Latin in HS for pre-med

Hi, I’m a rising 9th grader and was wondering if anyone has had experience with taking Latin in HS. Will it help me prepare for pre-med?

Yes, in the respect that Latin is one of the core languages on which medical terminology was developed along with Greek. Might make it easier to become a medical scribe or get other experience enriching your premed portfolio. Can also help with some of the science classes as biology and anatomy have latin based terms.

It is not necessary, but it is useful.

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Spanish is the most useful language for a pre-med by far, knowing latin roots for words is minimally helpful for studying, fluency in spanish will make you able to communicate with patients.



I can think of many many other things that will better prepare you to be a strong pre-med intention in college than JUST taking Latin.

I would agree that fluency in Spanish would be good.

Please keep in mind…if you apply to medical school to start after attending undergrad, your high school courses won’t matter. And acceptance to medical school really isn’t going to be based on taking Latin in high school. I don’t think there is much on the MCAT that requires…Latin.


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I took Spanish 1 in 8th grade, so maybe I’ll continue learning that outside school.

Had 4 years of HS Latin. Was in health care field for decades. For me, it’s biggest plus has been in solving crossword puzzles.


Not necessarily the same, but I did four years of Latin in HS (and more in middle school) as a pre-vet. Honestly I wish I had taken Spanish, it’s just more applicable and personally I don’t think Latin is as helpful towards my future career as I’d hoped it would be. The biggest thing out of Latin I got was interest in the history that we translated in class.


Spanish would be much more useful. But Latin can have its benefits. From PBS: Opinion: Study Latin if you want to talk like a supervillain | PBS NewsHour

“Beginner Latin teaches you to talk like a supervillain. Wheelock’s Latin, the standard beginner textbook at the college level, teaches you how to say the following sentences:

“You are all to blame, and tomorrow you will pay the ultimate price.”

“Our army is great, and because of the number of our arrows, you shall not see the sky.”

As a former Middle Atlantic region Latin translation winner and finalist for the national competition….I agree the translations passages are often exceptionally bellicose. (And often pretty boring. Do you really care how much grain is loaded on a warship for Julius Caesar’s soldiers? Or how long the ship was?)

To the OP, Spanish is ten thousands times more useful to a pre med than Latin. (Biomedical librarian here and mother of 2 doctors who use Spanish all the times with patients, but never use Latin for anything.)

Latin is most useful if you want to study classics, religion/theology or medieval studies.


I am also a doctor and my worst class through HS was Spanish. I used it daily in inner city hospitals in NYC and learned a ton more through need. If you are good with language you are better off continuing Spanish at school and taking latin on your own.


I took Latin, and enjoyed it, but speaking/understanding Spanish is SOOOOOOOO much more useful in many parts of the US. For pre-med I would 100% vote for as much formal Spanish instruction as possible, and do Latin for fun.

Really internalizing that this is something you might end up using on a daily basis in your future career, should help provide the motivation to really dig in deep on it.

My son took a one hour course in college through the language dept that was latin and greek medical terminology. Great one hour course and all the latin and greek he and his fiancée have needed. I agree in high school Spanish was more helpful.

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Maybe if you are a history major focusing on Roman history?

Oh wow flashbacks to De Bello Gallico! Hard to believe that was like 3 years ago now… time flies