Hello, I was wondering if I could get some advice about my concerns about continuing pre-med/pre-health in general. I just finished my sophomore year and first year in Ann Arbor and have been having a lot of second thoughts on whether pre-med/pre-health is the right path for me. I had a few classes during the fall semester that did not go well at all and it has been a difficult semester trying to recover and think about what I would really like to do. I constantly feel behind both as an individual and transfer student and not being able to get as many opportunities to strengthen my pre-health background to prepare myself. It\\\’s a lot of stress I have been putting on myself because I don\\\’t have much time left for my undergrad degree and all overwhelming at the same time; any advice would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
Your concerns are very valid, and I want to reiterate that you are not alone in this journey! Many, if not all, of us struggle with classes, extracurriculars, and trying to meet the rigorous pre-med requirements. These past few semesters have been difficult with many classes being remote, and not being able to interact in person with professors/classmates. Regarding the classes not going well, I would do some self-reflection to note what may not have gone so well in these classes, and remember that P/F is always an option – many medical schools are understanding of these challenging times. This may help to reflect on how you can improve for future classes as well. Regarding feeling behind, a growing number of individuals are taking gap year(s) to engage in opportunities that they weren’t able to during their school years. During these gap years, you are free to pursue whatever you would like, if this means research, volunteering, or exploring something unrelated to medicine/healthcare. Some people also choose to do a post-bacc program, which can help increase your GPA and give you more pre-health experience as well. Your experiences as an applicant have the potential to expand beyond undergrad – it doesn’t have to end when you graduate, if you decide to take gap years. Not everyone who is in medical school decided they wanted to be pre-med during their undergraduate years, so you are already at an advantage and have plenty of time to partake in clinical/pre-health experiences. I would also emphasize that there is no one standard approach to being pre-med/pre-health, the admissions committees want to see you pursue what you’re passionate in, and encourage these interests even aside from medicine. Overall, I would take some time to reflect on why you started this pre-med journey, and your passion for becoming a future physician or health-professional. I would also take some time to explore what part of pre-health you’re interested in – there are so many careers within the healthcare field, so figuring out what specific area you are interested in might help you on this journey. To learn more about the different fields, you could shadow or email different professionals in their respective field to get a sense of what their career looks like. These obstacles you’re facing are challenging, but the most important thing on this journey is to know yourself, and what you are passionate about. If this is becoming a health professional, then by all means continue on this path!
I hope this helps, and feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!
Lakshmi, PMH Advisor