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A Crash Course Guide on How to Survive as a Pre-Med Major

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lafayette chapter.

Don’t let the scary pre-med major stories including all nighters studying organic chemistry and stressing about how competitive med school is stop you from studying what you want when coming to Lafayette, for this will give you a crash course guide on all you need to know to survive while having an amazing college experience!

If you tell anyone that you are a pre-med student, you are automatically met with gasps and concerned faces. It may sound like an intimidating path to take as a college student, especially when balancing extra-curricular activities with such an intense academic workload. Taking up to three labs every semester, having a minimum of four years of schooling post-undergrad and spending all your summers  and winter breaks doing research and volunteering at hospitals may not be how you want to spend your college years, the supposed “best years of your life.” This is a lot to take in, but you can make this track more bearable.

Many students struggle with class registration, but for us pre-med students, it’s even more of a challenge to compose our schedules.  Fitting in the required classes with research and volunteer work while applying for medical schools poses a real challenge. The Health Professions Program gives students the tools to become competitive applicants for medical school. The Health Professions Program is a program run by professors in the science departments at Lafayette that are interested in assisting students preparing for med-school and other pre-professional schools related to health. They offer a number of meetings throughout each semester to inform students of how they should be preparing for medical school.

Lafayette knows students struggle finding a track which is why The Gateway Program, the career services program at Lafayette, is perfect for pre-med majors. The Gateway Program helps students find and apply to various jobs and internships and will even review students’ resumes and applications.

Beyond the resources available for post-undergrad plans, Lafayette offers programs that allow pre-med students to hear individual’s personal experience going through the process. Lafayette’s pre-med club, along with many of the science departments at Lafayette, brings in guest speakers who can offer valuable information for students wanting to learn more about how to prepare for medical school. These speakers are usually Lafayette alumni that are current practicing physicians who can share their pre-med experience or others who chose not to continue their medical education and are in different fields. These alumni (thank God for actual adults am I right?) can provide information on other career options for pre-med students aside from medical school.

Many of the professors in the science departments are more than willing to have students work in their labs with them to gain hands on experience. Not only is this a summer opportunity, but students also have the opportunity to do research with professors throughout the semester while taking classes.

Beyond the research available on campus, St. Luke’s hospital, located in Phillipsburg,  allows Lafayette students to volunteer during the semester. Luckily, almost anything you would want to do over break is still possible to take part in while taking courses at Lafayette, so we can still be hip and cool and go on fun vacations instead of injecting lab animals all summer long!

The Foundation of International Medical Relief for Children, FIMRC, is an organization located in cities around the world where the healthcare systems lack essential resources. This organization at Lafayette offers pre-med students’ interim abroad opportunities to work at hospitals. These trips can offer both experience and perspective, as Annie Drane, a pre-med student in the class of 2021 at Lafayette College, attended a trip to Peru in January 2018, explained: “The trip made me realize just how blessed I am to be available to the best health care at any moment of the day.” Taking part in a FIMRC trip is a great way for students to experience health care in other countries and get to have a fun abroad experience with their peers.

I love knowing I am studying to be in the medical field so that I can help people on a daily basis, and Lafayette makes sure I can have the entire college experience while pursuing my goals.

Events director
Krystyna Keller

Lafayette '21

Creating things since '98 Campus Correspondent for HC Lafayette