Is pre-med for me?

Is pre-med for me?

College of Health

Things to think about when considering a pre-med path

How to know if pre-med is the right path for you

Pursuing a pre-med path is a big commitment. We can’t give you the answer, but we can help guide your decision making.

Carefully consider factors such as course load, finances, clinical experience, and strong interest in medicine, alongside personal characteristics.

And if you decide you don’t want to be a doctor but still want to work in health care, there are a lot of other options.

Qualities of a pre-med student

When thinking about a pre-med or pre-health path, consider if you:

qualities of a pre-med student

People skills

  • Have worked with diverse groups of people.
  • Are a leader and team player.
  • Are a good communicator and listener.
  • Care deeply about people, their problems and their pain.

Intellectual skills

  • Enjoy learning and seek deeper understanding.
  • Think critically and scientifically.
  • Are a good problem-solver.
  • Have patience, good study skills and motivation.
qualities of a pre-med student
qualities of a pre-med student

Work environment preferences

  • Enjoy health care settings.
  • Are comfortable with sick people.
  • Thrive in high-stress situations.
  • Are resilient.
  • Have a support system.

What’s the difference between MDs and DOs?

You may choose to become an allopathic or osteopathic physician.

Both Doctors of Medicine (allopathic) and Doctors of Osteopathy (osteopathic) are certified physicians who diagnose, treat, prescribe medications, advise patients and more. Either can go into any specialty.

DOs, or osteopathic physicians, also have training in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine or Treatment, which is hands-on manipulation used for diagnosis and preventing and treating injury, including pain, stiffness, tension and illness.

A look at the numbers


61-68% of our students who used OSU pre-med services are accepted into medical school, compared to ~41% of those who did not.


The average acceptance rate for MDs is 40.1% and 35.3% for DOs.


The average age of first-year medical students is 23-27 years old.


It can cost anywhere between $3,000-$4,500 to apply to medical school.


Future debt is estimated between $200,000-$323,000.


Salaries can range from ~$200,000-$740,000/year and vary by specialty.

Transition to Ecampus

Medical school isn’t for everyone – and that is OK

If you decide being a physician isn’t for you, you haven’t failed – you’ve discovered something important about yourself and have saved yourself the time and expense of medical school.

If health care is still an interest, there are numerous in-demand opportunities for success that don’t involve becoming a physician. Explore other health occupations.