Earning A Double Degree, What’s That All About?

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“Whoa, so you’re earning a dual majoring in Biology and English?                                  “How does that work out?”

These are the common reactions that I usually get from other people.  For my friends who are interested in earning a dual degree, especially my Pre-Health friends, this post is for you.

1.)WHY DID YOU DO IT?

I actually started off majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and along the lines of having to take Gened classes, I simply enjoyed taking English courses. I wanted to have a more comprehensive view in understanding what makes the human body tick, and why they function the way that they function. In addition, I wanted to learn more about writing techniques (haha I mean it also helps with applications, right?)

2.) HOW DO I BALANCE EVERYTHING OUT, CONSIDERING THAT THESE MAJORS ARE TWO BROAD ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM?

Truthfully, it’s not easy. Haha, I need to switch the areas of the brain that I’m using. From more of a straight-forward, logical aspect to a more creative side. In addition, if you want to have a life and do well in all of your classes, you have to learn how to prioritize your time well. (Check out my other blog post about that.)

3.)HOW AM I ABLE TO DOUBLE DEGREE?

Okay, before I elaborate on this, know that earning a double degree means paying twice the amount than is expected (I actually did not realize this until I went to get my graduation clearance.) Anyways,  I suggest to first look at the overall curriculum catalog, and see if you are able to double dip in some class. What I mean by that is if you have to take a gen ed class in biology, use one of your required English classes to fulfill that. Another piece of advice about this is to consult your Pre-med/Pre-health advisor and program director advisor to see what they suggest.

4.) IS IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO EARN A  DOUBLE DEGREE IN NATURAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES IF I WANT TO GET INTO MEDICAL/GRAD SCHOOL?

Truthfully, you do not have to earn a double degree in these courses(earning a science degree  will give you a better understanding on how certain diseases comes about), but if you want to major in a social science, business, or even art, then go for it. Use that four years to understand that topic. A side note here is that one of the physicians that I shadowed double majored in communications and history. In addition, just know that when it comes to your medical school interviews, you have to be able to explain to the admissions committee in why you chose those majors.

** All in all, if you want a deeper understanding of a certain topic, in addition to science, then why not major in that? Or if you want to have a double degree in that aspect, why not do it as well?

Forever your explorer,

Singature Blog

How Should I Fill In My Gap Year?

Everyone has their own path to their career, whether it being in medical school, graduate school, law school, or some other sort of professional school. Though, I kept telling myself that, I have been feeling kind of anxious within the past couple of months because I felt behind in my career. It’s actually been about a month into my gap year, and in all honesty, I don’t regret taking a gap year because my love for pursing medicine have soared. So here are a few things that I have learned thus far:

 

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1.)Explore, Explore, Explore-

We know so much about so little. Our knowledge on certain aspects are superficial. In fact, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still finding out my interests, my quirks, so on and so forth. Thus, when I mean explore, I don’t mean to just explore the world, but explore your interests– your likes/dislikes. Taking a gap year is a time for introspection. Moreover, growth. So step out of your comfort zone, and do things that you would never expect to do. For instance, I enjoy being active– hiking, running, heading to the gym, yoga, you name it. But never have I ever expected to train for a half marathon, and honestly I enjoy it: the intensity, discipline, and challenge gets me going.

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2.) Further your interest in medicine

I strongly believe that anything can be tied into medicine. However, there is still a stigmatism that “Pre-health students just have to focus on science.” In fact there are so many layers that contributes so much to medicine. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to give up your interest in medicine, solely combine them. For instance, if you’re interested in art, maybe you can volunteer at a hospital to teach patients art, or if you’re interested in a sport, possibly volunteer as a coach if you have time. The bottom line is that you don’t have to trade your interest or hobbies, solely combine them.

As for me, I have always been interested in International Medicine and Global Health. Specifically, I want to understand why certain diseases are more prevalent towards a specific population, why certain people acquire it, and why others don’t. With that said, I have chosen to partake on a medical mission to further learn more about how culture plays a significant amount towards health outcomes. Below is a list of organization/medical mission that I stumbled upon, and sound like a good use for those of you interested:

Mission Trips:

3.) Improvement

If we didn’t get into medical school straight through, there’s always something that we can improve upon when applying. That being academics, volunteer work, shadowing experience, etc.  As for me, one of my biggest improvement that I need to do for my application is to strengthen my academic portion. Though I graduated with a double degree (B.S Biology and B.A English), I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but my GPA is definitely not where I want it to be. With that said, I’m applying for a post-bacc program.

 

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In all honesty, there are so many things to do in a gap year. I think the main thing is to not lose hope for a career in medicine. Just because you didn’t go straight through to medicine after undergraduate does not mean that you won’t get in. Everyone’s path to medicine is different, just don’t lose sight of the prize. 🙂