You can become a pre-med at any time during college or even after you’ve graduated from college.
My older D didn’t decide yo pursue med school until she was a second semester senior. Today, she’s an attending physician in the specialty of her choice.
You have some misconceptions.
- You do NOT need to major in biology, math or a science to be a pre-med. Pre med is an intention, not any specific major.
What you DO need to do is complete the typical med school pre-reqs:
2 semesters intro bio with labs
2 semesters gen chem w/ labs
2 semesters organic chem w/ labs
1 semester biochemistry
2 semesters general physics w/ labs
2 semesters English/writing skills (expository writing)
Recommended at all schools, required at many and tested on the MCAT:
1 semester statistics
1 semester intro psychology
1 semester intro sociology
Additionally some specific med school have additional requirements–like another semester of college level math, public speaking, or a course in medical ethics. Once you’ve completed your required classes and you are ready to start looking at specific med schools, you can check out those additional requirements.
- You can take the MCAT any time after you’ve completed your pre-reqs.
You do NOT need to take the MCAT at the end of your junior year unless you intend to matriculate directly into med school from undergrad.
Only a minority of successful med school applicants follow that timeline. The majority of successful med school applicants take the MCAT at the end of their senior year or later and apply to med school after one or more gap years. There is no one specific timeline for a successful med school application.
Don't be scared!
The path to med school is long and it is different for everyone. If you want to be a pre-med--be one! Don't get trapped into thinking that there is a specific timeline you need to be on--because there isn't one. The average age of a newly matriculated med student is 26. There are even individuals who start med school well into their 40s and 50s.
Your college probably has a Health Professions Advising Office. Do a google search for "Health professions advising" and the name of your college. There will be general info about the pre-med process on that page.
Another useful resource is [Premed</a> Navigator](<a href="https://students-residents.aamc.org/navigator/%5DPremed">https://students-residents.aamc.org/navigator/)
Besides having the pre-reqs and a MCAT, all pre-meds need to have the expected pre-med ECs. Those ECs include: community service with disadvantaged populations, physician shadowing, clinical exposure either thru volunteering or paid employment, and some leadership experiences in your activities. If you can get some hands experience in a research lab or with a clinical programs--that's a plus! (But not having research isn't a dealbreaker.)
If you have any specific questions, I'll be happy to answer. You can post them or PM me.