T Nation

Med School? Too late?

I could really use some advice. I’m in my junior year of college, with a history/political science major, and plans to go to law school. I have been reconsidering this, because after doing some self analysis, I realize I would be happier as a doctor. My interests have been mostly medicine related since I was in high school. My main worry is…is it too late? I realize I should have majored in Biology or something similar, and being halfway through my junior year makes it a bit late to change. I’m a longtime forum reader, and value the opinions of those who post here, so I’d appreciate anything anyone has to say.

Nope… it isn’t too late. Med school only requires a year of bio, a year of general chem, a year of organic chem, a year of physics, and math (sometimes). Med schools accept both Bio majors and non-Bio majors… I’d schedule an appointment with a Pre-med advisor to go over your schedule.

It is definitely NOT too late. All you have to do is complete the required pre-med protocol and take the MCAT.

You might not be able to do that and still get out in 4 years, depending on the availablity of the classes you need and whether you can take all those classes in addition to finishing your degree. However, taking an extra semester or two is very smart compared to spending your life doing something you do not wish to do.

I used to run the graduate division for the Princeton Review's San Diego office, and I spent a lot of time counseling pre-meds (and teaching MCAT verbal classes). My advice to you is this: take an honest look at your GPA and decide if it is good enough to get in to schools (in doing so, realize that taking science classes may affect it); get a lab job on the side for some lab experience; do some volunteer work for providers of medical services to low-income areas; and put a lot of effort into preparing for the MCAT (I'm obviously biased toward taking a Princeton Review class for that one).

As an aside, the funny thing about the MCAT is that non-science majors tend to do better on it than science majors -- even in the science sections -- and bio majors do the worst in general. Also, the verbal subscore tends to be very important, as the med schools are looking for a "weed out" section, and for many test takers the verbal is the worst of their subscores.

ANyway, I've got to hit the gym. Good luck with your decision.

NEVER TOO LATE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

I knew several people that went to med school after getting 4 year degrees that were unrelated. Economics, physics, and electrical engineering to name a few. I even knew a psych major that went to dental school.

The Med schools seem to value applicants that have something other than the standard pre-med undergraduate degree.

I would say that your best bet would be to call a med school and ask how they would like you to proceed. You should also talk to your school counselor about how to accomplish this goal. If the counselor tells you that it can’t be done, or that you need to graduate with a biology degree then they’re full of shit and aren’t qualified to do their job.

From what my friends told me, the only difference between them and the pre-med kids was that the pre-med kids had already been exposed to anatomy and a few other first year med school courses. After the first year, all were on equal ground.

Good Luck.

Yopu should also try to see if you can shadow a doctor for a day to see if the job really entails what you think it does.

You are not too late. Be certain you have all the prerequisites before you graduate, and your grades are first rate. You should also have a good story about why you are choosing medicine. If you state some intention to enter a specialty with a known shortage, it will be even better. Maybe you can join a pre-med society as that looks good as well.

Ever see the movie “Patch Adams?” True story. This guy gets into med school in his 40s. It’s NEVER too late. Follow your dreams.

I agree. It is not too late. My older sister when back to college at fifty. She already had a BS from the University of Chicago. She started in Pre-Med, but fell in love with Chemistry along the way. She graduated from her undergraduate work with High Honours and is now completing her PhD and teaching at U Mass in Amherst. Best of Luck.

Nope…most DEFINITELY not too late…


Something to consider…Duke offers a joint M.D./J.D. program (among other joint programs)…there may be other schools, but I am most familiar with theirs.

http://dukemed.duke.edu/ Curriculum/index.cfm?method=Dual

Good luck!


Mufasa