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Do I have to be pre-MED in order to be a psychologist?

#healthcare #psychology #psychologist #counseling-psychology

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Subject: Career question for you

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Latoya’s Answer

Hi Andrea,
If you want to be a psychologist you do not need pre-med courses for your bachelor’s degree. However, if you want to be a psychiatrist, and prescribe medication that would be different. A psychologist does not prescribe medication, but a psychiatrist does. You should look into both career options, and what education requirements are needed in order to make the best decision.
Best wishes!
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Andrea! To be a psychologist you have to go to graduate school and obtain a master's or doctorate (PhD), premed is a concentration for students who want to go to medical school and take certain prerequisites. During your undergrad. be sure to stay in touch with your adviser and make sure you research the graduate programs and what they require so after graduating college you can apply. There are some certain programs where you obtain your Bachelor's and Master's in 5 years, a 3+2 program, where you do your Master's alongside your Bachelor's; you typically apply around junior year to be considered for the program. Obtaining a Master vs obtaining a Doctorate offers different paths and I believe as a Doctorate you have more benefits in the career you choose such as with leadership in doing research. I believe if you have a Master's you work alongside an individual with a PhD.; however there are a variety of careers in psychology, as you also noted my friend is in clinical counseling and is going for her internship soon! I was a psychology major however my concentration was premed since I want to go to medical school. If you want to be a doctor in medicine like MD or DO then you go to medical school and are a premed as an undergrad.

*The link below offers a little more advice about Master's and Doctorate!

I hope this helps!
Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/careers-in-psych/201606/masters-vs-doctorate-in-clinical-psychology
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Zazai’s Answer

I'm premed, and I will be applying to medical school this Spring, as a nontraditional applicant. You do not need to be premed to become a psychologist. Premed students take 2 semesters of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. Premeds also have to take biochemistry, several biology courses, as well as some upper division science courses such as genetics and cell molecular biology. Unless you want to become a doctor, you don't need it. I do caution you, as I once considered a degree in psychology, you should at least get a master's degree, and preferably a doctorate to make decent money. A bachelor's degree in Psychology is honestly a stepping stone for an advanced degree.
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Ashley’s Answer

Hi, Andrea!

In order to become a licensed clinical psychologist in the united states you do not need to take premed courses. You do, however, need to get a PhD or Psy.D in clinical or counseling psychology, as well as complete a certain amount of clinical hours, to become licensed. Some things you can do to prepare for a PhD program include volunteering in a research lab related to the topic you are most interested in doing your own research in someday, as well as gaining clinical experience (such as volunteering with individuals with mental health needs). A Psy.D is much more practice-based and focusing more on clinical experiences will likely help you be admitted to a Psy.D program (whereas a PhD is generally very research-intensive).
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