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Physics, Chemistry, Biology?

  1. Nov 13, 2004 #1
    Good day fellas'.

    I am inquiring the academic and career advices on what major might best suit me fo Pre-med. I never took chemistry, nor biology... I'm Junior in highschool. I took two years of physics. What other majors are open for Pre-med?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2004 #2
    Im not 100% sure but I think the two best majors for a pre-med student are chemistry or biology. You could apply to a medical school with a bachlors degree in physics and math too. The only thing that medical schools typically require are 2 simesters of math(usually anything up to calculus 1...but a competitive pre-med students usually may go up to calc2). 4 simesters of chemistry( 2 simesters of inorganic chemistry and 2 simesters of organic chemistry). 2 simesters of biology(intro to biology and microbiology..usually!) and last but not leas 2 simesters of the greatest subject on earth...yes you guessed it PHYSICS! If you choose to take calculus based physics you will have to take all three unless your 1st intorductory calculus based physics class has a lab..then you only have to take the first two. Since the algebra based physics has lab you would only have to take two of those. Theser are the basic courses you must take to be a candidate to apply to a medical schools also most med schools require you have a bachlors degree(most not all). So if you major in chemistry or biology youll end up taking all the required med school courses anyway. If you major in math or physics you may have to go outside of your required courses to take classes such as biology and chemistry..(chem is sometimes requred for physics majors). Oh and dont forget you need a reallly good gpa...to be a competative candidate you should have higher than a 3.6 and you have got to do well on the medical college admissions test...youll be tested on physics chemistry and biology. I think thats all :redface:
  4. Nov 13, 2004 #3
    Are you sure of what you want to do? Someone seriously interested in pursuing a career in medicine should take Biology. Both the content and knowledge of whether you like the material is important. You probably should've taken Chemistry as well. I'd recommend trying to take atleast a Biology class before you get out of High School. If you have a high average you could probably be skipped to a grade 12 Biology course.

    I don't know too much about the subject though. I'm a Junior as well, and I'm considering medicine. My solution has been to take all the difficult courses avaliable in order to keep my options open.
  5. Nov 15, 2004 #4
    I heard about Medicine... is that same as pharmacy school? What are differences between Medicine and General Surgeon?

    And umm lol, I can also be Math major to apply to medical school? is it widely accepted?
  6. Nov 15, 2004 #5
    I think the requirements to apply to med school or pharmacy school are identical. The difference btween "medicine" and general "surgeon"? Well when you go to medschool you have to finish your 4 yr medical degree and then when you graduate and do your residency that is when a doctoer will specialize in lets say general surgery or neuro surgery or cardiac surgery or the many other fields. Does that answer your question?
  7. Nov 15, 2004 #6
    If you're interested in having an edge for medical school and are at all interested in engineering you can also consider a Biomedical Engineering degree (BME). I have many a friend who is majoring in that field for undergrad and then are going on to med school... BME if you don't know is the field where you'd build artificial limbs, robots for medical purposes, and stuff like that.
  8. Nov 15, 2004 #7
    Can someone give me an outline of the process since first day of college please?
  9. Nov 22, 2004 #8
    As a current pre med student, I can tell you that medical schools don't care what your major is. You can major in sports history, art, or any other non science major and still get in. However, you do have to have a high total GPA and a high math and science GPA.

    However, almost every med school requires the following 8 courses:

    General Biology 1 with lab
    General Biology 2 with lab
    General Chemistry 1 with lab
    General Chemistry 2 with lab
    Organic Chemistry 1 with lab
    Organic Chemistry 2 with lab
    General Physics 1 with lab
    General Physics 2 with lab

    None of these courses have to contain any calculus.

    The following is a list of some other courses that are either required or recommended by certain medical schools:

    Cell biology
    Molecular Biology
    Assorted Humanities

    In addition, It is very advisable to engage various extracurricular activities, like biomedical research(most premeds do that in the summer), shadowing a doctor, volunteering in a hospital, getting an EMT licence (and possibly working as one, in either an ambulance or an ER).

    There is a medical admissions test called an MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). The highest score on it is a 45T. It consists of three sections and an essay (which they dont care about, except if it is between you and another person for the last seat in an incoming class, they will look at the essay grade) which is marked from j (lowest) to t (highest). There are 15 point for each section. There is a Biology and Organic Chemistry Section, a General Chemistry and Physics section, an a Verbal Reasoning (think very hard reading comprehension) section. Calculators are not allowed, since the math on the test is easy. All answers are multiple choice. It is very hard.

    I will now list the minimum requirments that a white or asian male needs to have, in order to be a competitive medical school applicant. if you are not a white or asian male, the requirments are lower :mad:

    3.5 total GPA (the higher the better)
    3.5 math and science GPA (the higher the better)
    at least a 10 on each section of the MCAT ,for a total score of 30 (the higher the better) (from what I understand, they would prefer a 10 10 10 to a 15 15 9, since the like balance :uhh: )
    lots of extracurricular stuff
    good letters of recommendation
    a good essay and good interview skills (the average med school recieves 4000 applications, interviews 400, and accepts 100. They read a essay that you write to them with your application in which you try to give them a reason for admitting you)

    good luck
  10. Nov 22, 2004 #9


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    Mark1 covered the pre-med requirements pretty comprehensively.

    For pharmacy, that is an undergraduate degree, so you apply directly to a pharmacy school, similar to the way someone interested in engineering would apply to an engineering school. Pharmacy is a very challenging undergraduate major, but certainly a useful choice if you're interested in attending medical school afterward. Note, however, that many pharmacy programs are 5 year majors, not 4 year majors, so you'd be doing your undergraduate work an extra year.

    If you haven't taken any biology or chemistry classes yet, don't commit yourself to being pre-med until you've taken those classes. If you don't like them, you'll have a rough time getting into and surviving med school.
  11. Nov 22, 2004 #10
    I was a pre med student that was in the process of applying to schools when I decided that the medical field was not for me.

    Here's what I can tell you based on the replies that I got from schools and during interviews.

    #1 They want to see that your busy, not just full time school, part time job busy. They want 90+ hours a week busy.

    #2 This may seem odd, but during the couple interviews I went on, they were very interested in what classes I took the same semester I took the mcat (in the states that's the medical college aptitude test). They want to see that your willing to challenge yourself to achieve your dreams.

    #3 I was a biochem major and I think this was the best choice as far as a pre med program. If your in the states you will have to take the mcat, it's a timed 6 hour test covering verbal reasoning, physical chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and an essay. There isn't any actual calculus on the test, but I was far better equipped for the physical sciences portion by having taken calc 1 and engineering physics I. There were 2 problems that I was able to just pick the right answer by knowing how the units would end up after integration. I wish I would have had time to take calc II and engineering physics II, but had to settle for taking the second algebra physics course. There was also more biochem material on the test then I expected, I was very glad to have taken biochem before the test. Genetics also helped a lot more then I had expected.

    The most important advice I can give is make sure this is the path you want before you step on it. Talk to some doctors, if you have some in your family(like I did) spend a few hours discussing how they feel about their jobs.

    I just noticed something that Mark said and is dead on about, If you struggling in any area, make sure you fix it before the mcat. I did pretty well on the test, 32, but my score was balanced. A friend of mine did far better then I did on 2 of the sections but bombed the verbal reasoning part. Overall his score was higher then mine, 35 and we had similar gpa's around 3.7. I received 4 invitations to interviews, he only got 1 and he applied to the same schools that I got invites from. Other people I have known have told similar stories. He finally decided he had to retake it to be competitive with more balanced scores and got in the next year.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2004
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