Students from premedical background feel difficulty in programming. They have no basic concepts of programming, so they are unable to do good programming. I have searched but didn't get any solution which help me to improve the programming skills of medical background student.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this a self-learning situation, or are you faced with teaching a group of such students? Also, what is your own background if you are the teacher of such a group? $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ Why are premed students taking programming in the first place? What is the goal of the course? $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Mar 22, 2019 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ @BenI., maybe it is a research oriented program for the medical sector. I'd like more information, of course. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Mar 22, 2019 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ The good news is that it only takes about 10,000 hours to become proficient at anything. Start now and you can get there in a few years of all-out effort. Otherwise, get used to being a dabbler. Is there value in that? Yes. I used to be a Teaching Assistant in a "101" college course in programming for non-majors. Many students came away with helpful experience, some did not. I didn't try to figure out which would be which. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Mar 23, 2019 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


To get the premedical students involved you can tell them that by the end of the course they will be able to dissect a program. It may not be as gross as a frog, but it will be more interesting. Unlike the frog, when done dissecting the program they can bring it back to life.

The next thing requires that you mean what you say, and follow through with actions that match. Tell the class that their marks in the course will be based on their performance in the course and their apprehension of the course material, not upon their major or program of study.

Final thing is to forget which students are pre-med, chemistry majors, fine arts students, or comp-sci majors, and teach the class as if all the students are willing and able to learn.

The one thing that did catch my eye in the question was that the students in question have no basic concepts of programming. That causes me to wonder if some students are taking a course which should have a prerequisite course and does not, or if the course has been designed, unintentionally perhaps, based on the premise that incoming students have those basic concepts even though it is listed as an entry course.

Perhaps it has been the history of the course that students arrived with prior experience even though it was an entry course, and the faculty has grown accustomed to that and adjusted the course accordingly.

  • $\begingroup$ I like the statement "forget which students are pre-med..." Etc. I used to tell my students that programmers are not paid to have opinions. Teachers are not either. $\endgroup$
    – Scott Rowe
    Mar 23, 2019 at 14:43

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