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There's a lot of interesting data suggesting that certain majors have higher acceptance rates. Do you think this is because medical schools prefer more "unique" majors, or is it just a correlation-does-not-imply-causation thing? For example, physics and philosophy majors have higher acceptance rates; is this because medical schools prefer them or are they possibly just smarter?

 

I was thinking about majoring in physics to stand out, but I can't see myself maintaining a 4.0 GPA in something like that, whereas doing so in biochem would be easier.

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As you stated, correlation does not imply causation. If someone had a 3.0 in physics and someone had a 4.0 in music, do you think they are going to take the physics major solely on the basis that they majored in physics? Not likely. Take whatever you stand your best chance in and don't worry about "higher acceptance rate majors".

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This is just total conjecture on my part, but I would guess the higher acceptance rates among people without typical premed backgrounds is largely because most people with non-premed majors aren't applying to medical school.

 

I majored in Engineering and most people in my class didn't apply to med school because they (naturally) wanted to become engineers. I applied because I wanted to become a doctor, but also because I knew I actually had a fairly strong chance to get in. I know a couple of other people from my program who were considering medicine but simply never applied because they knew they were lacking somewhere in their application (either a low GPA or MCAT) - and since they had the option of becoming engineers, they did that instead. Conversely, if those same people had done a more traditional premed major that didn't offer such an enticing backup plan, they probably would have applied anyways and been rejected, thereby reducing the acceptance rate among people in that hypothetical premed program.

 

I'm sure there are plenty of other factors at play but that's the first thing that comes to mind for me. So I'd agree - it's a "correation-does-not-equal-causation" thing.

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For Canadian schools, it's been said a million times but it's really the combination of the easiness of your major and school that will grant you the easiest entry. And I mean easiness relative to each persion. If you're really good at music, than follow that route.

 

US schools will look at what program/school you did, however. Some American schools are even starting to actively recruit arts majors. A really good school, Mt Sinai, only opens its advanced entry Medical program to humanities majors for instance: http://wso.williams.edu/orgs/medicine/mtSinai.html.

 

So I would go to an easier program that you're interested in if you only care about Canadian schools. If you want to go down South, I would then start to care more about the school's international reputation and go to a better known school.

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For Canadian schools, it's been said a million times but it's really the combination of the easiness of your major and school that will grant you the easiest entry. And I mean easiness relative to each persion. If you're really good at music, than follow that route.

 

I feel like this doesn't get mentioned enough around here. I've seen so many posts asking "What should my major be?" and that is really the best answer - pick something that you're good at and have a genuine interest in.

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As you stated, correlation does not imply causation. If someone had a 3.0 in physics and someone had a 4.0 in music, do you think they are going to take the physics major solely on the basis that they majored in physics? Not likely. Take whatever you stand your best chance in and don't worry about "higher acceptance rate majors".

 

But for the most part aren't we all taking the same undergrad course of studies in terms of premed?

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But for the most part aren't we all taking the same undergrad course of studies in terms of premed?

 

Probably because an interest in medicine is rooted in an interest in biological science for many of us so we're more likely to lean that way to begin with.

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But for the most part aren't we all taking the same undergrad course of studies in terms of premed?

 

Most but definitely not all. Various majors abound.

 

To be honest I think there is a bias in people with those majors but not a bias at the adcom/admissions level - it is in the type of students from those majors applying. The average non standard premed degree applying seems to have a very high GPA - higher than the typical premed - and often very interesting ECs.

 

Not because say engineers, or physicists, or musicians etc are smarter in general than other premeds but because only the top students in those areas apply to medicine comparatively.

 

One thing I should mention is that often people going into these different majors didn't do it with medicine being their ultimate goal. Engineers often want to be engineers, music and art were taken because those students were interested in those areas, and so on.

 

Yet despite this somehow they manage to pull off the MCAT requirements as an example - without taking often the pre reqs - that takes a certain amount of skill. Or somehow they do take organic chem as a say a music major and STILL do well in it, again that takes some skill as well. Somehow they decide in year 2-3 they want to be a doctor - and they are not discouraged from applying because they check and they have the GPA - they have it without actually knowing how important it was for applying because that wasn't on the radar. They are actively encouraged sometimes to go into medicine by councillors (I was - medicine wasn't on my radar until an economics prof made a comment to me about it) because they are better students. They have ECs in things that actually interest them because there was no other reason for them to have done any ECs at all. Since they were interested, they did well in those ECs. On paper it doesn't look like they were playing the "premed game" as it were - because they weren't. They are still often amazing students.

 

Of all the people in standard premed degrees a relatively high percentage apply to medicine. From the other areas only a relative sliver apply - I honestly think the better students from those areas. The pools they are selecting from are skewed.

 

Now that all being said it has no impact on you as an individual student - you just have to do your thing as well as you can. It isn't the major that I think is helping those other students really, it is the fact that they are hard working and smart.

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But for the most part aren't we all taking the same undergrad course of studies in terms of premed?

 

Probably because an interest in medicine is rooted in an interest in biological science for many of us so we're more likely to lean that way to begin with.

 

Pretty much what Birdy stated. If you are interested in medicine you are interested in the body (for the most part).

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