Which GPA carries most weight...

Had a conversation with a fellow premed student in a non-science course I am taking this semester. She is a political science major and bio minor. She told me that she has an A average. I am a bio major with a B average overall. I argued that a 'B' avg with a major in the sciences might hold more weight than an A in poli sci. She claims that an 'A' average is worth more, regardless of major (Incidently, she was initially a bio major, then switched to poli sci based upon this philosophy). Now, I admit I have heard this in terms of law school applications, but is there any truth to this as far as medical school applications are concerned? Or is the MCAT figured in when applicants have majors in less rigorous areas?

Unfortunately, your friend is right. Medical schools accept a variety of majors, as long as the premed courses are completed (physics, chem, o chem, bio, etc). I haven't applied yet, but everything I've read so far has told me that statistically speaking, you'd be accepted to many more schools with a 4.0 pol sci major than you would if you applied with a 3.0 bio major. However, a 3.0 does NOT disqualify you from med school. If you get good scores in the pre med sciences, and a good MCAT, then the QUANTITATIVE aspect of your application is good enough.
These days, there is much more to getting into med school than the numbers, though. You must be able to show through experience and/or be very convincing in the interview that you know what a doctor is and what they do, as well as what they have to go through to get the degree and become board certified.
I'm an RN and I've met many doctors in my day that are jerks, and some that make me wonder how in the hell they ever made it through med school. However, when I learned the rigor it takes and the life commitment to get to be a doctor, it gave me a universal respect for physicians. I know many nurses who are quick to second-guess doctors. I'm sure not one of them.

In some ways, each of you is right. The AMCAS application differentiates between BCPM (bio, chem, physics and math) and AO (all other), and calculates GPAs for EACH of those, as well as showing your overall GPA. It matters more to have a good BCPM GPA than a good overall, and it certainly matters more to have the good BCPM than a good AO.
Conventional wisdom is that you want your BCPM GPA to be ~3.5. There are people who get in with less than this, certainly; “conventional wisdom” is to shoot for a 30 on the MCAT (10 in each section) and lots of people get in with less than that, too. But if your BCPM GPA is a 3.0 or less, you will need to do very well in your upcoming science classes to try and bring that up. AdComs will also look at trends - if you have bad, old science grades (as in, from an earlier stint in college) and good, new science grades, that will make a good impression. If all your science grades are recent, however, they’d better be good.

I have to disagree with the idea that other majors are less rigorous than science majors…I think almost any field of study can be rigorous and challenging. A lot depends on what you make of it and where your strengths lie.
In some ways I find my science & math classes easier, because there is a definite and objective right answer. If you understand the principles and apply them to the problem, you come up with the right answer. The classes that I took for my English & anthro major way back when were actually harder to get A's in, because they were much more subjective.

I am nowhere near 3.5 on science and math (2.9 BCPM and 3.7 AO), and this is my last semeseter (with no sciences)! I am currently in a review course for the April MCAT. If I don't make the 10's on each section, I guess I'll have to take some post-bacc courses before applying, eh? Given that I am a bio major, the only advanced bio courses available at my school that I have not taken are histology, embryology, biochem II and a whole boatload of courses dealing with botany. I am stronger in bio than I am in chem, and I have not taken anything beyond the premed req's for chem, as they are the same for my degree. There are much more interesting sounding bio courses at another local university, such as microbial genetics and immunology, but this school is like a step down from the one I currently attend as far as academic reputation, but a little bit more friendly on the wallet, considering that I will not be eligible for financial aid after I graduate…stuff to consider…anyway, back to my Eng Lit paper. Thanks for the replies!

I have to disagree with the idea that other majors are less rigorous than science majors...I think almost any field of study can be rigorous and challenging. A lot depends on what you make of it and where your strengths lie.

I guess it depends upon where you attend school. At my school, the science departments are TOUGH. Many profs have been and are on probation for high failure/low passage rates. They actually brag on the first day of classes about their low distribution of A's and B's, and make comments like, "this course is not listed as an honors course, but less than half of the honors students will get A's", "if you have other science courses, you may need to drop this one" etc...Now, I am not complaining, I have been able to hold my own here, unlike many of my current and former pre-med colleagues, most of whom have dropped premed and science altogether for "easier" majors. The few students that do get the A's from the rough science courses, and I know many of them, have almost the same type of background--tons of science AP credit from the better high schools, honors students, high SAT/ACT scores, are in the guaranteed acceptance program for our med school, etc. These types of students are atypical at my large inner city public university, but are the types of students that the profs seem to design their courses for.