Becoming a doctor involves a lot of steps. Each step requires many resources, including time, effort, and money. Taking and completing a pre-med program is one of these steps and arguably the least well-known among them. Some even go as far as consider it an optional step.
Sure enough, it’s not the most crucial part of the process, but it’s not unnecessary either. Here’s why you might want to take and complete a pre-med program your college may offer.
1. Certain Majors Require Too Many Coursework Requirements
There are generally three primary steps to becoming a doctor. You must earn a bachelor’s degree, get into, declare, and finish a major in med school, and then complete a residency program.
Earning a bachelor’s degree is as simple as applying to a college, choosing a major, and completing it accordingly. The struggle starts with the second step, as there are several prerequisites to getting into med school. These include an undergraduate degree, a minimum GPA of 3.0, though it may vary, extracurricular activities, and, most importantly, coursework requirements.
Coursework refers to the composition of subjects you’ve taken during your school years. Most medical schools require applicants to have studied at least a year in the following coursework:
- General Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
The required coursework may vary from school to school. They also require the corresponding lab work for each course. While you can theoretically finish the requirements in time, specific majors may include additional requirements, like one year of psychology or kinesiology. A pre-med program essentially allows you to take those courses individually to meet the prerequisites without taking another major.
2. You May Not Have to Wait an Application Cycle Year to Get Into a Med School
Upon satisfying the prerequisites of a med school, students typically have to wait for the school to admit students. As a result, they often have to wait a couple of months or even a year.
Most students don’t know that the best pre-med post bacc programs would allow you to skip the wait. This has to do with linkage admissions—an agreement between best post bacc pre-med programs and medical schools. Basically, it allows students who are highly qualified by the standards of the pre-med program to get into a medical school immediately.
It may not be easy to become “highly qualified” in the eyes of the colleges with the best pre-med programs, but it’s a worthwhile benefit of these programs nonetheless.
However, keep in mind that not all universities have linkage admissions or agreements. It only applies to a handful of colleges, so you must first figure out what colleges have the best pre-med programs.
3. The Programs Can Help Develop Essential Skills
Graduating from medical school is no easy task. It requires medical knowledge and relevant skills acquired during your prior education. Though an undergraduate degree can help to some extent, there are specific skills you can only get, or at least hone, by completing pre-med programs. Below are some examples of the skills that pre-med programs promote.
- Oral Communication
- Social Skills
- Service Orientation
- Critical Thinking
- Human Behavior
- Scientific Inquiry
It may not guarantee success in your endeavor, but these skills may prove to be one of the deciding factors of that success. But of course, this also emphasizes the need to figure out what is the best pre-med major to hone these specific skills since each program has different curriculums.
3. A Pre-Med Program Will Give You More Diverse Career Options
Students often assume that their career options ultimately depend on their undergraduate or bachelor’s degrees. For instance, running a medical practice is considered the best option for business major graduates. Similarly, science major graduates often think they’ll thrive in science-oriented careers like neuroscience. Admittedly, it does and should affect your decision.
One of the main benefits of a pre-med program is that it covers much scientific knowledge. This knowledge can open up various career paths that weren’t accessible to you before.
You may not have a medicine-related degree, but with a pre-med program, you can acquire the knowledge you need to thrive in dentistry, optometry, or podiatry.
Nowadays, you can find the best pre-med programs without leaving your home. Since that’s the case, there’s no reason to take and complete these programs. But one must also remember that no matter which of the best online pre-med programs you’ve signed up for, it’s not the only factor affecting your success rate. Medical schools also consider your MCAT and GPA scores, so it’d be best if you worked in those areas.