Another Which Major? thread.

Hi all! I’m so grateful to have found this website. I’ve been thinking about med school for about fifteen years now, and every time I’ve dismissed it for one reason or another. After high school, I did a year and a half of a Musical Theater degree before deciding that I needed more of an academic challenge. I left music school and pursued a nursing degree, which I completed almost entirely before failing a clinical and being told (after walking in graduation) that I really shouldn’t be a nurse.

That was three years ago, and I’ve slowly been healing from the trauma. I got good grades in nursing school, but not the best. Including the F, my cumulative GPA was 3.488, and that was with me blowing off a lot of work. Why did I need a 4.0 when all I really needed was to pass the NCLEX-RN?

Now I’m going back to school at the urging of friends and family members who think that I’ll be a much better doctor than I would ever be a nurse. I’m terrified and excited. I’ve been looking at the University where I did my nursing program, and since I’ve met all the general education requirements, all I need to do to get a different degree are the degree requirements.

My first thought was Chemistry, because I like Chemistry and I had a crush on every Chem teacher I’ve ever had. Then I looked at the Chem major, and I saw that I’d still have to take a boatload of bio classes to meet the pre-med requirements, so I thought I’d just major in Biology.

The problem is two-fold. I’m interested in biology, but I’m not over the moon about it. If it was all human biology I’d be more excited, but most of the classes seem to focus on more general, non-human biology. I realize that these will provide a good solid foundation for med school, but I’m not sure I would enjoy them. Also, a biology degree will take me three years to complete, and I won’t be able to take any other classes that interest me (the other pre-med requirements are included in the bio major).

So I was thinking about what other sciences I would like to do, and microbiology came immediately to mind. I love microbiology. I think germs are cool. My Micro class in my nursing program was one of my favorite pre-requisites, and I like learning about the way that bacteria and viruses (virii?) use to survive, and how those survival techniques affect humans in the case of infection. Plus, if for some reason I don’t get into medical school, or I can’t apply right away, a Micro degree is much more marketable than a Bio degree.

My concerns are:

  • I'm worried that a Microbio degree won't carry as much weight as a bio degree when applying to medical school
  • I want to make sure that I have a good solid foundation for medical school
  • I want to make sure that my new coursework is difficult enough to outweigh my poor performance in Nursing from three years ago
  • I'm worried that a contingency plan, such as I would have with a Micro degree, would make it seem like I'm not sure I want to be a doctor (because I do)

Sorry if this was a long post, but it's a huge decision and I have to decide before I send in my application for re-admission. I have contacted the pre-med advisor at the University and I'm waiting to hear back from her.

I think you should major in what you want to major in. As long as you get your prereqs done, you can major in anything (including a nonscience). If micro is what you are interested in, go for that. Another option is biochemistry which is a combo of both. My major is Inerdisciplinary Social Science with two cognates. I’m also planning on taking additional upper class sciences (Genetics, biochemistry and physiology).