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#433048 - 05/27/05 06:49 PM Music major to med school?
Hepcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 254
I've heard that med schools love non-traditional applicants as they result in a more well rounded doctor. Do any of you know someone who got a undergrad degree in music performance and then went this route?

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#433049 - 05/27/05 06:52 PM Re: Music major to med school?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
No, but I imagine pianists have great fingers to be surgeons...

I hear all the time about doctors who are musicians. I even heard about one famous surgeon who used to "warm up" his fingers at the piano before each surgery...
_________________________
Sam

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#433050 - 05/27/05 07:08 PM Re: Music major to med school?
poulencfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 211
Loc: texas
Med schools love non-traditional backgrounds if the applicant also scored high on the MCAT, and has flown through the requisite undergrad science coursework with high marks.

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#433051 - 05/27/05 07:20 PM Re: Music major to med school?
poulencfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 211
Loc: texas
I put my ex through med school, and knew a lot of med students. My observation was that no matter what their hobbies or backgrounds were before, the only thing they had time for, once they were in med school, was studying, class, and clinic rotations.

Then, after graduation, it's an 80-100 hour-a-week internship where REM sleep becomes a dim memory. Doesn't get much better during residency either. If they can remember what they used to do for fun, they might have time for it again at the end of the tunnel, 8-10 years later.

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#433052 - 05/27/05 08:24 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I know of at least three people who have done it.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#433053 - 05/28/05 01:14 PM Re: Music major to med school?
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
Yes, i've read something about this. I think one of the studies compared music majors and biochem majors acceptance rates where music majors are nearly over half as much as biochem students. But i remember the sample size was too skewed so i wouldn't get too excited.

But there could be a possible relationship between the psychological effects of music on the brain, explaining why more music majors tend to have more leverage in acceptance? As mentioned earlier, the MCAT is a big candidate for Medical school. It's not a test that you would normally have in a college class to review your facts. It measures your success in med school. The questions on the MCAT are mainly applications with knowledge you know from biology, chem, organic chem, physics with verbal section(i think that's all of them). I've always thought that musically inclined people have more imagination to provide more in-depth methods when handling applications. I assumed this is why they are so successful on the MCAT exam and getting accepted into med school. I have to take the test myself in 1 or 2 years.

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#433054 - 05/28/05 01:16 PM Re: Music major to med school?
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
 Quote:
Doesn't get much better during residency either.
I've heard horror stories of students bringing their textbooks with them to the bathroom.

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#433055 - 05/28/05 02:11 PM Re: Music major to med school?
poulencfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 211
Loc: texas
There are a lot of practicing physicians in the Cliburn Amateur Piano Competitions, so there is hope for those who want to pick up piano again at the end of med school and residency.

But be realistic: there are only so many hours in a day, and medical school/training will eat up all of them. You have to be ready put a serious interest in piano (or anything else) into suspended animation for quite a while.

I've known med students who were granted sabbaticals for a year or so. These were people who weren't sure they were ready to make a full commitment to med training. Some came back, some didn't. But never knew anyone who was going to med school (or a resident) and was a serious musician or writer. Like I said, they'd pick it up again after training.

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#433056 - 05/28/05 02:15 PM Re: Music major to med school?
poulencfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 211
Loc: texas
I guess my point is to be careful what you wish for - you might get it. Think through what your life would be like day-to-day if you got accepted and make sure that's what you want.

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#433057 - 05/28/05 02:58 PM Re: Music major to med school?
George K Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 999
Loc: The Midwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by poulencfan:

But be realistic: there are only so many hours in a day, and medical school/training will eat up all of them. You have to be ready put a serious interest in piano (or anything else) into suspended animation for quite a while. [/b]
Let me tell you about first year of medical school.

Rise at 7am - Shower shave dress breakfast
Class at 8am - 12 noon
12 noon - 1 pm - eat lunch.
1pm to 4 pm - class
4pm - 5:30 -study
5:30 - 6:30 - dinner
6:30 - 10:00 - study
10:00 - 10:30 -break
10:30 - 12:30 - study
12:30 - 7:00 sleep

(Saturdays and Sunday mornings off. Sunday start studying at 2pm and go until midnight with breaks for dinner, etc.

repeat for nine months

2nd year not much better.

3rd year you have the privelege of working on call every 4th night (24 hours).

4th year same as third, with more responsibilities.

Then you get to be an intern, where you REALLY work - 80-100 hours per week.

Then you get to be a resident, where you have to take care of the interns.

After you're finished, you meet someone, marry, have kids, the piano gets put on hold for years and year.....

Sigh....


Me
_________________________

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#433058 - 05/28/05 03:19 PM Re: Music major to med school?
George K Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 999
Loc: The Midwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:

I hear all the time about doctors who are musicians. [/b]
Theodore Bilroth, a famous surgeon who has at least two operations named after him was a great friend of Brahms. He was an accomplished pianist and tried his hand at composing. He wrote a string quartet that he showed to Brahms, who told him, "Theodore, stick to surgery (or something to that effect)."

Bilroth destroyed the music in his fireplace and wrote to Brahms that "Johannes, you were right it was awufl. Even when it burned, it emitted a horrific stench."

George
_________________________

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#433059 - 05/28/05 04:09 PM Re: Music major to med school?
natural light Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1
Loc: ann arbor
hey there - i'm in medical school and was a piano major in college. i agree that first and foremost you have to get a decent score on the mcat as well as keep a high science GPA. i also agree that the mcat is unlike any other test out there, where you either have the critical thinking skills to score well or you don't. i would say that if you have good grades, do well on the test and show a sincere desire to go into medicine you'll make it in pretty easily since you're an accomplished pianist and the 33000 other applicants aren't.

i would also like to respectfully disagree with George K's schedule of the first year of medical school. med schools often vary on the amount of class time, but my school, U. Michigan, is about average in the amount of time spent in class. on average, i slept until 9 am, spent approx 6-8 hours a day in class/streaming lecture videos/studying during the week and 12 hours on sunday. of course, this is highly variable but that was my average during the 1st year. thus, it's easy to keep up with piano if you have that desire. i take lessons at the music school every other week.

so can you do both medicine and music? of course, but you have to want to. i love it when people say "you really can't go into music unless you can't imagine yourself doing anything else," because this saying is 1000x truer for medicine. all in all, i love music as a hobby and medicine as a profession and i think that's the way it has to be to work out. best of luck and please feel free to let me know if you have more specific questions. if you do apply, make sure you apply to michigan, it's a wonderful place!

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#433060 - 05/29/05 04:07 AM Re: Music major to med school?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by poulencfan:
the only thing they had time for, once they were in med school, was studying[/b]
I am a med student and i know what you are talking about. :rolleyes:

\:D

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#433061 - 05/29/05 10:02 AM Re: Music major to med school?
Hepcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 254
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bassio:
 Quote:
Originally posted by poulencfan:
the only thing they had time for, once they were in med school, was studying[/b]
I am a med student and i know what you are talking about. :rolleyes:

\:D [/b]
And apparently reading these forums!

Edit: bah, I just realized it's summer now \:D

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#433062 - 05/29/05 06:59 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1096
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I had several really hot-shot classmates make this transition successfully - there used to be a Doctors Philharmonic here in the SF Bay Area, but I don't know what happened to it...

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#433063 - 05/29/05 07:05 PM Re: Music major to med school?
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
Whats with the stereotype these days with doctors cheating on spouses...? (oops, off topic)

sorry, just curious.

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#433064 - 05/29/05 11:47 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
 Quote:
Originally posted by Hepcat:
Edit: bah, I just realized it's summer now \:D [/QB]
Still two weeks more to go \:D

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#433065 - 05/29/05 11:54 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Hepcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 254
If instead of a piano performance major I were a classics (latin) major (still with extensive piano background), how do you think it would appeal to med schools?

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#433066 - 05/30/05 05:45 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Rich Galassini Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8977
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
I had a classmate in music school who went on to med school. He now has a family practice in rural maine.

Helluva trumpet player as well.......at least while we were in school.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#433067 - 05/30/05 06:45 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3910
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Hepcat:
If instead of a piano performance major I were a classics (Latin) major (still with extensive piano background), how do you think it would appeal to med schools? [/b]
We're not the people to direct this question to. Still, it seems to me you're fixated on going to medical school (and what premed isn't?), and are taking the not unreasonable tack of making yourself unusual enough to stand out in the crowd. If you indeed do this, then please, choose something to study that you like (classics or music or whatever) so that if you don't get into med school you'll at least have a specialization you enjoy.

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
No, but I imagine pianists have great fingers to be surgeons.... [/b]
What makes a good surgeon is his head, not his hands. I speak from many years' experience, as a pathologist working with surgeons.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Virtuoso418:
I've heard horror stories of students bringing their textbooks with them to the bathroom. [/b]
Why is that a horror story? Maximum efficiency, or close to it.

 Quote:
Originally posted by George K:
Theodore Bilroth, a famous surgeon who has at least two operations named after him ....
[/b]
Billroth I and Billroth II (gastric resections, I think).
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#433068 - 05/30/05 06:54 PM Re: Music major to med school?
George K Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 999
Loc: The Midwest
Error
_________________________

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#433069 - 05/30/05 06:55 PM Re: Music major to med school?
George K Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 999
Loc: The Midwest
Whoops - Dupe.

Sorry!
_________________________

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#433070 - 05/31/05 08:49 AM Re: Music major to med school?
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
 Quote:
Why is that a horror story? Maximum efficiency, or close to it.
Maximum efficiency is one thing but when you have to do study that's not an appropriate place to do it.

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#433071 - 05/31/05 02:49 PM Re: Music major to med school?
poulencfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 211
Loc: texas
I had access to med school and internship applicant files where I used to work and read the post-interview notes.

Sometimes a varied background can backfire on you -- it impressed some on the interviewing committees, but there were others who would snort at applicants who had talents in non-science areas as dilettantes.

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#433072 - 05/31/05 08:31 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Hepcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 254
DILETTANTES IN SCIENCE OR DILETTANTES IN NON-SCIENCE YOU MEAN???!!! \:D OR BOTH!!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! \:\(

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#433073 - 05/31/05 10:31 PM Re: Music major to med school?
poulencfan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 211
Loc: texas
Take your pick.

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#433074 - 06/01/05 01:11 AM Re: Music major to med school?
HermanM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/04
Posts: 117
Loc: Newport, VA
I had a friend who couldn't decide on his major - music or medicine. So he wound up majoring in organ.
_________________________
I played it better at home.

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#433075 - 06/02/05 01:32 PM Re: Music major to med school?
JPM Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 1010
Loc: NM, GE & Wash. DC
 Quote:
Why is that a horror story? Maximum efficiency, or close to it.
And a perfect Rx for Hemorrhoids. Clinical studies have proven ... no one with piles smiles. \:D
_________________________
"Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."
-- Claude Debussy

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#433076 - 06/02/05 01:45 PM Re: Music major to med school?
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
I credit studing in the bathroom with getting me through med school. The only reason I didn't complete my major in music was because I couldn't figure out how to get the piano into the bathroom.
_________________________
Do or do not. There is no try.

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#433077 - 06/03/05 01:39 PM Re: Music major to med school?
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ralph:
I credit studing in the bathroom with getting me through med school. The only reason I didn't complete my major in music was because I couldn't figure out how to get the piano into the bathroom. [/b]
How long do you spend time in the bathroom to make it such a significant difference of getting you through med school?

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