Are the life sciences the best premedical majors?

The medical school admission process can be overwhelming. There is no definitive path that guarantees admission. Prospective students are meant to create their own way that could bring them an acceptance letter. That is why some individuals with a 3.6 GPA and a 508 MCAT score get accepted, and others with a better academic record get rejected. They might be considered an outlier, but some are not necessarily lucky. It could be the individual successfully convinced the committee during the dreaded interview that they can handle the rigor of medical school. Alternatively, the individual adequately complemented their academic performance with an outstanding personal statement. Overall, one of the most important requirements is having the right major. Nevertheless, one would ask, what is the best pre-med major that can increase my chance of acceptance?

According to American Medical Association data on most accepted pre-med major, life sciences still make up 42% of accepted majors, followed by the physical sciences. Many pre-med advisors emphasize that majoring in science is not necessary. This might be true because most medical school admissions committees are interested in exceptional applicants. For example, suppose an admission committee starts reviewing an application. In that case, they will most likely come across many life science applicants, but they will certainly be drawn to review an application if it comes from an applicant who majored in music.

However, an applicant’s focus should not be entirely on acceptance, but also on after getting accepted. How prepared will they be if accepted? How well does a design class prepare a person for molecular biology? One might say the individual will be endowed with creative skills, which are undoubtedly essential in medicine. However, taking only the pre-med prerequisite classes, which are no more than ten science classes taught at an introductory level. This is where having a science major benefits an individual more. An individual who majored in biochemistry will be more familiar with the science classes taught in the first year of medical school than another individual who majored in gender studies. Unless the gender studies major decided to take more science courses and the classes required in their major. This means extra course load and, most importantly, additional cost. Considering the terrifying cost of attending medical school. Medical school applicants should do all that is necessary to graduate with less debt than their counterparts.

The medical school admission process is immense. Furthermore, an individual can easily get confused by different advice out there. Some will say having a strong academic background is of the utmost importance; others might say extracurricular activities are the qualifying requirements. Majoring in science effectively reduces cost and adequately prepare students for medical school classes. However, a pre-med major should not be totally dependent on these factors. Everyone should be able to pursue their passion. After all, what is the benefit of majoring in a program you do not like, pass all the classes, apply to medical school, and get rejected?

Moses Anthony is a premedical student.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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