Field of Study: Pre-Medicine
Pre-medicine programs prepare people to attend medical school. Students learn natural and social sciences. They often take courses in writing, computer use, and languages and liberal arts. During their undergraduate years, students often seek some form of practical experience with patients or in labs or clinics.
You want to be a doctor. You love the natural sciences, but you'd hate to favor just one of them by majoring in it. Or, you like natural sciences well enough, but you hate to think of devoting your whole college curriculum to courses in them.
Whichever of these two profiles fits you, as long as you possess the drive to be a doctor, pre-medicine is probably the program of study for you. Following this curriculum gives you a solid background in natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics, including laboratory experience. It could serve as an introduction to different sciences and inspire you to take more courses in, for example, chemistry.
Or, after mastering these courses, you might want to choose to leave more rigorous science courses for medical school and explore courses in the humanities and social sciences.
The pre-medicine curriculum at many schools allows you flexibility. But flexibility does not mean ease. The curriculum is designed to introduce you to the rigors of medical school. Part of knowing for yourself whether you're right for medical school involves mastering this program of study.
Most of the science courses you take are laboratory courses, which are both challenging and time-consuming. But underlying all these courses are other no less important lessons in time management and working well under pressure, two important skills to master in medical school.
Many schools offer pre-medicine programs, where you can get a bachelor's degree, which takes about four years of full-time study after high school. Some schools offer associate degrees in pre-medicine, but these qualify you only to transfer into a four-year baccalaureate program. You cannot apply to medical school until you have a bachelor's degree.