At the moment, the medical school applicant pool is growing in diversity, especially when it comes to incoming undergraduate majors. Nonetheless, it is a valid question to assess the knowledge and preparation of non-science majors for medical school. The apparent way that medical schools carry out the assessment is through the MCAT. As a Health Systems Management major, I can testify that the thought of not taking as many science courses by the time of medical school in comparison to other majors puts me at unease, especially when it comes to taking the MCAT. Will I be prepared enough for medical school? Am I missing any skills that are reinforced by science majors? Will I have a fair chance of doing well on the MCAT? While planning to take various supplementary science courses to prepare for the MCAT, I began to ponder if being a science major will significantly impact my score on the MCAT. With some specific research, I was surprised by the statistics provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
There is no doubt that non-science major pre-meds have resided in the spotlight for the past few years because the nontraditional pathway is becoming more prevalent. However, many individuals have different speculations on whether having a science major will significantly aid a student during the MCAT. Surprisingly, statistics have pointed out that there is a lack of evidence to show whether being a science major actually helps students during test time. AAMC discovered that science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and non-science majors (English, sociology, philosophy, etc.) are equally represented among accepted candidates to medical school. Based on the analysis of non-science curriculums, a plausible reason why humanity majors are among the most competitive pre-meds on campus is because of their ability to synthesize and to think critically about literary works; these skills translate well on the MCAT.
Although both science and non-science majors represented in the data generally had outstanding GPAs and clinical experience, many of the non-science students had most likely taken additional science coursework.
Even though statistics show that the matriculants for non-science majors have scored very well on the MCAT, some assume that they spend more time on basic science concepts and application. Therefore, we can safely state that there may be a correlation of higher MCAT scores with humanities and certain non-science majors, but we cannot assume that less experience with science courses caused the overall higher results. There may be other factors at play, considering the extent of data provided by the AAMC. Regardless if one is a non-science major or not, pre-meds can be assured of an equal chance to score well on the MCAT with hard work and determination. Whereas students majoring in a science field should acknowledge that more contact with complex scientific coursework will not drastically hinder the analysis of questions on the MCAT, but will definitely aid them in their future career. No matter what major you are, be confident that the MCAT will test your readiness for the medical school curriculum. After all, everyone has a different journey and path to fulfilling their dreams of becoming excellent physicians!