I was reminiscing with a friend about the 'good old days' when we were both chemistry students. He's a chemistry professor now, and complains endlessly about pre-meds. He teaches one of those required pre-med courses.
Pre-meds (and medical students for that matter) are pretty high maintenance. 'Is that going to be on the test?' should be the pre-med motto. There's no learning for learning's sake: everything is goal directed. I need to ace biochem so I can rock the MCAT so I can get into Harvard Med so I can get a residency spot in derm so I can do cosmetic derm and rake in a seven figure salary. At no time is there any enjoyment of the process. It is facts and test material and hoops to jump through.
The pièce de résistance is that some schools offer a degree in pre-med. This is, in my opinion, ridiculous. When I was in college, I took all the tough science courses. I took all the sections for real science majors. This is because I wanted my degree to mean something, and feel like I'd accomplished something. I didn't want to spend four years earning a degree in 'pre' anything.
Learning about electron affinity, valence shells, and lattice structures may be entirely useless to me now, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't worth learning. Reading the Iliad was useless too, but I wouldn't give it up either.
When I mention a degree in pre-med, I am referring specifically to a Bachelors in Pre-Medical Studies, which is an actual degree offered by some smaller colleges, but not at most universities.
I know that med school has a lot of requirements. I took them too. But part of life is enjoying the process. I enjoyed organic chem. It was fascinating. I took a geology class and loved it. I got a letter of recommendation from my Communications prof for one course that I got a B in. I took 3 or 4 classes that had nothing to do with my 'hard science' major because I wanted to learn. The point of education is to learn, not to earn a grade.
One of the hardest things to explain to pre-meds is that grades and MCATs aren't nearly as important as being a decent and honorable person. And if you can figure out how to convey that information truthfully to an interview committee, then there isn't a med school in the country that wouldn't accept you.