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Bharathi Jagadeesh bjag at ln.nimh.nih.gov
Mon Nov 24 16:10:54 EST 1997

Debra M. McDonough (donough at UCSUB.COLORADO.EDU) wrote:
: That's funny.  I thought that my MIT bio classes did a great job at
: stressing concepts and comprehension.  Biochem at Harvard - that's where I
: memorized in a room full of pre-meds.  Guess it's who you hang out with - 
: I thought most of the MIT bio folks were headed the grad school route. . .
: deb

Amanda Kesner writes
: > suffered greatly.  (I am forced to admit, however, that during my time at
: > MIT, I knew exactly 2 bio majors other than myself who were not pre-med. 
: > One is in law school, now, and the other is planning on entering grad
: > school next fall like me.  So much for teaching the future researchers...) 
: > Just my gripes on the subject...

I've been watching a growing trend at my undergraduate school (Caltech)
over the 10 years since I graduated. When I was an undergraduate there
(1983-1987), there were about 10-15 biology majors in a class, out of
200 students in an undergraduate year. Most of the 10-15 were planning
on graduate school, though there were always a few pre MD, pre MD/PhD

Now, I hear through the grapevine that nearly 1/2 of the entering
class (of 200) says that they are pre-med; the biology major has
grown to 70 students, and many of the chemistry majors are also

I think we're watching the elite science undergrads realize the
riskiness of academic research careers, and planning for other less
risky options (that is, medical school, and careers as physicians).

This scares me, but I can't lie to undergrads and tell them that
the profession isn't risky.

Bharathi Jagadeesh/bjag at ln.nimh.nih.gov
Lab of Neuropsychology, NIMH
Building 49, Room 1b80
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(312) 496-5625 x270

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