Do I Need A Bachelor’s Degree To Get Into Medical School?
"I started college this year, and I have taken a number of classes in biology and math and some other general education courses, and I got to thinking, “Do I really need this stuff?” I mean, what is to stop me from just skipping all this and going straight to medical school (which is what I want to do)? When I look up the requirements, usually I just see a list of classes, and it’s a different list for each of the schools. Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to just pick a list of classes and go with that list, and then go straight on from there? Why would I want to spend time and money getting a degree I don’t actually need to become a doctor."
Asked by Candice from St Petersburg, FL on June 20, 2013
Answer to "Do I Need A Bachelor’s Degree To Get Into Medical School?"
While I can understand how you came to this idea that you can skip your bachelor’s degree, it is a bad idea. Yes, there are different course requirements at different medical schools, but that actually is a good reason not to go that route. Most schools will consider a biology degree a better degree to satisfy their requirements than completion of their list. The biology degree shows you are committed, and it’s more thorough all around than simply going down a list. After all, medical school is a massive commitment. Becoming a doctor is the longest educational course there is to a career, and if you can’t handle a bachelor’s degree, why would a medical admissions board assume you could handle medical school?
Plus, there is another aspect which you may not have considered (and which a lot of students are unaware of to begin with), and that is that medical schools are looking for more in a candidate than just fulfilling some requirements. Did you know that medical school admission boards often will be inclined to accept students who majored in unusual disciplines? Even English, History, or Accounting majors may be accepted into medical school. Why? Medical board examiners are curious about their applicants, and are interested in people who have unique perspectives. The English major who presses on to medical school may bring something that the biology major cannot, and may have an interesting motivation for continuing to medical school. So counterintuitive bachelor’s degrees can actually give you an advantage. Of course, there is nothing wrong with majoring in biology or something else which is not unusual if you love it.
Just remember before you make your decision that when you go to apply for medical school, you will be facing other candidates who have bachelor’s degrees, and this gives them an advantage over students who don’t have a degree. If you get a bachelor’s degree, that makes you a more appealing candidate, and there are limited spaces in medical school. So I definitely recommend that you continue with your education and get your bachelor’s degree, given your goal of entrance into medical school.