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What does it take to graduate in med-related faculties?

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First of all, I never visited med-related forum... and it was recommended from my acquaintance. I am in grade 12 in Alberta.


Because I want to finish post secondary education as soon as possible, I am trying to make the final decision before going into any universities. I can’t afford to finish med, but I can afford to get pharmacy degree. I hear that pharmacy is a stable job with decent pay, and it doesn’t require as much money and time as becoming a doctor.


Here’s my dilemma. I want to become pharmacist, but my passion lies in history. In my 11th grade as a full IB-student, I was far ahead of my history teacher. (Probably because he used to be part of Quebec resistance movement… no offense…) And if not for the crappy pay, I would have pursued history in my future university. Chemistry and biology, in another hand, are not as interesting as history from my humble opinion… but I still am interested in it. I used to get decent mark, and still do in my regular classes. (Average gets super-high when you drop IB courses to get normal courses…) I don’t mind science and math courses.


I know a lot of people say that med-related studies are difficult when you are just doing it for money, but if you have some interest… is it still a realistic goal to become pharmacist? My high school marks easily meet the requirement for any faculty of science (Minimum requirement is like 70%, for heaven’s sake), but I am not so sure about Faculty of Pharmacy. The average is between 3.7 – 4.0 GPA, and they accept 130 kids from any universities!


So I just want to understand what’s like to study for med-related studies, from the first year. I sleep a lot, procrastinate and really addicted to games. According to the rumor, (which I was told not to listen to them…) first year is even easier than high school because there’s less lecture time… but I don’t know what to believe anymore. Opinions are all divided… so I want to hear opinions from people who are actually in med-related studies.


Any comments, advice, info or anything that will help me to understand life as a med student will be most appreciated.


- From an uncertain and desparte high school student....



PS: Nearly forgot, how easy is it to get A or A+ in classes needed for med-related subjects in general? Is it super-jump from getting 90s in high school marks?

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Generalizations are a problem because they are just that--generalizations


I'll address a few of your questions. I'm assuming you're using "med-related studies" as a synonym for pre-med aka an undergrad science degree.


The most important thing to remember is that a lot of people change their mind on what they want to do with their life once they get to University. Don't base your entire life thinking you want to do pharmacy/medicine/whatever because it could very well change. Also realize that you need at least 2 years of schooling, and generally >85% of students admitted to medicine at whatever University have finished their full 4 year degree. A lot of things can change in 4 years especially with the maturing process that [generally] comes with University.


1) Don't assume you want to finish University as fast as possible, even though you think that now. University should be the best time of your life and finishing it is fast as possible doesn't necessarily translate to enjoyment.

2) First year is harder than high school if you didn't take IB. If you did take IB science, it's probably easier since you've already covered the material before. Basically, the IB sciences are more or less equivilent to 1st year University courses.

3) People who did well in high school generally do well in University and vice versa. This is generalizing once again, though. I know people who had 90+ in high school and who failed out and people who hardly met the requirements to get into their faculty who are doing very well. It's all about the transition and knowing how much you have to study. I didn't even get an overall average of 80 until Grade 12 and I'm doing well at University.

4) Pharmacy is easier to get into than Med at the U of A. You can get into pharm after 1 year with ~a 3.7. Med requires, on average, a 3.8 over a 4 year degree.


I'm tired of typing but the best advice I can offer you is to not panic about anything yet. 1st year whether you want to do med or pharm consists of basically the same course load. You'll figure everything out eventually.

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Hi Pikau7,


Perhaps you meant other health-lated fields?


Within the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, you can also consider:


Dentistry (4 years)

Dental Hygiene (3 years?)

Medical Laboratory Science (4 years)


Other faculties:


Nursing (4 years)

Rehabilitation Medicine: Occupational Therapy (MSc only at U of A), Physical Therapy (MSc), Speech Pathology and Audiology (MSc)


All the above programs require that you have at least one year of something (sometimes a BSc).


Also, you can still fullfill the prerequisite requirements for pharmacy while doing a Bachelor of Arts in history (that is, do all your elective courses in sciences).


Finally, getting As and A+s is not as easy or as difficult as you think. You'll be surrounded by smart people in university and most courses require quite a bit of work to do really well in.


Good luck!

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