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When a student enters Orientation Week before starting their first semester at the University, they are often bombarded with a lot of information. If they are interested in becoming Pre-Meds, most advisers will stress the importance of completing their undergraduate studies in a field that focuses on a scientific discipline in order to make themselves competitive when it comes time to submitting their application. But does an education in a non-traditional scientific field cement your fate within the first year of your studies about whether you are capable of getting into a Medical School? With nearly 53,000 applicants in the 2016-2017 Medical School cycle, is there an overwhelming percentage of those that have a degree in a Science-related field? I will answer these questions and will present you some of the reasons for and against pursuing a degree in the Sciences to help you decide what path can be the right choice for you.
Reasons to Take a Traditional Scientific Path During Your Undergraduate Studies
If you choose to follow a traditional path, you will be well-represented in the application pool and you are logically following steps that will give you a good chance to succeed in Medicine studies. This was the path that I elected to take myself as a pursued a degree in Biology because I thought that taking a degree that was similar to what I needed to master in Medical School would be a good way to prepare myself for all the sciences that I would encounter at the next level. It stands to reason that you are also meeting many more professors with a scientific background so you have a better chance to get into valuable research studies that can catapult you to a higher probability of success if you get into Medical School.
When you pursue a degree in a scientific discipline, not only do you have to complete the same core sciences that all Pre-Meds have to take in order to quality for a Medical School, but you will also have to take additional credits to broaden your understanding of your field. At my University, a degree in Biology also required courses in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and options in other humanities with a scientific perspective, like the "Physiological Approach to Psychology." Along this avenue, an applicant will have a broad understanding of many disciplines in Science and that will be able to help them digest the material in Medicine much quicker compared to someone without a basic understanding of these topics.
I chose to also pursue a degree in Biology because I reasoned that should I not be accepted into a Medical School, I would still have a number of possibilities to fall back to in the Scientific Realm. I would be able to get a Master's Degree and potentially start my own research, teach, or get a job much easier than someone who chose a path in Literature or Sociology. With the number of unemployed college graduates creeping higher and higher every year, it was a logical choice to ensure I have some type of income after my studies.