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Major for college before Medical school?

lowkeyveryhighkeylowkeyveryhighkey Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
I aspire to become a neurologist and was wondering what kind of major will best prepare me for the course work in Medical school and for my career. I plan to apply to UC's and Cal States in southern California.

Replies to: Major for college before Medical school?

  • GumbymomGumbymom Registered User Posts: 18,430 Senior Member
    You can major in anything you want as long as take the Medical School required courses to apply.
    Pick a major where you think you can excel in academically (high GPA) and you could also use as a backup in case Medical school does not become a reality.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::
    Some schools require applicants to complete a certain list of premedical course requirements while others have moved to a competency-based admissions. At a minimum, students will likely complete the following types of courses:

    First, it is important to remember that, regardless of what major you ultimately choose, there are core courses that most medical schools require you take:

    • two semesters of biology with laboratory (up to four semesters at some schools)

    • two semesters of inorganic chemistry with laboratory

    • two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory

    • two semesters of math, at least one in calculus

    • two semesters of physics with laboratory

    • two semesters of English and/or writing

    Check each Medical school website for specific course requirements.

    In addition to challenging coursework, applicants should look for opportunities to demonstrate a range of competencies. To gain experience, applicants should consider volunteering at a local hospital or clinic to gain practical experience in the health professions. A well-rounded sampling of extra-curricular activities or work experiences, both related and unrelated to medicine, will help broaden an applicant's knowledge and development.Chapter 7 of the Official Guide to Medical School Admissions, “The Admissions Decision,” describes the evaluation process in to further detail.

    Students interested in medicine are encouraged to research the wide variety of careers available in the health professions, to discuss the nature and demands of medicine with a pre-medical advisor or health professional, and to ask a lot of questions before embarking on the application process.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 1,953 Senior Member
    ^^^^agree. In my med school class, there were Russian Lit majors, Psychology majors, prior respiratory therapists, nurses, dentists, any major you name it.

    The majority though were Bio majors. I was Chem. I think the Bio majors did have a leg up however on those who only took the premed courses necessary to apply, and although I loved Chemistry and would not change it looking back, I did kind of envy the Bio majors who may have tested out of some required courses and had a better background.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 23,208 Super Moderator
    Is there evidence to suggest that, given two otherwise equal (yes, never happens) candidates, med schools prefer, say, the art major over the bio major?
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 1,953 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    I don't think any major is preferred, but bio majors are probably competing against other bio majors in the majority. An art major who wants to help others learn medicine through drawing and graphic design and modeling is probably is more interesting and a stand-out.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,597 Senior Member
    https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf shows some medical school applicant and matriculant data by primary undergraduate major. Biology majors make up a little more than half of applicants and matriculants, but still leaves lots of applicants and matriculants in other majors.

    Note that most medical school applicants fail to get into any medical school. So consider whether your backup plans relate to your choice of undergraduate major.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 7,802 Senior Member
    As stated above, med school do not care which UG major as an applicant. But science majors have advantages because the med school prerequisites are mostly weed out lower level classes in UG and one small slip for a non-science majors your sGpa will not be med school worthy. Science majors have a better chance to make up their gpa in higher level classes.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,415 Super Moderator
    As stated above, med school do not care which UG major as an applicant. But science majors have advantages because the med school prerequisites are mostly weed out lower level classes in UG and one small slip for a non-science majors your sGpa will not be med school worthy. Science majors have a better chance to make up their gpa in higher level classes.

    Mmm, I'm not sure that I agree that science majors have an advantage. Many humanities and social sciences majors are more flexible and have fewer requirements like cognate courses or prerequisites than science majors, so I think it's basically a wash as far as lower-level biology and chemistry and physics go. And there are many humanities and social sciences majors who also do very well in the science courses and are simply art or philosophy majors because of interest, not ability.

    I can see the point about raising your overall science GPA later, but HSS majors have similar opportunities to take a few upper-level science courses if they really want to. (Also, chances are if those science majors don't do very well in foundational courses they won't do well in upper-level courses, either.)
  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Registered User Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    IMO it’s less about “what kind of major will best prepare me for the course work” in Medical school and for my career, but more about further development or refinement of skills that hopefully began to take hold in high school (eg time management, challenging yourself, working harder academically, improving your communication skills) that will best prepare you for Medical school and career. Any major can do this for med school, but if not med school, a major more in line with a Plan B might be a better choice.

    If you’re thinking along the lines about what actual course material would give you a head start for med school, for the most part, stop thinking this way. What you might learn in say in an anatomy or neurology class will probably be long forgotten before you start med school, or be taught at a much slower pace/amount as compared to the pace/amount taught in med school that it will not prepare you much, if at all.

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