I was reading David Maystrovsky’s article “Econ Major Gets A…” online, and I found it amusing! In fact, I was an economics major on a pre-med track myself, so I can relate to some of the points he makes.

But I disagree with the fact that he mentioned there is significant opportunity cost between being pre-med and otherwise. The fact is, to me, economics was a lot of fun – and never quite as challenging as my science classes.

Being an economics major and pre-med definitely made me work hard, but also provided good flexibility to enjoy many of the things he mentions in his article as “the college life.”

It provided a good break in the day for me and, at the same time, allowed me to stimulate my intellectual interests because I was fascinated by the kinds of questions economists asked and the tools they had to answer them (FYI: take econometrics, you will be amazed how much that is in demand in the working world!).

At the same time, knowing that medical schools like “diverse” kids who are not strict science majors but have exposure to other areas as well (but who perform well in the basic science requirements), I’m sure taking economics as the primary major helped me more grade-wise than someone who might have elected to be biochemistry – a fairly intense major that would be representative of that person he mentions in the article as stressed out 90 percent of the time! And who knows how medical schools would view them, as much of the competition would be just like them (strict science majors) – so I’m not sure what additional diverse things they bring to the table academically.

So now, while I am still pursing medical school (having completed all my science courses and having had performed well in them), I am working at a firm that allows me to integrate medicine and economics in a health care consulting analyst role.

And as his last sentence suggests, from my experience, I might say he is right: if money is the bottom line, as it always is in economics, stay away from medicine – it’s becoming too micromanaged by the HMOs these days. You’ll do far better as an economist.

Sameer GodiwalaClass of 2006



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