Any northwestern undergrad here?...I have a few quessies to be answered.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Ibrahim, Aug 11, 2001.

  1. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    I am just interested about your undergrad studies, the premed advisors at nwu, what schools are you looking at and how do students from nwu at the top schools i.e. jhu, mayo & harvard. also include any info that you think might be of help.

    also is it possible to place into orgo by doing well on the placement test??
     
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  3. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    You really don't want to "place into Orgo" even if it's possible (I'm not from Northwestern so have no idea). Most med schools require a whole year of college chem plus orgo, so you'll just have to take a lot of much harder chem classes that could be rough on your science GPA.
     
  4. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    that completely slipped my mind...i do know that most med schools will not substitute AP credits for chemistry.

    do most people take inorganic chem or go right to orgo?
     
  5. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    I've never heard of ANYONE going right into organic - the reason is that AP Chem only covers chem 1 - chem 2 is stuff you haven't seen before (lots of thermo and quantum), but is relevant to organic. Plus, if you've had AP chem, go ahead an take chem 1 for the easy A (great for your GPA).
     
  6. Wasabi

    Wasabi Senior Member

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    Actually, it's done at UIUC, and I'm sure it might be very possible at Northwestern.

    The thing is it might be very beneficial to take the general chemistry courses anyways, as rxfudd suggested, because they will help your gpa and prepare you for the mcat.
     
  7. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    i'm a hopkins ugrad, but here it's very common to start out in organic if you took AP chem, here ap chem places you out of 2 semesters of gchem. I in no way felt unprepared for the organic.
     
  8. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    Hey Ibrahim,

    I am an NU grad. I didn't take the the placement test, but I think it is a good idea to go right into Orgo, if you already took chemistry. Coddens is a tough, but awesome teacher (in my opinion) for orgo and you will be set for the MCAT. I know a lot of kids who took that route and no one seemed to have a major problem with it. The reason I say you should take this is because the premed gunning starts early and A01, A02, A03 chemistry is a real pain (they may have changed the #ing system). If you don't get into organic, at least try to take accelerated chem - A71, A72 - because it is easier to get As in that class, and it is only 2 quarters instead of 3.

    I think NU grads do okay - my 3.1 got me into two medical schools. I think the advising at NU sucks, but they do a great job with the letters of recs if you get everything in on time. But, the advising is archaic - Dean Weimer is nice, but I don't think he knows about current trends in admissions - he told me I WOULDN'T get in anywhere, and that I shouldn't apply unless I work harder and take a lot more science classes (I was an econ major, as are a bunch of other premeds). I applied, and good things happened.

    If you have questions, just email me at [email protected] ...

    Simul
    Tulane Med '05
     
  9. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    i'm also a northwestern grad, and i respectfully disagree with simulD's advice. DO NOT go straight into orgo. there are two reasons for this. first, most med schools will want to see your grades in general chemistry, because your grades in the required pre-med courses are extremely important in the evaluation of your application. i've come across this in most of my secondaries; many schools say it's great if you placed out of gen chem, but they still want you to take the courses before you matriculate into med school. i knew a girl who placed out of gen chem and finished orgo her freshman year, but based on the advice she received from the advising office and a few med schools she contacted, she went back to take gen chem *after* she took orgo, just for the sake of having the grades on her transcript (orgo and gen chem aren't very similar in terms of course content, by the way). my second reason is that orgo takes a LOT of discipline to do well. in my opinion, the main reason why the course is so difficult is because of the sheer amount of reactions you have to keep straight, and many freshman haven't developed the necessary study skills in order to succeed in orgo. that's not meant as an insult--it's just advice from someone who's been there! heck, i struggled in orgo as a *sophomore*. don't put yourself through that as a freshman! trust me on this: even if you have an extensive-enough background in gen chem to place straight into orgo, take gen chem anyway, if only for the A's and the early boost they'll provide for your science GPA. like i stated, many med schools will want the credit anyway!

    i didn't realize that the 'regular' gen chem series (101, 102, and 103--the numbering system has changed at NU since simulD and i were there) was so cutthroat. i AP'd into the accelerated series, 171-172, and it definitely was NOT easier to get A's in those courses. i sure didn't. it was *extremely* competitive and was a hell of a lot more demanding, because they packed three quarters worth of material into two, you had way less time to complete exams, etc, etc. i remember my professors saying that they designed the exams to take 2 hours to complete, yet we only had 50 min; on the other hand, 101-103 chem students had two hours to complete an exam that was only supposed to take an hour. in retrospect i wish i had taken the 101-103 series because grade-wise i think i could have done better.

    the vast majority of students take the gen chem series before orgo. the only person i know who didn't was the girl i mentioned above, and she went back to take gen chem after all. your post implies that you didn't take the chem AP. i'm not sure if the requirements have changed, but when i was there, you needed a 5 on the chem AP to get credit for gen chem and go straight to orgo; a 3 or 4 on the chem AP put you on the accelerated gen chem track. from what i was told, it was MUCH more difficult to place into orgo or accelerated chem through the university's placement test--the placement test was a lot harder than the AP, from what i was told. so from what i heard, it was extremely rare for a student to place into orgo anyway without a 5 on the AP.

    as for advising, richard weimer is the main premed advisor. he has a really bad rep on campus because he can be pretty mean and unnecessarily blunt and pessimistic about your chances for acceptance. simulD's experiences exemplify this. i know of a few people that he flat-out instructed not to bother applying and they went on to receive multiple acceptances. then again, i found him to be pretty informative about med schools in general--i still email him from time to time. he's given me the scoop on a few schools. the rec letter service is way better than those at many schools, from what i understand...it's very efficient and it's free.

    anyway, sorry for the long post, but i hope this helps! feel free to post any other questions.
     
  10. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    I guess i will be taking gen chem first year. but my main problem is time, i am a bme and i have to take engineering requirements as well as premed requirements. I was trying to place into orgo so i could take as many biology classes as possible...maybe i'll just take some classes over the summer if i cant work things out any other way.

    to those of you from nwu which med schools did you get interviews from and which ones accepted you?

    how much do you think doing coop at a hospital will help my med school application?
     
  11. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    i totally hear you, blinky. ibrahim, take this advice from people who have been there: everyone at NU was at the top of their class in HS and comes into college probably a little too cocky as a result. the fact is, NU was hard and unbelievably competitive, and the bottom line is that virtually no one is going to get straight A's in college the way they did in HS. the curved grading scale and lack of grade inflation takes care of this. there's an attitude adjustment that occurs just as much as a social adjustment. there are plenty of former valedictorians who flunk out of the pre-med curriculum. it's *extremely* intense, and i completely back up blinky's statement that orgo is even more competitive than gen chem was. gen chem weeded out the less-serious pre-meds, so by the time orgo rolled around, there was a higher proportion of gunners. even still, i clearly recall how there were fewer and fewer people in the class after every single exam--i'm not exaggerating on this. so even if you have the ability to place in orgo as a freshman, in reality it is probably not the best option for you. the bottom line is that med schools want to see good grades, so don't screw yourself from the very beginning.

    i too thought the biology B10 sequence was even harder, but in a different way than orgo was--more conceptual, less rote memorization. but at least it was more interesting.

    i never had dr. coddens for orgo, but i heard that while he was a good teacher, he was pretty damn mean.

    ibrahim, the vast majority of pre-meds at NU are either biology or BME majors. i didn't do BME, but i'm almost 100% sure that the pre-med course requirements are also requirements for the BME major, so there's no need for you to worry about 'fitting everything in'. you kill two birds with one stone. besides, as simulD can attest, many pre-meds major in non-science subjects--econ and psych, for instance. they have an even tougher time trying to fit everything in since there's no overlap between their major and pre-med, yet plenty manage just fine. so don't stress!

    as far as where we all collectively get interviews and acceptances, there are no shoo-in schools for NU graduates. getting into med school is largely a result of individual efforts and state residency (as with a few exceptions, even private schools generally reserve a large proportion of their acceptances for applicants within that state). for example, i'm an IL resident, so i'll fare better at the schools in IL than i will at the schools in TX. but just as a warning: virtually no NU grads get into NU's med school that aren't HPME, so don't think that going to NU as an undergrad will get you preferential status. there are conspiracy theories for this but i'm not going to get into them. :D

    again, i don't know much about how the BME program works, but my understanding is that you can only do coops in engineering workplaces--meaning, you can only coop at a hospital if there are active engineering projects going on, and i'm not sure how prevalent this is in hospitals.

    hope this helps!
     
  12. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    Hey,

    I understand what Sandflea and Blinky are saying, but I guess everyone just has different ideas on these things. And you oughtta do what is comfortable for you. 101,102,103 are a pain, though, and I remember my 171, 172 friends just easing through and having no science classes, and more importantly, no labs in the Spring, which was real nice. Oh, and the placement test is a sham, you can just go into the chemistry department and tell them you want to be in the acclerated class, and they'll let you in. Whatever - it's all real hard.

    I ended up taking 2 quarters of organic in the summer at NU, and then Biology and Physics during sophomore year. Biology (the 210-1,210-2,210-3) will ruin mere mortals, and I suggest you may want to look into the summer biology at NU because it is hella easier, but curved harder. Or just take it somewhere else. I couldn't get higher than a B- in Biology ... too darn hard.

    Well good luck in Hell! Just kidding, but it does take a while to get used to NU! And go to the football games!

    Simul
    Tulane Med '05
     
  13. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    well, in regard to the chem placement test, i'm not sure it was so lax. they were going to make me take it even though i had AP credit--i actually had to dig my AP results out of my room and bring them to coddens and brockwell to see with their own eyes before they would let me get out of the placement test and register for 171. that was just my experience though.

    i think they started a biology sequence for non-bio major pre-meds in the time since we've been there. if you don't have to take the same bio sequence that we all did, ibrahim, then we're all advising you not to!! i thought it was WAY harder than the upper-level bio courses i took.

    nice to see some other NU people around here. where else were you accepted besides tulane, simulD?

    one last thing, ibrahim: like simulD pointed out, GO TO THE FOOTBALL GAMES! the AP poll has NU at #16 pre-season. it will be an awesome year.
     
  14. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    i was in a program at NU earlier this summer and there were two football players in it also...i got to be friends with some of the people on the team. i will definitely be at every game. i am sending in my check fot the tix tomorrow
     
  15. Shammy

    Shammy Junior Member

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    lets just get something straight.....AP credits, as long as they appear on your transcript, are accepted by most all schools. Some schools say they want to see advanced coursework, so just take biochem or something like that. The only school I have come across that needs the class before matriculation is MCW.
     
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  17. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    correct me if i'm wrong, ibrahim, but i don't think the OP has AP credit--he was asking about the university's placement exam, which is not the same thing. so he probably would have to take gen chem for the sake of applying to med school anyway.
     
  18. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    I'm not affiliated with Northwestern, but I agree with sandflea that a co-op at a hospital is probably not what you think it is.

    Very little engineering work is done at hospitals, so I imagine a BME co-op at a hospital would be doing something like monitoring biomedical equipment and maybe doing very basic maintenance on the equipment. They might also be network administrators or setup the computer networks for the hospital, which is really not BME anyways.

    As for whether it will help with med school admissions or not, it might help a little. However, I would focus on getting clinical experience in a hospital. A BME major wont be working with patients in a hospital, instead they will be working with machines.
     
  19. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    sandflea is correct i do not have AP credits. I checked the requirements for admission into med schools they all want 1year of inorganic chem and almost all said they will not accept ap credits. so i guess there is no getting around it
     
  20. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    which bio sequence should i take?...110-1,2,3(A10) or 210-1,2,3(B10)
     
  21. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    is the B10 series required for BME majors? if so, then you have no choice but to take that. otherwise, take the A10 series and don't kill yourself any more than you need to! but you have plenty of time before you need to think about this--you won't be taking the bio series until at least sophomore year.
     
  22. SimulD

    SimulD Senior Member

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    I know I said B10 bio was rough, but on a positive note...

    The professors in that sequence are awesome - you get six guys that are pretty amazing and passionate about their respective fields (Bobby Holmgren is one of my favorites, as well as a former boss, Linzer is really good, too). Also, if you can get Bs in B10, you will tear up the Bio section on the MCAT - except for physiology, which is conspiciuosly absent in the B10 sequence.

    I don't know - people i've talked to in med school say that the level of that course is very similar to what one would find in medical school, but the volume is lower.

    Simul
    Tulane Med '05
     
  23. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    i thought holmgren was pretty arrogant. but the rest of the professors were awesome--i was *extremely* impressed with the quality of the biology professors as a whole at NU.

    i took B10 during the 96-97 school year. did they eliminate physiology after that? when i took it, spring quarter was half cell bio, half physiology. it wasn't too extensive, though--the only thing i remember learning was eyes. when studying for the MCAT i remember that the bulk of my biology work was looking over physiology material.

    we're not trying to scare you, ibrahim. being pre-med was tough but very rewarding. the B10 biology sequence was killer but i really liked it. i don't know who teaches all of it these days because two of the professors i had have since left NU.
     
  24. ludey

    ludey Member

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    Ibrahim, I'm gonna be a senior bme/premed at nu this year. I'd advise against taking orgo the first year too. the advanced gen chem 170 series is good for freshman year. And i think i disagree with the posts that the 170 series is easier than the 100 series, all the accelerated students are in it so its a little harder.
    You will have plenty of time to fulfill both premed and engineering requirements. All of the premed requirements are required for bme anyway. So unless you want to double major which is almost impossible for bmes, take your time and take the gen chem, your science gpa will thank you for it.
    For bio, everyone takes the b10 series, i believe 1 quarter is required for bmes, a10 is the summer class and is much less competitive.
    I will warn you that NU premed is extremely competitive, i couldnt believe how hard some of the students worked when I got here. But from what I have heard, the reputation pays dividends when you apply to med schools.
    Cooping--i'm doing a coop at an orthopaedics company. I think it will look very good on med school apps. I dont think the coop program will let you do an official "coop" at a hospital unless you can show that there is engineering involved, but i have heard of people doing that in the past and it involved working on biomedical research. My coop has been great though, i've been able to do some research, observe surgery, and work with surgeons on design projects.
    Good luck with your freshman year, and go NU!!!
     
  25. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    where are you cooping?...is it the rehabilitation institute of chicago?
     
  26. ludey

    ludey Member

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    I'm cooping at DePuy Orthopaedics in Warsaw, Indiana, they hire a ton of engineering coops for research work, and a lot from NU. I'm working on research and development of knee prostheses.
     
  27. Ibrahim

    Ibrahim Junior Member

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    I'll keep them in mind. I recieved a mail on what classes to take and stuff like that.

    my advisor is Prof. Kertesz...anyone here know him?
     

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