With the medical research thing. Sorry for rambling on about this, it just helps to write it all out.
So a lot of you advised me to basically stop worrying so much about where I'll eventually end up (MD, PhD or dual) and to take some baby steps, as it'll be a good 1.5 years til I'll even begin those applications, if not more.
I did email the Deputy Chair of the Biology department, and hopefully I'll get to meet with him soon and talk more about the longer road and which programs would be best. But for now what I'm going to do is declare a minor in Biology. It's a relatively small minor (anywhere from 12-21 credits) so I'll be done with both my majors and the minor by May 2015, probably sooner if I can get summer classes. The minor obviously won't be enough for all of the classes I'll need, but it will get any pre-requisite classes for all the upper division sciences out of the way (for the most part). I need to speak to the Deputy Chair for this anyway because he needs to sign off on it, but that will be the first step.
What I need to do, which hopefully an academic adviser can help me with, is decide what to do after that. Let's say I finish all my shit, the two majors and minor, by May 2015. I will obviously need to take more classes from that point. I also need to find out if it'll be worth it to just get another bachelors in Biology. It may not be, and I know I definitely won't need it for any graduate programs or med school, but if I end up needing or taking 3/4 of the required classes for a Bio B.A. or B.S. I might as well just get the full degree, you know? From where I'm sitting, it looks like I have the following options:
- Finish my English/Journalism degree, but don't file for graduation. Stick around and take what I need as a non-degree (or still qualified as an English/Journalism major).
- Finish the degree, stick around and see if the school will let me do a third major in Bio as I'll have completed my first two.
- Graduate and come back as a non-degree
- Graduate and come back as a Biology major
Any of those options are fine with me personally, I just need to find out which would be the best in terms of finances and my GPA. That is essentially what an adviser would need to help me decide.
As far as whether I go for an MD or PhD or both, I think I'm just going to...stop worrying about that right now. I'm obviously going to think about it, but trying to decide right now is just inducing panic attacks because I didn't even start with this yet. I'm going to talk to a ton of people at my school and I'll try to set up appointments with people in biomedical research at other schools in NYC to get their input.
I know I'll also need some research experience. Upon freaking out about REUs to my best friend, she told me to just stop with them and start searching within our school (she was pre-med at a different school and is taking more pre-med classes as a non-degree in my school now) because the Bio department is full of volunteer work, internships and full blown work in research. So that is another thing I'll discuss with the Deputy Chair (assuming he emails me back soon).
So, sound good? Thoughts? Things I'm doing wrong?