So now you want to be a doctor, right? But you don’t know where to start. You’ve probably heard loads about pre-med courses, for starters. First off, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve chosen one of the noblest professions anyone can take. It’s a vocation as much as it is a learning experience.
Don’t be intimidated by the destination or the journey yet. In this guide, we’ll take you through the first steps to reaching your dream. So let’s lay out your path real quick.
What educational path do I take if I want to become a doctor?
Hopefully by now, you’ve taken senior high school STEM classes or enrolled in the STEM strand. Your next step is choosing a pre-med course for your college degree. After pre-med you’ll have to review for and pass the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) to enter a school of medicine. And after med school, it’s time to go for it, doctor!
But let’s take it one step at a time.
What is pre-med? What courses should I take if I want to become a doctor?
Pre-med isn’t an actual major. It’s a general term to let people know you’re studying to become a doctor. The skills you’ll need and learn in your pre-med courses center around the scientific process. A lot of it has to do with analytical thinking, problem solving, some math, and of course, memory skills. So don’t forget about those lab classes!
Is there one true and perfect pre-med course? Nope. It depends on what kind of doctor you want to be, what skills you want to improve, and what program you’re interested in. To get you started, here are some pre-med courses that med school students recommend taking.
If you want a general approach to medicine, this is the course to take. BS Biology students learn all about living things from body structure and functions down to cellular makeup. You’ll be immersed in all that through your laboratory and lecture classes. This course will test your memory skills and study habits. It’s a great prep for the rigors of medical school!
BS Chemistry / Biochemistry
One key component to a pre-med course is, well, the chemical makeup of the body. You’ll be taking classes like biochemistry and organic chemistry. These are helpful in understanding the human body’s internal processes and how we react to certain elements and diseases. This course increases your logical thinking—how you can use your knowledge of cause and effect to solve problems.
In BS Psychology, you’ll develop deduction and analytical skills, plus deeper empathy. That’s because clinical psychology offers a deeper understanding of the human mind and behavior through theory, method, and research. This is an interesting pre-med course since it doesn’t fall under STEM. But because BS Psychology has lab classes—whereas AB Psychology has a more liberal arts approach—you gain the experience needed to become a licensed psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
BS Physical Therapy
Do you want to be more hands-on when dealing with future patients? Go for physical therapy, because you’ll learn all about analyzing and treating disabilities resulting from injury, sickness, or aging. It’s not just about rehabilitation and restoring physical function, though. In classes like Anatomy and Physiology, Neurology, and even Pathology, you’ll have a bit of a headstart in general practice. It preps you for future scenarios as a doctor.
BS Medical Technology
Now if you really want to get your hands dirty—metaphorically, of course—then go for BS Medical Technology. This course deals with the chemistry side of medicine and using technology to prevent diseases. You’ll be in working on specimens and maneuvering different equipment, tools, and results. In classes like Blood Banking, Clinical Chemistry, and Drug Testing, you’ll come out with a strong work ethic, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.
You can also check out our guide to the best MedTech schools!
Med students say BS Nursing is good prep for the personal problem-solving you’ll do in med school. You learn things way beyond your classes like biology and anatomy. It’s a lot more interpersonal and interactive. You’ll learn how to interact with patients, deal with their needs, and also diagnose their ailments. Course graduates also have the option to go directly into practicing as a nurse instead of med school.
Here’s another chemistry-oriented course. It’s a great headstart for inf0-heavy med school classes like pharmaceutical biochemistry. Your classes will help you understand how to treat diseases with different kinds of medications and why they work on a chemical level. You’ll even pop out with technical writing skills, research and analytical skills, and sometimes managerial skills. Also, BS Pharmacy offers different career paths for its graduates besides being a pre-med option.
Check out our guide to the best BS Pharmacy schools in the Philippines.
Excited to get started on your journey to becoming a doctor? Here are some options you can check out for medical scholarships. Want to know more interesting courses to take? Head to the College Life section on the Edukasyon.ph blog!