Aug 16, 2016
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Hello everyone,

First of all, thank you everyone for being so prompt in your responses. I have one more major question as I am getting this show on the road. As a reference, here is a link to my WAMC post so that you all may have a better idea where I am coming from: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/unusual-applicant-looking-for-advice-suggestions.1217337/#post-18050038

I am a nontrad that will have to be working full time to support my family as I prepare to take the MCAT next spring. I have every prerequisite completed (including Biochem), with the exception of organic II. I took the class several years ago, and I do not think I would have time to take the second course and study for the MCAT while working full time. I have seen some schools that will accept my combo of organic I and biochem, such as my state school (KUMC).

However, the threads I am finding regarding this issue are a tad concerning. Generally, I find that people argue over how it's necessary or how it's not, and they eventually come to the conclusion to just take it to be safe. What do you guys think? Is it an absolute must? Also, if I must take this course, could I complete the MCAT+apply, and then simply finish the course before matriculating? Again, thank you for all the help everyone, it means a lot.

Zguy
 

Siromas

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I'm no expert on med school prerequisites, but I'm sure others can chime in with better/more accurate advice.

As far as I know, 2 semesters of sequenced organic chemistry (with associated labs) are required to be taken before matriculation. But as far as MCAT content, I've heard that most of the organic chemistry questions are semester 1 based.
 
OP
Zguy
Aug 16, 2016
18
4
I spent the last couple of hours making a (non-exhaustive) list of schools to which I could apply (with my stats) that would accept a semester of organic (with lab) and a semester of biochem. There could be a few others, but my wife has ruled out some locations. I put an asterisk next to the schools that my wife and I have discussed and basically agreed upon. Here is the list:

MD
Central Michigan School of Medicine (Near Alma, MI)

Oakland University School of Medicine (Rochester, MI)

*Oregon Health and Science University (near Portland, OR)

*Rosalind Franklin Medical School (North Chicago, IL)

**University of Kansas School of Medicine (Kansas City, KS)

University of Minnesota Medical School (Minneapolis, MN)

DO
*Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Medicine (Near Portland, OR)

*Touro University College of Medicine (San Francisco, CA)

*Touro University of Nevada College of Medicine (Henderson, NV near Las Vegas)

**Kansas City University College of Medicine (Kansas City, KS)

Des Moines College of Medicine (Des Moines, IA)

University of Pikeville College of Medicine (Pikeville, KY)

Philadelphia College of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)

Edward Via College of Medicine (Blacksburg, VA)

*NOVA Southeastern University College of Medicine (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Michigan State University College of Medicine (East Lansing, MI)

University of New England College of Medicine (Biddeford, ME)


One disclaimer is that, I haven't done much research into demographics and so forth for a lot of these schools. I was only concerned with baseline admissions requirements.
 
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Apr 25, 2014
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You might meet requirements at some schools with a biochem subst for org II or if you had it but it was longer ago. That list you made would be your best option if you don't want to take Ochem II. Another option is take it during the spring when ur in the application cycle so you just update schools when done. Either way, score well on the MCAT or your options are way limited.

For those schools that have a specific requirement you just don't meet it becomes more complicated. The issue is that many schools will have 5-10K applicants competing for 150 to 300 slots. 50% plus of those have every single box checked on course requirements plus be above average in gpa/mcat/many areas. To deal with the incredibly large #'s many schools set requirements or minimal standards and those can be computer or min wage worker (or even work study students) sorted. These people are looking to get through their 100/day list of applicants and are often not that concerned with, oh look this person is really impressive in xyz. It's just not a priority in their life when they can get 25 out of the 100 that are exceptional on paper. The goal is to get the 5000 narrowed down to maybe 500-1000 that deserve a closer look and then admissions people/adcoms select from among those who they want to invite.

So if you have a major deficiency in any one required area, like missing a course why should a school look at your application? Odds are good many schools won't. Will you even make it through the sorting process for many schools? Many no.

Good luck
 

dwgrubbs1s

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I would personally try taking it in the spring of 2017 or fall of 2017. I personally do not feel it is pertinent for the MCAT (others disagree) if you have a solid understanding of organic chemistry 1 and organic chemistry 1 lab. However, if you are taking the MCAT in the spring, you could either take o-chem 2 in the spring or fall, and still be good for next years cycle. However, I personally wouldn't bank on not taking it and only worrying about getting into schools that make this exception. Not saying that you will not get into these schools but the MCAT still looms, and logic tells us that your chances increase with the more schools you can apply to. Not taking the course puts a large restraint on most MD schools and many DO schools. Best of luck.
 
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Zguy
Aug 16, 2016
18
4
Thank you for the replies.

I would like to point out that these school specifically state Ochem one semester and biochem one semester. Furthermore, these are their requirements, not just an exception.

Also, I think my MLS background sets me apart as well. I will consider taking the class, but honestly the only schools that would really add to my list are RVUCOM and CU. I will have 8-10 schools to apply to from this list, to which I am not deficient course-wise, which seems like a fair amount, no?

The average applicant applies to 13 schools. Therefore, I'm not that far off and I don't know if I would want to apply to that many anyway. I am mostly banking on my state schools, and any others will require extensive discussion with my wife.

The bottom line is that, while I would love to make it as a physician, I am already in a great fallback career. I do not feel like this needs to be an all-in kind of deal. To me, it is either meant to be, of it's not.
 
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FCMike11

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Why cant you take it in the year you are applying? Pre-reqs just need to be completed by actual matriculation. Many students have courses/degrees in progress while applying.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using SDN mobile
 
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Zguy
Aug 16, 2016
18
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Why cant you take it in the year you are applying? Pre-reqs just need to be completed by actual matriculation. Many students have courses/degrees in progress while applying.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using SDN mobile
I will consider it, but at the moment I do not see many gains from it. I am able to apply to my state schools and some reach ones. The only schools I could see adding, for my marriage's sake, are RVUCOM and University of Colorado. The schools I listed all have family/friends for my wife somewhat nearby. I am certain that no career is worth a marriage.
 

FCMike11

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I will consider it, but at the moment I do not see many gains from it. I am able to apply to my state schools and some reach ones. The only schools I could see adding, for my marriage's sake, are RVUCOM and University of Colorado. The schools I listed all have family/friends for my wife somewhat nearby. I am certain that no career is worth a marriage.
I understand that, I was not insinuating anything about your marriage. If your wife does feel that strongly, just make sure she knows what this will entail. My wife and I talked about this to an exhausting point, but if she wasn't 100% in, we were not doing it.

With your gpa (historically) you will need a strong MCAT score to be considered for allopathic schools. If you do choose to take Ochem 2, LECOM-B could be an option (you listed NSU-is close geographically and it would be a "safety" app for you).

Ive been rejected from a few of the schools you've listed (KCUMB, RVU-CO, still silence from DMU) with similar GPA and 508 MCAT.

If I were you, I would do everything I could maximize my chances to cast my net as wide as possible.

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Gurby

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I think a lot of the advice being given here is out of date. As of last cycle, the VAST majority of schools are no longer requiring 2 semesters of Ochem. The trend is towards requiring "4 semesters of chemistry, covering x, y, and z topics". For most schools, you can substitute 1 semester of biochemistry in place of Ochem 2. The class is very low yield for the MCAT, too.

I don't know anyone in my post-bac who took 2 semesters of Orgo, and the people I've stayed in touch with had fantastically successful application cycles. I'm applying right now without it. If I happen to get in to a school that requires it (Columbia and I think UVM or something were the only ones on my list that did), I'll take it in the spring or summer.

Also keep in mind that some schools have not updated their websites yet. My state school's website says they require 2 semesters of Ochem, but I emailed the dean of admissions who said subbing in biochem is fine.

************This applies to MD schools. Things may be different for DO schools, I'm not sure.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I will consider it, but at the moment I do not see many gains from it. I am able to apply to my state schools and some reach ones. The only schools I could see adding, for my marriage's sake, are RVUCOM and University of Colorado. The schools I listed all have family/friends for my wife somewhat nearby. I am certain that no career is worth a marriage.
No, but if I'm understanding correctly (may not be), your wife doesn't want to move anywhere she doesn't have family or friends? Is she not good at making friends? Sounds like she's only conditionally supportive, which may become an issue later.
 
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Zguy
Aug 16, 2016
18
4
I understand that, I was not insinuating anything about your marriage. If your wife does feel that strongly, just make sure she knows what this will entail. My wife and I talked about this to an exhausting point, but if she wasn't 100% in, we were not doing it.

With your gpa (historically) you will need a strong MCAT score to be considered for allopathic schools. If you do choose to take Ochem 2, LECOM-B could be an option (you listed NSU-is close geographically and it would be a "safety" app for you).

Ive been rejected from a few of the schools you've listed (KCUMB, RVU-CO, still silence from DMU) with similar GPA and 508 MCAT.

If I were you, I would do everything I could maximize my chances to cast my net as wide as possible.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using SDN mobile
I am a Kansas resident, so that at least gives me an advantage with KCU. It gives me a huge advantage with KUMC. So, that's something. Your stats/background do look quite similar to mine (clinical based with ~3.4 gpa), so I think your experience holds merit as to what I can expect. However, I am in more of a situation where I feel obligated to try for this, rather than feeling obligated to get in. I already know I am a bit of a stretch candidate. If I don't get in, I have other career goals I can pursue. I don't want to be unrealistic in my expectations from the start, if that makes any sense.
 
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Zguy
Aug 16, 2016
18
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No, but if I'm understanding correctly (may not be), your wife doesn't want to move anywhere she doesn't have family or friends? Is she not good at making friends? Sounds like she's only conditionally supportive, which may become an issue later.
It's more that she would be willing to move to a place without family/friends, but that I would rather not do that to her. She is already sacrificing so much in doing this, the least I could do is compromise. She has some issues with depression, and we are just trying to be smart about it all. She has explicitly told me that she supports me completely, but that she would simply "prefer" locations with family/friends (obviously). I am going to do my best to honor this request, considering what she would be giving up for me.
 
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bkennedy

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My state school is fading out the old requirements and starting new. The ones only require one semester of ochem. Biochemistry is strongly recommended.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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It's more that she would be willing to move to a place without family/friends, but that I would rather not do that to her. She is already sacrificing so much in doing this, the least I could do is compromise. She has some issues with depression, and we are just trying to be smart about it all. She has explicitly told me that she supports me completely, but that she would simply "prefer" locations with family/friends (obviously). I am going to do my best to honor this request, considering what she would be giving up for me.
Makes sense. My wife and I are so used to moving and moving to places we hate and don't know anyone, she's just now able to find the good parts of any place we're going.
 
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FCMike11

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My state school is fading out the old requirements and starting new. The ones only require one semester of ochem. Biochemistry is strongly recommended.
I think a lot of the advice being given here is out of date. As of last cycle, the VAST majority of schools are no longer requiring 2 semesters of Ochem. The trend is towards requiring "4 semesters of chemistry, covering x, y, and z topics". For most schools, you can substitute 1 semester of biochemistry in place of Ochem 2. The class is very low yield for the MCAT, too.

I don't know anyone in my post-bac who took 2 semesters of Orgo, and the people I've stayed in touch with had fantastically successful application cycles. I'm applying right now without it. If I happen to get in to a school that requires it (Columbia and I think UVM or something were the only ones on my list that did), I'll take it in the spring or summer.

Also keep in mind that some schools have not updated their websites yet. My state school's website says they require 2 semesters of Ochem, but I emailed the dean of admissions who said subbing in biochem is fine.

************This applies to MD schools. Things may be different for DO schools, I'm not sure.
This makes sense really. At this point Biochemistry should really be required. Definitely absolutely have to have it for the MCAT.

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