Thinking about the pre-health or pre-med track in Brandeis? Here are 7 tips from students.

Thinking about the pre-health or pre-med track in Brandeis? Here are 7 tips from students.

Photo/Mike Lovett

Students in Professor Kene Piasta’s class BIOL151A perform an experiment.

By Jack Yuanwei Cheng ’24January 5, 2023

Jack Yuanwei Cheng ’24 is a biology graduate and student writer for the Office of Communications.

At Brandeis, students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare can pursue any major that aligns with their career interests and complete all admissions requirements for the healthcare profession school of interest. Some popular majors for pre-health students include Biology, Biochemistry, and Health: Science, Society, and Policy. Pre-health counseling in the Office of Academic Services helps guide students along the way.

I asked students on the Pre-Health track for their advice to incoming students who are interested in taking the Pre-Health track in Brandeis.

Stay organised.

“There are many requirements that students must meet in order to be admitted to medical school,” says Dhruv Reddy ’25. Academic Services has great resources for you as you plan your academic life in Brandeis.

Start thinking about applying for medical school early.

“The sooner you familiarize yourself with the process and requirements for medical school admissions, the more time you will have to prepare,” says Mila Manic ’24. There are many seminars and workshops held by the university and several student clubs throughout the year, so watch out for email announcements and posters around campus. Pre-Health Counselors are also a great resource for anyone considering entering medical school. “I reached out to them when I was planning my program to make sure I met all pre-health requirements,” Manic adds.

Going to medical school is a marathon, not a sprint.

“A big misconception is that you have to graduate and go to medical school right away,” says Manic. Many students decide to take a few years off to gain more medical experience and prepare for the MCAT before applying. “They have a better chance of getting into a program they want to participate in if they spend the extra time working on their application,” Manic adds.

Don’t let your studies take over your entire life.

“While it’s important to maintain a good grade as a pre-health student, studying shouldn’t be 100 percent of your life,” says Dina Ocken ’25. Attend a club meeting to do something you enjoy, hang out with friends, and do something to take care of yourself.

To make sure you i am the one who wants to become a doctor.

“Becoming a doctor takes years of hard work,” says Alex Zhang ’23. “Have a long, honest conversation with yourself to see if you’re the one who wants to pursue this career, not your family, not the company.”

If the amount of education is keeping you second guessing your decision to pursue a pre-healthcare path, there are many alternative career paths in health care, and not all of them require a medical degree. Nurses, physician assistants and social workers are all important parts of the healthcare system; spend some time exploring those as well.

Recognize when the path is no longer for you.

College is a time to explore different career paths and interests. “There is no shame in changing your mind about becoming a doctor. You didn’t ‘fail’ by not sticking to your original plan,” says Zhang.

Find your support network on campus.

Adjusting to a new environment while navigating a challenging path is difficult. Find a group of friends or professors you can lean on to support you through difficult times. “It’s very helpful to have someone listen to your struggles or struggle in class with you,” says Reddy.

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