How Do I Choose a Major as a Nontraditional Premed Student?

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Session 113

How should you choose your degree? What if you aren’t sure you’re 100% committed to becoming a physician? What if you doubt yourself? What should you do?

By the way, I have a new book coming out called The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement. You can preorder it now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, check out Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep) if you need some MCAT prep help. Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” for 10% off Next Step full-length practice tests or “MSHQTOC” for $50 off MCAT tutoring or the Next Step MCAT Course at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!

Questions being answered here on this podcast are taken from the Nontrad Premed Forum.

[01:40] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:

“How do you finally come upon choosing a major? My main plan as of now is to apply to medical school. But I’m still early on and knocking out my prereqs at a community college in California. I understand that I can major in anything I want and to choose what I am passionate about. But I’m asking more about realistic logistics than just passion, as I am passionate in many things.

I am somebody who tends to want to do it all and not be pigeon-holed. So choosing a major for me is difficult. Shadowing is something I have done. And being a physician is amazing. But I also want to keep my options open.

A part of me wants to major in Kinesiology, Exercise Science as it sounds the most interesting to me. And it will allow me to do physical therapy or PA if those end up being more appealing to me in the next couple of years. The Kinesiology major prereqs involve Microbiology, Anatomy, Physiology, etc. But that’s also a lot more classes I have to do. I’ve been considering nursing recently as a major as that would allow me to have an employable job for a year until I reapply, in case I don’t get into medical school whereas Kinesiology may not.

If medical school is the ultimate goal, a part of me says why take all the extra classes in a Kinesiology major? Instead, do something in a Human Biology major that will get me to my ultimate destination faster. Every school and every major has different classes required so I’m becoming extremely anxious. I’m just sick and tired having to try to line up all my ducks in a row to be able to choose from different majors.”

[03:45] Is This is Really Right for You?

Just based on the post here, the student doesn’t really know whether they want to be a physician. That’s why they’re trying to leave open as many doors as possible. Or they could be scared they won’t get into medical school so they therefore need a fallback plan.

So two options here: either they don’t know medicine is right for them or they lack the confidence to know that this is what they want and it will happen.

[Tweet “”If you’re not sure if this is right for you, take the time to shadow nurses, PA’s, physical therapists. You need to figure out what you want.””]

[05:30] Anybody Has a Shot!

Now if you’re restricting your forward movement because you’re unsure if you’re able to get into medical school, then stop it right now. Anybody, almost, has a chance to get into medical school.

[Tweet “”The only people who do not get into medical schools are the ones who stop trying.””]

If this is what you want to do, then figure out a way to do it. If this is what you want to do, there is no backup plan. There is no “realistic logistics.” Again, I am big on not having a plan B. Specifically for this, when you are going down this path.

Nevertheless, if you are undecided if this is what you want to do, then figure it out. And once you’ve figured it out, go towards that 100%.

[Tweet “”Do not have a Plan B if this is what you want to do.””]

[07:00] Choosing a Major and Choosing Schools

Major in whatever you want. Don’t major in Nursing unless you know you want to be a nurse. The goal of this process is to figure out that this is what you want to do. And then go full steam ahead.

Medical schools have different requirements. But the majority of schools are all the same. If you highlight the fundamentals, they’re basically the same. Other schools may have some random ones, but it shouldn’t be that hard. And it shouldn’t be causing you that much stress.

Again, the stress is coming from not knowing what you want to do, or you lack the confidence in that. Lastly, commit to doing it before moving on.

[Tweet “”You don’t have to be a genius to get into medical school. You just need to work hard. Put your mind to it everyday and work hard.””]


The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement. You can preorder it now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Nontrad Premed Forum

Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)