If you have dreams of becoming a doctor, surgeon, radiologist, etc., you probably know that your choice of undergraduate degree (and your performance in that subject) is a deciding factor in your medical school application. But did you know that you don’t need to major in Pre-Med to impress your school of choice? If you have an interest in a non-medical field, your studies as an undergrad can help you stand out.
Since many of the classes that you will take in medical school will be science-based, including a lot of biology classes, a Biology major is an intuitive alternative to Pre-Med. This course of study will give you a chance to master difficult biology concepts before entering the rigor of medical school. You might also find that a Biology major will give you insights into the human body that Pre-Med students may lack.
In the medical profession, you will deal with people on a daily basis, from patients to other hospital employees. Sociology majors learn about how society functions, and learn to recognize patterns of interaction. This kind of foundation can help you make connections and see the broader scope of your work, as well as give you a better understanding of people in general. This will help you be more effective and successful as a doctor.
Getting a four-year degree in literature — or any other primarily English-related subject — is not the most intuitive choice of pre-med education. However, the intense reading and analysis core to this study prepares you for the equally rigorous reading schedule you will be saddled with as a medical student. Plus, English majors do better on the MCAT.
Medical school involves more than just biological science — you will be expected to excel in chemistry, as well as have a good understanding of physics. If you have a background in math, you will have an advantage in the latter two areas. Additionally, people who excel in mathematics are efficient logical thinkers, make precise decisions, and know how to bounce back if (when) they are wrong.
Ultimately, your choice of college major has little effect on whether you get accepted to med school. Other factors — GPA, MCAT score, essays, etc. — are more likely to help you get in. But once you have your foot in the door, having a background in a unique course of study will give you a unique perspective on medicine, making you a more capable medical professional. So follow your passions and bring the knowledge that they bring with you into your medical career.