Pre-Medicine

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Articles on Pre-Medicine:
   Major in Pre-Medicine
   A future in Pre-Medicine
   Pre-Medicine Major...A Closer Look
   Explore a Major in Pre-Medicine
   The road to becoming a physician…

Major in Pre-Medicine

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“It is a privilege to be made by God in a certain way and…be able to serve his people, mirroring that Jesus was a healer and that we are following in His footsteps.” ~Nancy Shoenborn, M.D.

Some individuals are born with a strong affinity for the sciences, coupled with a passion to provide healing for the sick. From early on, they dream of putting on a “white coat” and earning the prestigious “M.D.” after their name. Maybe you can relate. A physician takes on a noble calling in a helping profession where the goal is to preserve well-being and restore what has been broken. Modern medicine is one-part science, one-part technology, one-part art.  Pre-medicine is an educational track that helps lay a strong foundation for those whose goal is medical school (or graduate school with similar requirements). Declaring yourself as “pre-med” helps distinguish you amongst the competition for these rigorous programs and ensures that you complete the prerequisite coursework required for admittance into the demanding world of medical school.

So, beyond a solid science/math aptitude and the stomach to tolerate “blood and guts,” what other skills and traits are necessary for success in this challenging field?

  • Driven. A pre-med student must be prepared for hard work, discipline and perseverance. This same motivation is needed throughout any medical career.
  • Attentive to detail. When you consider that people’s health and lives hang in the balance it is clearly important to be careful and aware at all times.
  • Compassionate. This is what drives excellent care. A successful doctor is one who acts with sincere empathy and listening.
  • Teachable. Medicine is an ever-evolving practice, with new treatment options and technological advancements. You learn trust by your competency. Confidence is important but so is the humility to admit what you don’t know.
  • Ethical. Not every decision you make as a physician is clear-cut; when called upon to make tough judgement calls, sound moral responsibility, honor and integrity are important.

Generally, a pre-med student should expect plenty of lab time, hours of research and a possible medical internship. While obtaining core classes in the humanities and social sciences you will also take plenty of math and science classes including:

  • Microbiology
  • Calculous or Statistics (sometimes both)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy & Physiology

Typically, the word “pre-med” brings to mind a traditional family doctor who practices medicine in a private clinic. However, after obtaining a pre-med degree, students branch into all sorts of graduate-level learning including everything from veterinary science to dentistry to psychiatry to physical therapy to optometry to podiatry. No matter what your specialization or future career goal, you can rest assured that a pre-med trajectory will set you up for success in whichever healthcare path you choose next. There is no end to the huge range of medical-related career options that exist. With just bachelor’s level pre-medical training you are equipped for opportunities such as:

  • Pharmacy sales representative 
  • Research assistant
  • Lab technician
  • Environmental specialist
  • Public health specialist

Whether working in hospitals, laboratories, operating rooms, or physician offices, all types of healthcare professionals report that their careers are rewarding and satisfying. If you enjoy soaking up scientific information and possess a deep desire to help others achieve health and wholeness, then maybe the next adventure God has for you is the choice of pre-medicine!