Being in medical school means that there are rare opportunities to dress up. I own too many dresses and heels, but it’s always a little sad because I don’t have many occasions to wear them since I spend the majority of my time studying (and it would obviously be silly to show up in the library in a cocktail dress and heels). I was reflecting on this because I was recently talking to my friend who just graduated from law school, and she told me how excited she was to buy a whole new wardrobe as a new professional working woman and that she was excited to be able to dress up in the “real world” outside of the classroom and the library. This led to a discussion on how I once actually did consider law school myself because of my strong interest in political science.
In college, I chose not to major in Biology or any of the sciences like most pre-meds because I had so many other interests. I always had an interest in medicine ever since I volunteered at a hospital in high school, but I also had interests in political science (particularly in global affairs, thanks to many years of Model UN) and psychology, which are two subjects I believe to be strongly related. I was fortunate that my college allowed for double majors and that I had sufficient space in my schedule to pursue majors unrelated to premed while at the same time, still fulfilling my premed requirements in science classes. Along the way, I also picked up a global health minor, so I ended up graduating with a double major in Political Science and Psychology, and a minor in Global Health.
People are usually pretty shocked when I tell them that I did this in college, and trust me, it wasn’t easy. There were many times when I struggled trying to balance the premed science classes with a full load of humanities courses. It’s tough to try to focus on writing a 20 page paper on a hard-hitting political science topic like Ethics in International Relations when you have an orgo final in two days! Although it was cool to see most of my fellow poli sci majors go off to law school, I don’t regret my decision to go to medical school instead or my decision to pursue a major that seemingly has no relevance to my career. I know I won’t necessarily use the knowledge I gained in my political science classes on a day to day basis as a doctor, but those classes provided me with a strong foundation for critical thinking and made me a better writer. As a premed, it’s easy to feel pressured into majoring in a science because it’s just the most common thing and it’s easier to fulfill premed requirements this way, but I strongly feel that no one should feel obligated to do this. So much of the science is re-taught in med school (or re-learned during MCAT studying), and college is really the only time you’re free to take these other classes in different subjects. Every premed should take advantage of the 4 years of college when there is the flexibility to learn things that you won’t have time to in medical school and pursue whatever they want for their majors. As far as my regret of not being able to dress up often like this in med school — well, that’s why I have this blog, right?