There was a terrific article in yesterday’s The Harvard Crimson that explored how students who arrive at Harvard University and want to get on the premed path often end up changing their minds. The article, penned by Any Guan and Radhika Jain and entitled “Former Premeds Move Towards Other Career Paths” points out that many students with an interest in medicine are exposed to medicine from an early age, either because of their annual doctor appointments, the prevalence of medicine on television series such as House and Grey’s Anatomy, or one or both of their parents are physicians and they wish to follow in their footsteps.
At Harvard, like at so many universities throughout the country, students will so often find that their interests evolve while in college when they are exposed to new disciplines, to new possibilities. This, after all, is one of the key points of the college experience in America. And this propensity to change one’s plans isn’t just true of premeds like Felicity. It’s true of students who apply to colleges thinking they want to be lawyers or business executives or politicians and that’s why it’s always important to keep one’s options open. Says Lee Ann Michelson, director of premedical and health care advising at Harvard’s Office of Career Services, “While approximately 20 percent of students informally declare an interest in pursuing the premed track when they first arrive on campus, only seven percent eventually apply to medical school as seniors.” The statistic, well, it’s telling.
Planning to do pre-med? Think you know exactly what you wish to study in college and you’ll never change your mind? Let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!
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