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

Two biology students laugh as they conduct experiments.Photo/Mike Lovett

Students in professor Kene Piasta’s BIOL151A class performing an experiment.

Jack Yuanwei Cheng ’23 is a biology major and a student writer for the Office of Communications.

At Brandeis, students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care can pursue any major that aligns with their career interests and finish all their entry requirements for the health-profession school of interest. Some popular majors for pre-health students include biology, biochemistry, and Health: Science, Society, and Policy. Pre-Health Advising in the Office of Academic Services helps to guide students along the way.

I asked students on the pre-health track about their advice to incoming students who are interested in pursuing the pre-health track at Brandeis.

Stay organized.

“There are a lot of requirements that students must meet to become eligible for medical school admission,” says Dhruv Reddy ’25. Academic Services have great resources for you as you plan out your academic life at Brandeis.

Start to think about the med school application early.

“The sooner you familiarize yourself with the medical school admission process and requirements, the more time you will have to prepare,” says Mila Manic ’24. There are many seminars and workshops organized by the university and different student clubs year-round, so be on the lookout for email announcements and posters on campus. Pre-health advisors are also a great resource for anyone considering applying to medical school. “I reached out to them when I was planning my schedule while making sure that I fulfilled all the pre-health requirements,” Manic adds.

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

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

Do not let studying take over your entire life.

“While it is important to maintain a good grade as a pre-health student, studying should not be 100% of your life,” says Dina Ocken ‘25. Attend a club meeting to do something you like, hang out with friends, and do something to self-care. 

Make sure you are the one who wants to become a doctor.

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

If the amount of schooling is making you second guess your decision to pursue a pre-health track, there are many alternative career paths in health care, and not all of them require an MD 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 did not ‘fail’ by not sticking to your original plan,” says Zhang.

Find your support network on campus.

Adjusting to a new environment while taking on a hard course load is difficult. Find a group of friends or professors that you can lean on to support you during hard times. “It is very helpful to have someone to listen to your struggles or struggle through the classes with you,” says Reddy.

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