What to Do Before Medical School: 5 Bachelor’s Degrees That Go Best With an MD

What to Do Before Medical School: 5 Bachelor’s Degrees That Go Best With an MD

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You’re heading into your undergraduate years and contemplating the long road toward medical school. While your thoughts may jump immediately toward pre-med or science, here’s a surprise: at one level your undergraduate major may not matter much at all. According to US News, when it comes to medical school admissions, majors matter less than your overall MCAT scores and your college GPA. In another bit of news that might surprise you, humanities majors scored just about as well as science majors on their MCATs.

That’s not to say that your undergraduate major doesn’t matter at other levels. Getting a bachelor’s degree is an investment in time and money, so choose wisely. What you do before medical school can provide valuable, career defining experience and connections that you will need after medical school. Consider your interests and strengths, bearing in mind that you need to keep a strong GPA if you want to enter medical school. 

Biology Still a Top Choice

While a quarter of students accepted to medical schools major outside of the sciences many students still choose an undergraduate major in the sciences, with biology being a popular choice. Many med schools require pre-requisite courses, including general biology.

Chemistry or Physical Science

Similarly, medical schools often require some coursework in chemistry and physical sciences, so it may be a smart choice to go in that direction. You know that you’ll be studying plenty of science in medical school, so laying the groundwork as an undergraduate can be helpful. Coursework in chemistry, biology and the physical sciences will also help you to prepare for your MCATs. 

Mathematics

If you have skills in higher math, this can also be an attractive option. It depends on the medical school, but some do have math prerequisites. Math is a useful skill for doctors, and it’s also a rigorous academic option which could help show your seriousness and dedication to learning, something all medical schools look for.

Rising Demand of Information Technology

The demand for adequate information technology in health care is rapidly increasing. Inefficiencies in record management, disease pattern research, and medicine documentation are costing hospitals and clinics big bucks. Hence many clinics are looking for able professionals to help them integrate better technology into their systems Health care technology will likely be a booming, secure industry for the foreseeable future. The University of Cincinnati has recently begun to offer bachelor’s degrees in health information management in response to these developments in the medical world.

English or other Humanities

The MCAT, which stands for Medical College Admissions Test, includes a writing sample, so an English degree may help prepare you for that and for the Verbal Reasoning section. Some medical schools also require some college level English. Learning to be a good writer and communicator would certainly be a potential advantage for anyone preparing to become a doctor. 

Engineering

Engineering degrees, including biomedical engineering (which combines engineering with biology and medicine) are often considered an excellent preparation for medical school. This in depth knowledge and understanding of medicine could prove to be a huge advantage as a doctor of any specialty.

You will need to be competitive as a recently graduated medical student to get the job that will make all those years of study worth it. A unique combination of medical school and the right bachelor’s degree can make you a valuable asset to the medical community. How will you make your path to a medical degree unique?

Bio: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism. She interviews with small businesses and educational institutions regularly to learn new career building strategies.

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