Science major or humanities major?

By August 9, 2009Uncategorized
I have been asked this question by many high school and college students. My reply has always been to follow your true interests and thirst for knowledge. I do not believe that you should cut your education short during college just to play it safe to get into medical school. In other words, there are many students who would much rather study English literature or a Romance language than to be a biochemistry major. On the other hand, there are many students who truly enjoy biochemistry, and therefore should follow their hearts. So the direct answer to this question is “either or both.”

Acceptance into medical school is not an easy process. There are multiple parameters that are measured during the application process. The GPA and standardized exam scores, such as the MCAT, are a given into what category of school will view your application. Basic, prerequisite requirements need to be completed–such as biology, biochemistry, physics, etc. These prequisite requirements are usually enough to obtain a biology minor. My advice is to study subjects you will unlikely have another chance to study again in a college setting.

I studied philosophy as my major to answer the age old question of “what is the meaning of life?” I can’t say that I found the answer, but the process and the opportunity to do so has served me well. To this day, I look back upon the outstanding professors, books, and ideas that challenged me to think about the world in a different light. This is in contrast to the many basic science courses that I took that are mainly irrelevant to me now. Four years of college go by very quickly…. There are many subjects from college which will be repeated in the first year of medical school. The second-year will be quite new, learning pathophysiology– everything that can go wrong in the human body. Needless to say, the first year of medical school can be quite easy for some and more difficult for others. A big advantage of being a science major during college is a much easier first year of medical school. But this is not the main reason to do so, because by the second and third year, things will have equalized.

Being unique sets you apart from the crowd. You should strive not only for excellence, but also to be different. Plastic surgery is a unique specialty in that there is no single way to accomplish a task. It is a specialty that allows you to have your own signature, creativity, and inspiration. I encourage you to study life with passion and it will serve you well in your career toward plastic surgery.