Student's dream to attend medical school fulfilled through general studies degree


January 22, 2010

Jayden Spencer did not underestimate his ability to leave the small town in which he grew up to work toward his dream to become a doctor.

Jayden, a shy yet confident student, is a Bachelor of General Studies student in the University College and will attend medical school in Fall 2010. Jayden said he has wanted to be a doctor since he was a junior in high school.

Jayden grew up in Sulfur Springs, Texas, a town with a population of about 15,000. He said he desired to beat the small-town stereotype and become a doctor. His dream led him to Texas Tech University and a degree in general studies.

Although the degree is interdisciplinary, the Bachelor of General Studies can cover specific needs of each student. For Jayden, this major would help qualify him for medical school.

“If you’re interested in more than one subject, this is a perfect major,” he said, as his gold graduation ring glistened from the sunlight. “As a pre-med student I felt this would cover all my interests.”

Jayden’s degree in general studies consists of three concentration areas in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Jayden said there are certain courses required for medical school eligibility.

The pre-med curriculum focuses heavily on biology and chemistry courses. Jaden decided it would benefit him to major in general studies instead of biology or chemistry, even though biology and chemistry are the most common pre-med majors.

Jayden said he chose to major in general studies to gain knowledge in different areas of medicine.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what type of medicine I wanted to focus on, and I figured since I am going to medical school I can decide then,” he said. “The general studies major provided me the opportunity to discover what I wanted to do.”

Jayden said he faced problems when he filled out his medical school applications. He said applications required him to state his major from a pre-selected list. However, the list did not have a general studies degree and Jayden had to state his degree in other ways.

However, Jayden’s application problems did not affect his interviews. The student attended many interviews for medical school during the fall of his senior year and said overall it went well. He said his interviewers thought his choice to major in general studies was the right move for him.

“Medical schools don’t really care what degree you have,” he said, “just whether you completed your pre-med courses.”

Jayden has volunteered at the Health Sciences Center at Tech in the Orthopedic Clinic. He said the volunteer work he has done for the clinic has inspired him to consider the field of orthopedic medicine.

Jayden said he is happy to graduate with a Bachelor of General Studies. He said he was particularly impressed with Sarah Foley, general studies advisor for University College, because he felt she went out of her way to accommodate his needs.

The impression the University College gave him is another reason he will recommend this major to other students. Jayden hopes more people will consider a major in general studies because it benefited him in many ways.

“For pre-law and pre-med students this is a great degree option,” Jayden said, “because this is a degree that can fit your career plans in so ways.”

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