Being pre-med is a labor of love. The average person knows that pre-meds have to take some coursework in biology and chemistry but there's a lot more to pursuing medicine than just studying the human body. Here are some surprising things I've learned while taking pre-med courses as a biology undergrad.
1. You will learn about worms and starfish (annelids and echinoderms).
When you take evolution you go through the entirety of the phylogenetic tree and learn about all the major groupings of organisms.
2. Some semesters, you will take no biology courses, even though you're a biology major.
For instance, last semester I took Orgo, Physics, History, and Sociology.
3. Pre-Vet Animal Science majors are on the same struggle boat with you.
There's a lot of overlap in biology and chemistry coursework required for people who want to enter professions where they are caring for living things. Cells are cells whether they're in animals or humans. In fact, animal physiology is a popular concentration for pre-med bio majors because animal systems are representative of human systems. Most undergraduate research involves mice or other animal models like zebrafish.
4. I've actually learned a lot about animal behavior and physiology from insects.
Comparative Physiology and Introduction to Behavior are classes I've taken that have used insects to illustrate key concepts. The physiology class is actually taught by an entomologist.
5. You will learn a lot about multiple fields other than your own.
Through working in a plant developmental lab, I've learned about biology students rotating through labs in graduate school, the long road to a PhD, the possibility of doing a post-doctorate, the great effort that goes into getting funding, and the preparation it takes to get tenure. I've also learned about the differences between getting a degree in academia and industry. Similarly, through classes I've learned that physics grad students don't have to rotate through 3 labs and rather just join a lab they are interested in the summer after their first year and that being a sociology graduate student is very different depending on what school you're within at Cornell. I've learned that Atmospheric Science majors will take the pre-med physics and have many requirements as well. Through a job, I became friends with law students and got to hear a little about the experience of law school and taking the bar exam. I've learned that Cornell really is a school where any person can pursue any study.