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biochem or organic chem II?

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spumoni620

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Hi everyone,

I'm applying to med school this year, just finished taking the mcat two days ago :mad: ....was hoping to get your advice on the remaining classes i have to take.

I still have to take the 2nd semester of physics, organic chemistry, and related labs. My question is: according to the msar for last year, a lot of schools seem to accept biochem in lieu of o-chem II. Would any of you recommend this path...i.e. does this prepare you more for med school curricula, or is it looked upon more favorably by adcoms? or does it not make a difference one way?


thanks for your advice!
 

Sweet Tea

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a lot of schools take biochem over second semester ochem?? really? at my school...orgo I was 2 semesters long...orgo II was another 2 semesters, and med schools wanted you to have both semesters of organic I (but they didn't care about orgo II). i really don't think you can get out of taking second semester organic. sorry! it's not so bad... i liked second semester better than the first (admittedly, i like orgo), so you can do it. :)
 

swoop

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How did you take the MCAT if you hadn't had orgo or a year of physics? I know they are not pre-reqs to take the test, but aren't you generally supposed to take them atleast during the year you are going to take the MCATs?
 

Jadeite

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I would say most schools require Orgo II, and biochem isn't always required but it really helps with admission to have it under your belt. Brace yourself for a tough semester!

Unfortunately, they like it even more if you're done the class before you apply. Done with an A. Good luck!

Jade~
 

Serenity07

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I think a lot of us can speculate on the answer to that question, but only the schools you are applying to really know. My personal opinion is that if you can get out of taking organic II, then by all means do so. I have definitely heard of schools that will take that substitution.

You should probably just take a day to call or email the schools you are applying to and first make sure that they will accept biochem over ochem II, and then see if you can get any info on how that will affect the competitiveness of your application. If you can speak to dean, usually they're pretty upfront with that information.

I would think that it completely depends on the school, so you may end up taking ochem II just because that's the more traditional route.
 

pathdr2b

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Take both! You'll be happy you did when you get into medical school.
 

spumoni620

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Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and advice! I'm not actually trying to get out of taking O-chem II...in fact I just finished ochem I and ended up with a high A, and i like the subject a lot. I was just thinking about which subject might be more relevant to 1st yr med school studies...most of you seem to feel that ochem II AND biochem are both good subjects to take, and I'll def keep that advice in mind....i'm trying to finish all the prereqs at least by december (labs, etc.)

Sweet Tea: yep, according to the MSAR for 02-03, a lot of colleges vary in terms of specific course requirements. UTSW accepts biochem in lieu of 2nd sem ochem, and baylor apparently doesn't even require the 2nd sem of physics. (which, in a way, seems to make sense...is there a lot of relevance of electricity and magnetism to the workings of the human body? maybe there is, but it seemed sort of a stretch.) but you are right, probably the vast majority of schools do still require the traditional curriculm. i think mayo is the only school that actually requires biochem AND o-chem II.

Swoop: i did take a risk by taking the mcat before i finished all the prereqs...but i desperately wanted to pursue the med school route w/o wasting any more time (you see i am somewhat of a nontrad applicant...actually graduated from college last year). I guess to make a long story short i have a bio science minor but lack the o-chem + physics, which is what i'm taking now...but i studied w/kaplan, pr, examkrackers etc. to teach myself the material. it was okay...we'll have to see how i did in june! :confused:

Serenity, Jadeite, and pathdr2b, thanks also for your help! your comments are really helpful.
:)
 

Brewster

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Organic chemistry is useless for medical school. You do have to take biochem first year, but it is very doable without prior college biochem experience.

I would advise taking orgo II since it is likely the safest route. If you are counting on substituting biochem for orgo II, you may shut yourself out of some schools (which you don't want to do).
 

lil pook

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Originally posted by Brewster
Organic chemistry is useless for medical school. You do have to take biochem first year, but it is very doable without prior college biochem experience.

I would advise taking orgo II since it is likely the safest route. If you are counting on substituting biochem for orgo II, you may shut yourself out of some schools (which you don't want to do).

Other than the fact that it shows how well you can memorize stuff, I dont know why you would need it. I mean, I even had a teacher who teaches at our university' s med school tell me that you will never be required to regurgitate chemical structures of meds on any exams. Go figure.
 

gotgirth

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This probably depends largely on what school you attend, but where I am at (Illinois), we did not have to take both organic II and biochem.

In fact, the premed office here has a list of med schools which do and don't accept our biochem as a substitute (they write all the med schools and have letters from each school on file saying if biochem will/will not be allowed as a substitute).

If your premed advisor does not have such a database on file definitely check with the individual schools that you wish to apply to.
 
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