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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by blingbling, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. I'm registering for fall classes and I'm trying to decide if I should take these med school-type classes or not. I'll have taken the MCAT by then (in two weeks), so MCAT prep is a non-issue. For the med students out there, did taking these classes help? How did you or others do in these classes in med school that didn't take these classes going into med school?
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  3. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    I'm juggling physics III, physical chem, physiology, & organic chem II right now ... if you're really into it, you can take all of those that you listed ... or like 3 or 4 of the 5. It could be fun, challenging, and actually pretty good because various material will overlap and you'll do good in all classes. Plus it would be impressive.
  4. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    I'm currently taking Histology, will be taking Comparative Anatomy and Animal Physiology in the fall. Everybody from my school who got in the last two years said these courses helped out a lot. I say take them (maybe not all at once), they can give you a background in the type of things you will see in med school.
  5. saswimr

    saswimr Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    NC, Wilmington, USA
    i was on a couple websites for med schools and they recommend not taking classes you will face in med school. Something to think about. They say to take as many humanities as possible. I myself would prefer to do what you are, but thats not what they think. Anyway if you are dedicated enough to be pre-med, you shouldn't have any trouble.
  6. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    Any idea WHY med schools advise against taking anat and stuff that overlaps with med school courses? I mean, it can't HURT, can it?

  7. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Chicago suburbs
    I imagine that it can't hurt, but it is possible that you'll get burnt out on the stuff. It kind of makes sense to take lots of non-med school related courses in undergrad. This is the last opportunity you will ever have to be able to receive an education in anything you want (photography, english, history, etc) - after undergrad, life is ALL MEDICINE (at least for 4-8 years). Might as well take advantage the opportunity to NOT learn medicine for a while.

    Besides, I imagine that anything you might learn in undergrad will not be that helpful, considering that you are likely receiving a somewhat simplified version of the information and will eventually cover it much more rigorously in med school. It would be similar to an undergrad advisor not recommending that you take an organic/biochem survey course before taking organic - there's really no point in doing so if you eventually need to take organic anyway.

    [This message has been edited by rxfudd (edited April 06, 2001).]
  8. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    I think rxfudd makes good points. I think the best thing to do now is enjoy the free time we have.

    I had always argued that these type courses could only help, but the comparison to organic chemistry brings up a good argument.
  9. I know schools recommend that you not take courses which replicate med school curriculum but the truth of the matter is that most courses taught in undergraduate give you more time to learn the material.

    If I had it to do over again I would have taken Biochem and as I recall, most medical students agree that Biochem is the most useful of the courses you list.
  10. Hercules

    Hercules Son of Zeus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Mobile, AL
    I know kimberlicox has the experience on her side, but I'm going to have to agree with rxfudd. Undergrad is my last chance to take non-medical classes and I don't want to waste that chance. I guess ultimately it comes down to a personal preference. I'm sure that taking those classes will make your med school experience a little easier, but at what cost? For me the opportunities lost (chance to learn something other than medicine) far outweigh the benefits (slightly easier time in first two years of med school), but I'm sure it's the other way around for some people.


    But there is also a time for sleeping.
    -Odysseus in the Odyssey 11.330-331
  11. I actually agree with you Herc. Since I wasn't a science major I had lots of non-science classes: psych, wine tasting (I & II!), French, etc. so didn't feel deprived.

    If the choice is whether to take Biochem/Anat/Physio or a class that you would just enjoy, I'd also vote for the later. I guess I misunderstood the original poster - I thought he was considering taking one of the courses anyway and wondered which one would be best. That's what I get for spending hours trying to figure out who MEAT/loukary/MAAT/mj/Dr.P et al are on the Everyone forum.

    If this is your last chance to take such courses, I highly encourage it, especially if you are a science major and haven't had the chance to study anything else. I think this not only makes you a more interesting person, but a better doctor (since knowledge about fields outside of medicine is always helpful) IMHO.
  12. If you're interested in those advanced science courses, take 'em. You'll be ahead of your peers come medical school time; your anxiety and stress level will be lower. People who tell you that these science undergrad courses don't help just want to "dumb" down the competition. For example, I had never high school physics because I erroneously thought I would just learn it in college with well-distinguished profs. I felt, in my own cockey way, that I would be able to do well in college physics without the high school introduction. Well, when I got to college, I was blown away by my peers, the majority who had already taken high school physics. it's disheartening to work so hard in such a short time while your classmates are sitting there with a knowing smirk...
  13. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 4, 2000
    Hmm... ok, I think I will forgo my histology and anat planning and stick with the courses I want to take, namely every mathematics and physics course I can get my hands on.
  14. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Actually, you'll probably find that most of your peers will have taken those courses, so instead of being ahead of them, you'll be at the same level.

    Here's one example, we just did a month long block of genetics/molecular biology (plus a boat-load of anatomy). It was about four weeks of class, and in the first two weeks we covered everything I had learned in college genetics, and moved on to molecular techniques. The people in my class who had never had genetics in college were shocked by how much info they had to learn in that short amount of time. So they had to work that much harder, while the rest of us enjoyed the fact that it was all review. And believe me it was still hard to keep up at that fast pace.

    Anyhow, I do agree that you should take whatever courses interest you. But don't discount how helpful taking those courses may be. You may kick yourself in the end because everybody else seems to be having an easier time with the material.

    But remember, most of what you'll learn in med school will be new to everybody. No college level biochem or physio or anatomy course will teach you the level of details that a med school course will. But taking those undergrad courses will give you a "foundation" on which you can add the new details that med school throws at you daily.
  15. Benji Courtney

    Benji Courtney Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2001
    Olive Branch Ms
    how much did taking genetics incease mcat? How about taking optics?
  16. Dave2K

    Dave2K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2000
    State of Confusion

    First off, I have to agree with the general consensus of most of the previous posters: You will learn enough of the material covered in medical school while you are IN medical school! Take fun courses as much as possible while an undergrad, and feel confident that your required pre-reqs will make you adequately prepared.

    However, that being said, I happen to have a better perspective on your question than anyone who has answered yet. Not to disrespect any of the other SDN users, of course, but I happened to take every single one of the courses you mentioned while at CU-Boulder!

    I assume that you aren't an MCDB major, otherwise you would have to take half of them. Personally, I disliked both Cell and Molecular, but that was due to teaching styles more than anything. If you must choose one, go with Molecular. A&P are great, but are particularly good as summer courses if you can work it in! I suggest Anatomy in the summer, and Phys in the fall if that works. BioChem was a good course, and I know that a handful of medical schools I have spoken with recommend it. Once again, though, you will be taking this course in medschool, so the preview may or may not be that worthwhile to you.

    The bottom line is to take only classes that appeal to you personally. There are enough sh*tty courses to take in college! If you don't like the class, you won't excel, and that will hurt you a great deal. (Believe me on this one!) Good luck, and if you want any suggestions on which profs to take, let me know.
  17. To everyone - thanks for all the replies!


    Thanks for the reply, that was the kind of info I needed to know. I think I'll do as you recommend and take anatomy in the summer and phys in the fall. I'm an EPOB major so those extra credits in the department won't hurt. I'll probably end up taking cell and molecular pass/fail in the spring before I graduate "just because."

    Just curious... are you at Emory now (your profile says you're in Atlanta)? How do you like it there?
  18. EricCSU

    EricCSU Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2000
    Fort Collins, CO
    I'm taking both classes that I like and classes that will help me through med school. I'm taking a year of graduate physiology, cardiology, neuroanatomy, and histology. I am NOT taking genetics, microbiology, pathology, or a second semester of biochemistry. The reason is that I don't like those classes that much. The classes that I am taking are ones that I like and will help me. If I don't like it, I'm not going to suffer through it twice.


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