Music to Medicine


I am so excited and grateful that exists! I’ve learned a lot here already, but I have a few questions that I haven’t found answers to so… here we go.

First, a little background info- I graduated cum laude in 2005 from the University of Utah with a B.Mus., emphasizing in Piano Performance. Since then I’ve gotten married, worked as an administrative assistant and a library assistant at Harvard, lived and worked as an ESL teacher in Kazakhstan and had a baby daughter. Throughout all of this I’ve continued to think about being a doctor; it was always my plan when I was a child but I lost my momentum somewhere along the way (maybe while trudging through uninspiring science classes in high school).

In the past few months I’ve decided that obtaining an M.D. is my goal and I want medicine to be my life. I know that I’m a hard worker and can do whatever I push myself to do, but since I had no science classes in my undergrad (though I did have 2 semesters of calc for non-science majors) and no directly related work experience, I realize that it’s going to be a long and difficult process.

Wow, that was long. Anyway, here are my questions:

-Will admissions committees look down on my having a Bachelor of Music rather than a B.S. or B.A.?

-Thanks to my husband’s job, I may have to move while I’m in the process of taking my prereqs. Will having multiple universities reflected on my transcript reflect badly on my application to med school?

-I plan to volunteer at a hospital while I’m working on my prereqs, but I want to make sure I’m spending my time wisely. In other words, if volunteer experience means sitting behind a desk and never talking to anyone (which is what I did in high school) I’d rather spend my time studying or raising my daughter. Is volunteering really worth it, or would it be better for me to take the time to get CNA or PCT certification and work?

-Would it be better for me to take my prereqs at a more-selective University than a less-selective one? For example, would it be significantly advantageous for me to take them at the University of Michigan rather than Michigan State?

Thank you in advance for your help! It’s great to be here.

Hi, another fellow music major here without the cum laude behind her name!

Why am I here?

Well, I met my son’s pediatrician when he was born. I discovered she was an art history major for her undergrad (it’s all the arts and just as fluffy as music ). And she was 33 when she applied to med school.

If she can do it, you can do it. Good luck!

I had a couple of classmates who were music majors. You can major in ANYthing.

When you already have a degree, taking prereqs in a variety of places is not that big a deal, I don’t think. You will need to be VERY conscientious about making sure you keep contact information for professors after you’ve moved on - better yet, ask them BEFORE you move on for recommendations, and use a service such as Interfolio as a repository for your recommendations. (search for interfolio and you’ll find more information about it)

Relative worth of the institution is insignificant; the MCAT is the great equalizer and your grades from UM or MSU will be “verified,” if you will, by your MCAT score.

Volunteering/medical experience: you need to show that one, you know what you are getting into and aren’t just following a childhood dream that hasn’t gone through reality testing; and two, that you have a real commitment to your community. (All those people who say they want to be a doctor because they “want to help people”… actions speak louder than words.) So you can do a variety of things to meet these goals. Honestly, whatever interests and excites you is key, AND whatever you can work into your schedule.

This is a bit cryptic but hopefully others will chime in…

Welcome, and good luck!


Thank you, BOOBS, for the encouragement (and great handle, btw). It’s great to know I’m not the lone musician in a sea of scientists.


Thanks so much for your answers and advice. Interfolio looks AWESOME- I had no idea such a thing existed. I really appreciate your point of view with the other questions, too.

Hehe. I volunteer at a pregnancy website for breastfeeding education. The name was sort of given to me when I finished my lactation courses.


I just got off the phone w/ another school today and was distinctly told they have one post bacc music major pursuing pre med there. Thought it might lift your spirits a tad.

Good to know! Thanks!

I am glad to see this website & forum, and this thread specifically!

I am in the same boat. I have a B.M. in Viola Performance, cum laude, 2002.

I have pretty ugly grades in Chemistry and Environmental Ecology, though

Hoping to get into a M.S. in biomedical sciences program for this coming fall (basically a Master’s in pre-med) and then retake the MCAT and apply for med school.

Hi there!

I’m in the same boat…I was a Classical Voice Performance major

Rock on! B.Mus. future doctors unite!

Bree- good luck with your plans! I hadn’t thought about a B.S. in Biomedical Science; I may have to look into that for myself.