I took neither before the MCAT, but I would have to say from what I've heard from other people that Biochem would be more useful. The MCAT emphasizes genetics (even more starting next year) but all that they ask is pretty simple and can be solved using your intro bio knowledge. I think taking an advanced class in genetics might give you too much excess knowledge and make the MCAT questions harder than they should be.
If you take Biochemistry first, cellular biology will be pretty easy for you. Take an intro to genetics class too. I've heard from people that this class is a good class in general. I'm going to take all three though, just for credits and A's (hopefully).
Genetics on the MCAT is pretty basic and you don't need a class on it to do well on it. Biochem on the other hand integrates bio and chem so that you kind of get a "whole picture" which I thought was helpful. For me, it was when I took biochem that I had my "Aha!" moment in seeing how these subjects are related to each other. Plus, you'll probably memorize amino acids and review acid/base, pKa and all that stuff in biochem and those things are definitely useful for the MCAT.
I agree that if you really want to pick one of these, then go with biochem. As others mentioned, it integrates stuff from bio and orgo, which makes bio and orgo things easier to remember. Having said that, though, I don't think you need either class to take the MCAT and do well.
I will be taking genetics, biochem, cell/molec and some ruddy puh english class this fall. Because the mcat format is changing to include more genetics, and biochem I am somewhat concerned. I am probably being somewhat anal retentive but hey who is keeping tabs.. :wink:
frig the biochem i took that didnt help me at least, but genetics is definitly important, i cant stress that class enough. I also think a person should take human physiology. That class really helped .
when i took it i hadent taken genetics, but was currently taking biochem. there were things that i knew that others in my PTR class didnt know because they didnt take biochem, they took genetics and vice versa. study with a group sometimes and take a review course and you should be fine.
Doesn't it stink that there is not enough time for all of the courses that could FULLY prepare you? Why should time be such an intrusive factor... In the end, I'm sure genetics is just as useful as biochemistry, but there are always choices that must be made and this is just another one of them! :wink: