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An Atlantis student learning how to kayak on a program excursion (Genoa, Italy, 2019).

Applying to Med/PA School

2 Pros and 2 Major Cons of Using Reddit Pre-Med

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About Aldridge

Aldridge is a recent graduate of Indiana University and finished with a B.S. degree in Human Biology, as well as a Religious Studies minor. Aldridge is currently applying to med schools in his gap year and is planning to start his journey to become a physician in fall of 2022

What even is Reddit Pre-Med?

POV: You are a stressed-out 2nd year pre-med student and you go searching on the internet to see if other people are struggling with balancing physics and OChem as much as you are. If this sounds familiar, using the social media app Reddit can be a great resource. It is a pretty understated social media place compared to the big boys of Instagram and Facebook, and it lets you search for really specific topics…like being a PRE-MED! Before you dive into the rabbit hole of memes, opinion pieces, and horror stories, you should take a second. As a recently graduated pre-med myself who is in the process of applying to medical school now, Reddit pre-med can be a very topsy turvy place, so here are my two pros and two cons of using pre-med Reddit:

Drawbacks of Using Reddit Pre-Med:

1. You Can End Up Wasting Time and Reddit Becomes Another Social Media App

If you fit into that initial first description of being stressed, it’s more than likely that you’re also strapped for time! While this is totally normal and expected in being a pre-med, what is also true is that you shouldn’t be wasting your time picking up another social media app on top of using Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. I’ve personally fallen into the trap of Reddit pre-med where I’m supposed to be reading about study strategies people were using ended up looking at funny memes for two hours. BE AWARE that it can become a slippery slope, so doing things like setting time limits for apps on your phone can be helpful in avoiding this.

2. You End Up Comparing Yourself to Others

It’s inevitable as a pre-med that you are comparing yourself to others. You see someone else’ Biochemistry grade was 99.5%y think about your own grade that may have been a bit lower. Or you see that someone went on this awesome physician shadowing trip overseas sponsored by Atlantis and you may not believe your extracurriculars stack up the same way. This is OK! The downfall of humans is that we always compare ourselves to others and end up feeling like we fall short, and Reddit pre-med can have a role in that. By reading post after post of how successful everyone else is you may be raising your own stress levels rather than lowering them. Be confident that you are doing enough and try to protect your mental health by limiting the number of posts you look at every day!


Benefits of Reddit Pre-Med

1. Motivation & Constructive Ideas

While I outlined some stressors in about seeing other people’s successful experiences, this can also HELP you if used correctly. Through different college advisors, different families, and frankly different financial resources, all pre-meds do NOT have the same advantages in finding out what volunteering or extracurricular opportunities to do. For example, if someone were to post about traveling to Portugal on their Atlantis shadowing trip, you may have never heard about this organization if not for that Reddit post! Reddit can be a great place to be a bit of a copycat and see what other resumé building experiences other pre-meds are having.

2. Stress Relief & Common Solutions for Problems

The life of a pre-med is undoubtedly STRESSFUL. Reddit can be a fantastic place to unwind from all of your commitments and just laugh for a while. There is very much a “we’re all in this together” vibe on the site, and it can be reassuring to know that you are not the only one going through these struggles. It is extremely likely that someone else in the world has gone through the same exact problem you are experiencing as a pre-med.

All in all, the territory of being a pre-med means comparing yourself to others and that can be unhealthy. Reddit pre-med usually does a good job of providing helpful information and alleviating that stress, but it can also do a number on a person’s mental health and end up increasing stress levels if you’re not careful. Overall, you should use this as a positive resource, but be aware of what too much time on Reddit could bring!

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About Atlantis

Atlantis is the leader in pre-health shadowing and clinical experience, offering short-term programs (1-10 weeks) over academic breaks for U.S. pre-health undergraduates. Medical schools want 3 things: (1)healthcare exposure, (2)GPA/MCAT, and (3)certain competencies. Atlantis gives you a great version of (1), frees you to focus on (2), and cultivates/shows (3) to medical school admissions committees.

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Cover of the Medical School Admissions Guide.
Two Atlantis alumni admitted to Top 5 MD programs wrote our widely read medical school admissions guidebook — download yours.