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January 2, 1981

Premedical Education

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1981;245(1):32. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310260016014

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To the Editor.—  Recent articles (243:2506, 1980;243:2518, 1980) addressed the choice of the college major of medical students. While these articles cited the prevalence of science majors, they did not address the reasons for the choice of this major. At many institutions, one may major in chemistry by taking only three to four more courses in chemistry beyond the standard medical school requirements. Also, these courses are usually exact and quantitative, with excellent grades dependent on controllable aspects such as memorization and sweat—rather than the independent thought or adherence to the professor's ideals necessary for excellent grades in the humanities. Thus, it may be that chemistry is often chosen as a major because it is easier than a philosophy or history major. Additionally, it should not be surprising that those interested in medicine are also interested in the physiology, anatomy, and other courses of a major in biology or