I’m currently trying to plan out my classes and make sure I space them out in the best way. I’ve been stressed about whether or not to truly pursue medicine because the course-load is so heavy. But I won’t know if I’ll change my mind in the future or not, so I thought it would still be best to have a plan even if I’m not 100% sure. I’m planning on applying into the School of Public Health.
I’m planning on studying and taking the MCAT summer after my sophomore year. During my freshman year, I took BIO173, STATS250 and CHEM210/211. From high school, I had credit for gen chem, gen bio and intro to psych.
I’m planning on taking Physics 1, Physics 2, MCDB310, BIO225 and Chem215/216 during sophomore year so I somewhat cover what will be on the MCAT.
Physics 1, Orgo 2, PUBHLTH200
Physics 2, MCDB310, BIO225 (is this too heavy?)
Do you have any advice on this? Do the classes seem suitable or manageable along with extracurriculars such as research? (any classes to take out or add in?) Thank you so much for your help!! This blog has definitely reduced my stress and has been a good resource for students like me (:
Hi! It looks like you’re in really good shape to take the MCAT early, as you plan to. I would say most helpful to figure out early on if you’re truly interested in a career in medicine by doing some shadowing (which, unfortunately, is probably not feasible for this summer due to the virus). One resource that I found really helpful is deciding between different specialty interests is this podcast. You can listen on itunes or spotify for free, and there are dozens of episodes in almost every specialty so you can try to get a full picture of the lifestyle of a career in medicine even though you can’t see it firsthand for now. Eventually, before you apply to medical school, you will need to have some sort of shadowing or clinical exposure to display your knowledge about the field and what you’re getting into.
To answer your questions about classes, I would say that what you have so far looks good! Although 2-3 STEM classes each semester will be busy, you will be able to do it as long as you keep your total credit numbers low — hopefully 12-14. This blog post is also super helpful to plan your semesters and read other people’s experiences with certain notorious pre-med classes. Just keep in mind that with your schedule as listed above, you will have to catch up on a lot of psychology, intro biology, and intro chemistry since it’s been a while since high school. Many students are able to take PSYCH 280, SOC 302, CHEM 130 or 230 (pchem), and BIO 172 before the MCAT so will therefore have additional exposure compared to what you will have, so be prepared to study hard next summer. I recommend these review textbooks called “The Berkeley Review” for practice problems that are very realistic to the real test. If you decide to push back your MCAT or take a gap year, that is also perfectly okay! There are tons of things you can do with a bachelors or public health degree for a year or two that will put you in good shape as a future medical professional while allowing you to enter the workforce and begin earning money before possibly going back to school, if you decide to. Let us know if you have any follow up questions!
Best of luck,