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Is pre-med a safe bet?

cutiedidacutiedida Registered User Posts: 486 Member
Hi all. I'm considering pursuing pre-medical studies at college but I had some questions. I've always been interested in medicine, especially Doctor without Borders. However, I don't want to be a biology major at all. Two reasons: (1) Its doesn't sound that interesting and (2)what do I do with a biology degree if I don't end up going to medical school?

In addition, is there any unemployment among doctors? This obviously isn't my main concern but is something I am thinking about.

Replies to: Is pre-med a safe bet?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,789 Senior Member
    Pre-med is an intention, not a major. You don't need to be biology major if you don't want to. be You can major in whatever you want to so long as you complete all pre-med requirements. (bio, gen chem, ochem, biochem, physics, calc, stats, English, sociology, psych)

    Both my daughters are in med school; neither one was a bio major. They have classmates whose majors run the gamut from agriculture to zoology and everything in-between.

    There is very little employment among physicians.
  • jalfredjalfred Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    edited January 2015
    Per USNWR, the unemployment rate among physicians is .7(seven-tenths of one)%.
  • GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Registered User Posts: 5,440 Senior Member
    ^WOWM, I assume you meant to say unemployment. ;)
  • cutiedidacutiedida Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    @WayOutWestMom‌ Wow, two daughters in medical school! Do you have any tips?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,729 Senior Member
    Save your money... keep your undergrad debt low.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,789 Senior Member
    intparent gives good advice. Keep your debt low. Med school is expensive.


    Each kidlet chose her path independently, had very different interests/research/activities/majors. Each took a different route to med school and were attracted to medicine for different reasons.

    My advice--be true to yourself. Med schools want authentic, interesting individuals, not cookie cutter applicants.


    And I meant unemployment among doctors is low.

    @GA2012MOM -- Gosh, I hope so. D1 is looking forward to finally having a net income again instead of a net outflow, even if she'll be earning about the same as your average first year high school teacher.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    "Its doesn't sound that interesting "
    -It should not be just interesting, you should have a passion for bio, otherwise, why consider medicine at all......cannot help all those sick without passion for biology
  • jalfredjalfred Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    Ignore the above; my kid was a chemistry major and is doing just fine, and as the bio department emphasized plant biology(lots of environmental stuff) it's completely understandable to find it not very interesting.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    The same here. Ignore the above.....Plant bio??? You are going to take care of sick people with the plant bio, they teach plant bio in Med. School? Nope, they teach bio, nothing else whatsoever. how anybody who is not interested in bio, can study that much bio. Ignore ALL of us for that mater, do whatever YOU wish.
  • jalfredjalfred Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    OP: there is no need to have a passion for biology. There are many, many successful medical school applicants who major in other disciplines. The need, obviously, is the desire to be a physician-which begins and ends in almost all cases treating sick people. Is that what you want to do?
    And yes Miami, there are colleges at which the bio departments emphasize environmental biology, which, believe it or not, embraces eco systems(hint: lots of plants, etc).
  • mcat2mcat2 Registered User Posts: 5,942 Senior Member
    edited February 2015
    Plant bio???
    MiamiDAP, Even though DS was graduated as a molecular bio major, he still needed to take at least one bio class with an emphasis on plant bio to fulfill his department's graduation requirement. (Some may be able to skip the lecture part (not sure about the lab part) using high school Bio AP credit which he did not take.)

    He actually said the class was VERY interesting and to him, it was more interesting than most molecular bio classes (he took a lot), and he said if he had known it was so interesting as a freshman, he might choose to be on that side of bio. It was totally strange that the intro bio was almost his last bio class before graduation because it was not a prereq for any other molecular bio classes. His department advisor said jokingly that he took some of his bio classes in a reverse order even though he did not violate any of course sequence rule or failed to meet the graduation requirement.

    He did not give much thought about what classes would be useful or not for his future (I think he did not know what his future plan might be exactly most time in college). In the first 2.5 years in his college career, the med school was not much in his mind (we actually had some concerns that he might not have had enough or "proper" ECs but we did not say anything, because the "agreement" among us was he did not have to think about applying to med school while he's an UG student. He had always been somewhat an "off-beat" premed student -- e.g., somewhat reluctantly took the MCAT prep class and then waited almost a whole year to actually take the test and really did not invest additional time in his preparation in-between, did not want to spend time in researching med schools to come up with the list of schools to apply to, and almost did not want to submit his applications to AMCAS and planned to rely on TMDSAS; If we did not insist he gave it a shot there also, this would likely happen and he would still go to a med school but he would at a different one - likely a public med school in our state, because I think even BCM is an AMCAS school.)
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    I am not saying that plant Bio is not required, not even close to that. Part of the first Bio that D. took at her UG, that was taught by 3 profs, was in fact Botany. I am just saying, that most pre-meds Bio classes are in fact have nothing to do with the plant Bio, while a bit of it may be reuqiredd. And I have no idea how one can study very high levels of Bio at Med. School without having a passion for this subject. Poor souls, might be even harder than for those who actually enjoy studying Bio, but there is not question about the challenge level, it is unimaginably high and no talent or passion is enough, very very hard work for anybody.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,247 Forum Champion
    I think @MiamiDAP is on the right track here. What exactly does "no interest in biology" mean? There are plenty of ways to interpret that phrase that wouldn't matter one bit for a physician but there are ways that would be a big red flag for someone pursuing a career as a physician.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,430 Forum Champion
    I think there's a difference between "I hate science, I hate bio," and "it's fine, I can get thru it with A's".
  • jalfredjalfred Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    edited February 2015
    Based on an utterly unscientific survey of three physicians and a medical student: none were bio majors(all were chemistry) and all took the bare minimum of biology(for them it was two semesters plus lab). None of them liked bio or took anything beyond the required; keep in mind this was the bio survey course at four different colleges and the course, though at four different schools, was pretty similar-lots of stuff about biology, very little about people bio, though.
    All thought(think) medical school was interesting challenging, etc but enjoy the biochem aspects a lot, and didn't really consider things like anatomy to be biology. The three physicians are all primary care doctors, and all agreed that they thought their chemistry backgrounds were very helpful in medical school. So maybe it's apples and oranges, but all would agree with OP-at the college level, none found biology "that interesting" and none felt hindered in med school b/c of their lack of interest.
This discussion has been closed.