10 Types of Pre-Medical Students

Thursday, June 13, 2013

You know them, you probably went to school with them, you might even be one: Pre-Meds. A totally different breed of college student. (Like ones that enjoy science jokes...)

Not all pre-meds are created equal, though. Here are just some of the "types" of pre-meds I encountered in college...I'm sure I'm a good mix of some of these!

1. The "Maybe, but..." Pre-Med
You ask this person if they are going into medicine since they are getting Biology degree and they say, "maybe, but...I want to go to culinary school too." or "...I want to deworm Russian orphans," or the popular, "...I just want to take a few years off to find myself."  You can't decide if this person actually wants to go into medicine and just wants to procure interesting experiences before applying or if they've been punking you along.

2. The "Work Hard, Play Hard" Pre-Med (Type I)
A type of pre-med that will leave you aggravated and pissed off every time (unless you happen to be them).  That rare person who kills their classes and still has time to party harder than anyone else.  You don't necessarily see them study or know what methods they employ to excel but you do know it seems like it takes way less effort than whatever you're doing.  They seem to have it all together - looks, brains, social life, and personality.  They represent the ideal most pre-meds aspire to but can hardly ever obtain.

3. The "Work Hard, Play Hard" Pre-Med (Type II)
This is your typical, run of the mill pre-med. Most pre-meds would probably describe themselves as a work hard, play hard type of person but they cannot reach the same level of perfection as Type I WHPH.  They try to juggle it all but some area of their life always ends up suffering.  They don't have all the answers but they do the best they can and usually end up matriculating somewhere.  Just keep swimming, little pre-med. 

4. The Weasel
This is the kid who looks good on paper.  Awesome MCAT, stellar GPA, good extracurriculars, and they even managed to fool their professors into getting a good recommendation.  So far, so good until you realize that their personality is so abrasive or their people skills are so lacking that you wonder how they will ever communicate with the sick and dying, let alone their families.  They can't even get along with their fellow classmates. There are bound to be a few Weasels in every class - tread lightly.

5. The Classic Gunner
"Gunner" is a word pre-meds and med students like to throw around all the time.  "That kid is such a gunner," or "You're totally gunning for ortho."

A gunner will stop at nothing to get to the top and won't hesitate to take out others along the way.  You'll hear horror stories of people tearing pages out of books, giving people the wrong notes or notes with tons of errors, and refusing to help classmates with anything academic. Basically, a big jerk. The gunner can be quiet in his gunning or obvious but eventually he will alienate so many people, the only thing to keep him company will be his Orgo textbook.

6. The Overachiever
This kid has been overachieving since diapers and has probably been study for the MCAT since high school. They spend every free moment studying when they aren't volunteering or working, of course. They've participated in 5 medical missions, they volunteer every night of the week, and they have TAed 10 classes. In their spare time they run ultra-marathons and work on a cure for cancer. Only Top 15 schools for them...

7. The Faux Pre-Med
From the beginning of college they told their family and friends they were pre-med but now it's senior year and they've taken a total of two science classes - maybe less.  Whatever their reasoning, they never really intended to go to medical school.  Maybe they just said it to keep their parents in check or to pick up chicks.  Whatever the reason, come application time you won't have to worry about this pre-med...they won't be applying.

8. The "Different" Pre-Med
They might major in 4th Century Basketweaving or Dead Languages of European Tribes but they actually want to go into medicine. They thought about being Pre-Law but changed their mind after watching a documentary about public health in third world countries. Their strong command of the humanities will certainly show how well-rounded they are as will their summer spent backpacking through South America.  Definitely not a cookie-cutter pre-med, their unique experiences might help them come application time - at the very least it will keep their interviews interesting.

9. The Egotistical Pre-Med
Could go hand-in-hand with the gunner. If you don't know this person is pre-med by now then you've been living under a rock. Every Facebook post, tweet, Blog post (haha...kidding!), and Instagram is about being a doctor, studying, medical school, or a disease they think they have. They find ways to bring these topics up in every day conversation, especially at parties or bars.  They make a habit of pointing out how hard their classes are, how much they study (or didn't study), and are usually the ones asking how you did on the last test. Smart or not, they will never let you forget that they are going to medical school and are totally getting a 35+ on the MCAT.

10. The Quiet Pre-Med
The opposite of an egotistical pre-med, she was in all your pre-req classes or always at the library but you were never quite sure if she was planning on med school, dental school, or maybe research. She's well-rounded and fun to be around but never flaunts all her hardwork or accomplishments. You are excited when you hear she got accepted to medical school (through friends because she didn't post on Facebook) but also puzzled because you had no clue she was graduating a year early.  Hopefully she'll help you out and review your personal statement.

So what do you all think? Any others I left out?  Can these apply to pre-law, pre-dent, etc?  


  1. Hahah very cute. I'm definitely the "different" one. Well, when I was a pre-med. Now I'm a "different" meddie. ;)

    1. Nothing wrong with being different! It's acutally refreshing because so many pre-meds just go through the motions and do whatever it takes to get it without actually wanting to do the volunteering, research, etc. Why do it if you won't get anything out of it?

  2. My cousin just graduated from Med School he was def number 6. He has one of those widely coveted photographic memories so he rarely had to put much effort into school. I am sure his classmates just loved it lol.

    1. That's definitely not me! What a lucky duck! I used to think I had a photographic memory until I went to college..

  3. Heather Pretty Strong MedicineJuly 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I agree with you! I've always been smart but I was never at the top of the class and I try not to flaunt it or make a big deal - I'll always have to be a hardworker in order to do well. The nice thing is, a lot of those egotistical pre-meds won't end up making it. Adcoms really see through the BS and look at your personality too. Still, some egos always make it through.

  4. This is so funny. I don't know yet what am gonna be. That's for me to discover yet.