Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

looking for advice regarding courseload and minors etc


Guest SarahL

Recommended Posts

Guest SarahL

Hi everyone, I am facing a bit of dillemma regarding the next few years,

I am doing a BA with a psychology major, and although I have no problem balancing the basic premed courses in my schedule, I am unsure as to whether I should try and minor in biology. I can fit it in my schedule, (taking six courses) but I am a little concerned about the work load, because some of the biology courses for example Biochemistry are rumoured to be very difficult, and as I have a very full load next year (6 courses + 2 labs) should I not do the biology minor, and fill my courses up with gpa friendly courses , would the biology minor look good for me? I am interested in the courses, and I recognize that a greater knowledge of cellular biology and biochemistry would undoubedly help me in medical school, however I know that the gpa is very important. I am managing a 4.0+ as it is, I believe that I could still do well with the added biology courses but perhaps it might go down,

Anyway thanks for reading this! Any insight would be great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Biochem10

Hi. I think that you should take the biology courses if you're interested in them, but I really don't think it matters for med school whether you minor in biology--perhaps you don't need to take that many bio courses, just a few of the basic ones? Anyway, I personally don't think you're GPA will go down if you work really hard, but then again, do you really want to over work yourself just so you can say that you have a 'minor'. It's really up to how much time you're willing to devote to school--there's other things that will be important for your med school application such as volunteering and extracurriculars, so beware of becoming a library hermit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest UWOMED2005

I concur. It's amazing how important things like majors and minors seemed when I was choosing, considering how UNimportant such things are now that I'm in meds! I guess at cocktail parties if anyone asks you might be able to impress someone some day teensy bit more by saying "BA major in psych with a minor in bio" than just

BA psych." But if your career path is medicine, what you did in your Bachelor's doesn't really matter. . . in fact, many med students (ie the ones with 3 years) didn't even complete their bachelor's before enrolling in meds.

 

That being said, you might want to take as many biology (ie physiology, immunology, biochem, anatomy) courses as possible, not for getting into med school but for when you've been accepted. I have a number of friends who did BAs (probably the majority in Psych) and while they had no problems getting in and for the most parts have been able to pass no problem, they've still in most cases had a bit more of a challenge than those who studied biosciences. Just a thought. . . but not a very necessary one for you to think about at this stage!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

to my knowledge minors don't even show up on your transcript (i was one course short of a chem minor and decided against taking the last one because it made absolutely no difference in the end). also, med schools don't give preference to the various science degrees.... just a thought to keep in mind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest peachy

Minors certainly show up on your transcript at my school :)

 

For me it would be the simple question - do you WANT to take biology? When you picture yourself sitting in class next year, do you want it be in a biology class or in something else?

 

I chose to do the minimum of biology because I really wanted to learn different stuff in my undergrad. I figure med school will teach me everything I need to know about medicine, and the other interesting things that I learned in undergrad will be a bonus. :) The tradeoff is that the beginning of med school will certainly be harder for me - and I was indeed asked at every interview about how I knew I could do well in medicine given a somewhat untraditional background. It's your choice to make about what's important to YOU!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest UWOMED2005

Good advice. . . I wish I did more of the same, peachy. I did a combined honours degree in Biochem/micro but did a lot of humanities type courses on the side (enough for the equivalent of a minor.) If anything, now I wish I'd taken more humanities - though it would have been harder in 1st year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SarahL

I think that I might go for it because it is something that I want to study, and I have taken a variety of other social science and humanities in my first two years, and I don't have a strong desire to study other classes asides from psychology at a senior level, biology is definetely a favourite, and I don't think I should avoid it just because I want to protect the gpa, if it goes down to 3.8, I can live with that too!

 

Peachy I am curious as to what you majored in, and how you did answer that question in your interviews,....its great to know that other non science majors are going through the process and to hear how it is going for them. I get a lot of sceptism from other med hopefuls that I meet in my science classes, they seem to think that I don't have a chance because I am not a science major!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest peachy

Hey Sarah,

 

I'm not a social science/humanities person, I'm a computers/math person. :) So I'm still a science major (although I could be studying the same subjects from an Arts degree as well). Nevertheless, my background seemed to be considered to be very far away from the traditional bioscience preparation by interviewers. I got asked at every (four total) interview (1) Why did you study that given your interest in medicine and (2) How are you going to handle medical school with virtually no background in the area.

 

I'm pretty terrible at interviews, and have no idea if I got in anywhere, and so have no clue if my answers are "good" answers. I just answered honestly.

 

(1) I studied computers/math because I love it. I studied it because it taught me to think and to problem-solve. I see them as tool fields that are most useful when applied to other areas such as medicine. I like the fact that (for example), as a medical student, if there's an application that I think would be useful for my Palm, I can go home and code it up that evening. And I have absolutely no interest in learning the same thing twice, so I consciously moved away from bioscience areas for my undergrad. It's a bit different for me than from a social science background in that I really want to continue to do computers stuff (eg bioinformatics) through an MD/PhD... Oh, I also talked about the fact that I explored career options in computers/math and didn't find them to be what I really wanted to do.

 

(2) I pointed out that I've done all the medical school prerequisites and done extremely well in them, so I can clearly handle biology. I also said that being a good student in general I believe that I can handle anything academic, and that I'm aware that lots of people do medical school from non-biology backgrounds, and they do just fine. I said that I have a friend who did undergrad in math with me, is finishing up first-year medical school, and did quite well. Hmn. In hindsight, I bet I should have talked more about learning-skills type stuff, but whatever.

 

My personal guideline is that I will never do anything because I think "it will get me into med school". (Other than explicit stuff like prereq courses and MCATs, of course :) ). Any school that doesn't want me because I made decisions that are right for ME is a school that I don't want to attend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SarahL

Sounds like you know what you want to me! All your posts seem really clear, well written, and confident...so I wouldn't be surprised if you came across that way in interviews! Thanks for answering, and hope the admission gods smile on you!

 

Sarah

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...