Many students who wish to pursue a medical degree choose to major in biology or chemistry, but data from the Association of American Medical Colleges found that these students score lower on the Medical College Admissions Test than those who choose biomedical engineering, physics, neuroscience, economics, mathematics, and even electrical engineering . Because the course requirements for medical school are standard, as long as a particular set of courses are completed, students can major in any discipline that they want.
While some students wouldn't think of physics as a first choice for medical school preparation, studies have confirmed that a physics is an excellent entry degree for medical school. Physics students score the highest on the Medical College Admission Test's physical science section compared to all other majors. The undergraduate coursework covers physics and inorganic chemistry, which are both pertinent in the physical sciences section of the MCAT.
Biomedical engineering is a relatively new major, and students who choose it demonstrate mastery of the MCAT. These students scored better than any other major on the biological sciences section. This major covers biology, anatomy and physiology in depth which are vital for medical school. What's more, many of the imaging technologies used in medicine were developed by engineers who have the understanding to innovate in this field.
Even for those who don't want to become neurosurgeons, neuroscience can be a great undergraduate major for premedical studies. This is because neuroscience is typically an interdisciplinary degree. Students who major in neuroscience get top scores on the MCAT, and in particular score high on the biological sciences section. Neuroscience majors study biology, statistics, chemistry, mathematics, neurochemistry and neuropsychology while earning their degree.
Mathematics is an undergraduate major that makes students highly competitive applicants for medical school. These students score very high on all sections of the the MCAT. Mathematics is a very versatile major that provides students with training that assists them in medicine, teaching and research, all of which can be important for medical school. Classes in calculus, complex analysis and statistics complement elective courses taken in physics or chemistry.
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