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Traditional Pre-Med vs Newer Pre-Med Degree

A photo of Justin604 Justin604
Hey, I'm still undecided on which program to apply to for university. My goal is get into med school afterwards. I'm stuck between a traditional Science degree and a Human Kinetics degree. A factor is what back-up plans are there with either degree? (Physiotherapist, P.E. Teacher)

I realize I will get a better mark in a course I am interested in. Is there anyone on here who's in either program that has some feedback?

Cheers
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4 replies
 
A photo of JessP JessP
Hi, I was in your situation a couple years ago, but after talking to med admissions advisors, current doctors, med students etc... I realized that there was a good chance that I wouldn't get into med so I had to have my undergrad as kindof my 'back-up plan in action'. Your right in saying that you should do something that both interests and challenges you. In the end, I decided to go completely unconventional (mechanical engineering) and am ever so glad I did. It really challenged me, but it also set me apart from the thousands of other applicants that applied with your typical B.Sc. degree. It really helped me stand out from the other students, who have similar marks, volunteer experience, references etc... I was able to bring up memorable and unique experiences b/c I was unconventional in both my written application and in the MMI. I'm not saying that it is a guaranteed way to get into medical school, but it worked for me. Hope this helps, and good luck to you!
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A photo of Massy06 Massy06
u should do what interest you the most. Do some research, ask questions, and just get informed. Then decide want you're more interested in. I'm not sure, but i might be albe to have a major in a biology course, and a minor in kinesiogoly so u can do both. The thing is you have to be realistic and see if your marks match up with the program, and if you can keep it up. Med school is seriously competitive, marks is just a minor step, u have to have great networking skills for ur references, and have to be felxiable. The first thing u should do is reserch on your top med schools, and find out their criteria. Then work background into finding the right universities by wat they have to offer (i.e course choices) and their criterias. Finially choose your high school courses accordingly. Also for volunteering, try can get hours from a variety of places early for a better experience ( start as soon as you can, even gr.8 summer is good). This is good for your resume, and keep it up through out uni for the med schools. Really,getting into med requires early prep if you want to have greater chances of getting in. Not matter what, don't give up even if it's hard. Most people drop out of science because it gets harder, but if you really want it keep trying.

It won't seem that much work if you have fun doing it.
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A photo of FrankyS FrankyS
I definitely agree, you need to consider what you would do if you didn't get accepted into medical school, because that's what happens with most applicants. You should go into a program that interests you the most, but is also flexible enough that you can take science and math courses that you will need to prepare for MCATs.

There isn't really a "pre-med" program, it's simply an undergraduate that you've structured with the intention of applying to medical school. Many med school hopefuls take Biology, and then supplement chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and calculus courses, you consider this "pre-med." However you can also pursue an English degree, and take all those science courses too. The key is doing a program that you want, then making it "pre-med" by taking courses that will help you when it's time to write your MCATs, and also prepare you for studies in medical school if you get accepted. Some pick the "traditional" pre-med, Biology degree, and if they're happy pursuing biology to the graduate level if they don't get into med school, then that's perfect for them. But you don't have to do Biology, you can do whatever program you want to.

Now, you did mention kinesiology. I don't know much about the program, but I'd strongly suggest you look at the course outline. I believe in most kinesiology programs you take primarily kinesiology specific courses. What I mean, is you don't take courses in the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc. most of the courses are specific to the kinesiology program, and I don't think there are a lot of electives (which is where you'd take science courses to your degree is "pre-med"). I would go to the websites of schools you're looking to apply to, and look at their undergraduate calendar. It will take a little searching, but you should be able to find a page listing all the courses you have to take, and the number of electives you can take as well.

Now kinesiology is a good program, and if your back up is physiotherapy or something along those lines, it could be a good choice for your "pre-med" program, but I'd be concerned if there are enough electives available so you can take those Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus courses, which will help you when MCATs come around. You may have to take a minor, because the major in kinesiology may only have a few electives. And a minor would mean a lot more work to do, and it would be harder to maintain a high GPA. I can't answer whether kinesiology is a good "pre-med" because I don't know the curriculum. If I were you, I'd apply to both kinesiology and a general science program, and in the mean time do more research if the kinesiology program can support the courses needed for "pre-med," but you'll still have the option for both when it's time to accept offers of admission. Also, it doesn't matter too much which general science program, because almost all "pre-med" science majors take mostly the same courses first year anyways, it's usually pretty easy to switch it when second year gets closer (from say bio to chem or something else). Good luck.
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A photo of StudentAtStPats StudentAtStPats

@JessP wrote
Hi, I was in your situation a couple years ago, but after talking to med admissions advisors, current doctors, med students etc... I realized that there was a good chance that I wouldn't get into med so I had to have my undergrad as kindof my 'back-up plan in action'. Your right in saying that you should do something that both interests and challenges you. In the end, I decided to go completely unconventional (mechanical engineering) and am ever so glad I did. It really challenged me, but it also set me apart from the thousands of other applicants that applied with your typical B.Sc. degree. It really helped me stand out from the other students, who have similar marks, volunteer experience, references etc... I was able to bring up memorable and unique experiences b/c I was unconventional in both my written application and in the MMI. I'm not saying that it is a guaranteed way to get into medical school, but it worked for me. Hope this helps, and good luck to you!



Mechanical engineering sounds interesting... is it? :D
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