Pre- Medical often shortened as pre-med is a term used to describe track undergraduate students pursues in the United States prior to becoming a medical student. It also refers to the activities that prepare an undergraduate student for medical school, such as pre med course work, volunteer activities, clinical experience, research, and the application process. A student on pre-med track (curriculum followed) is permitted to choose any undergraduate major in any field of study, so long as required courses are completed.

Such courses are generally focused in scientific fields of Biology and chemistry. Some of helpful high school courses include: biology, chemistry, calculus, English, health sciences and physics as they are required for all pre-med students though they are not compulsory. Mixing pre-med studies with a non-science major is not at all uncommon, as 38 to 40 percent of the pre-med population over the past four years did not pursue B. S degrees. (Atul Gawande:2002)

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The pre-med curriculum requires that students complete a minimum of approximately 12 courses by the summer after high school, the time when students should be applying to medical schools . In Australia, a number of universities offer a three or four year Bachelor of medicinal science or biomedical science degree, which is similar in content and aim to pre-med courses in the U. S, as the majority of graduates attempt to gain entry to medical schools.

However it is possible to gain entry to medical school following the completion of secondary school as an undergraduate but after scoring remarkably. In some medical schools like Princeton College in the United States, pre-med does not guarantee a person a position in a medical school. Pre- med is a curriculum designed to best prepare students for the MCATs (the Medical College Admission test) and for the rigors of medical school (Sandra: 2003 Many universities offer a seven –year program that combine undergraduate and medical studies and culminates in a master’s degree.

In the United States of America one has to complete a full year of organic chemistry course (the scientific study of carbon- based compounds, originally limited to the compounds that are the natural products of living things which now include the study of synthetic carbon compounds such as plastics) This is in lecture and laboratory course and one has to study the building blocks of life: molecules of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The topics include molecular structure, bonding, and the synthesis- or creation –of simple compounds from complex ones.

These classes tackle everything i. e. from carbohydrates to amino-acids and many related applications in pharmacology (the science or study of drugs especially in the ways in which they react biologically at receptor sites in the body) and other health related areas. Pre-medicine programs provide guidance to students as they prepare for medical school, osteopathic medicinal training (a system of medicine based on the theory that many disease are caused by incorrect alignments of bones, ligaments and muscles and that correcting them through manipulation can cure the problems.

its often effective in treating joint and muscle disorders) and podiatric medical training (profession concerned with the care of the feet and the treatment of foot disorders). As a pre-med student, it helps to be self motivated, confident and compassionate. This is because as a student, one takes many years studying and training to be a doctor . Along the way, the desire to cure and prevent disease must be a strong motivator. RELATED PRE-MED CAREERS: Advanced practice nurses: Advanced practice nurses diagnose and treat illnesses and provide health care. Most of them are certified to prescribe medication.

For a person who has chosen this as a career, one need to be caring, sympathetic, detail oriented and able to make quick, logical emergencies. One must be able to cope with emergencies, stress, and suffering and remain levelheaded all the while. Nurse mid-wives are advanced practice nurses who specialize in delivering babies . Study of a foreign language is also important as it helps one reach out and communicate with different communities and patients. Nurses are capable of making their own decisions. “I can’t call the doctors at the hospital for every decision I need to make.

I was hired to make these decisions by myself. ” (John: 2005) General practitioners: They are often a patient’s main doctor as they perform yearly check-ups treat a variety of conditions and refer patients to specialists. As a general practitioner one is expected to spend years studying and training and a life time keeping up with advances in medicine. In order to be a great general practitioner, you require self- motivation, compassionate decision making skills and be a crack investigator. Curiosity and conviction is usually what makes general practitioners going. Psychology as course is essential as it enables a G.

P learn about human nature and explore the mind – body connection. General practitioners need four years of medical school and at least three years on- the job training on addition to the bachelor’s degree. Related careers include: Dentistry (dentists prevent, diagnose, and treat health problems of the mouth. Most dentists are general practitioners, but some specialize in areas such as orthodontics (straightening teeth with braces) and endodontics (providing root canal treatment). Surgeons (doctors who treat and correct injuries, diseases, and deformities by operating on patients).

Gynecologists and obstetricians: Gynecology and obstetrics is usually combined into one specialty. It is the care and treatment of women’s organs through out their lives. Gynecologists and obstetricians are doctors who specialize in women’s health and reproduction. gynecologists and obstetricians are expected to improve and save lives, nurture new ones, give some patient bad news, deliver babies, discuss on the importance’s and effects of birth control options and balance heavy work load with personal life. Good obstetricians have to be compassionate as well as strong decision makers and good listeners.

Gynecologists need to listen carefully as patients describe their symptoms. Sensitivity is also required as one is expected to ask and answer difficult questions about woman’s health, sexuality and reproduction. Psychology as a course is required as it enables one to learn about human nature and explore the mind- body connection. To become an Ob- gyn on needs four years of medical school and at least four years of on- the job training in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Pediatricians: These are doctors who care for children from birth to early adulthood.

They specialize in diseases and ailments specific to young and growing bodies. Pediatricians should be diplomatic and sensitive, and excellent communicators. One is expected to listen carefully to patients or to the Parents as they describe their symptoms. They help in recognizing the common threads among childhood diseases and encouraging parents to promote healthy lifestyles. This is an important job of Pediatricians. ‘The best part of the job is the tremendous sense of accomplishment I get when a surgical procedure that allows a child to see or preserves his or her vision goes well’ (Lou, Pediatric Neuro-ophthalmologist).

The main pediatric responsibilities include: talking to teens about birth control, helping overweight children start diets to prevent future health problems, ordering tests to confirm diagnoses, giving babies their immunization shots, treating children for strep throat and other common ailments, advising parents on surgical options and referring them to a surgeon for further treatments. Responding to emergencies late at night and working closely with other doctors is usually a routine to pediatrics. ‘……. anyone with the drive can grow up to be, say, a pediatric neurosurgeon’ (Ben. C:1990)

Surgeons: Doctors who treat and correct injuries, diseases, and deformities by operating on patients. Many surgeons specialize in such areas as brain, heart, and orthopedic (skeletal) surgery. Their main responsibilities include: Improving and saving lives, examining patients before and after surgery and explaining surgical procedures. Surgeons also mend bone and tissue and repair major organs damaged by diseases and injury. For one to be a surgeon, one needs to be highly self motivated, compassionate and be a decisive leader. Patients usually depend upon surgeons to save their lives by making critical conditions quickly and under pressure.

Nurses, surgical technicians also depend and look up to the surgeon for leadership. IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING PRE MED AS COMPARED TO OTHER COURSES As a pre- med student one is prepared to make changes in people’s lives and in the world around them. Pre med prepares one for challenges and opportunities. With a career in pre med you are able to: Service: Allows one to help people and advance knowledge. Action: Doesn’t tie you to a desk all the time. Respect: Your work and contributions are an important part of your community. Be secure: Enables you to earn a good living with a secure future.

Be excited: Changes daily, so it’s hardly ever boring. Mobilize: Your skills and knowledge are in demand, wherever you choose to live. Be flexible: Offers you lots of career options from the same education base We find that few careers meet all these standards. None meets them rather than a career in medicine. Few fields offer a wider variety of opportunities. Most doctors’ professional lives are filled with caring for people and continuously learning more about human body. People with medical skills are in demand everywhere. Good living: A career in medicine has many rewards- personally, intellectually and financially.

On average, doctors make about $160,000 a year, but this amount can vary depending on where physicians live and what type of medical specialty they practice. As the American health care system changes, fewer doctors are working for themselves and more are joining health care systems, often as salaried employees. In these organizations, physicians often can command salaries comparable to executives in other occupations. Beginning salaries range from $60,000- $150,000 Serving to the community: Volunteering is one of the best ways to gain experience in health care and developing communication and teamwork skills.

Pre med gives one such opportunity as one is able to interact with people of a culture, ethnicity or socioeconomic status different from yours. Medicine is many things to many people. New opportunities are rapidly developing with each advance in medical knowledge and the organization of medical services. The physician responsibilities cover a wide range of functions in the maintenance of health, diagnosing diseases, and supervising patient care, prescribing treatment and participating in improved delivery of health care. This is a great psychological fulfillment to any person willing to take direction on pre-med.

Though some doctors of Medicine (M. D) degree concentrate on basic or applied research, they end becoming teachers or administrators or combine various elements of these activities. This shows that there is a wide range of careers gotten from a single one. A career as a physician offers great personal satisfaction, as well as the opportunity to work with all types of people. The United States is particularly short of physicians in the specialties of general internal medicine, general pediatrics and family practice. Therefore taking direction in pre- med for anyone is an assuarance of better financial chances and happy lives.

One also has the opportunity for self employment unlike other careers where one is expected to be employed by the government or concentrate on the specific course taken as there is no diversity. In conclusion, pre-med is course that enables someone pursuing a career in medicine. Motivation, compassion, caring, good communication skills, and strong desire to heal should be the pre-med students guiding principles. “Practicing medicine is an art, and it’s not only being competent that’s important, but being humanistic too” (Angela M: 2009). Pre-medicine has got a lot of benefits to both individuals and the society at large.

This is because, to oneself; one is able to diagnose any change in our bodies as well as health wisely. To the society doctors are the most important persons as they save lives. Therefore this is a course that after completion there is a sense of self fulfillment. References Atul Gawande, Complications: A surgeons notes on an imperfect science. 2002, St. Martins Press, New York, U. S. A Ben Carson Gifted hands: the Ben Carson Story. 1990. Herald Publishing Association, U. S. A Retrieved on 30th April 2009, http://www. gifted-hands/dp/0684862085. html

Boatman Sandra White Coat: Becoming a doctor at Harvard University Med. School. 2003, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. , New York, U. S. A Brandon University. Education and career, Retrieved 1st may 2009. http://www. webidna123. com/career/studyabroad/canada/subject. asp? action+(pre)medicine Jerome, Group Mann, How doctors think, 2007. New Time Publishers, New York, U. S. A John Smart, Planning a life in medicine: Career guides. 2005. Princeton Review publishers: U. S. A M. D Angela. Pre- medicine, Retrieved 30th April 2009, http://www. collgeboard. com/csearch/majos-careers/profiles/majors/51. 1102. html .