you think you might want to go into some type of medical career. Also, as part of the biology undergraduate degree requirements, be sure to elect Human Anatomy & Physiology.

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