3 answers

Do I have to decide to pursue medical studies right at the start of college?

Updated Dexter, Michigan

I'm interested in a lot of careers, medicine being on of them. I want to have time to take classes in college and explore my options but I know that getting into medical school takes a lot of work and is very challenging. If I go into college not knowing what I want to do, will it be too hard to get into medical school and complete a major for premed?
#medicine #medical-school #medical #pre-med

3 answers

James’s Answer

Updated Round Rock, Texas
Hi Erin. I graduated medical school in 1993 and have been a family physician for over 20 years. In college I earned a degree in business management. However, i began in the college of engineering. It took me 5 years, including several summer schools, to finish. The college years can be incredibly fun, eye-opening, and frequently frustrating. You are given the freedom to explore options and have once in a lifetime experiences. however, that freedom comes with several potential costs. One of those is time. It can be really difficult to stay on the path leading to medical school admission. Many stray and end up in very different careers. Or worse. Obtaining admission to medical school requires completing a set of required pre-med courses, achieving an above average MCAT score, putting together an exceptional application, and excelling in your interview. What I found is that admissions committees are not at all opposed to non-science ventures or majors. What they really want to see, however, is a consistent commitment to the medical field. What that means is that you can explore to your heart's content as long as you put something on your resume every year that shows that you are still interested in the medical field. For instance, one summer I attended a program for pre-med minorities held at a medical center. One summer i did a preceptorship with my hometown family physician. Every semester i took at least one pre-med course. I also took a few recommended-but-not-required pre-med courses. I was also involved in a few of the college medical clubs. Other things you might consider include training to be a certified CPR instructor, or phlebotomist, or sign language translator, pharmacy tech, receptionist at a medical clinic, etc. Each of those experiences tell the committee you are seeking as much exposure to the medical field as you can get at this time of your life. Another thing that might help is knowing that many of my med school classmates did not come straight from college. some were initially pharmacists or dentists or physical therapists or dietitians or optometrists or lawyers or engineers, etc. some had MBAs or other masters degrees. Hope that helps. Good luck!

Aaron A.’s Answer

The answer is not really. Does it help to be focused from your freshman year on? Sure it does. But I was an accounting/finance double major befor I switched to biomedical sciences and I still got into Med school. Good luck!!

Jim’s Answer

Updated Indiana, Indiana
Get your general education requirements done first. Many people change majors over the course of their career in school. Not all credits go from one choice to another. So if you change you won't loose them if you go from medical classes to accounting etc.