4 Behaviors That Will Make You A Better Pre-Med Student

4 Behaviors That Will Make You A Better Pre-Med Student

Most pre-meds get so lost in the science behind it all that they leave behind all other important qualities.

I recently spent over two weeks at Methodist Hospital. Over this time span, I had the opportunity to strike up a conversation with many of the attendees, residents, and medical students. I noted that most of the people on this team were textbook examples of doctors: those that believe in treating an illness, all the while forgetting that they are treating not just an illness but rather a patient. If I were to go back into any one of these people’s lives I would bet that I would see the same stereotypical pre-med: a student bent over science textbooks, scientific journals and ogling over any new medical series/documentary. In their journey to med school, most pre-meds get so lost in the science behind it all that they leave behind all other important qualities. They forget about real life. They forget that in order to cure a patient you need to make a connection.

I, for one, do not want to be that sort of doctor. And I bet there are a lot of other pre-meds out there that don’t want to be either. Here are four things I recommend:

1. Read, Read, Read

No, I don’t just mean scientific journals. Read the newspaper. Read about topics that interest you. Read different genres. Read about different cultures. You never know when you’ll learn something new.

2. Write

Writing is an integral part of almost every career field and it is just as important for the medical field. Doctors have to take precise and descriptive notes on every patient that they see. The first step to applying to med school even consists of a personal statement, which is a written piece about yourself. So why stay away from writing? Write about anything that comes to mind.

3. Be A Cosmopolitan

It is very important to be not only culturally tolerant but also culturally educated. Why do I say that? In a hospital, you can encounter patients from different faiths and cultures and sometimes, unfortunately, these values can hinder a patient from receiving certain treatments. When encountered with such situations, a doctor should be competent enough to know what resources to reach out to help the patient make safe decisions. Under certain circumstances, a doctor should know how to approach a patient.

4. Be Yourself

Here it is. The overly cliché line that all pre-med advisors and admissions officers will point out to you. But it is entirely true! Being yourself helps you stand out of the crowd. Embrace your values, your personality, and stay true to what you believe in. Admissions committees are tired of seeing students who are what I like to call “checklisters.” These are the students that go out of their way to make sure they have completed the entire checklist of pre-med requirements. The research. The volunteer work. You name it and they’ve probably already done it. But ask them about what they’ve learned or how the experience affected them and they will draw a blank. Don’t be one of these students. Learn from every experience you are a part of, even the ones you didn’t enjoy so much.

PS. Don't forget to study!

Cover Image Credit: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major


Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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Teaching Children The Florida Curriculum: It's As Easy As A Coloring Page

We need to teach students in achievable strategies, and it can be done in the simplest of ways.


As a pre-service teacher, I get to see everything that goes into lesson planning for students. I myself have even had to make lesson plans to teach in my internship, and I can tell you this, it's tougher than it seems because we focus in on what the children need, while also following the curriculum laid out for us. We also have to break it down so students can understand and really connect to the lessons we make for them.

This month, in our kindergarten science lessons, we are learning about the human body and ways to keep ourselves healthy. For kindergarteners, this can be really hard to break down because there are some really advanced subjects mixed into the curriculum. The lesson plan that I most recently wrote was on oral health. When I first approached it, I didn't know how I could break it down to their level. I myself don't understand all that goes into dental health, so how was I supposed to break it down for twenty 5 and 6-year-olds. I searched online, browsing through great resources that teachers use, like Cpalms.org and Teachers Pay Teachers, and I was still struggling to find a way to meet all the needs of my students. So I had to sit myself down and think through the mind of a 6-year-old to come up with my lesson.

What I found is that there are ways in which we can teach kids, and specifically this instance, their health, that are super simple, and yet we overlook them all the time.

What is one of the things you loved to do most in kindergarten? For most people you ask, coloring is a very popular answer. One of the most memorable things that I can recall from kindergarten was alphabet coloring pages. These are still used in teaching the alphabet in my own kindergarten practicum that I'm in right now. So why not use this style when I'm teaching them about their oral health?

It was so easy to create a plan based off of what the students would be excited about. I was easily able to create a coloring sheet of the human mouth and from there, I realized I could teach them about specific things within the mouth, like the different types of teeth, and I could do this by having them color coordinate the different teeth by color coordinating them with crayons. I also realized that I could demonstrate good hygiene to them on the baby dolls they love to play within centers. This could make them excited about things like brushing and flossing their teeth, which could benefit their own health in the long run.

As educators, we need to find ways to make tough learning subjects easier to break down to our students and make this learning fun. Once we make learning hard subjects more simple and fun, we can make education fun for the students, and they will hold onto our lessons much more effectively. So I challenge all teachers to do this: Look through the lens of your students, and find ways to bring subjects down to their level and make it enjoyable for them.


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