Sartre

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I'm applying this summer, but have decided to take two upper level bio courses in the evenings this fall. I'm definitely taking Biochemistry, but I'm trying to decide between cellular bio and microbiology.

Do any of you bio majors have any thoughts? Which class will better prepare me for med school? Which is generally more challenging? (Both have labs). I work full-time, so I don't want to completely overdo it.

Thanks for any advice!
 

burntfries

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i've taken both and found them to be very useful. microbio was more challenging for me, mostly because we had to memorize in detail 100+ viral and bacterial diseases and i'm not very good at that (hopefully i'll get better, lol). however, i do know that you will also end up taking a microbio course in med school.

cell bio was very useful in that it's a necessary foundation for understanding other areas of bio, like developmental bio or physiology. it's also a basic knowledge that you will use in many parts of the MCAT. i'd say go with this one, even though both will end up preparing you well for med school.
 
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Sartre

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burntfries said:
i've taken both and found them to be very useful. microbio was more challenging for me, mostly because we had to memorize in detail 100+ viral and bacterial diseases and i'm not very good at that (hopefully i'll get better, lol). however, i do know that you will also end up taking a microbio course in med school.

cell bio was very useful in that it's a necessary foundation for understanding other areas of bio, like developmental bio or physiology. it's also a basic knowledge that you will use in many parts of the MCAT. i'd say go with this one, even though both will end up preparing you well for med school.
Thanks, burntfries! I was leaning towards cell bio, even though I already took the MCAT (it seems like an earlier requirement for bio majors, so I figured I should start there). I think I'll take your advice -- thanks again!
 
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Zoom-Zoom

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burntfries said:
i've taken both and found them to be very useful. microbio was more challenging for me, mostly because we had to memorize in detail 100+ viral and bacterial diseases and i'm not very good at that (hopefully i'll get better, lol). however, i do know that you will also end up taking a microbio course in med school.

cell bio was very useful in that it's a necessary foundation for understanding other areas of bio, like developmental bio or physiology. it's also a basic knowledge that you will use in many parts of the MCAT. i'd say go with this one, even though both will end up preparing you well for med school.
How was dev. bio? I would think it's pretty tough but is it also interesting? If you could take cell bio or dev bio which would it be?
 

burntfries

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Zoom-Zoom said:
How was dev. bio? I would think it's pretty tough but is it also interesting? If you could take cell bio or dev bio which would it be?
I liked dev bio, it was pretty interesting. A bit hard to grasp at first, because some of the mechanisms can be a bit bizarre and confusing but you get used to it. I took cell bio right before dev bio, and was glad that I did because it made understanding dev bio that much easier.
 

Ambs

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If you're taking biochem, I imagine you'll cover much of what you'll learn in cell bio, i.e. G protein, signal transduction, etc, in biochem... Cell bio isn't all that hard, and having biochem ahead is what'll really help you in med school. I would personally go with microbiology, if I were you. Microbio/path/immunology can be intense in med school, and having a background is pretty helpful... My undergrad microbio. helped in med school, disclaimer: this is entirely anecdotal/personal experience.
 

burntfries

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Ambs said:
If you're taking biochem, I imagine you'll cover much of what you'll learn in cell bio, i.e. G protein, signal transduction, etc, in biochem... Cell bio isn't all that hard, and having biochem ahead is what'll really help you in med school. I would personally go with microbiology, if I were you. Microbio/path/immunology can be intense in med school, and having a background is pretty helpful... My undergrad microbio. helped in med school, disclaimer: this is entirely anecdotal/personal experience.
that's strange, my biochem course never touched upon g proteins, signal transduction, etc. had to learn it all in cell bio! but yes, if most biochem classes are like that then microbio would be a better choice.
 

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burntfries said:
that's strange, my biochem course never touched upon g proteins, signal transduction, etc. had to learn it all in cell bio! but yes, if most biochem classes are like that then microbio would be a better choice.
You need to have an understanding of cell bio in order to grasp biochem to some level. Overall, he'll get more out of taking biochem and microbio in med school. I'd imagine there'd be some redundancy in taking biochem and cell bio. Again, this is personal experience, as my undergrad microbio helped a lot in med school.
 

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cell bio is the way to go, microbio lab is a pain in the ass; stupid gram stains.
 

Ambs

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applyingsucks said:
cell bio is the way to go, microbio lab is a pain in the ass; stupid gram stains.
We had optional microbiology lab in med school, and even though it was optional, we had questions from lab on our quizzes/exams. Those of us who had microbio lab in undergrad skipped lab since we knew what a gram stain was and how to do it.
 
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Sartre

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Ambs said:
We had optional microbiology lab in med school, and even though it was optional, we had questions from lab on our quizzes/exams. Those of us who had microbio lab in undergrad skipped lab since we knew what a gram stain was and how to do it.
You guys are awesome -- thanks for the input. I guess I'll have to give this some more consideration. Just to help me narrow it down...which class will look better to the med schools I'm applying to? I'm taking more upper level bio for two reasons: to help me prepare for med school, and to help my application (my science GPA is lower than I would like, so my advisor suggested taking some upper level bio and updating schools with my grades).

Any thoughts? Thanks again!!
 
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