A medical student’s comparison between pre-medical and pre-clinical education

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Yue Bo Yang



Three major transitions exist as a medical trainee: pre- clinical to clinical, clinical to resident, and resident to attending. Perhaps less addressed is the transition from pre-medical to pre-clinical education, one that is often buried under the jubilation of acceptance into medical school. Advice concerning this rather precarious transition is plagued with over- generalizations: “have fun and enjoy the experience”, “buy a good computer”, and of course, “be yourself.” In this article, I compare the differences concerning my undergraduate pre-medical and pre- clinical experiences. However, given the diversity of pre-medical studies and variations in pre-clinical education between institutions, I emphasize that this is a personal opinion and acknowledge its limited generalizability. I write this viewpoint having completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree before entering medicine and from the perspective of a 3rd year University of British Columbia medical student.