erin682

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I hate med-school biochem! I took it in undergrad and really liked it. We really learned in depth how and why things worked. I thought it was fascinating. Med school biochem is such BS. Its lets see how much information, that is essentially meaningless to you because we haven't given you anywhere near the amount of background you need to really understand it, that we can give you in the shortest amount of time. And then lets ask test questions on the most specific and mundane details of our lecture.

I just failed a test in biochem. Anyone else feel the need to rant?
 

ddmo

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Agreed. I personally don't understand why Biochem is a required class in med school. There should be a clause that if you have taken it once in undergrad, you are exempt and it isn't on the boards. Nothing more painful than memorizing tons of absolutely useless information. The fact they require memorization of the pathways is beyond ridiculous, that is what references are for. Ohh well.
 

johnny_blaze

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I don’t really mind biochem… can I rant about embryology and microbiology instead?

Damn u foul embryos and micro-organisms! :mad:
 

dankev

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Word. I couldn't even make up this much useless information.
 

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I completely agree. I loveed biochem in undergrad, but it was my most hated class of med school. Oh, to be in undergrad again, where you actually got to do a little thinking. . .
 

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Let me see if I still remember anything from my med school biochem which I did a couple of years ago..

glucose 6 phosphate --> fructose 6 phosphate --> something dehydrogenase --> bisphosphate --> lots of things --> Acetyl-CoA --> Kreb's Cycle and then links to CoA and ketoacids.. amines.. etc

That's all I remember.
 

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The thing that is so sad for me is that while I worked my little butt off for this first round of exams, and 'felt' like I did ok, when I got my score back I was in shock. Our class average is about 5 points above passing and 26 people did not pass (out of 100 students). Cripes!

Now, this was it for my bag of tricks with biochem, what we had for the first month is what we took four months covering last spring in ugrad. (sigh ... those were the days ...)

Anywhoo - I am thinking it's all down hill for me and probably the rest of us who only had about this same amount of biochem. Three and a half more months of this ...

:scared:
 

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Did you see the Wayne State thread???? Yes Biochem bites the big one across the board. I can't wait for the class to be over....
 
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erin682

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TruckGirl said:
Let me see if I still remember anything from my med school biochem which I did a couple of years ago..

glucose 6 phosphate --> fructose 6 phosphate --> something dehydrogenase --> bisphosphate --> lots of things --> Acetyl-CoA --> Kreb's Cycle and then links to CoA and ketoacids.. amines.. etc

That's all I remember.
I can't believe you even remember that much. I took a test this morning and I don't think I could tell you even half the steps in heme, nucleotide or amino acid metaobolism even though I knew them last night.
 

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Biochem is absurd. Luckily our school takes a fairly gentle approach to it, as its intergrated into our systems. We still had to memorize glycolysis, the heme synthesis cycle and all that other crap, but that was months ago. Gluconeowhoooo?
 

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my .02: biochem sux! i hate trying to sit and fill my head with useless facts.
 

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erin682 said:
I hate med-school biochem! I took it in undergrad and really liked it. We really learned in depth how and why things worked. I thought it was fascinating. Med school biochem is such BS. Its lets see how much information, that is essentially meaningless to you because we haven't given you anywhere near the amount of background you need to really understand it, that we can give you in the shortest amount of time. And then lets ask test questions on the most specific and mundane details of our lecture.

I just failed a test in biochem. Anyone else feel the need to rant?
Don't worry. You will get through it! Good luck! :D
 

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Even though I'm not in med school yet, I took a med school biochem class and I actually liked it pretty well. I thought there was a lot of useless info, but I liked learning metabolism because that feels relevant to me. I can't say I would've loved it if I was taking phys and neuroscience concurrently, though, so I feel for you guys. The only advice I can offer, having finished my course last sem, is to try to find ways to make it relevant when you're studying. pathways suck and will never be relevant, but make mnemonics and try to have fun with the material as opposed to letting it get you depressed... easier said than done, I know.
 

felipe5

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so did you take the class from a med-school (and if so, WHY!?!?!?!), or did you take a class entitled "medical biochemistry" in undergrad????? Just curious, especially b/c i've yet to meet someone who actually likes it......the extremes at my school say "eh, its not too bad", and that alone causes jaws to drop
 

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I have a CUMULATIVE biochem MUST PASS final next week. Yup, that's right- it's must pass which means even if you have a 90%+ in the class, and you don't pass the final exam, then you don't pass the class.

Thankfully, our professor send out nice abbreviated review sheets to us, but it's still an incredible amount of material.

I just want my P.
 
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erin682

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felipe5 said:
so did you take the class from a med-school (and if so, WHY!?!?!?!), or did you take a class entitled "medical biochemistry" in undergrad????? Just curious, especially b/c i've yet to meet someone who actually likes it......the extremes at my school say "eh, its not too bad", and that alone causes jaws to drop
This is what I'm wondering. I didn't know med schools let non-med students take their classes. interesting....
 

stinkycheese

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felipe5 said:
so did you take the class from a med-school (and if so, WHY!?!?!?!), or did you take a class entitled "medical biochemistry" in undergrad????? Just curious, especially b/c i've yet to meet someone who actually likes it......the extremes at my school say "eh, its not too bad", and that alone causes jaws to drop
A class at a med school with med students; special masters' program; yep, I liked it, but I have to admit, I may not have liked it if I were taking it with other heavy-duty classes. As it was, I was taking it with physio, but that doesn't make a full med school load at all. So I do feel for you guys!
 
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erin682

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mimi1 said:
I have a CUMULATIVE biochem MUST PASS final next week. Yup, that's right- it's must pass which means even if you have a 90%+ in the class, and you don't pass the final exam, then you don't pass the class.

Thankfully, our professor send out nice abbreviated review sheets to us, but it's still an incredible amount of material.

I just want my P.
That blows. We have to take the NBME in march and it counts as 20% of our final grade but yours is worse. I mean what if you have just had a really terrible day. The whole grade is riding on that one test. Sorry for you!
 

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erin682 said:
I hate med-school biochem! I took it in undergrad and really liked it. We really learned in depth how and why things worked. I thought it was fascinating. Med school biochem is such BS. Its lets see how much information, that is essentially meaningless to you because we haven't given you anywhere near the amount of background you need to really understand it, that we can give you in the shortest amount of time. And then lets ask test questions on the most specific and mundane details of our lecture.

I just failed a test in biochem. Anyone else feel the need to rant?
I absolutely agree. As a nontrad student, I am amazed at how much of med school is complete waste. It's pathetic. Because of this, I have lost respect for professors and institutions. Had I done this straight from undergrad, I probably would not have realized just how worthless this is. Remember that you're being taught by non-MDs (PhDs). They don't have clinical experience, so they don't know which information is useful and which isn't. Plus, they need their bell curve, so they want to make it as ridiculously difficult as possible, and the laziest way is to ask you details about the least important parts, because students tend to focus on the relevant material.
 

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Actually, although most of us think we've forgotten most of our biochemistry (and we probably have), there was a lot of stuff in there, and a lot of it was important. You're remembering it today because it keeps getting repeated though, and you don't think of it as biochemistry anymore.

All that cAMP, receptors, and cell activation stuff.. sure we do that in pharmacology, but it's part of biochem. It's important for oncology. And if you want to know endocrinology, then that's all biochem too. And actually, most consultants I've run into whether they were cardiologists or respiratory medicine specialists, all know their molecules and biochem. They can talk to you in detail about different enzymes and cell receptors or the molecular basis of how Omega 3 fatty acids work, because a lot of recent studies which consultants keep up to date with are based on this stuff.

Biochem sucked because we had to memorize cycles, but I think it's all relevant. Although you might be happy to generally know that a lack of Vit C in the diet can cause bleeding gums, a kid at school can tell you that as well. Without biochem, how are you supposed to know how Vit C is involved in collagen linking? That kind of molecular thinking is what research is all about and what you'll run into in studies when you're forced to read them.

I read this medical thriller novel once written by Michael Crichton under an alias, and one of the characters in the story was some big shot surgeon who shouted at everyone. But the surgeon was being tough with everyone because he was trained in a time when biochemistry and other molecular studies weren't important in medicine, and they just focused on anatomy and physiology. He didn't know anything about molecules, and he was afraid of the new doctors because they were more up-to-date.

I can think of loads of ways of how biochem is important in medicine. There's lactose intolerance, alcohol toxicity.. things about differences in genes/geographical variation and people's ability to handle certain foods.. the whole genetic system..

What do you think biochemistry is about?
 
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erin682

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I don't deny the importance of biochemistry. As I mentioned I took it in undergrad and really enjoyed it. I felt like it had a lot of relevance and was very useful in understanding the way body systems work at the most basic level. My complaint, however, is with the way med school biochemistry is taught and tested. We are not tested on medically relevant material but on inane details that a biochemist would have to look up in a book to know. One of our biochem profs is a complete genius and knows all the structures of these molecules by heart but even he admitted to going and studying the cycles before lecture and relearning them each year.
 

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I agree that medical school biochemistry (along with a lot of other classes) teach and test inane detail that no one will ever remember (I know in 3 years I will not remember Carbamoyl Phosphate cabamoylates Ornithine to form Citrulline). However, I truly believe the point of testing all this inane knowledge in medical school is not for us to remember the knowledge but to see if we can learn an intense amount of material in a very limited amount of time . . . which is what we will be doing for our entire professional lives when we learn about the newest procedures or medications etc (which if we use it in day to day practice we will remember).
 
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erin682

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However, I truly believe the point of testing all this inane knowledge in medical school is not for us to remember the knowledge but to see if we can learn an intense amount of material in a very limited amount of time . . .
I have thought this too but then med schools have pretty much done all the weeding out. We have already proven that we are smart and capable of memorizing or we wouldn't have gotten in. There is a reason just about everyone who starts med school graduates with the class.

My understanding for the way biochem is taught the way it is, is more cynical. We are taught by PhD's who mostly have no idea what knowledge is important for a greater understanding of clinical problems.

We have this one prof. who is fantastic. He is a great lecturer, super smart and really spends most of his time on things that have real clinical use. You can tell when he gets stuck with a topic that has no relevance to us that he doesn't like it. His test questions are fantastic because while you have to memorize its memorizing stuff that makes sense and matters to clinicians. I'm not saying he is an easy teacher, he's actually very challenging but I don't mind challenging b/c it has a purpose.

On the other hand we have this other lecturer who was teaching nucleotide metabolism. He spent all this time on the steps of metabolism and then spent maybe 5 minutes on diseases. Even worse the time he spent on diseases was on things he expressly said were so rare that we would likely never encounter a patient with them. He pretty much ignored gout which has real clinical significance.

Unfortunately more of these profs are like the second guy instead of the first.
 

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I agree that they have already gone through the weeding out process but now they are teaching us how to memorize in a crunch. In undergrad there were relatively few classes that were memorize in a crunch type classes. I covered the same material as I am covering now in my undergrad Biochem (I was a Biochem major). However, we had a lot more time to learn it (we cover the same amount of material in a day that we covered in a week in undergrad) and we were tested more on concepts and less on inane detail (for instance it was more important to know that the Urea cycle was how we converted Nitrogen into an excretable form instead of knowing every step of the Urea cycle and all the enzymes that catalyze the reactions like we do now). However, they know that much of what we are learning will be forgotten but they are trying to strengthen our ability to memorize quickly (notice that almost if not everyone is excelling at it, I know our averages in Biochem have been around 90%). Afterall, practice makes perfect right?
 
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erin682

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(notice that almost if not everyone is excelling at it, I know our averages in Biochem have been around 90%).
Now I understand why we are seeing things differently. My class normally has averages in the 87% range on tests but biochem has been around 80% or lower. I'd say a good portion of the class failed the last biochem test though they don't give us numbers so I couldn't say exactly.
 

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ddmoore54 said:
Agreed. I personally don't understand why Biochem is a required class in med school. There should be a clause that if you have taken it once in undergrad, you are exempt and it isn't on the boards. Nothing more painful than memorizing tons of absolutely useless information. The fact they require memorization of the pathways is beyond ridiculous, that is what references are for. Ohh well.
Actually I ran into a 3rd year who said that her step 1 was mostly biochem. What you get is the luck of the draw. Our biochem prof used to be on the board and he said to know stuff like what it means if hydroxy-proline or methyl malonate shows up in urine.
 

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my biochem test just totally kicked my ass :(
i hate nitrogen metabolism and nutrition :(
 

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erin682 said:
We have this one prof. who is fantastic. He is a great lecturer, super smart and really spends most of his time on things that have real clinical use. You can tell when he gets stuck with a topic that has no relevance to us that he doesn't like it. His test questions are fantastic because while you have to memorize its memorizing stuff that makes sense and matters to clinicians. I'm not saying he is an easy teacher, he's actually very challenging but I don't mind challenging b/c it has a purpose.
And thankfully, I think he's covering all the biochem we have on the next test. I've never been able to make it to his review sessions, but I hear he pretty much tells you what he's going to be on the test. And, surprise surprise, it's the stuff he stresses the most in class. I just hope we don't have to know all the structures this time, since he drew them on the board.

On the other hand we have this other lecturer who was teaching nucleotide metabolism. He spent all this time on the steps of metabolism and then spent maybe 5 minutes on diseases. Even worse the time he spent on diseases was on things he expressly said were so rare that we would likely never encounter a patient with them. He pretty much ignored gout which has real clinical significance.
No kidding. I remembered liking him for Cell Bio, but he did a terrible job this time around. At least we don't have him again (at least not this year).

Of course, now that we've moved along to acid/base and the kidney, I'm actually more worried about physiology this time around. This may have been a bad month to start sleeping in.
 

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I think you are missing the point that Biochem focuses on the minutia that we will never ever ever use, instead of the metabolic pathways which will have some relevance to us later in life. granted, even the metabolic pathways are covered in other classes. i agree that biochem is the worst class ever created and should be abolished.

Just say no to biochem.



TruckGirl said:
Actually, although most of us think we've forgotten most of our biochemistry (and we probably have), there was a lot of stuff in there, and a lot of it was important. You're remembering it today because it keeps getting repeated though, and you don't think of it as biochemistry anymore.

All that cAMP, receptors, and cell activation stuff.. sure we do that in pharmacology, but it's part of biochem. It's important for oncology. And if you want to know endocrinology, then that's all biochem too. And actually, most consultants I've run into whether they were cardiologists or respiratory medicine specialists, all know their molecules and biochem. They can talk to you in detail about different enzymes and cell receptors or the molecular basis of how Omega 3 fatty acids work, because a lot of recent studies which consultants keep up to date with are based on this stuff.

Biochem sucked because we had to memorize cycles, but I think it's all relevant. Although you might be happy to generally know that a lack of Vit C in the diet can cause bleeding gums, a kid at school can tell you that as well. Without biochem, how are you supposed to know how Vit C is involved in collagen linking? That kind of molecular thinking is what research is all about and what you'll run into in studies when you're forced to read them.

I read this medical thriller novel once written by Michael Crichton under an alias, and one of the characters in the story was some big shot surgeon who shouted at everyone. But the surgeon was being tough with everyone because he was trained in a time when biochemistry and other molecular studies weren't important in medicine, and they just focused on anatomy and physiology. He didn't know anything about molecules, and he was afraid of the new doctors because they were more up-to-date.

I can think of loads of ways of how biochem is important in medicine. There's lactose intolerance, alcohol toxicity.. things about differences in genes/geographical variation and people's ability to handle certain foods.. the whole genetic system..

What do you think biochemistry is about?
 
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erin682

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Rbrav said:
And thankfully, I think he's covering all the biochem we have on the next test. I've never been able to make it to his review sessions, but I hear he pretty much tells you what he's going to be on the test. And, surprise surprise, it's the stuff he stresses the most in class. I just hope we don't have to know all the structures this time, since he drew them on the board.


No kidding. I remembered liking him for Cell Bio, but he did a terrible job this time around. At least we don't have him again (at least not this year).

Of course, now that we've moved along to acid/base and the kidney, I'm actually more worried about physiology this time around. This may have been a bad month to start sleeping in.
LOL you're post caught me by surprise. I'm not used to seeing any kids from our class on here. I was like wait how does this person know who I'm talking about. Wow I need to get out more.