When I attend college in the fall, I would like to study medicine. So as a Freshman, would it be best to major in Pre-Medicine, Biology, or Chemistry?
Asked Atlanta, Georgia
Updated Los Angeles, California
Hi Angel, That's a good question. There is no one specific road to studying medicine especially because there are so many fields. However, there are certainly classes that you should take that would later on become prerequisites to studying medicine such as intro to chemistry, biology, and physics. On top of being proactive about deciding what classes to take, think about the fields in medicine that interest you. Do these align with biology, chemistry, a combination of both, neurology, and so on? Also it can be hard to know 100% what you want to be doing in 5 years, so make a list of interesting fields in medicine and research them. Ask professors what their paths were, what they recommend, if you know any doctors ask them what they do, why they do it. If there are clubs in school such as medical brigades, join them and take an active leadership role. That way you will meet more people with similar interests and you can discuss with them. As you do your research write it down, create a journal with all your thoughts and observations and continually add to it. I guarantee you that in a year your notebook will be very developed compared to your first day. Keep on being proactive and consistently work on your passions, this will take you far in your pursuits.
Updated Round Rock, Texas
hi angel. i graduated med school in 1993 and have been a family physician for 20+ years. as far as your application to med school it won't matter one whit what your college major was. just as long as you've completed all of the pre-med required courses. personally, i started out in the college of engineering. but my eventual degree was business management. as far as courses are concerned it can make a huge difference to the admissions committee in whether you've completed any of the additional "recommended" courses. in my day those included biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, immunology, and others. taking the extra step in tackling those subjects while in college will go far to show that you're committed to the medical career path. so you should feel free to select courses from biology, chemistry, and whatever else tickles your fancy. however, always, always continue to take courses from the pre-med required and recommended course lists. you can get those lists from your college's health professions adviser. i will warn you though that if you do stray far and wide, as i did, it may take you additional time in college. took me 5 years and 170 or so credit hours to graduate. but i was taking pre-med courses every semester and no one ever questioned my commitment come admissions time. also, you should know that probably a third of my classmates had degrees that weren't biology or chemistry. several also had advanced degrees in law, business, and other fields. although i haven't studied the issue i'd lay odds that that percentage is even higher today. hope that helps. good luck!
Updated Los Angeles, California
Hi Angel, Look at the course work for each of these programs. It's possible that there is a good amount of overlap and you don't have to pick one to start with. Instead, maybe you could see what classes fall into all 3 programs and start there. Once you're in the courses your interests/likes may become more clear. Best of luck!
Updated Tulsa, Oklahoma
Angel, Many medical school admissions personnel prefer to see that applicants are more balanced that single-interest focused so any engineering / science / math major other than pre-med is a great choice. Meaningful extra curricular activities that help other and the community demonstrate that you have a heart for people together with your passion for medicine Please note that grades and entrance exam results are more important than your major. Best wishes, Dennis B.S.Ch. E. , 1979, University of Oklahoma