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Is it possible to go to Duke pre-med AND be happy?

dundermiff\sysdundermiff\sys Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited March 2009 in Duke University
I've just been accepted to Trinity for Class of 2013, and I am set on going to medical school. I'm currently thinking about neuroscience as my field of study undergrad, but I'm a bit worried! From what I've heard, Duke pre-med students are very competitive and many of the science classes are curved downward. On the other hand, I really like that Duke has such a high medical school acceptance rate and a lot of non-academic aspects of the school. Basically, if I go to Duke pre-med, will I have to sacrifice my sanity and well-being to do well?
Post edited by dundermiff\sys on

Replies to: Is it possible to go to Duke pre-med AND be happy?

  • joelyam2joelyam2 Posts: 148Registered User Junior Member
    I recently got denied from Duke so obviously I can't give you a firsthand view of the school's workings, BUT I have read a lot of things about Duke on this site and about their pre-med program. I also wanted to do neuroscience, and I know that Duke has an amazing program for it, so I would stick with that. Also, the pre-med students are very competitive. I do not think that grade deflation at Duke is too much of a problem, maybe a little bit but not nearly as much as UC-B. But anyways, I read that the advisory team at Duke is amazing for the pre-med students. They know their stuff and can direct you toward the right direction-hence the high acceptance rate to medical school. There is a guy on here, I think his name is bluedevilmike if I remember right. I'm not sure if he still post and stuff but he was very helpful on information concerning pre-med students at Duke. I think you should go for it though and good luck at Duke.
  • SriverFXSriverFX Posts: 68Registered User Junior Member
    If you wanna be premed at Duke, you're gonna have to work hard, that's for sure. Roughly 45% of incoming freshmen want to be premed. However, at the end of four years, only about 85-90 students in each class ends up being getting in to med school. Of course, you can always try again after you graduate, but those are the numbers. Yes, wedding-out does happen to a lot of people (like me). Every pre med class is curved to a b-, so half the class does get a b- or lower.
  • PoisonousPoisonous Posts: 580Registered User Member
    Would a neuroscience major instead of pre-med be easier? Or are they the same thing? I really don't know anything about pre-med.
  • SBRSBR Posts: 2,780Registered User Senior Member
    Pre-med is a set of courses that you take which are required by medical schools:
    1 year of bio w/ lab
    1 year of gen chem w/ lab
    1 year of orgo w/ lab
    1 year of english

    Neuroscience is a major.
  • PoisonousPoisonous Posts: 580Registered User Member
    That doesn't sound too bad. What makes it hard? The chem?
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,697Registered User Senior Member
    It's the weddings....

    "Yes, wedding-out does happen to a lot of people"

    Sorry....
  • SBRSBR Posts: 2,780Registered User Senior Member
    hahahaha

    I forgot to note above, you also need 1 year of physics

    But yeah, sometimes it's very hard to take one GPA hit after another
  • Senator NoodlesSenator Noodles Posts: 589Registered User Member
    Well, your biggest thing is that neuroscience isn't a major here. You have to major in biology and can do a concentration in neuroscience. I'm not premed, and nor am I a biology major, so I can't help you there, but if I were you, I'd go here: Duke Department of Biology and look at the requirements and stuff. I think most Bio majors are premed and they seem to make it into med school just fine, so I'm sure you'll be fine also. As far as having time to relax goes, I'm double-majoring in engineering and a totally unrelated humanities and I have plenty of time to relax/go to basketball games/etc. If you're determined to get the best of everything, you'll learn to manage your time and make it all work out. Good luck! =)
  • SBRSBR Posts: 2,780Registered User Senior Member
    I hear that neuroscience will be a new major if not next year then the year after that.

    According to the Arts & Sciences Strategic Plan published back in 2006 by Duke:

    "With strategic investment by Arts and Sciences in partnership with other schools, Duke can create a uniquely broad-reaching initiative in Brain, Mind, and Behavior. We envision the possible development of a University-wide “Brain, Mind, Genes and Behavior” Program. Such a Program would create and support broad, problem-oriented, cross-disciplinary research groups and educational efforts; promote joint, especially cross-school, hires that leverage resources to maximize faculty expertise and quality; and accelerate the development of cross-disciplinary disciplines. Not only would such a Program play a key role in defining new research areas, but it would also catalyze potential educational opportunities, such as a university graduate program in neuroscience; an undergraduate program in Brain, Mind, and Behavior; a new cross departmental, undergraduate major and minor in Neuroscience; and additional Focus program clusters and undergraduate research opportunities."
  • sockpuppetsockpuppet Posts: 182Registered User Junior Member
    Pre-med is going to be competitive. If you want to pursue pre-med, just keep in mind that there are a lot of kids working extremely hard. Whether you are happy or not depends on if you like your classes/professors/fellow classmates.
  • belevittbelevitt Posts: 2,005Registered User Senior Member
    Somebody already stated this but I think I will reiterate. Premed is not a major or even a list that includes your name anywhere- it is merely a non-stated declaration that you might be interested in medical school (MD or DO programs) after college. The course requirements for premed students would include gen chem, organic chem, intro biology, biochemistry, genetics???, calculus, physics and probably a few assorted courses like stats or english or something.

    The major you select on the other hand, is a community that you join. You have to take the same courses that all science students would (which include the premed courses as prerequisites) but also include course requirements that relate to a specific topic eg. neuroscience. You also commit to interacting with a specific subset of faculty in your area for your advanced coursework (faculty lists by department are available on the department website) and for your research requirements.

    Certainly, all science majors are competitive but I don't think you are adopting the right mindset with this process. The reason that so many individuals decide against applying to medical school after college has more to do with exposure to different fields. A very large portion of individuals who enrolled in a major in the sciences end up going into biotech, pharmaceuticals, public health, science education, science policy, biomedical engineering, education and a number of other fields. There are substantially more biomedical graduate students at Duke than medical students. Some students are intimidated by the daunting coursework and research requirements and choose to leave science entirely, but that is not the main reason for not applying to medical school. Furthermore, not everybody who applies to a medical school ends up in a medical program, some decline the acceptance, some never get an acceptance and some attend and change their minds midway through or after their degree (and enter any of the aforementioned fields).
  • Faline2Faline2 Posts: 3,870Registered User Senior Member
    my son is graduating...he did not have a true vocation as a doc which he discovered quickly despite coming in as a possible chem major.
    His classmates going to med school are brilliant hard working fun loving kind energetic young men (he has not told me yet about his female friends but I ask about his housemates of course)...who swear their kids are going to Duke. And they are getting into med schools that are quite excellent.
    I will say that his best friends heading for med school probably arrived with true vocations already in their minds and hearts. While our son went off into other academic directions.
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