Carol Hagan, Associate Director
One or two times a month, an advisee will share with me their dislike of their science classes and wonder if they should continue on the path towards medical school. There is not an easy or quick answer to this question and it’s a great discussion to have with your pre-health advisor or important people in your life.
First, elaborate on what it means to “not like your sciences classes.” How many classes have you taken? Is it one class or all of them? Is it only lecture classes or labs and seminars as well? Did you like science in high school? Is it that you like the material, but not the exams? Do you like the classes, but would like them a lot more if they were smaller or there was less grade pressure? Do you dislike the classes because you feel you are not doing well (and are you being too hard on yourself or are you truly struggling)?
It is quite common for students to be a great fit for medicine and not like all their science classes. Some people really do not like physics or chemistry, but are genuinely excited about physiology or neuroscience. Many people dislike the high stakes exams, but adore classes that integrate projects and readings from current journals.
Occasionally, students don’t like their science classes because they are conflicted about pursuing a medical career, or truly do not want it. Maybe they used to want it, or a parent wants it, or they have some other career interest tugging on them. If your heart isn’t in the long-term goal of working in healthcare, it can be very difficult to engage with the challenging scientific coursework.
If you are someone who confidently feels that you don’t like science at all, then you need to reconcile this with your desire to become a doctor. Medicine is a scientific career. You will undertake demanding studies in science in medical school and devote yourself to life-long learning in the sciences. Nearly all of the students we work with who go on to medical school demonstrate enthusiasm for science. It may be that there is another career that will encompass the aspects of medicine that attract you, but without the significant amount of scientific training.
As always, you can make an appointment with a pre-health advisor to talk through this question by calling 215.898.1789.