Which major better for pre-med: chem or bio

<p>Well I'm just gonna flat out say that I'm a bio major and I don't get why people think chem or other science majors are better for pre-med. Frankly, I feel that people think biology is a "soft science" and that it's all just memorization. Well, I can argue that in so many ways. I get how chemistry is more analytical and requires some critical thinking, but that doesn't mean bio majors don't employ critical thinking skills throughout their courses. Let's try to keep this short and simple:</p>

<ol>
<li>Are you going to be employing partial derivatives and integration in the healthcare/ medical field?</li>
<li>Do you need to know what is happening at an atomic level to diagnose a problem at the molecular/macro level? Electron pushing and knowing resonance structures will sure help me come up with a medical intervention/plan of treatment</li>
<li>Bio majors actually take courses that are relevant to the medical field, such as epidemiology, genetics, pathophysiology, immunology, anatomy, etc, etc. I don't know of any chem or physics courses that pertain to the medical field with the exception of biochemistry and organic chemistry.</li>
<li>Bio majors actually learn medical things though not particularly extensive, can set a premise for med school or any other professional school, such as PT, PA, etc. Most bio majors actually know what a hysteroalpingogram or choledocholithiasis is. Ask a chem or physics major, and they won't have a clue.</li>
<li>Bio courses actually do require analytical thinking skills and not just rote memorization. Calculating forms of inheritance with an involved epistatic gene is moderately difficult in genetics, forming a diagnosis through transduction pathways is very difficult. And lastly, we actually learn hands on techniques that might be useful for med school, such as dissection of cadavers in anatomy/physiology, microscopy, etc. I don't see how titrations, IR spectroscopy, distillations, etc would be any useful.</li>
</ol>

<p>Sorry for the rant even though I said I would try to keep it short. So what do you think? Give me a reason why bio majors are looked down upon if the majority of med school matriculants are bio majors.</p>

<p>Whichever you like more, or if you like neither a different major.</p>

<p>-Lowest MCAT scores of all sciences (even social)
-Lowest acceptance rate of all sciences (even social)
-Med School requires 2 semesters of Bio and maybe some biochem, not zoology, ecology, and advanced botany
-Bio isn’t “diverse”
-No backup career options outside of lab tech</p>

<p>I’m going to major in Economics and go the pre-med route. Sciences are overrated, you only need the core classes and not a major in them.</p>

<p>No major is preferred over another strictly in terms of medical school admission.</p>

<p>However, different majors may have different career prospects at the bachelor’s degree level) if you do not get into medical school. Biology tends to be quite poor in this respect, but chemistry is not much better.</p>

<p>Agreed with the last statement. Thus one should go all out or go home, right? If bio and chem majors don’t have good job prospects, then might as well major in the better one for med school, right? Assuming you are doing pre-med.</p>

<p>Major ≠ med school acceptance. </p>

<p>Major in what you like, try to pick something that has a suitable backup career choice. If someone likes bio or chem they should major in it, but neither will matter at all for medical school admissions. You can get into medical school with a major in English or History just as well as a hard science.</p>

<p>-Lowest MCAT probably can be explained by the individuals and not the rigor of the program at whatever institution. Majoring in a bio over a chem major doesn’t automatically imply you are going to have a low MCAT. Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
-Lowest acceptance rates? But 80-90% of medical students matriculants are bio majors and the remaining are probably chem/biochem majors, with probably 1-2 students a liberal arts major at most? Hmm…
-bio is very diverse. Just think all of the levels its presented at: molecular, organismal, genetic, ecological, systematic, etc.
-Majoring in economics is probably the worst possible option. Career prospects are poor at the undergraduate and even graduate level. And you won’t be prepared at all for med school.</p>

<p>OP, you’re not asking a question, you’re making a claim. If you’re right, then be happy that all those other deluded pre-meds out there majoring in anything other than bio are headed for disaster while you are cruising toward success. You might want to go over to the pre-med forum though; there will be many who disagree with what you say. And they are actually in medical school or have kids in med school. But what do they know?</p>

<p>I suppose you are right as evident in my bias? Though just because there are individuals who can major in liberal arts and get accepted, doesn’t mean everyone can do it, and surely isn’t the more efficient path. I can assure you that there is a right way to do things, though probably isn’t right for everyone, so if someone thinks that majoring in history and memorizing dates, treaties, and wars will prepare one for med school, who am I to judge? I’m not even in professional school yet, so what do I know? (btw I’m pre-med for PA not MD) I’ll leave this thread as that.</p>

<p>-Biology majors study way too much biology. The MCAT only contains biology from Bio 1 & 2. Bio majors learn so much more biology than what is relevant to get into med school. Biology majors score the second lowest out of all majors on the PS and VR sections of the MCAT. When it comes to the BS section, they only score better than psych and actual “pre-med science” majors. *</p>

<p>-Biology majors only constitute 50% of applicants and matriculants. There are 8900+ matriculants who majored in a social science, physical science, humanity, or “other” **</p>

<p>-Bio is not diverse when it comes to applying, as it is by far the most common. Schools are always pushing diversity agendas and ADCOMS probably love sifting through cookie-cutter bio major apps all day.</p>

<p>-Economics has great career options. It has an average starting salary of $56,000 (with just a bachelor’s) and an unemployment rate of 5%. It’s only bested by engineering and computer fields. Economics majors can work in business, finance, consulting, the gov’t, or continue their education with a master’s, JD, or MBA. It’s very diverse and you learn to think critically. </p>

<p>*[Some</a> Statistics on the MCAT and Undergraduate Majors | A Med School Odyssey](<a href=“http://medschoolodyssey.■■■■■■■■■■■■■/2010/03/30/some-statistics-on-the-mcat-and-your-undergraduate-major/]Some”>http://medschoolodyssey.■■■■■■■■■■■■■/2010/03/30/some-statistics-on-the-mcat-and-your-undergraduate-major/)</p>

<p>**<a href=“https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/2012factstable18.pdf[/url]”>https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/2012factstable18.pdf</a></p>

<p>Those who look down upon other majors just don’t know what they’re talking about. :slight_smile:
If you love biology, study biology - but be excellent at it.
And don’t try to describe a major (History) that you really don’t understand any better than a Physics major would understand a Bio major.
Med schools actually like best non-science majors who could also get A’s in their core premed science classes. Simply because it’s rare and essentially it means being able to be excellent in two majors that require very different ways of thinking.</p>

<p>Biology is great as a subject, but as UCBalumnus said, it doesn’t have too many career prospects if you only have that BA and don’t get into med school. So that’s one downside. It’s good to have a Plan B. Go to your career center and ask what positions or careers are open to Bio majors, then ask what you need to do to get there.</p>

<p>As for alpha male “p/contest” re: disciplines being harder or not, only people who have no clue about a major can call it “soft”. Being excellent in <em>any</em> major requires intelligence, dedication, and creativity. That’s why, as long as you have your core premed requirements, you can go to med school with an Art History or Gender Studies Major and a 4.0, but you can’t if you have a 2.3 and a Physics or Civil Engineering major. Biomedical engineering students at some universities might harp on “soft” subjects and “useless” majors (including premeds in the liberal arts college of their university), until they apply to med schools and, depending on their background, can’t get in because they don’t have the proper liberal arts foundation (and it’s likely to get worse with the new requirements). The upside for them is that they can easily find a job.
Of course, if you have a B- average in your core premed classes, it doesn’t matter what major you’re trying for, you’ll never get into any medical school.</p>

<p>From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t matter what you major in. Chem majors, bio majors, biochem majors, music majors, whatever majors can all get into med school. You just have to take the prereqs.</p>

<p>From a “learning medicine” standpoint, you aren’t really “learning medicine” when you’re in anatomy, physiology, or biochem class. Sure you might learn about enzyme deficiencies to give biochem some context, or integrate chem and bio to study kidneys, but you’re not learning how to diagnose and treat patients–that’s what med school, residency, fellowship, and beyond are for.</p>

<p>You should focus on choosing something you’re interested in because it has intrinsic value to you. You should choose a major based on what you want to learn more about, recognizing that undergrad is the last opportunity for you to formally study something simply because you want to learn it. You have the luxury of time and opportunity in undergrad. Once you graduate, if you go to med school, you won’t have much time for pursuing scholarly interests outside of medicine. So yeah, take the Religions and Harry Potter interdisciplinary class, minor in history, take quantum mechanics, whatever, just start figuring out how to learn and how to study.</p>

<p>Those skills, along with a healthy dose of skepticism and a quest for knowledge and evidence, are what will make you a great med student and doctor. Not whether you took A&P or biochem or advanced physics, or whether your bachelor’s is labeled science or arts or whatever.</p>

<p>You have some very fine points. Never thought of it through those perspectives.</p>

<p>major in whatever you want, but try to fit in a Deductive Logic class. Everyone should take that class…and rather early on.</p>

<p>:)</p>

<p>

</p>

<p>Applicants and matriculants to medical school by primary undergraduate major:</p>

<p>Biological science: 52.5%, 51.3%
Physical science: 10.7%, 12.0%
Humanities: 4.3%, 5.0%
Social studies: 11.2%, 11.8%</p>

<p><a href=“https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/2012factstable18.pdf[/url]”>https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/2012factstable18.pdf</a></p>

<p>Whichever you personally prefer…
Statistics is irrelevant, YOU are the only one who will nake it possible or impossible for YOU to matriculate to Med. School. Your UG school name, you major are only relevant in regard to how they match YOU, as a whole person with ALL of your interests, Medical as well as non-medical and YOUR personality. NOTHING else is relevant, just a waste of time to research all kind of statistics, instead research your personal fit to school/major</p>

<p>From a “learning medicine” standpoint, you aren’t really “learning medicine” when you’re in anatomy, physiology, or biochem class.</p>

<p>this is so true, and often misunderstood by many who aren’t familiar with what “premed” really is.</p>

<p>I was recently at a luncheon and another couple asked me about my med school son. I said that he had been a ChemEng’g major. They both looked shocked. They quickly asked me how a ChemE major would/could go to med school. They clearly didn’t understand that “being premed” doesn’t mean taking “pre-doctor” classes as undergrads.</p>

<p>If I were to create a premed major, I think I would create some kind of hybrid course listing that includes the prereqs, and includes some English, Philosophy (deductive logic, critical thinking, ethics), Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Latin and another FL, History, Econ, Business, Accounting, Public Speaking, Literature, Fine Arts and History.</p>

<p>“From a “learning medicine” standpoint, you aren’t really “learning medicine” when you’re in anatomy, physiology, or biochem class.”
-Absolutely nothing you can learn in UG “From a “learning medicine” standpoint”, zero.</p>

<p>I agree. We need more classes that helps students develop critical thinking skills and how to deduce properly, but at the same time you can’t refute that the pre-med science courses set a premise for higher level studies. How do you expect to study biochemistry and pathophysiology in med/pa school when you don’t know simple undergraduate anatomy and physiology? I highly doubt that an engineer course like statics or fluids would help in that aspect, but I can see how the critical thinking component would fit in. To each their own, I suppose.</p>

<p>Well, I kind of disagree. There are programs/institutions out there that emphasize undergraduate level studies in relation with the “medical model” of healthcare. Although it isn’t anything like med school, it’s the closest thing available and we actually do learn medically-related things in some of my bio courses, such as how to interpret different scans, how to develop medical interventions, chemical analysis and how to come up with diagnosis from a molecular standpoint, etc. We also learn a great deal about the terminology used and to interpret what this or that means in medical papers. My favorite part was learning different suturing methods and we did this in anatomy.</p>