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Chem Labs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JCWells, Jan 18, 2001.

  1. Ok, this may be a dumb question but I'll ask it anyways. I go to the U of Michigan and we have an odd chemistry setup. Most students place out of intro chem and go right into orgo. You get two labs with the organic chem semesters (3 credits of lab total) but the 4th semester class (p. chem) has no lab, so you end up with no inorganic labs whatsoever. My advisor has told me to take the intro inorganic lab for no credit (since I placed out of it the first time and already have taken the organic one), just to get a third one, but to get a forth lab I would have to end up taking another upper level chemistry course. I was just wondering if any of you felt that it was absolutely critical to have those numbers, considering how it is set up at Michigan.
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  3. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    It depends.
    If the AP credit UM gave you for the first chem is a total that includes the credits you would have earned had you taken the course, there should be no problem.
    Medical schools tend to become familiar with the systems used at many of their feeder colleges. Admission requirements for the basic eight must include labs, but the lecture/lab combination may be structured differently at different colleges. I am not inclined to take the requirment for two labs in a strict sense, but I have no experience with the UM system and how adcoms respond to the particular situation you have. I have to assume your advisor has dealt with this in the past.
    A warning which is probably already too late for you. It is potentially dangerous to take AP credit for intro chem and then step into organic as a first semester student. Organic is traditionally the terror of most of the premed population. And here you are, with no experience of what a chem major's college chem demands. You are not in Kansas anymore, Toto. It is not high school and you will find yourself in class with sophomores who already experienced a year of college general chem and survived the experience with grades from A to C-. Organic is taught
    with that assumption in mind. It is like entering military combat as a replacement; the life of a replacement is usually shorter than that of veterans, the experienced survivors. That is a statistical statement,
    meaning some some who take AP credit, like some replacements, get A in organic and become living veterans.
    It is not worth saving time, or money, if you lose what you are saving time to attain.
  4. Thanks for your reply Gower. I have already made it through Orgo, it wasn't fun but I managed with a 4.0 and 3.7 for the two semesters, so I'm basically unscathed. UofM really makes it into a freshman course, with most serious science students not taking an intro Chem course. I'm not sure why they do this, but they do. Now that I'm sure I want to go into premed, I'm really regretting not getting the easy credits early for the intro lab and chem course, but it is too late now.
  5. spagel

    spagel New Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    My, a chem whiz kid! I also aced both semesters of Orgo and Bio Chem along with all of my other pre-reqs but hey, who really cares? I'm not hung up on it. Don't forget the big picture! It is almost guaranteed that NONE of your patients (provided you make it into and through med school) will ask you how you did in Orgo or any other class for that matter. If you don't believe me, ask a physician and see whay they have to say about it. I guess all I am trying to say is, try to stay focused on the big picture. The ADCOMS at the schools you will apply to interview MANY people each year with high GPA's, solid MCAT scores and great backgrounds. That's your competition! Good luck!

  6. jimi

    jimi Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2000

    I really don't this this person was talking about just the grades. I think they were concerned about the acutual requirements and whether med schools would accept the AP credits the way undergrad did.

  7. gower

    gower 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2000
    New York
    Whether or not admission requirements have anything to do with future practice needs is irrelevant. What is relevant is that medical schools specify those courses to satisfy medical school admission requirements and in the competition for admission winners more often than not have higher grades than the losers. Similar considerations apply to the MCAT: what applicants think of the usefulness of the MCAT is beside the point. Adcoms treat MCAT scores as important and winners more often than not have higher scores than the losers.
    That is why premeds take the specific science courses and why they have to do well in them and why they take the MCAT and have to do well on that.
  8. TheAce

    TheAce Attending 10+ Year Member

    May 2, 2000
    I went to U of Michigan for my undergraduate and was in the same situation. I ended up taking the intro chem and it's associated lab after having taken orgo. The intro chem lab was not for credit, but it does show up on AMCAS and factors into your BCPM GPA on AMCAS. Getting into med school is difficult enough, don't make it even more difficult by lacking one of the pre-requisites.

    Most med schooles require 8 credits of Organic Chemistry with lab and 8 credits of Inorganic Chemistry with lab. You're ok on the organic side, but you might have to take the 110/110 and 215 to fulfill the inorganic requirement.

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